I know a lot of people who read this don’t really know much about me personally. Friends on line, friends in person, there are very few who actually know much about me and my personal history. Sure they know me, what I like and dislike, know my personality, but the number of people who truly know who I am can be counted on one hand. So, for no reason that is apparent to me, I’ve decided to write a post about yours truly.
I was born in January, 1985 (for those interested I’m an Aquarius with an Aquarious Moon). My parent’s were both too young to drink legally though they must have in order to tolerate each other long enough to get married and spawn me. Not long after I came into this world my parents divorced, I’m not sure on the details as I have no memory of them ever being together but according to my father my mother was a complete psycho bitch whore and was cheating on him, and she says the same of him.
According to my father, hospital reports, other family on my father, etc. it went down like this. He was picking me up for visitation when I was 2ish, I was black and blue all over. I had a fractured skull along with several other broken bones and bruises and injuries. He won custody on the grounds of my mother abusing me. According to my mother he had a crooked lawyer and that’s how he won custody, and the first story was me fracturing my skull falling while climbing to the top of the refrigerator. Her second story was me falling in the bath tub. On a different occasion her story was me throwing myself into my toybox. The woman who birthed me is a liar, compulsively, so I know what happened honestly. What I don’t know is whether it was my mother or someone else who was there at the time, but I do know that someone beat the toddler Eric half to death and my mother would rather lie than ever acknowledge it or apologize.
When I was 3, from what I can remember, my father was living with his Girlfriend who was alright enough I guess, they were living in a camper while my dad fixed the house my grandmother had given him as an early inheritance. I guess specifically I should mention that she gave it to him and his two sisters to split (this is important later) but my dad was the one who worked on the house to make it livable (technically livable anyway). At some point during that time, my father was working on the roof and I climbed halfway up the ladder, fell, and had to be rushed to the hospital to get 13 stitches on my forehead. I remember how terrified I was when the doctor came at my face with the needle, but not much more than that.
I was a very rowdy child, had a short attention span, from what I’ve been described as I was much like my son is. My father decided after being convinced by my aunt’s and his mother to send me away, and I spent almost a year in Amos Cottage, a children’s mental hospital. My father told me we were going to the lake to visit my Great Grandmother (a wonderful woman who I love very much and has always been very kind and loving to me) and instead I was brought into a building and told I would be staying there. I began to panic, crying and screaming telling my father I promised I’d be good and not to give me away, and they strapped me to a bed and medicated me. My memories of that terrible place are a fog. I remember always being told my father was going to come to visit me that weekend and then not being able to see him. I remember slight misbehavior and the power tripping nurses (if they were actually nurses I’m not sure) would lock me in a small room with hard rubber walls and a single door with a small window in the middle. I remember I had a birthday there, and another kid stole my bat mobile (a cheap candy dispenser shaped like a bat mobile, I got that for my birthday and my father took me to a movie). I remember getting the chicken pox there, so they put me in quarantine with the other kids who had gotten chicken pox which was worse than normal. One kid tried to get out and ripped off two of his fingernails trying to climb the fence. I tried to get on the normal playground and was instead locked in what I believe was a cage for misbehaving (it was like a wooden crib with bars over the top too, very strange). I remember the apple sauce every day that I knew had medicine in it. Most of that year is lost, I occasionally get flashes of uncomfortable memories when I think about it long enough. ‘
After I left Amos Cottage I was put into daycares before I could start school. I was kicked out of one daycare for the fire alarm being pulled. The woman in charge said raise your hand if you didn’t pull the fire alarm, I was busy using sponges to pain dinosaurs and wasn’t paying attention, so obviously I was guilty (especially considering my record) and was kicked out. I don’t remember them very much, the medication never stopped so for the most part I was a zombie. Another daycare I remember was at the First Church of God, and I remember you weren’t allowed to drink your glass of milk at lunch until after you ate your food. I remember they paddled when you misbehaved, and I made the mistake once of asking a question about their god that they didn’t like and being paddled for it. What fond memories of that place. I remember we had our play time on a large balcony with a wall at the church, we were out there one day and we heard a gun shot. They rushed everyone inside, another kid threw up, when I saw the vomit I used to remember it as a bird getting shot and landing on the balcony but now I can remember clearly it was vomit. Not a significant memory but one of the few clear ones. Another clear memory was my dad picking me up on a different day from that daycare and telling me my Great Grandfather had died. He was a great man and just like his wife never showed me anything but love and kindness. I had seen him just the day before in the hospital, he was wearing his hat. I still miss him although memories are still vague.
