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Chapter 4: He Lost His Children

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

In this book so far, there has been an overwhelming number of references to the negative. In life, there are people who are optimists, realists, pessimists and so on. I would like to think of myself as a realist, but when it comes to memories, I struggle to remember the good times as clearly as the bad. I think a lot of people do this, it's why the news obsesses over the bad, rarely do people care about all the good news if it isn't monumentally good, like a woman being elected president (which actually might be bad if she's like, female Hitler) or news about ice cream being free for the rest of our lives... lol.

But there are many good moments in my life. Something in particular that I cherish to this day is the warm feeling I would get from the sunny days in Washington. Then, but also now.

Growing up in Auburn, the rain is often beautiful and falls about 40% of the year. The rest of the time, you can expect overcast skies, and the occasional sunburst. Some people get really depressed from the constant gray, much like you may have seen in the movie "Twilight", but I love it. It's my home. I've noticed people tend to like where they grew up. The moments when the sun breaks through the clouds are something I cherish to this day. Here, it feels like heaven, because you can't find a complaint about your environment, and all there is left, is to enjoy it.

A beautiful day in Los Angeles is cheap, and often underappreciated. A beautiful day in Seattle? The city becomes a mob of people who are the embodiment of "high on life". Seriously, when it's sunny in this part of Washington? It's like everyone just unloaded their life's problems on their therapist and are finally ready to move on. Talk about a bunch of grinning faces and eager hearts.

Much of my childhood we had a neighbor, who has since passed away. He was an old man who very much so appreciated my middle sister (the evil one, half-kidding) more than me. To give prime example of who was his favorite visitor: One day, I left his house before my sister. I crossed the car bridge, over the creek that separated our homes, and went inside. When my sister got home it was revealed that he had given her a bag of candy. It was a bag of candy, out in the open, that I saw before I left. As I recall, I even asked him about it, and he said he was saving it. The man was waiting for me to leave, so she could have the treat, and not me.

I found the situation rather odd, considering we were small children, and it could have been split between us, but he chose to give it all to her. My sister was always a, embarrassing, people pleaser. Let me expand on that.

My middle sister has the personality of someone I would describe as: Deeply unsettling or charismatic wicked. Someone who would ask you "How's your day?" and say "You look lovely today!" while stabbing you in the chest.

What I mean by this, is I have no idea who my middle sister actually is. When I was young, very young, she would beat me up, seemingly constantly. This would happen whenever I made fun of her. When she was angry, I was often laughing, and as a result, she hurt me, over, and over again. Her answer to my jokes, was hitting me in the face. My mom used to warn my sister that one day, "Greggy is going to grow up to be bigger than you." Implying, she could not bully me forever. My mom was right.

It is important to note, that my middle sister did save my life at one point. I was choking on an orange, and she was the only one there. She performed the Heimlich and, I was saved, so, mad props to her for that. Additionally, there was a time when I was being bullied by other kids, and both my sisters fought them off, for the sake of my safety. Again, awesome, thank you. Now, back to talking smack: My sister had beaten me for years, more than 13 times as I recall. I would cry, and run off, she would laugh or not care. My eldest sister never hit me as far as I'm aware. She only forcefully removed me from my mom's room as I cried at one point. Nothing too traumatic.

But yes, for my middle sister, one day my mom's warning became a reality. When I turned 13, I was much bigger than my sister, we're talking 5'10 vs 5'5, 160lbs vs 130lbs. The middle sister had disconnected my internet so she could call her boyfriend. She did so, knowing I was doing important work (to me) on the computer. We had dial-up and one phone line, but that did not matter to her. She pulled the plug after I warned her not to, so I tackled her. I'm not sure if any blows were thrown, but it was the last time my sister would ever mess with me. The days of her beating me up, were over.

In that moment, something strange and familiar happened. My middle sister became a super fan of me. Do you remember the boy I beat up in second grade? He became a great friend after I put him in his place. Now my sister was doing it as well. It was as if to make people be civilized and nice to me, I had to slap some sense into them. It was like some nonsense where animals fight each other to find out who the alpha is, then they suck up to the alpha from that point on. Many humans are like that, still prisoner to their animalistic inclinations.

