Imagine a kid of the age of four, not old enough to know the difference between imagination and reality. Throw in an alcoholic who was out until four and up at nine to catch her game shows and soaps, and a Navy Seadog who is gone ten months at a time, and you have my early childhood. For that I believe in self-preservation.
Even though my childhood might seem depressing to most, to me it is inspirational. Yes, I do admit it was painful to not have anyone to rely one except my seven-year old brother, whose understanding on life was about as obscure as my own. However, through this catastrophic predicament, I look back at times when my dad was home on leave. When my mom came into my room in the afternoon to wake me up and take me out to the living room of our two-bedroom trailer to watch television. These are the memories I keep in mind. Not the times when my brother and I, were left home until my mom got home or when my dad left and was so tired when he got back he couldn’t watch television with us, let alone play a game.
Though my dad is retired and my mother no longer drinks a lot, if it was not for my father’s work that took away most of his time and my mother’s habit that built a horrible image of her when I was a kid, I would not be the man that stands today. I would most likely be a good-for-nothing bum, sitting at home with out a job, stealing from friends and family to support some random addiction. Through my belief I have overcome the addictions of smoking and I have been able to keep job with out having it interfere with a steady relationship.
It is because of the thoughts of being engulfed in work or losing myself in an addiction that I try my best to only rely on myself, to make myself believe I can do anything, and never let anyone make a decision for me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.