I started Kindergarten at A.T. Allen elementary. I was put into special classes because of my history, B.E.H. classes which stood for behaviorally and emotionally handicapped. They changed it later on to B.E.D. Behaviorally and emotionally disabled. My teacher was Ms. Hopkins, from what I can remember she was a complete bitch, she enjoyed calling out and embarrassing children. One time in conversation it came up where I had said that my dad could read 900 words per minute. She called me a liar in front of everyone, I argued that it was true. She in front of everyone got out one of the reading books and made me start reading and timed me, and after a minute I had only read a bit over 150 words. I pointed out that I was only in first grade and my father was an adult, and then had to go to the office for causing a disruption. My principal paddled me and called my father, who then yelled at me. Throughout kindergarten, first and second grade I got in fights, got in trouble. Other kids would make fun of me for being in the retard class (some of the kids were retarded, so I was guilty by association) and in turn I would beat their faces in. I did try hard, I just couldn’t manage to fit into their system. I made straight A’s. In 3rd grade I had to transfer to Winecoff elementary. A.T. Allen didn’t have a BEH class after 2nd grade. In Winecoff they put me in AG (academically gifted) classes part time, it was fun. I went to an opera once. I still had to live with my reputation, still got ridiculed for being in retard classes, still got in trouble for fighting. Still made straight A’s until I stopped caring about even that. In 5th grade they were giving out presidential academic awards to students who had gotten honor roll for 3 or more years in a row. I didn’t get one because as a BEH student I didn’t qualify for honor roll. Upon realizing that no matter how hard I tried I would never have the chances the other kids had simply because of my label, I quit trying and got my first D in fifth grade.
Meanwhile things at home were, well, unstable. The house my father had fixed up was still barely able to be considered a house. His previous relationship had long ended, and he began dating another woman who was a complete cunt to me. She would do little things, like using one of my very few possessions which was a first edition Batman no.2 comic to beat me with because I yelled at her daughter for messing with it. After it was in pieces and ripped all to hell she threw it away. I lived with my Aunt in Charlotte when I started going to winecoff because my father just couldn’t deal with me or whatever. She had a pet pig that bit me so I fed it bacon. Time really blurs by because I really was pretty heavily medicated throughout most of my childhood. My doctor Dr. Stegman was trying to make a name for himself for dealing with kids with ADD and emotional problems so I was his medication guinea pig. At one point I remember being on Clonadine which I recently discovered is now used as a blood pressure medication. Other medications I remember being on included Desipramine which upon just looking up apparently causes cancer and is used in cocaine withdrawl. Thanks doc. My Aunt lisa provided a stable home that I quite enjoyed for a while.
My mother popped up in the picture for a short while around 9. According to my Aunt it was because she went after her for child support, but I started doing weekend visits with my mother. My half brother and I fought and I was very close to my little half sister. After what I think was around a year of visits they stopped. According to my Aunt and father my mother didn’t want to see me anymore. Later according to my mother it was because my aunt told her I didn’t want to see them anymore (my brother and I had gotten into trouble together, and in a fit at one point I said I never wanted to see them again, but obviously I didn’t mean it, I was a fucking child).
