In which Mr. John presents the first part of a series of stories on how to break a little boy.
Children are so frail, not merely in the physical sense as much as in an intangible soul-level peace. A single exploit can transform them from an innocent child to a small husk of fear, rage, and brokenness. My story is this times four.
My early childhood was pretty damn good. I had a puppy, friends, and loving, caring parents. As mentioned in the Orchid Thief, my mother nurtured my love of our natural world and taught me to be kind and caring. This was “The Official Story” everyone was told, rather than have to explain or admit to the truth. We’ll have a chat later as to why “The Official Story” is different from a lie. The reality is that four specters rose to ruin a wonderful little boy; mental abuse, violence, religion, and sex.
Our story begins before my birth.
My Mother married one Franklin Gammon, a TV repairman from Ohio in 1955 when she was 21 years old. In the same year, on December 11th, they had a child, Debbie, and they moved to North Miami Beach, Florida, into what would later become my childhood home. I would assume that this was an unplanned marriage due to the timing and the era.
As far as I can tell, they had a happy life up until my sister, Debbie died in 1958. One moment she was a perfect child, the next she lay dead in my Mother’s arms, asphyxiated by a tumor that had fallen across her windpipe.
That tragedy leads my Mother into an understandable downward spiral into mental illness, suicide attempts, drug abuse, and more.
Debbie died on July 12, 1959. I was born in 1962. What happened between those points of time turned my Mother into a monster. I pretty much think that my ‘supposed’ biological father was a massive dickhead.
What transpired in the two and a half years between her death and my birth is mostly a mystery to me. I know there were two suicide attempts. One was a good old wrist slashing (but no one told her down not across), and the other was a hardcore throat slash. Also during this time, of course, was a stay at an Institution. I was likely conceived in May of 1961 but the stories told to me by my Mother about that time period are a concoction of lies, half-truths, and misdirection. What my Mother hadn’t calculated was that her bullshit would be unraveled by “The Internet”.
Meanwhile, Wilfred (my adopted Father) was married to one Lily Cave in August 1960. It was a short-lived marriage and they divorced in June the next year when she apparently left him and he spent a number of months recovering from the trauma in a Mental facility.
I was born in February 1962, my mother divorced Gammon in April of 1962 and she married Wilfred in July of 1962. My life was a cluster fuck by the time I was six months old.
A new happy family was started, and we will continue this story with mental abuse.