U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-03-2019, 08:18 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,466 posts, read 5,390,703 times
Reputation: 51543

Advertisements

I don't like to talk about it. My father cheated on my mother when I was five and my brother was eight. She kicked him out, and he got revenge by manipulating the court system in order to get permanent custody. Then he ignored Mom's visitation rights. At one point he kidnapped us out of our beds in the middle of the night and held us incognito for 10 days. Later he moved us hundreds of miles away where she couldn't find us.

My brother and I became latchkey kids before there was a word for it. On the rare occasions that we saw our mother, we were forbidden to tell her where we lived or even what school we attended. But my mother always managed to locate us. When that we would move again - sometimes with only a few hours' notice. By the time I graduated high school, I had changed schools 12 times. I went for as long as three and a half years without seeing my own mother. Dad made us believe that she was an alcoholic, which was not true.

Then my father got remarried to a woman young enough to be his daughter. She was a divorcee with three young children. My new stepmother didn't like me and didn't try to hide it. But I was useful to her as a built-in, unpaid babysitter. Her constant criticism did tremendous damage to my self-esteem that I'm still trying to overcome to this day. My brother left home shortly after the marriage to live with our now-remarried mother, but I was strongly discouraged from even visiting them. I suspect the real reason was that my stepmother would have had to make other child care arrangements.

I got a job at 18, left home and never looked back.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-03-2019, 08:34 PM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,726 posts, read 2,250,324 times
Reputation: 5338
I really liked the first 9 years. Lived in a tiny town in Central New York state. Lots of things to do in a country setting with my friends. Then my parents decided to move to Florida and my world was turned upside down. And to top it off, to a small town in the middle of Florida in 1958. I felt like I had been dropped off on an alien planet. It got to the point where I just refused to go to school as I did not fit in with the other kids in any way whatsoever.

We then moved over to the East Coast of Florida, which was a much different atmosphere, due to being a more upscale area with people from different areas of the country. My sister and brother-in-law had moved there also, and my brother-in-law and I went fishing all the time, which I loved. In some ways, he was more of a father then my actual father. I was never one of the "in" kids at school, but I wasn't picked on either. I had a few friends like me and we just sort of quietly existed at school. Loved books and did OK on subjects that interested me and didn't give a flip about ones that were not interesting to me. Finally just called it quits and dropped out in 10th grade. Worked at different odd jobs until I enlisted in the Coast Guard when I turned 18.

We never had much money. My mother worked at jobs like a maid at at motel and my father worked at manual labor at a packing house. My father was in his late 50s and my mother was almost 40 when I unexpectedly came along. No drinking or abuse but neither one of them were very good at being a parent. My father pretty much just wanted to be left alone and my mother ruled the roost by being very demanding. They pretty much felt that if they fed me, clothed me and gave me a place to sleep, all was good. No real affection or guidance.

I look back at it as they did the best they knew how. My father was an only child and never was comfortable around kids. My mother came from a large family where there wasn't much real connection between parents and kids. I guess I am lucky that I managed to muddle through on my own without ever falling in with a bad crowd.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2019, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
2,319 posts, read 2,452,657 times
Reputation: 4309
At my father's funeral my wife suggested I talk about my fondest memory of him. After hearing the rabbi, my idiot bother, and my equally idiot cousin talk about what a great man he was, I turned to my wife and said, crap I think we're at the wrong funeral

Then I told this story. It happened six months ago, not when I was a kid.

He was in the hospital. I called and said, "do you want me to fly in?" His reply, why you're not a doctor.

I said, "not you, but other people actually enjoy my company". He said, great go visit them (then hung up on me).

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2019, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,935 posts, read 4,863,650 times
Reputation: 29104
I had the best childhood I could ever imagine -- when I was alone.

There were country roads all over and some I had never been down. The further I got from home, the fresher the air seemed. Once I stole an apple from an orchard for my lunch. I already had a thermos of soup. I don't remember where I picnicked solo, but no one cared that I was gone.

Later, I took trash bags with me and picked up cans and bottles from the side of the road to recycle. I did anything I could think of to earn money. I picked strawberries one summer. Found a two-burner Coleman stove in the shed in back of the house and used it to make novelty candles. As an older teen, recalling my earlier can/bottle scavenging, I started the first volunteer recycling operation in the county. I put out a call for volunteers and made the front page of the local paper. Ultimately other people moved into management positions who were better suited for it, but the organization still exists today.

The first 18 years of my life would have been perfect if only the rest of my family had died in a fiery car crash.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2019, 09:42 PM
 
5,549 posts, read 2,903,773 times
Reputation: 10430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayarea4 View Post
I don't like to talk about it. My father cheated on my mother when I was five and my brother was eight. She kicked him out, and he got revenge by manipulating the court system in order to get permanent custody. Then he ignored Mom's visitation rights. At one point he kidnapped us out of our beds in the middle of the night and held us incognito for 10 days. Later he moved us hundreds of miles away where she couldn't find us.

