I have an old file cabinet that’s been with me for at least 30 years. I hardly ever open it anymore. It contains a lot of old notes and scribbling I did when I was much younger. Recently, I went through it and found my very first short story that I wrote when I was fifteen.
I never did give it a title, and I never showed it to anybody. I remember being filled with rage when I wrote it because of the way I was bullied by my classmates. That’s when I first discovered that I had an outlet for all the pent up emotion inside me.
Beyond being bullied by my classmates, I was terrorized by my father, who beat me relentlessly, and sometimes pinned me on my stomach and pinched my back and buttocks with a pair of needle-nose pliers. My mother was helpless in this situation because she was stone drunk by 5:00 PM. She was an angry drunk, who often became violent. It was best to stay clear of her.
I lived in a world of terror, and there was nobody I could turn to. So many doctors have asked me how I managed to survive. I can’t explain it, but I do have my fair share of scars, and my anger issues are further compounded by PTSD and bipolar disorder.
I am a fighter, and I never stopped trying to find some normalcy in my life. I put myself though college, I managed to hold on to my jobs, all the while wicked demons churned in my psyche. I somehow managed to hold it together, but, every now and again, I go off the rails and do outrageous things.
My first short story was a desperate cry for help that only fell on deaf ears. I sometimes wonder how different my life would have been if I had gotten the help when I needed it most.