It's really hard for me to pin down my actual belief system, much less exact points that helped to define it.
I have a hard time writing about my life as it goes in so many different directions. There's much that's cliche, and much that's just bizarre and all of it is interspersed with terrible decision making and horrible circumstances. Ultimately, most of my problems stem from my child hood and the various psychological problems that arose from it. Or maybe not...sometimes I wonder if I'm not just making excuses for myself - in an effort at self examination to explain why I am the way I am.
My parents divorced when I was seven and I was the only child between them. My mom had been cheating on my dad with this complete asshat (Jim), who would later become my stepfather. My dad found out by finding some love letters and naughty pictures in my Mom's purse, although I wouldn't find out until I was in my twenties. At the time I didn't really know what was going on other than that my parents weren't going to be living in the same house and that they didn't "love each other anymore".
My mom graduated college with an English degree but worked as a waitstaff manager for a fine dining restaurant in Blowing Rock and my dad, who barely graduated High School, owned a construction company that he had started with a partner before I was born. When they split up, my mom moved into a townhouse for a year - I'm assuming because she didn't want to move in with Jim while still in legal separation prior to divorce - and my dad stayed in the house that he had purchased when I was 4 ( he still lives there).
My parents split custody but I was never at either house for more than a few days in a row. My mom had me Monday and Tuesday, my dad Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternated weekends. After the year in the Townhouse my mom moved into some shithole mildew infested house in the middle of town (Boone) with Jim. I liked him at the beginning - he would take me to movies and generally fun kid stuff - he bribed me, in a way, into his good graces. There's no doubt that this wasn't based on any interest in me as a child, but rather to ingratiate himself with my mother. It was during this time that my mom got pregnant and her and Jim got married.
I'm not really certain what Jim was doing for work before hand but after my Mom reached the point where she could no longer work due to pregnancy, Jim, proud holder of a worthless bachelors in geology, took a job doing surveying work for barely over minimum wage in Greensboro. Unable to afford the mildew house in town we moved in with some friends in some dilapidated farm house in the middle of fuging nowhere - Creston, NC. For the first 6 months or so, we shared the house with another couple who also had a young child. I don't really remember them, other than that the father was some seedy traveling car salesman, or some such. Jim was only home every other weekend from Greensboro, so after that other couple moved out it was just myself, now about 9, and my mom and newborn half brother Louis.
I'm not certain how old the house was, but it was old. It was also a piece of poo and not really suitable for human habitation. My mom was dirt ass broke though so the $150 a month rent payed to some toothless redneck who owned the surrounding pasture land, was rather enticing. The house was two stories, but only the bottom floor was really livable. The entire house didn't have insulation so during the summer the upstairs was a 200 degree sauna and in the winter, due to a collapsed chimney and subsequently unusable fireplace, a freezing cold icebox. We also didn't have a refrigerator, the house didn't come equipped with one and we couldn't afford one, but the house did have an attached "spring house". All water for the house was supplied from a gravity feed natural spring located behind the house (though we would come to find out, through testing, about 5 years later that we were drinking rat poop from the vermin that inhabited the lid) and in the spring house the water would run continuously through a concrete trough. You could place any sealable perishable items into the water, and any other perishable items on shelves that lined the room. Part of the spring had erupted from the ground under the house and this had caused the entire floor to collapse in the stairwell that led to the upstairs. It was, quite literally, held up by the linoleum and glue and sagged about 2 feet in the middle - you had to walk around the edges of the room if you wanted to make it to the stairs. We lived in this house about six years.
As I said, my mom had my brother about the time we moved in there - I was nine when he was born. She had my second brother two years later. As I said, my stepdad was only home every other weekend, though occasionally more often - much to my chagrin - so I was for all intents and purposes the "Man of the House". I did all the traditional man chores, the mowing, chopping wood for our downstairs wood burning stoves, etc etc, as well as the majority of general house hold chores (sweeping, dishes, whatnot) It was also during this time that Jim's true colors started to come out. When he was home, he was a complete asshole and rather than do anything to pick up the slack, where house work was concerned, while he was home he would just ride my ass and generally make my life completely shitty. This served two purposes, the first being obvious - making me do all the poo so he didn't have to do anything other than be a lazy waste of space - and the second, it kept me out of sight and mind. If there wasn't enough actual poo to do to keep me busy from sun up to sun down, he would make me do completely useless chores, like, for example, moving the wood pile from one side of the house to the other, then moving it back again when I was done - a good 4 hour task and oh so much fun for a 10 year old. If I was allowed to stay over at my friend's house who stayed up the road ( and believe me when I say that I tried to stay up there as much as possible) I had to come home at 6 am to due useless poo around the house all day.
Jim was and is a complete schmuck. He was in general a total asshole and I'll try to keep his description short. He treated me as his own personal slave child, and believe me when I say that I didn't really have any problem doing work but he was just overboard. He was also just a general dick and would constantly degrade me and call me names under his breath, then lie and deny it when I would tell my mom. Any time my mom would get into it with him about the way he treated me he would yell, scream, break poo and them lock himself in his room like a fuging child. When he would eventually come out, he would just take it out on me worse, making me do poo that was mundane and pointless while calling me a worthless sonofabitch under his breath the whole time. He would also act this way any time I did anything "wrong" or he felt like I needed to be punished - he would go completely overboard. This is when I started lying, to avoid his reactions.
So around the time that my mom and step dad moved into that farm house, my Dad knocked up my step-mom, Teresa, and got married. I don't really remember much about her before she got pregnant - in fact I don't think I ever really met her before hand, my dad just came out and said he was getting married one afternoon. Teresa was generally a nice sweet southern girl from Durham - I liked her. Then my half sister was born.
Something changed in Teresa's brain during the stress of delivery and postpartum. A perhaps always latent yet inert mental condition arose to prevalence. Teresa became fuging crazy. I remember when it first happened. I was in my room at the end of the hall and I heard a lot of commotion outside my door. I opened the door and saw Teresa standing there in her underwear with her friend beside her (who's name is escaping me at the moment). I stepped out and Teresa turned and full on slapped me across the face and screamed "I KNEW IT"...then goes storming off. I'm just left standing dumbfounded. She comes back about a minute later and gets right in my face and asks me "Do you want to fug me?" and then turns and walks away again. She then goes out into the yard and starts screaming that it's snowing......it's July. My dad doesn't know what to do so he calls her family in Durham and they immediately drive up to Boone and together with my dad, take her to the hospital. The doctors tried to blame it on an overdose of Alka Seltzer Cold and Sinus (what?!?!). She didn't remember any of it afterwards...but then it happened again, and again, and again. Each time she didn't remember it. Turns out she's extremely bipolar and manic depressive. When she would go manic she would stay up for days on end and would eventually lose touch with reality, having sleep deprivation hallucinations and whatnot. She never remembered any of the episodes after the fact, and she got it into her head that it was some crazy conspiracy that my Dad had concocted in an effort to convince her family that she was crazy. She would use this rationale and any other she could find to not take her medicine, and invariably it would happen again. Eventually this cycle lead her to be a vile and very bitter bitch, and for some reason, she hated me. Everything I did was wrong, she even tried to convince my dad I was gay once - just because she knew my dad was a homophobe and it would make him hate me. He didn't buy it, of course.
So, more or less, that was my young life, back and forth from one sort of hell to another.
Going to step away for a while and then I'll cover high-school and my adult life up to this point.