I went back and fourth between living with my aunt and dad, in middle school I lived with my father. I transfered to a different school district because Concord didn’t have BEH classes available in middle school. I begged my dad to let me go to regular classes and be with the regular kids, but it was pointless. I had to carry that label with me through middle school as well in a new district where I could have had a new chance. My teacher through middle school was Mr. Landon. He was a New Yorker who had lived for a while and taught in Hawaii, then came to teach there. He was odd as hell and I really liked him, though I never let him know it. Lucky me I also had my old principal again from A.T.Allen who had transferred to Mt. Plesant Middle. I got to carry that history with me also, they were already looking for me to fuck up. I enjoyed reading my dad’s sci-fi and fantasy books. These books put me into a whole different world where I could escape being me for a while. I was put in AG English class in middle school (the only AG teacher willing to give me a chance given my history) but I got kicked out of it. At our school we had to do the Accelerated Reader program, and the AR books available in our school library included magic school bus books and absolute crap, so while I’m reading at a college level, huge novels like The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks ( I read the first three in that series in 6th grade) I was kicked out and failed the class because of failure to participate in the accelerated reader program. I really had stopped giving a fuck, and barely passed my classes in middle school. I would get perfect scores on the tests, I really did learn the material, but I said fuck it when it came to homework, classroom participation, etc. I had a hard time, got picked on quite a bit. The years of therapy must have done their job, because in middle school I never really did want to fight. I just did my best to ignore it. I put up with things as much as I could, occasionally snapping but for the most part just trying to avoid confrontation. I had very few friends and even they would pick on me when their other friends were around. I had a very lonely childhood. I spent most of my spare time alone in the woods, my dad’s house had 5 acres of land and it was all forest, and connected to more forest, so I would just wander aimlessly or go to some of my favorite spots I had to sit and do nothing (except smoke, I had started smoking and by this time I was smoking a pack a day). My only friends were my books. In 8th grade I had a teacher who really cared, Ms. Riordan. She was the pre-algebra teacher, and she saw that the reason I wouldn’t pay attention in class was because I wasn’t being challenged. She began to give me high school material, I was learning algebra, geometry, I loved going to her class. She would let me take tests meant for 10th graders and I was enjoying actually feeling like school mattered and I was worth paying attention to. I also got another A finally. I also enjoyed art class and home economics (where I discovered I was a great cook and not too bad at sewing). My father had a severe addiction to pornography, a huge collection of it, and I had been exposed to absurd amounts of it all through middle school. Just throwing that out there, probably didn’t have too good an impact on my psyche.
At 12 I had a psychological breakdown. (I think I was 12, I was in 8th grade). The generous doc had me on Prozac at the time, and I don’t know if I had taken too much (I had to take massive pills 4 times a day) or missed it or what, but for a time that day I was hallucinating, thought the forest was mocking me, and I ran away from home. I got picked up that night, but I vowed never to take their fucking medicine again and I didn’t. They couldn’t make me, short of holding me down and injecting me (which they considered) they could not force me to take the medicine. I moved back in with my Aunt for High School. At high school I didn’t have to go to BEH classes, finally. They did have a BEH councilor at Concord High, and every teacher I got was nicely pre-warned that I would be a problem and to watch for me to fuck up, and I still had the label to deal with because the kids were the same I was with at Winecoff. Despite what my family thinks I didn’t actually do drugs. I smoked pot on occasion and I drank on occasion, but in my own defense I believe any one of you reading this would have too at this point, and probably worse.
The friends I made while living in Concord for the most part my Aunt did not approve of. Although she was decent to be with when I was younger, she had absolutely no idea how to deal with a teenager. She randomly exploded, shouting and screaming all the time. She was incredibly restrictive, and I honestly don’t think that I was not grounded for a consecutive week the entire time I lived with her. I loved her son, my cousin but may as well be little brother Alex very much. My name was one of his first words and I loved playing with him, helping Lisa with him. We were a huge part of each other’s lives then. He’s almost an adult now himself, and I miss him terribly, only talking to him occasionally on Facebook and giving him what advice I can. I rebelled, and I did it hard. I will admit I was an asshole. I finally made a friend that my Aunt approved of however, Javier. He was a couple years older than I was, but his family was so much different. They cared for each other, loved each other. I had never had anything like it and I latched myself on as well as I could. They accepted me as one of them, and I spent the majority of my time there. We had a new neighbor move in next to us, they had two kids. Jimmy who I loathed and fought with constantly, and Tonya who was the closest friend I had at the time. As I was getting older, so was Javier so we began getting more distant. He was an adult with a completely different culture, he was going to work and I was going to school, I’ll always consider him one of my all time best friends but we grew apart slowly and I eventually lost contact. My Aunt was a social worker. She had brought two girls home for a while, Melissa and Amanda. Both were in foster care, and would come stay with us some weekends. They had had their own horror story with their parents, and for a while they were like sisters to me. Amanda I started “dating” but it didn’t last, I didn’t really have those kind of feelings for her I was just happy to have one of those rare people in my life I could be close to. When Amanda was there we’d hang out all the time, frequently hanging out at Tonya’s house. My aunt hated Tonya, constantly accused her of being a whore and several other names she would call her. Amanda left back to where her and Melissa were from and I never saw or heard from her again.
