My childhood was so crazy that I’ve done some youth firesides and adult SC talks
about overcoming adversity.
It started with some amazing parents. Dad was a former HS baseball All-American, AP on his mission to Stephen R. Covey, and super-charismatic & faithful man & father. My mom was really cool too, & she was a former nationwide winner of “Miss Encyclopedia Brittanica” (combo of beauty & academics). Then the following happened:
- My dad passed away in a car accident when I was 5. He let the YM/YW use our big station wagon for a trip to Utah (we lived in CA Bay Area). The car broke down somewhere in NV, and he was towing it home, trying to make it back in time for early morning Stake Priesthood Meeting. He hit a semi after falling asleep at the wheel at 2am, dying instantly.
- Mom, who had just found out she was pregnant with child #8, never really grieved, and lost her mind. She is approaching 80 and has dementia that her doctors say started with the psychological trauma associated with losing my dad (but there would be much more). We often say that we lost both parents when my dad passed away.
- My mom, who was a classic co-dependent personality, re-married a classic abusive manipulator, who sucked away all of her money and assets, and abused her and the kids. The rest of my childhood was spent living on welfare & relying on others. He also moved our family around, to avoid scrutiny from her parents & siblings who all lived in Utah.
- A few months after leaving this guy for good, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given 6 months to live. Fortunately MD Anderson, at that time the best cancer hospital in the world, miraculously saved her life after a painful year-long recovery. My siblings & I were farmed out to live with aunts & uncles, and shuttled to Grandma & Grandpa’s house every weekend so we could spend time together (this was in 8th - 9th grade).
- Afterward we were all together for good with my mom. Then, while serving my mission the manipulative stepdad came back into the picture saying he was a “changed man” and married her again. He moved her away again. I was visiting them post-mission and could tell that he was back to his evil ways. The family got together & came up with a way to get her & and my 2 youngest siblings back home, then fortunately the guy passed away a few months later as he was still scheming to get her back.
Amazingly our family with 1 or 2 exceptions has turned out OK, mostly due to some good extended family influences & also the influence of my dad’s example. For the most part, the trials of our childhood led to big successes in our adult lives. It was something I learned to block out and never discuss for much of my adult life, but now with the help of my wife I’ve become more comfortable with, especially as I’ve shared it to help other people in similar situations.
This message has been modified
Originally posted on May 17, 2022 at 2:21:17pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 17, 2022 at 2:23:01pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 17, 2022 at 3:05:30pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 18, 2022 at 12:05:51pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 18, 2022 at 12:06:15pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 18, 2022 at 1:41:35pm
Message modified by BigD Coug on May 20, 2022 at 9:52:20am