Most of my childhood is blurry now, yet something important always comes to mind during the reminiscence. Perhaps I was four or five. The instance which I recall ever so vividly was my father sitting in the kitchen with a lifeless empty stare into the wall. I remember asking innocently if they didn't love each other anymore. Instead of responding he just broke into uncontrollable weeping. It was the one and only time I've seen my father cry.
Needless to say, he took the divorce incredibly difficult. I later learned that he threatened to kill himself, and in response my mother cut all forms of communication with him. They wouldn't speak for several years, and child care became complex as he became apathetic and stopped paying bills and child support. Me and my sister were only allowed to see him a briefly over a weekend each month. Those weekends were his only glimmer of hope in the darkness of his mental state.
Me and my sister eventually moved to a new house with mother and step-dad. It was reclusive, far into the woods. We switched school. We both had issues growing accustomed to a normal class as we went to a Montessori school before.
[fn: Montessori education does not use classrooms and it's a lot about having the child plan her own education with the teacher giving mostly individual support. The parents are also very present in this type of school.]
I couldn't fit in the new school. Children are like primates. If they sense any sort of weakness, insecurity or abnormality and they do not let it slide. People who say children are inherently innocent couldn't be more wrong, they are capable of so much more cruelty than the adults since they haven't adapted to society yet.
From the bus ride onward every morning it was hell. I came home with bruises, headaches and dizziness every day. Even if they'd leave me alone some of the days, the fear and anxiety - the inability to relax for one moment was taxing. I was embarrassed at how the coolest guy in the class could become so miserable in a matter of weeks. I did my best to conceal my bruises and made excuses for my parents at my performance evaluations. It's ironic how 15 years later I still haven't told them anything of how I felt during these years. Gradually I even began to despise my parents for not noticing, even though I know it is immature to see it that way.
There was a girl in a parallel class who just didn't wake up one morning. They had no medical explanation as to why; she died in her sleep. For mourning, the priest came to school guitar in hand. Some of the children would look sad or weep silently. The monsters would seemingly genuinely bawl for what seemed like an eternity. I was utterly disgusted by their behavior. I think this was the ignite, the spark.
The situation at home was unstable. During the conflicts I clung to my mother and my sister became the precious of my step-dad. Classic oedipuscomplex.
I couldn't get along with him. He always started screaming at me when it was just the two of us even though he was so charming and humoristic when the females were present. "We give you food and housing and yet you aren't grateful?! Give me one reason why we shouldn't just throw you out". It could happen over the most trivial things like not closing a door properly, borrowing the power cord of a radio, not saying thanks for the ride whenever he gave me one. In retrospect I believe he realized something was wrong first but he wasn't good at dealing with emotions. I don't antagonize him anymore even though I despised his manipulative nature at the time.
The few weekends I could spend with my real father were like paradise. I was safe from any unpleasant feelings, I could play games and read fantasy books. My father was the same in that regard so we didn't socialize much with each other, we just spent the time trying to escape as much as possible from real life. Every Sunday evening I spent there was as painful as the Saturday was blissful because of the imminent return to the wild house.
It is interesting how the defense mechanisms of the mind works. I gradually grew numb to the physical pain; following the mental discomfort also went away. Nothing fazed me any longer, it was just like a permanent bubble around my body which nothing could penetrate. Even though I went to the most rowdy class where people threw chairs and screamed and came whenever they saw fit - with no respect for the teacher (most mentors quit within three months), I was at peace. Ironically they sensed my lack of emotions and stopped bothering me, even treating me relatively friendly. The teachers also noticed the change. The perfect student with straight A's stopped caring about classes and homework.
Eventually the principle expelled me from school even though I had one and a half year left on the compulsory education. Called me a risk to myself and others.
I'll continue this on another occasion...