My brother and I became latchkey kids before there was a word for it. On the rare occasions that we saw our mother, we were forbidden to tell her where we lived or even what school we attended. But my mother always managed to locate us. When that we would move again - sometimes with only a few hours' notice. By the time I graduated high school, I had changed schools 12 times. I went for as long as three and a half years without seeing my own mother. Dad made us believe that she was an alcoholic, which was not true.

Then my father got remarried to a woman young enough to be his daughter. She was a divorcee with three young children. My new stepmother didn't like me and didn't try to hide it. But I was useful to her as a built-in, unpaid babysitter. Her constant criticism did tremendous damage to my self-esteem that I'm still trying to overcome to this day. My brother left home shortly after the marriage to live with our now-remarried mother, but I was strongly discouraged from even visiting them. I suspect the real reason was that my stepmother would have had to make other child care arrangements.

I got a job at 18, left home and never looked back.
Ohhhhhhh...what an awful thing to go through, and at such a young age. What can I say except you were brave and did well to leave that nightmare when you were of legal age. I hope life just gets better and better for you from now on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-03-2019, 11:06 PM
 
833 posts, read 571,681 times
Reputation: 2651
Father's Day is a problematic holiday for me. A whole day theoretically dedicated to the man who made our family's life hell?

I wonder what it would have been like to have had a father who loved, protected, or taught his children, rather than torture them and make them miserable? I see fathers playing with their children, and I wonder what that must feel like for those children. They seem to trust and love their fathers. We were always trying to hide from ours.

I'm sad for all the others here who were raised in similar conditions. I will take comfort next Father's Day in reflecting that there are others who cannot celebrate the day.

It hit me sometime in my 40s that I have never reported to a male boss. I've always had female supervisors/managers, from age 14 right up to today. Subconsciously, I must have realized that I could never put myself under the power of a man again, after serving under my father's reign of terror.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 07:30 AM
 
749 posts, read 203,464 times
Reputation: 1890
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Childhood! What's that?
...
Thankfully, I have survived and been blessed, but there will be no tears shed when I finally get to depart this temporary life. Hopefully before tomorrow! Maybe on one of my 737 flights, that would be a nice and quick and scenic way to go !
Hope, you are not a pilot!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,714 posts, read 1,898,231 times
Reputation: 11410
Very middle class. Military dad, I was born in France and returned to USA during my first year, lived at various military communities, returned and lived in France during grade school, returned to USA in 3rd grade-Fort Hood. Moved to my current city when my dad retired.

Had a typical tomboy life, riding my bike, playing war in the field behind my house, catching crawdads, stealing roses from my neighbor's garden to take to my mother, mildly abused (he would beat on me) by my 6-years older brother (RIP) while my mother was working. During this time my mother miscarried twins and two other pregnancies. She almost died. I remember my dad making horrible scrambled eggs when she was in the hospital. I have always, even today, grieved for the siblings I didn't get to have.

Middle and high school was hard, as I'd turned into the fat girl and had to deal with being made fun of occasionally. Made me tough (and I'm no longer fat).

Dad had a massive heart attack the DAY after I graduated high school, delaying my college plans. Went to work instead and enjoyed it. Married three years later, etc.

Overall, it was pretty good. No regrets.

Last edited by mschrief; Yesterday at 08:21 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
5,005 posts, read 3,501,296 times
Reputation: 10586
At 65 I still have nightmares about it sometimes. Yes, I've been to therapy.

My parents divorced when I was around 6. I have a feeling they both fooled around but not sure. My mother remarried a horrible man shortly after the divorce who abused all of us, taking special care of the 4 girls.

It was scary and confusing for me. I was the youngest girl and he treated me 'special '. I think because I had long curly hair and big brown eyes.

Each of us girls were told he wouldn't hurt the others if we did what he wanted.The 5 boys he beat.

Finally when I was 12, for some reason us 4 girls opened up to each other, found out the truth, and told our mother. She divorced him but the damage to all of us had been done.

I left home at 16, met a friend of my brothers and was pregnant at 17 and soon married. Divorced by 19.

None of the girls had good marriages. Surprisingly, or maybe not, 3 of the 5 boys have good marriages, treat their wives and children very well and have normal lives. I'm proud of all of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
2,319 posts, read 2,452,657 times
Reputation: 4309
Here's my advice to all you people that had tough childhoods like me: Now you know exactly what NOT to do with your kids/grandkids.

My parents made it easy for me to be a good parent and grandparent. I just do the opposite of what they did. My kids and grandkids love me for it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top