Making of a Misfit, Pt. 1

Posted: June 24, 2011 in The Making of a Misfit, Uncategorized

This is a story of a friend of mine.

A good friend. One I have known for many years and whom has shared the most intimate details of his life with dear old Wanderer. A friend who has given me permission to write this article and with it to make observations on it and different aspects of his life.

We will call this friend “Slade” for now. Some of you will know who this is as you know him personally, others, well, sorry.

I hope those of you who read this will understand the courage it took for him to allow me to post his story. As he has not always been a good person and had done some atrocious things in his life. He risks the stigmatization from those who know him and perhaps more. So please, even if you despise the things he has done, try to respect the path he suffered to get there and his courage in letting this be posted. If you do not know him, well, I guess it doesn’t matter does it.

Slade was born in the first month of the Spring of 1971 in Springfield, Oregon. He was born into an environment of aggression, emotional turmoil and mental/emotional abuse perpetrated by his father, whom we shall call “James”. as this is his real name i hope if he ever reads this he attempts to sue, as I am homeless he will get little for his efforts. James would often do things such as taunt and tease Slade’s mother, whom shall be “Kaye”, until she would burst into tears and hold an unloaded shotgun to Slade’s head until Kaye would be crying and begging James to stop. James, as this is happening, would laugh and have a good old time emotionally abusing the mother. Slade would set bawling on the couch or floor in reaction to thee noise and to the violence of his mothers attempts to hit James with chairs in retaliation for this abuse. Slade, who’s memory is apparently remarkable for these things, recalls that the first emotions he ever remembers feeling were fear, anger and helplessness.
When Slade was 2 his mother became pregnant with his little brother, or, as we shall refer to him, “Wade”. Slade was very anxious for his little brothers birth and at one point approached his mother with little plastic toy tools and asked if he might help his little brother come out sooner. However, before his little brother could be born his mother and James separated and Slade was swept off to California with James to live with Slade’s great Aunt Bessie. Slade has very fond memories of this woman and obviously loved her very much.

Once in Bakersfield, California little Slade’s “father” began to take his amusement with his son. Telling the young Slade that he was going to the store and would be back in a couple of hours he would vanish for weeks on end. Often he would drive by the house and when seen by little Slade he would continue to drive even though the child was running after the slow moving car, crying and yelling for his father. James would let thee child tag along for a block or two and then would drive off too fast for the kid to follow. Leaving Slade crying on the side of the road until Bessie would come gather him up and take him home to feed him sweets of some sort. This was Bessie’s cure all, food. It would contribute to Slade being 100Lbs. at age 10. While this was going on Bessie, who in her defense really did feel she was making things easier on little Slade, was telling her great nephew that the reason he and James was there was because his mother didn’t need him or his father any more because she had that “other man”, as his mother had got together with the man who would soon become his step father, and another baby, his baby brother Wade. This was the beginning of his feelings of resentment towards Kaye that would only grow as the years went by and he grew into the person he became.

At age 5 James comes home from one of his absences and tells Slade that they are going to go retrieve his mother from Oregon. Now little Slade had wanted to have both his mom and his father, who he had always viewed as a god and knew could do no wrong. James was this young mans god and the only thing in his life that was of 100% importance. Even after the mistreatment he viewed James with awe and wonderment. Amazing what the minds of little boys will allow them to believe.

Slade, full of joy and excitement, was eager for the journey to Oregon, however, that ended in disappointment and hurt as James dumped him off on his mother. Not a word of explanation, just dumped. Leaving Slade feeling hurt, betrayed and as if he had done something bad to deserve this. But, hey, James was god so it must be Slade’s fault he was treated in such a manner.

Now Slade had another problem. We shall call that problem “John” . Again, sue me if you read this Mr. Phillips. John was a big, angry, drunk, abusive man with little to no ability to deal with children. His answer to everything was violence. Wet the bed? Beat it out of him. Cry? Beat it out of him. Late from or to somewhere? Beat it out of him, but you get the point. The belt and wooden paddle was well used in this household. This fiery red haired devil was a thing of terror and hatred for young Slade.