One day I didn’t want to go to school. I had a massive headache, felt like shit, and just didn’t want to go. My aunt lisa I guess snapped and attacked me. She leaped onto my back, clawing at me and swatting me with a coat hanger, and I threw her off of me and screamed that I wasn’t going to school and she could go fuck herself. My aunt is a control freak and she will be damned if she can’t control a situation. Her best friend Cathy down the road was an assistant DA for the county that my aunt occasionally worked with (I mentioned she was a social worker, right?). She lived about 4 houses down. When my aunt left the room, she called Cathy. Her and her Husband CJ got to the house just minutes before the police. They told the police that my aunt tried to get me to go to school and I refused, and then she called CJ to try to help her, and that CJ and Cathy had both apparently witnessed me assault and punch my aunt in the face. The police pretended to care what I had to say, took photographs of the cuts and welts on my back, and took me to jail. I spent two weeks in the detention before being released back into my aunt’s custody. She was close friends with my lawyer Scott Robertson (Still a lawyer in concord NC), who she flirted with and he seemed interested in her. I had one meeting with him to explain my case. At the trial my Aunt went into the back rooms with him, Cathy was there (she worked there), and I recognized the judge who was also friends with my Aunt. My lawyer put me on the stand. The photographs of the police were not used as evidence. He asked me what happened that morning, I told him. He then, asking me his client, asked “And you expect us to believe that?”. I obviously lost the make believe trial and was put on probation for 6 months. To make things worse, my probation officer was also an associate of my Aunt, and I was basically told I either listen to her or go back to detention. Right before my probation ended, and without another trial or anything, my aunt had my probation officer extend my probation another 6 months because I had been misbehaving. By the way, two weeks in detention and I missed too many days, and would have to repeat the tenth grade.
I moved back in with my dad and switched schools for 10th grade, now going to Mt. Plesant High school. Probation was over finally. I still went out with Javier sometimes (as much as I could, he had a truck so would come pick me up and I’d spend just about every weekend with him or at my Aunt’s) and still hung out with Tonya. 10th grade was good, it was a different school. Many of the kids didn’t remember me from middle school and many of the teachers missed their “watch out for that trouble maker” warning. I was almost like a normal kid, but some people from middle school did remember me so the constant ridicule never really stopped. I tried to kill myself in 10th grade, I slit my wrist (fortunately for me the wrong way) and no one cared. When my father discovered he didn’t even take me to the hospital, he just yelled at me some more. I still liked it better than life with my Aunt because I could never (and still haven’t) forgive her for sending me to jail and abusing her authority to put me through hell and have something to hold over my head. It was no wonder I tried to kill myself. I had very few friends and those I did have I could barely ever see, I had a criminal record, I was labeled as disabled and constantly bullied in school, I hated my life. I honestly never thought it would get better, and for a long time it didn’t.
My Aunt had gotten pregnant again (her married friend from California had visited again) and I spent a lot of time going with my dad to her house so he could help her out with Alex as the due date got closer. Un known to my father, I had found something in his house. Letters from my mother to me buried in his dresser. Apparently the woman who wanted nothing to do with me had never stopped sending letters. Although I found later that she had only started writing again when they pursued her for child support again, I ended up convincing my Aunt to let me have another visit with her, and we all met up at Cracker Barrel. I was ecstatic to see my sister again, I was even happy to see my Brother and Step Dad. At the time, I was happy as hell to see my mother again also. The visit went great, although I didn’t have any of my mothers contact info. I was 16ish. My Aunt went to the hospital to have the baby, and me and my father stayed at her house. My father and I had a huge argument, then he left with Alex to go see Lisa. I unknown to them had finally found an out. One of the letters my Aunt had given me after the visit had my mothers phone number on it, and instead of using a permanent marker to cross it out before giving it to me she had used white out. I put on my favorite clothes, my necklace, did my hair, and called for them to come and get me and told them where I’d be. I didn’t want to wait at Lisa’s house because eventually my father would have come back, so I waited down the road near the Danny’s gas station.
