Late Childhood

Nathaniel Rateliff – Pounds and Pounds.

In our last installment, my Grandmother just took me from my abusive Mother; from Alaska, at seven years old, I was taken to my Grandmother’s home in California. It was a very large home, built by my, then deceased, Grandfather whom was lost at sea. I suspect that man is the source of intellectual potential.

Depressingly long-passed and brief, this section of my life was the best of it. Family, friends, fun, peace, thought, exploration, joy, euphoria – all mostly in the absence of strife. I was genuinely very, very happy. My earlier life was not as damaging as it could have been, and so did not heavily hinder this stage of my life. The insidious problems did not truly manifest until puberty; until then, I had a reprieve inwhich to learn what happiness was.

Our home was between two small cities, nestled within the very edge of a forest, atop a hill overlooking pastures as far as the eye could see. I still remember the smell of the Redwoods, which the forest was almost entirely comprised of. I remember the sounds of the windstorms moving through them, and the knowledge that I could run to my Grandmother should the wind cause the, very common, life-threatening fall of enormous branches.

With my Grandmother and I, lived my Aunt and Uncle. My Aunt was enjoyable, though a stereotypical naive, and selfish, attractive girl; traits she’s retained to this day, despite being intelligent. My uncle was a stereotypically in-your-face, macho posturer; one could say he attempted to be abusive to me, but my previous experiences made him negligible. His acceptance to Harvard severely diminished my opinion of the Ivy-League.*

Until later in my life, those three were mostly background noise. An odd realization. I made no conscious effort to exclude them; perhaps I’d grown used to self-reliance and feared intimacy – probably. No, my main focus was on my friends, video games, TV, and exploring the forest. We also had a black lab, who was terribly old, yet she refused to not follow us through the forest and fields. We put her down, and a family friend left a younger dog with us shortly after – I loved both.

It would take a very long time for me to list all the positive memories I had, that people commonly associate with a healthy, good-natured, and rambunctious, boy’s childhood. My Grandmother loved, accepted, and spoiled me; if I wanted something, I usually got it, which offered many experiences. For example, I regularly had sleep-overs with 3 or 4 people. One friend slept-over 14 weekends in a row.

My friends and I played video games, rampaged through the forest with axes and machetes, set things on fire, cut down trees, caught spiders and frogs, had water fights, stockpiled fireworks, went to rivers and oceans regularly, played paintball in my forest, wadded through ponds and creeks in the rain, tried tipping cows, tried to build a pathetic tree-fort, cooked, shot each other with BB guns, on and on. Those memories make me very happy, though simultaneously reminding me how lonely I am.

My Grandmother wasn’t an uptight cunt, and was very busy working to pay for the family’s very large home while simultaneously caring for 3 children, so she didn’t deny any video games, TV, and music I wanted. I was free to do nearly anything, for that matter; I suppose it helped that I avoided trouble and wasn’t a little shit. I don’t recall Granny ever stopping me from cussing like a sailor.

Anyway, that access to art and media opened me to the world. The most popular video games of that era had impactful scores, stories, and visual art. The Discovery, History, and Science channels still had quality programming that actually related to their monikers. I had full access to “adult” channels, ofwhich I especially enjoyed the widest possible variety of comedians. I, of course, also watched a wide variety of movies.

Throughout all of this, the pains of my earlier childhood were the backdrop. That is not to say those earlier memories prevented me from enjoying the present – no. I mean to say that, while growing and enjoying my life, I was constantly trying to make sense of my history. That, from this very early age, I was attempting to thoroughly comprehend human nature.

This has gotten long enough, so we’ll make this a multiple-parter. I will add before ending, that I was usually getting in trouble at school, because I simply did not care in the slightest. When you’ve seen the real world, rote memorization of mostly-useless facts is intolerable; and the punishments for not studying quietly, are laughable to an abuse victim. My grandmother simply didn’t care about the school’s complaints of me, knowing that far more important things in life existed.

kitchen-holiday

*I suppose someone will find it interesting, so I might as well review my intolerable Uncle. He, as with my Aunt, is nine years older than myself. He was anorexic, and threw a fit whenever it was mentioned. He threw fits all the time, for any number of reasons, and we all basically ignored him, as he’s a blowhard. He was often inappropriately profane, verbose, etc, in attempts to make himself appear strong.

No one was capable of being intimidated by him, likely due to the anorexia and apparent cowardice behind the bluster. I nevertheless hated him, as I associated him with the abuse in Alaska. He threw a block of wood at my head, hard, which connected; slammed my fingers in a car door; broke down my door in the middle of the night because a friend of mine [who regularly laughed at him] was staying the night; jokingly chased me and my friends around with his dick out [no sexual abuse occurred]; etc.

Still, no one took him seriously. And don’t think those incidents happened due to my Grandmother’s negligence; she simply couldn’t always keep tabs on him, and he was very impulsive. He was a constant annoyance, to be sure, but little more. Even the aforementioned physical abuse was barely noticeable, as I’ve experienced real abuse. His attempts at psychologic abuse, compared to his older sister’s, was laughable. All-in-all, he’s just a footnote; though I’d kick his ass again, given the opportunity.


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~ by Louis Naughtic on September 15, 2016.

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