Slade immediately hated this man. after all he was the reason his mother and father had been separated. He was the “other man” he had been told so many bad things about. Slade wanted nothing more than to see this man gone and his father back in the picture. John was the enemy and he hated him. his resentment towards his mother grew at the abusiveness of this man and he began to feel a bitterness set in. 5 years old and already getting bitter about certain aspects of life. Conditioned or predisposed?

over the next couple of years Slade’s anxiety surrounding this man grew to a highly unnatural level and by the age of 5 he was already showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. At age five he had begun to feel anxiety about going home from school at a level that caused stomach cramps and nausea. Knowing that his step father was there caused a high level of fear and anxiety and he would often try to sneak into the house, put his things away and leave unnoticed. For, if noticed the step dad would find reasons to yell and bully and even spank. Now, most kids get a spanking at some point or another in their life, and were these normal spankings there would be little point in mentioning them. However, a spanking from John was not a normal spanking by any stretch of the imagination. A spanking from John entailed sever bruising and and welts. At times from the knee to the mid back. John was an abusive asshole.

Now, one might think that at least he had a momentary escape while at school. Not so with Slade. You see, up until this point Slade’s only companions in life had been a 50 year old lady and her husband outside of his father and mother. Young Slade didn’t know how to interact with others of his age, because of this he was a quiet kid who spoke little and due to his aunts insistence on feeding his every hurt or pain he was well overweight. So he was the quiet, fat kid who, thanks to the emotional abuse from his father and step father, was easy to make cry. We all know kids can be cruel with little to no effort involved. Young Slade was an instant target for harassment from his peers. He soon learned to hide at recess from his peers to avoid being bullied and teased. He spent much if his first year in school wearing tears both at school and at home. so, at this point in his life Slade is spending the bulls share of his life in hiding. From John at home and from his peers at school. He was a sensitive kid at any rate, and the life he had experienced up to this point did not help his emotional state.

however, there were two things that were going right at this point in his life. First, he did meet two people who were seemingly not interested in making his life too miserable. We shall call them “Jeff” and “Denise”. Jeff was a smallish kid who was one of the “cool” kids. Even though he treated Slade fairly well he was always quick to make sure he knew who the alpha was in the relationship, but, Slade, starved for friendship as he was, was more than willing to accept that. At this point he would have accepted about anything so long as he was accepted or was shown something that resembled it. Denise was this cute little blond who he had a crush on.

The other, and far more significant, was his baby brother. Slade loved his baby brother more than anything in the world. Wade was his savior, his moment of peace in what was turning out to be a chaotic existence. Wade was his only true friend and his one saving grace up to this point. Wade had Slade’s heart completely. Wade would become the center of Slade’s life.

A couple of things happened at age 7 that changed Slade’s life and soon defined who he would be for the next 23 years of his life.
First, during one of the many times Wade and he were left with John’s sister to be babysat his remaining resistance to his environment was shattered. 3 cousins, Wade and him were playing “war” with two of John’s little brothers the younger kids lost and were all corralled into a sunken area that descended about 10 feet into thee ground and was divided by a split level stairwell. I have seen this place on one of Slade’s and my visits to the town in question here, which for those of you who must know, is Oakridge, Oregon. Once the older boys had the younger kids down into the “dungeon” it was time for interrogation. According to my friend at this point the two older boys began taking the kids up to the second level two at a time and forcing them to participate in sexual acts with one another. Slade claims at one point he refused to do what he was told and at that point he was struck in the stomach hard enough to force the wind out of him and two he had a house key pushed into the temple of his head until he teared up. He was reportedly told that if he ever said anything the two boys would “get him”. Not only did he not say anything, but he completely blocked it from his memory for another 6 years.

After this his behavior began to dissolve into a pattern of rebellion at home and sullen mood. episodes of depression characterized by bouts of unexplainable crying and deep withdraws from his surroundings. he began experiencing episodes of dysphoria. Also, from the sounds of it there was Dissociative Episodes. it was around this time he began suffering from nightmares and insomnia.

The second thing that occurred was what Slade admits was most likely the single most life changing occurrence he would experience in his life………..

………To Be Continued


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