That night I got to my new home. I hung out with my siblings for a while, and went to bed. My mother was going to enroll me in school that week, and I was going to be staying in my brother’s room. (For a very short time my brother and I were close). That night I met the Spencer Police department when they came into my mother’s house, put me in handcuffs, and took me back to Concord on larceny charges. My father accused me of stealing $20 from his wallet before I left. He was trying the same shit my Aunt had tried. My mother and step father followed behind the police. Before I was all the way checked into the system, I was released. Since they had arranged for me to be only able to get out in a parent;s custody, not expecting my mother to get there first, I was released to her and my step father and they took me back home. I didn’t lose the case either, but since my first night in the town getting arrested I already had the cops in town watching out for me. I was re-enrolled in school, and had only a couple days left and I was done with 10th grade. I had actually managed to make decent grades and had already taken the end of grade tests and passed, I just had to sit in the classroom for a week and it was summer vacation. My father and Aunt made sure to include all of my records and a nice warning to school staff at North Rowan. I had a journal that I had been writing in for months, mostly songs. One song, mostly a comedy with absurdities in it, was called I’m gonna kill you and throw you in the creek. It wasn’t like it had any names in it, it was just absurd ways of killing people strung together to rhyme. One line I remember was “Smash your face with a rake but forget throwing you in a lake, I’m gonna kill you and throw you in the creek”. It was hilarious. I dropped my notebook and someone saw it, and started reading my journal laughing at me. The teacher took it, showed it to the principal and sent me to the office. A police officer (officer Comer, a big dumb Hawaiian douchebag with a moustache) and the assistant principal started grilling me, calling the song a death threat. I tried to explain to them that it was a joke song and quite absurd, it was my private journal that they had no right to read anyway and tried to get them to give it back to me. They asked me why I would even write a song called “I’m gonna kill you and throw you in the creek” and I responded “because it sounds better than I’m gonna badly wound you and throw you in the river” laughing. I was expelled, and since missing those last few days put me one day over the attendance limit I had to repeat the 10th grade and didn’t get any credits from any of the classes that I had already passed. Shit just has a way of sticking to you. A song I had written weeks before gets me fucked again.
Life at my mother’s house wasn’t as grand as I hoped it to be. I didn’t have any friends around me, the people I had met during my brief stint in school remembered me as the dumbass who got expelled in his first week at the school. At first I was getting pretty close to my step dad, we would hang out during the day while my mother was at work and my siblings were at school or during summer break were off with their own friends. I guess my mother didn’t care for us being close. She wanted to make out Pat as the bad guy so always had him be the one who disciplined me, got on to me for stupid shit, basically having him be kind of a dick. I was a bit of an asshole myself so things went downhill pretty quickly and when I was a teenager I absolutely hated him. My mother was extremely passive aggressive, and liked to make up shit. I didn’t have anything of my own, didn’t have my own room, it was pretty much just a different setting of the same thing. I felt like a stranger in the home, my mother either at work or emotionally distant. I was close to my sister but she was generally off doing her own thing, and my mom would make weird comments to try to make us feel uncomfortable when we would hang out with each other. There was a small closet sized room in the basement and after a good amount of pleading I was allowed to clear it out and have it as my room. I took my cot out of the front living room, made a shelf out of a few cinder blocks and couple of boards to hold up the CD player pat had given me, and my room was complete. A bed and a small shelf in a basement with a cement floor, but I was happy because I had my own space. I would use the rest of the basement to hang out in, it had a couch and I’d usually hang out down there. I also had my own door, a back door I could use to go in and out whenever. I was for the most part happy during that time. My brother and I fought frequently, I was honestly jealous because he basically got anything he ever wanted, had a playstation, new cd player, tons of cd’s, anything their pride and joy wanted he would generally get. Meanwhile he and his friends were complete dicks to me, he would constantly say I didn’t belong there and wasn’t part of the family, and I honestly felt like I wasn’t. For the most part these people were strangers. I kept getting in trouble with the basement room and was told that if I got into trouble I wouldn’t be allowed to stay in there. My brother one night after sneaking out didn’t want to wake his parents and kicked in my window (Kicked the frame to the inside so he could get in, didn’t break the glass just completely detached the window), we fought because I didn’t want to be kicked out of the only room I had and I lost it on him and repeatedly punched him in the face. He went and got his parents, I ended up spending the majority of my stay in that home living in the second kitchen. (the house had previously been a duplex, and halfway through remodeling it back into a normal house they just sold it to my mother and Pat).