I suppose depending on the category of focus, we're all animals in some way. I just, don't get the alpha, got to be beaten up to be nice to people, angle.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the last person I would ever hit. That honor goes to my father. I was 15 when I struck him in response to him choking the life out of me, and it would be the last physical attack I'd ever launch on anyone, even to this day. I've been provoked, pushed, even had someone scream at me, demanding for me to hit them, and yet, I refuse to physically attack anyone. Sometimes when you grow up, you realize violence solves nothing. It's a great lesson.

With that aside, the neighbor across the water was nice overall. My middle sister would talk to him how she talked to most everyone. She often had a seemingly fake smile, overwhelmingly fake tone of voice sounding like every word she said came from some pretend cheerful informercial. My sister freaked me out with how she interacted with others. It was as if she was always on a stage, blathering on about the wonders of snake oil, working the crowd as best as humanly possible. I felt like under that fake cheer, was a person terrified to her core.

It was a cool experience whenever we were at the old neighbor's house as he had a pool table, a big screen TV (those old massive square ones), a massive elaborate toy train set, beautiful shiny rocks he tumbled himself and cards for playing rummy. Basically, it was the fun house, and in that house, I was introduced to the WWF (now known as the WWE due to a legal battle with the World Wildlife Foundation).

In the World Wrestling Federation, I found icons like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Mankind. These men didn't care about much it seemed. They just wanted to be kick ass and scream about how great they were, or how lame the other wrestlers were, into the microphone.

As I was a child, watching professional wrestling had a big impact on my personality. Many of my internet videos to come later in life embraced this, often toxic, approach to interacting with others. Fortunately, most the videos I made with an influence from professional wrestling were comedy-based, and not so much about drama for the sake of attention. And yes, that's right, I didn't invent drama for views, I was taught that, by professional wrestling. Talk about something that probably wasn't best for a child to be watching.

I recall an episode of the WWF or WCW where a man had his pecker cut off by a Japanese man with a Katana. I wasn't even 10 years old yet, so, thanks for that neighbor. I'm sure that did no long-term damage to me at all. </sarcasm>

Around the timeframe I was in elementary school, Auburn Washington was in the middle of what would be 14 days of rain. As a result, the creek by my square house was inching closer and closer to running right over my home. For our safety, my mom got us all to stay at my grandmas next door, which was further downstream, but propped up as to separate the house from the ground by about 4 feet. The electricity had gone out and we were told not to use the toilets for fear that when we flushed them, they would overflow into the house.

My guess is that the home was on a septic tank. Because the tank is underground, and the ground was now saturated with water, instead of the toilet water flowing into the septic tank, the tank would instead have so much pressure built up that it would flow into the house. But that's just an uneducated guess. I know very little about plumbing.

So, a little boy like me, wakes up at his grandma's house in the middle of the night and has to go pee. What does he do? Well, I wanted to go out and pee on a tree or something outside, but when I walked out onto the porch, which wrapped around the entire house, I found that what also circled the house, was a river.

That's right, around the about 2,000 square foot home, flowed a river. Almost as if we were now planted right in the middle of a lake. As far as I could see in the night, left, right and forward, there appeared only water. Dirt, brown, water. And it flowed, carrying massive fallen trees right by the house, uprooted and smashing everything in its path. The problem was, I was too tired to care. So? I walked to the edge of the porch, where the water had climbed halfway up the 6 steps before me, pulled down my pajama pants and peed into the massive brown water engulfing the base of my grandma's house.

I later woke to the shocked sounds of my family. We were to leave the house immediately as we were in danger of being carried off downstream. The bulk of the river diverted off its normal path and was now smashing directly into my grandma's house. "How odd" I thought. I wasn't scared or feeling really anything outside the emotions associated with thoughts like "This is cool".

My youngest uncle was standing on a nearby gravel road where the water ended looking on at us. The road used to connect to my grandma's house, not anymore. I was carried by someone wearing fishing waders across the water to him. I believe it was my middle uncle, the most responsible of my three uncles many would say. Once I was dropped off, my youngest uncle saw my grandma standing on the steps of her water-surrounded house taking it all in. My youngest uncle, always being a comedian, said, "Hey Greg, yell across the water telling your grandma she's a bitch." I got nervous, cheeks flushed and replied "No! That's mean." he said again "Come on Greg, call your grandma a bitch, she can't do anything about it now." I made it clear I wasn't interested in that. Despite me being a single digit child, I wouldn't be told to do something that made me feel mean to my elders. My mom raised me to fear them, and never say rude things to them.

