Dave Harper part 1

My name is David Eugene Harper II, but call me Dave. I was born on June 16th, 1970, in Paola Ks., during a tornado warning, (If that gives you a hint of my life until now. I wish I could say that all the turbulence that I’ve experienced in my life has been other people’s fault, unfortunately I can’t do that. At least 3 quarters of my life’s instability, was because of INSANELY stupid decisions, that were the cause of self-will run riot, but I’ll get to that later. My childhood was anything but normal. Two of my first memories, #1; Sitting at a coffee table, (I think at my  mother’s place with her boyfriend, Mark, looking at a mountain of Cocaine, at least 6 to 8 inches high, and maybe a foot around. My second memory was being awakened in the middle of the night, by my mother screaming because her boyfriend, Mark was beating her. I was sleeping in the bedroom, of a three bedroom trailer, on one end, with my door closed, and they were in the master bedroom on the other end of the trailer with their door shut, and I can remember hearing the impact of each, and every blow. Needless to say, my dad gained custody of me, I think at about four years old. My dad had married a woman named Carol. My first memories of her were images, and feelings really. Vision of a beautiful, and sweet loving woman, with gorgeous long, blond hair. I vaguely remember her being very understanding, and safe to me. After I came to live with them, she cut her hair VERY short, and became an extremely vindictive, vengeful, and abusive person this made me very uneasy, and very resentful, not to mention extremely afraid of women who wear their hair very short, this caused me not to trust short haired women, which I have yet to disassociate her, from other women.  I began to live a horrid life of unimaginable abuse, which would last for more than ten years. My dad never really new, as she rarely used the extreme measures while he was home, and the abuse he did witness, he did nothing about. These two things left me believing that I was worth nothing more than negative things. By the time I started school, I was already a very traumatized kid, and the only way I could express the things that I had gone through was by acting out, a lot. I was every teacher’s worst nightmare. I was very disruptive in class, never did my school work, in, or out of class, I didn’t get along with any of my class mates, and because of how differently I acted, I endured a great deal of bullying, and humiliating treatment, that several times, looking back I think I created. I have wondered if all this had happened now, if a school teacher, or some school counselor would have seen the symptoms, and would have at least approached me, to ask about it, or would have suspected some sort of trauma, or abuse, but they didn’t really consider that in the seventies. Abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, or even sexual, were just not discussed, or thought of, as a possible reason for my constant attempts for attention. When my dad, and step mom were informed about my actions; attention seeking,  poor grades, constant disruptions  and inability to play well with other class mates, they, (dad, and step mom), would whip me with the belt, humiliate, ridicule, and finally ground me, no T.V., and no playing with friends, sometimes for a few weeks at a time. I was only to leave the confines of my room for school, or meals. After many, many of these groundings, I learned to detest being alone. To this day, I will do almost anything to avoid being alone, unless I’m depressed, or frustrated, then I developed the coping skill of isolation. As I learned that isolation meant no abuse of any kind, from any one, I began doing it every day. By the time I was 13, two things began two happen. First, I began skipping days, and weeks of school, (despite my dad, and step mom’s constant tirades, to force me to go), and second, I was in the very beginning stages of what was, much later to be diagnosed with manic-depression. At the time all this was mixing, I started the seventh grade, and was given the opportunity to pick some of my own classes. I thought very hard about this, and picked a couple classes I thought I would like; 2, and 4 stroke mechanics, a wood craft class, and choir. Something amazing happened, I found out, at 13 years old, that I could sing…WELL. I finally found something that I was actually good at. When my dad, and step mom saw this, they absolutely forbid it. What they didn’t know was the inspiration this gave me, in that, to have an “elective” or non required class, the student choosing a choir, or drama class needed to have at least a “c” average. Something I had never acquired. If memory serves, I had never made anything higher than a “D” average in my whole scholastic career until then. When the first quarter grades came out, it, (the grade card), said that I had achieved a high “c” average. My dad, and step mom rescinded their objections to my choice of classes. My VERY first victory.

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