I made friends, I ended up having one thing I really cared about. I was in Advanced Chorus class. I had always loved singing, and since I was in chorus at mt pleasant high they let me audition and I made it in. I had a lot of friends in there, it was the one class I wouldn’t skip. We would do shows at churches and various small venues that a high school chorus can go to, and the money we would raise went to us going on trips and having pizza parties.
We went on a family camping trip to Badin Lake. My brother brought one of his annoying friends, and my sister brought a girl who was the little cousin of one of my friends from out of state. She felt bad for her not knowing anyone there so said she could come. The camping trip was awesome, I had always loved the outdoors. Then the problem came. Some guy named Scott who was in his early twenties was camping in a spot near by. I never saw him without a beer in his hand and he seemed to take a liking to Morgan (my friends cousin and the girl my sister brought along). Morgan (who was either 11 or 12) kept wanting to go off with him as he kept suggesting, and I basically wouldn’t leave them alone. I knew what he was about so did my best to keep them from being alone. I don’t know if my sister ever really knew why, she was there too but didn’t want to go by herself and since I was staying near Morgan we were all 4 there. Me, her, my sister, and Scott. Scott gave up and wandered off, then we packed up later that afternoon because we were going home that night. Morgan was furious that I hadn’t let them go off alone, so said she’d get back at me. She told her cousin I grabbed her ass, they called the police. Right after the police finished questioning me in my front yard, my friends, all of them, came around the corner. They ran up to me and I got jumped by all of them. The group that I thought were actually my friends were jumping me. Every time I left the house they would come after me. One day my sister and I were walking down the street, and they came around a corner. I told my sister to go home, I was tired of it. I went up to my once friend and told him go ahead and jump me but just wait until my sister was gone. He agreed. Instead of jumping me he said he just wanted to fight me himself. I honestly probably could have taken him, but I told him I wasn’t going to fight back and that I wanted him to understand that I never did anything to his cousin except try to keep her away from that Scott guy. After a good ten minutes of getting punched him and the rest of my once friends left me there.
A different time, after school I was in the parking lot. I was out of smokes, I was planning on going to food lion to steal another pack but wanted to see if I could bum one first. By this time I had made new friends and my old friends were leaving me alone (The girl admitted it wasn’t true, why I never had to go to court over it). A guy I barely new named Randy Bacon was sitting outside of his (more like his brother’s) van and passed the smoke to me. I took a couple puffs, and passed it to another friend, who ended up smoking most of it. I told Randy that I didn’t know the guy was going to smoke most of it and offered him 50 cents (the same 50 cents I was trying to buy a cigarette with) and he sucker punched me and jumped back into his van. 10 minutes later, while walking home, him and about 7 other people pulled up in 2 vehicles and beat the hell out of me. Apparently Randy told everyone I called him the N word. My brother watched from the top of the hill. Aside from some bruises and a broken finger (broken on someone’s face, not sure who but he kinda crumpled before I got overwhelmed) I was fine.
I had actually decided to give it a shot and started bringing my grades back up. I had auditioned for the County chorus and made it in (I was surprised, I actually had a sinus infection on the day I auditioned). I was planning on going for the state chorus, and thought it might be a real chance for me to go to college if I could bring my grades up and stay out of trouble. But, as always the shit kept sticking to me. My step dad and basically everyone in the house and I kept fighting and not getting along. One night, shit got too much to handle, my step dad and I had gotten into a pretty rough fight and my face was bloody, I went to the local police (only because they had threatened to call the police on me) and tried to fill a report. Instead I was taken back home, told to settle down and stay out of trouble. I ran away, but this time stayed gone.
