I sit here trying to think of some way to describe to you the reader, one of the most complicated subjects I have ever tried to explain to anyone… Myself. I constantly wonder how I have become the person I am today. How the hell did I happen? Was it the should have been heavily medicated parents that raised me? Maybe a percentage of the blame can be placed there. Then of course there was the excessive use of narcotics in my younger years. I’m sure even more can be pointed in that direction. Or, the result of the stress from the legal issues I’ve had over the years? It is quite probable. Even possibly the constant making of bad decisions I seemed to have quite a talent for? Pinpointing it exactly has proven impossible, and goes nowhere every time anyway. So, how do I explain myself?
My childhood was not as bad as I and a few others make it out to be sometimes. My dad was definitely no father of the year, but I suppose he could have been much worse than he was. He felt the best the way to make a kid listen to him was with an iron fist. If you were his kid, or a kid within his reach, and you weren’t sitting quietly in a corner, you were lucky if you simply got a “Shut the hell up!”
My mother was and still is a few Excedrin tablets short of a full medicine cabinet. She felt the best way to resolve even the smallest confrontation was to dial 911. A habit she no doubt developed during her marriage to my father. However, the purpose of this is piece not to piss and moan about my parents, or my upbringing.
I guess I took my turn for the worst at around twelve. To sum it up in a nutshell, I was pissed off because I didn’t have the life I ordered. So, like a lot of kids I went out of my way piss off those who pissed me off. I broke every rule there was to break just to break the damn thing, and took it further than that if at all possible.
First time I was arrested I was thirteen. I wasn’t fazed by it. It was actually an ego boost to an ignorant younger me. To me at that time it was an upgrade to my badass status. Which I put so much effort into obtaining. The fact that I had more issues than the New York Times was all too obvious. No doubt I had a lot to learn about life.
I was definitely not one of the best of adolescents growing up, but I wouldn’t really consider myself a bad kid. I was just one of those little bastards that never had enough attention really. If I could go back now I most certainly would have done a lot things different of course. I often think of what I would say to a younger me if given the chance to go back in time and alter the present. Something along the lines of “What the fuck is wrong with you?!” while slapping some much needed sense into that cloudy head of mine. Explaining to mini me just what will become of us if he keeps up this way, trying desperately to perform a cranial-anal-ectomy on that ignorant fool.
Needless to say all that screwing off eventually caught up to me. I had finally got my dreaded day in court. It sure as hell took the bastards long enough. As if they were purposely giving me just the amount of time they needed for me to dig my grave deep enough. Speaking with my public defender (Or public “pretender” as I feel to be their more appropriate title.) we went over my charges and the offer the State had on the table. One year in the juvenile detention center. Sound of this almost made me soil myself. “Are you crazy?!” I yelled at my attorney. “I’m not spending a year of my life locked up! There’s no way in Hell!” Oh, but there was a way, and very much so in Hell.
The unfortunate thing for fifteen year olds in my predicament was your legal representation will nine times out of ten listen to your legal guardian before they’ll listen to anything that comes out of your mouth. “Do you think the judge will allow his sentence to be carried out in a privately owned program, rather than in J.D.C.?” My mother suggested. This sounded better. But I was very skeptical considering it was my mother who was suggesting it. My attorney presented this proposal to the judge and it was accepted. Fifteen months in Teen Challenge Bonifay!“Fifteen months!” I was dumbfounded. What happened to just a year? Before I could get a word in edge wise the judge had already called for the next case.
As we exited the courtroom I was still trying to comprehend exactly just what happened in there. A counter offer was supposed to be better than the initial one. Wasn’t it? What the hell?!! She had done it to me again!
Because I wasn’t being locked up at a State operated institution I was not immediately taken into custody. The next day my family and I were on the road. I was contemplating my escape. Had I not been a drug addict I might have been successful. During one of our stops I lifted two boxes of Cloricidin Cough and Cold pills, and started popping them immediately… after getting back in the car of course. Now, for those of you who are fortunately ignorant to the effects of abnormally high dosages of cough and cold medicine, they make you trip, or hallucinate. I would have tried to escape had I wanted to move.
Arriving to my new Hell away from home I learned it was a Christian boot camp, two things which should never be intermingled. This place was a piss ant little ranch in the middle of the woods. It consisted of two relatively small, elongated, white, one story buildings. The property was enormous, stretching for acres and acres in all directions. There were cows in the front and back pastures and pigs in a pen in the far corner of a large field for a back yard. The field itself was about one and a half times the size of a football field. To the left of the two buildings there was a group of mobiles homes which I later learned were the homes of some of the staff. There was nothing for miles in all directions except maybe one inbred neighbor family every five miles or so down the road.
I was “greeted” by two large overly muscular men in camouflage fatigues with arms bigger than my abnormally large head, and dragged into one of the two small buildings in the middle of nowhere. Immediately I was being screamed at, being pushed, and shoved from all directions. I couldn’t believe my surroundings. I was in a stupor of disbelief. I could feel my pockets being gone through and my personal property being taken from me. I understood few commands that were being given to me in the midst of this weirdness. For instance I knew I had to stand straight up at the position of attention, I knew I had to answer every question with, “Sir! Yes sir!” and I knew I must have looked like the mentally challenged village idiot in my condition.
I couldn’t tell you much about that initial briefing. However, I do remember the first question directed directly towards me. One of the younger sergeants I later learned to be sergeant Davidson got right up in my face, purposely violating my personal space and screaming at the top of his lungs the question, “Do you understand boy?!” I knew the correct answer to this question was, “Sir! Yes sir!” but I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to understand. So, in a confused and sarcastic manner I answered, “No.”. He reiterated himself by grabbing my throat and in one swift motion slamming my head into the wall behind me, then body slamming my limp lifeless body to the ground with a knee to the ribs before completing the journey. Before I even realized what had just happened to me I was curled up in pain, and gasping for air. I could feel his hostile presence hovering over me. I looked up to see him back in my face again. In a showering yell he asked, “You understand now motherfucker?!!” This time I answered in a breathless whimper “Sir… Yes sir.” What a horrid trip this was turning out to be. I had just been demoted from a hard-ass… to a loose pussy.