My sister, the middle evil one (half-kidding), had no problem being rude to adults. She would keep her normal optimistic tone but would say some of the most hurtful things, all with a toothy smile. An example of this is not only her telling my late grandpa, repeatedly, that he was not her friend when he asked, but also, what she would say when my dad made his weekly called to my grandma's house. My father was not allowed to call my mom's house, so we had to walk over to her house to talk to him every Sunday night. When my dad would say "I love you" at the end of each call to us, what did my sister say in response? "Diddo" she said this because she didn't seem to feel very fond of my father but wanted out of the situation, and that was the easiest route for her.

I would say "I love you too" to my dad because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I didn't really understand love for a dad, as he was never around and all the things I heard about him were pretty much bad. But I did know he said he loved me, and sometimes remembered to get us birthday/Christmas gifts. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I just said it back. I suppose you could say, saying you love someone because they said they love you, even though you don't love them, is a lie. Meanwhile saying "Diddo" is also a lie, only ruder.

My father at one point confronted my middle sister, asking her not to say "Diddo" and she persisted regardless. The relationship with my father, and my eldest sister never recovered. My middle sister had somewhat of a relationship with my father, more recently than any of us, but that didn't last either. We're all, to this day, seemingly comfortable never talking to him again.

Regardless, as a child, visiting my father in the summers was fun. I saw a few photos of all three of us kids spending time with my father and his blonde, pale-skinned wife, at various tourist traps. He would take us to theme parks, zoos, go cart tracks, minigolf courses, you name it. My dad would also insist we attend church with him every Saturday, something my mom did as well for a while, till she went full-Wicca. You know, Wicca? The religion people keep saying Christians stole a ton of their ideas from?

When we stayed at my Dad's house, we were given little prayer bibles with cartoons in them to make them more palatable for us kids. In church we were taught that TV shows like "The Simpsons" and "Will & Grace" were evil. We were forbidden from using entertainment-based electronics on Friday night and Saturday for fear we might not be focused on God as well. My father even insisted I not say the word "God" in any context not directly actually referencing God. It expanded to the letter "G". If I even though "God" when saying "G" and it was not in a positive context, I was breaking the laws of the Bible according to my father. For instance, if I said, "Oh god why!?" and tried to replace it with "Oh g why!?" as to not "Take the lord's name in vain." my father still considered it a violation of the Christian religion. "G damn it."

When it started, all three of us kids visited my dad and his wife. Then, it was just me and my middle sister. Eventually my middle sister moved in with my father. No idea why my mom would let that happen as it really contradicts her entire narrative of him. But, even so, my middle sister eventually came back home to the three of us, it was really only months. Apparently while living with my father, my sister was encouraged to get on head medication to set her personality straight. Clearly my father and his wife had a problem with who my sister was, and instead of adapting their parenting, they decided to conclude that there was something chemically wrong with her, and that she had to change to be a more acceptable daughter. Obviously, my middle sister did not like that. At least with my mom, there was no attempt to pump her full of drugs.

And just like that, I was the only one who visited my father anymore (for the time being, my middle sister later visited as an adult, then stopped again). 2 of his kids down, one left. Was it the overwhelming religious expectations? Was it his incredibly snobby and perfect stereotype for a stepmom wife? Or was it that my father, was simply not a good dad in general?

Part of the reason I kept going back is because there were a couple people who I was really attracted to who went to my church. I was essentially in love with them both. They both smiled whenever they looked at me, one smiled/stared a little more intensely at me than the other, and they both were so fun to be around. It helped that they were both older than me. They could drive and we'd have great moments together, summer after summer. I still treasure both of them to this day despite one basically hating herself for "what (she) did to (me)".

But that is a story for another chapter. I hope you had a lovely time reading this chapter. Now? Time to proofread and continue my creative endeavors for the day.


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3 comentarios

Miembro desconocido
11 jul 2022

Siblings can definitely be a blessing and a curse. Hopefully though, through it all they can be there for you when you need them.

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Miembro desconocido
05 jul 2022

I thoroughly enjoyed this and each chapter so far. You definitely have a gift for writing. Thank You for sharing and Much Love to You Always.

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Miembro desconocido
07 jul 2022
Contestando a

That's awesome. Hopefully the audio book version of it is fantastic. We'll see.

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