There was an abandoned dry cleaners next to the family dollar in Spencer, and the back door was busted so wouldn’t lock. I’d sleep in there a lot of the time. Still went to school, but didn’t go home. I’d sneak by occasionally when I knew Pat and my mother weren’t there. My sister would let me in, I’d shower and whatnot, grab some clean clothes I had left and leave my dirty ones. Someone told about me staying in the dry cleaners, so the cops came in one night. I hid behind an old water heater and they didn’t find me, then after they left I knew I couldn’t stay there anymore. The NC Transportation museum was in Spencer, and there was an abandoned cement wall and floor train building that was barely standing and empty, didn’t have doors. Mostly just a shell of a building. I basically camped out there for the rest of my stint being homeless. After some months, I ended up staying with a friend and his parents. Out of respect for his family I won’t let out too many details of that, but it was a bit crazy. I would help his parents out with the kids while they were out working. I still went to school, but also did cooking and cleaning and diapers and basically making sure to earn my keep. They ended up treating me like a part of the family and I was happy for a short time. My mother didn’t want to get in trouble for me being gone so called the police, told them I was out of control on drugs and tried to have me committed. I passed the drug test so they couldn’t commit me, and I told the cops I did NOT want to go back to that house. They said they had to release me to a family member, so my mother’s cousin Tammy came and picked me up. I stayed a couple days there, tried out my grandmother’s house for a while who lived next door to my mother. Got in a fight with my crazier than hell step grandfather, he sucker punched me as I was leaving after I told him I refused to be a Jehovah’s Witness and that if he started screaming at my grandmother again I’d go all to hell on him. After he sucker punched me and pushed me down the stairs, he jumped on my back and tried to slam my head into the sidewalk unsuccessfully, and my brother who also hated him jumped off the porch next door and knocked him off me with a board. hen I punched him in the throat and my brother and I kicked him about a dozen times each before we heard sirens and hid together in my mother’s attic. After a couple days I ended up back at my friends house with another bloody nose from my step dad, still not wanting to stay at what people kept calling my home.
My mother was still wanting to avoid getting in trouble for letting me go so she reported me as a runaway. A cop I had known for a year and who was friends of my mother and step father stopped me and asked “Are you Eric Wilson?” I laughed and said “No, I’m Tommy”. Then I laughed and said “Of course you know I’m Eric, you know me”, He told me to stay out of trouble and recommended that I call my mother at the least because she’s worried about me, to which I laughed even harder told him bullshit and wandered off. I was arrested the next day at school, they came and picked me up at school even though they knew exactly where I was staying. The cop at the urging of his friend my mother said that I lied to him about my name, that I resisted obstructed and delayed, and I went to jail for a second time. They couldn’t do anything about me running away since I was 17, but they could get me back on a legal leash by coming up with this bullshit. What they didn’t expect is that while I was in there someone gave me the number for something called pretrial release. It was for first offenders who couldn’t afford bond or something. I called and got no answer and left a message. A few days later, I couldn’t take it anymore. I sharpened a plastic knife and again tried to end it. I was caught in the act. They drug me out of my cell and down a long hall. They ripped off my clothes, when I refused to take off my underwear in front of all the people that were around they pepper sprayed me and took them anyway. They put me in a small cell with a grate in the floor that was to be my bathroom next to a thin mattress on the floor with no blankets or pillow, wearing a Velcro apron thing. After a day in there they brought me out, the pretrial release guy had shown up and I got out on bond. I was free, and went back to my friends house. I had managed not to miss too many days to fail school so was stoked that I still had a chance of coming out on top. A week later at my first trial, my loving family had the lawyer make it a part of my bond that I have to stay with a parent. I didn’t want to stay there so I ended up at my last option and went back to my father’s.
So at this point I’m 17, back at my fathers house in the middle of nowhere, and my father didn’t want to deal with the BS of me going to school so refused to re enroll me. He said it was pointless and would just be a hassle of me getting in trouble. After all that trouble bringing my grades up, making it into county chorus, and even going to school while homeless I wasn’t allowed to continue. I was fucked. Trial came and went, they dismissed it on the grounds that the off duty officer who knew exactly who I was wasn’t delayed in any way and he actually got a reprimand from what I was told for the whole thing. So I’m 17, still determined to at least escape somehow, so I started riding my bike to town to put in applications. I see a commercial on TV for Job Corps. Learn a Trade, get your GED, and get paid to be there. Fuck yes I thought to myself, I signed up. I got hired at subway but never started because the day before I was to start I got the call from the Job Corp Recruiter that I was to leave soon and needed to do final paperwork. I told the people at subway, I made my father take me to do the last of the paperwork and put his signature on the paper, and then I was off to Franklin NC to attend the Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps.
My first night there I got jumped by about a dozen people. Steel toe boots wrapped in a pillow case don’t feel good. I had a feeling I would like it there. Lets face it, my social skills were shit. I had spent my entire childhood in secluded classes or under ridicule and avoiding everyone. So I didn’t get along with people at first. I ended up making friends though, but not the good kind. Started taking a lot of pills, smoking a lot of pot, and this was within the first couple of days. I took the placement test called the TABE test. They said it was a test the army used or something. Two parts, highest possible for each was 800 for a combined score of 1600. I scored a 800 on one part and a 795 on the other. The next day some recruiters showed up, they offered to send me to the citadel. I was high and told them to go to hell, and wandered off. What a fucking idiot I was on that day, not knowing what the citadel was I threw away the one free shot I had to what I had always wanted, a way out of my shitty life and into a better one.
I took the GED, passed with the highest GED score record at that Job Corps (Don’t remember what my score was, 400 something) and spent the rest of my time waiting for test results tutoring other people there. I couldn’t just go straight out of the education half and full time trade because I had to wait for results, but the instructors knew they had nothing left to teach me so just had me tutor people. All but one person I tutored passed, the one who didn’t I think passed on his next try. My now wife was one of those I tutored in math.
I had finished my GED, completed my culinary trade early and started taking business tech. The business tech instructors were, well, uptight as fuck with no sense of humor, and I also realized that the class was basically typing lessons and how to be a secretary. I had started dating my wife and she left after she got her GED (All she had really come for) and they wouldn’t let me leave. So I raised a stink, did my damnedest to get kicked out since I was basically already done. They wouldn’t kick me out (the director wanted his paycheck) so I told him that I’d just wait until the department of labor showed up and let them know that they were refusing to let me leave. I got sent out that week.
Instead of taking the bus home, I stayed with my wife’s brother in Asheville.
Since then I have done whatever it takes to make it in this world and to be true to my wife and family. I had a house in a nice neighborhood, but the restaurant I worked in was flooded and lost it all. Work was spotty, barely any money to work with and no transportation, it was quite a struggle. I was determined. I am still determined. I get a good job running a kitchen for a Christian assembly, and our house burned down. Everything we owned was lost. Still I kept on. I took all the money we had saved and put it into a place for my wife and I, my son, my at the time unborn daughter, and my wifes parents. Now we all live together, I work online, and although it is still a constant struggle against poverty I will continue to persevere and I am still determined. I’m going to keep biting and clawing my way up if it is the very last thing I ever do. I am going to give my wife and kids who are more important to me than life itself what I never had before them, which is a family. There are few members of my own family I still talk to and even then it’s very rare. I have my family now and I make sure every day to tell them how much I love them and everything I do is for them, and will always continue to be. I am accepted for who I am, I am loved by people who don’t want anything in return but love back.
As a special note, I would like to add some information about after Job Corps. For a short time on two occasions my wife and I stayed with my Mother and step father. While we were there I realized more and more how much my mother was behind the majority of the hostility in the entire household, straining the relationships between everyone who lived there. She did her best to undermine my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my sister, my sibling’s relationships with others and each other, and my and my wife’s relationship with my step father. I got to know Pat a lot better during that time, and I don’t hold any anger toward him from teenage years. He’s really always been there for me when I needed him most, even as a teen when I didn’t realize it until later. My son still remembers him somewhat, they were very close and I am very sad that they can’t continue much of a relationship because of my separating from my mother. I do miss him and he was a great father figure in my life.
I wrote this one to help myself, but also because maybe it can inspire someone out there reading this to keep on and keep trying, because things do get better no matter how shitty a hand you are dealt in life. I left Job Corps more than 10 years ago and have seen a lot of shit since then. Shit many people wouldn’t expect. If you keep trying no matter what to overcome any obstacles in your way things will get better one way or the other. Maybe eventually I’ll write about my life after Job Corps to now, but this brief (I could go into a lot more detail and a lot more fucked up shit) version of my childhood is over. If you’ve managed to read all of this then congratulations, you know me better than many people do. I’m tempted to delete this before I ever publish it live.