From stories told and my own memories, with the advantage of hindsight and an early awareness of my own feelings, emotions and actions. I have quite a vivid picture in my head of myself as a toddler and pre-school aged child.
Initially I saw myself as any child does, the same as everyone else. To my knowledge my actions and feelings were no different to the young boy a few houses up the road who was the same age as me. Comments like “you’re a funny kid” or “you’re a strange one”, were always said with a smile and often accompanied by roughing up my hair. I saw them as a terms of endearment, not criticism.
I remember having the chubby little arms and legs of a toddler so I must have been 2½-3y/o. I didn’t like sleeping in bed, I preferred smaller or more enclosed places like in my cupboard or beneath my cot. I would wake much earlier than my parents and would be instantly itching to do something. Often, I would grab a change of clothes and a fresh nappy and much to my parents horror, escape the house and visit my elderly neighbours for breakfast. On other occasions I would try and do my Mum’s housework like dusting and polishing.
Escaping the house at 3y/o, even in the late 70’s wasn’t something that could be considered a safe practice so my parents put a lock on my bedroom door. Ingenuity didn’t elude me even then, and from that point I climbed out of my bedroom window to achieve my early morning visit next door. Nails in the window soon put an end to my walk-a-bouts, but for me, and presumably my family, there were signs emerging already that I was going to be a highly spirited kid who had a mind of his own.
Ages 7-12: A Growing Concern.
For me, as I stated previously, I felt that I was no different to anyone else as a child.. until I started coming in contact with other kids my age.
A particular incident that always sticks in my head is of when I was in year 2 at school and I had a friend come over to spend the day.
I had a particular game I enjoyed above most others and asked my friend if he would like to play with Lego, he agreed. I proceeded to throw handfuls of Lego all over the room until the large bucket was empty. I then told him we were going to pick it all up and put it in individual colours. I was really excited to have someone else play Lego with me but he told me that it was a stupid game. I remember getting angry and not understanding why he didn’t want to play. I was glad when he left soon after and I was able to do what I wanted to all along. I took a bit of a stance from that point, not to share my interests with others and keep them to myself.
The other things that became quite noticeable from the age of 7 was an unceasing interest, sexually, in both boys and girls.
Initially it was just looking and I talked many of my classmates in to pulling their pants down. By 8 years old I had progressed to touching and light kissing of the genital areas and at 10 years old had experienced oral sex with guys and girls.
The biggest change came at 11 years old when I lost my virginity. I now considered myself to be a man in the company of children and struggled to tolerate their immaturity. More so if they themselves proclaimed to have had any sexual activity which I could identify as being a lie given my actual experience. I began to feel quite alone and in a box of my own, so started to distance myself from my classmates by the end of primary school.
I also believe I became aware of my first prolonged depressive state at the age of 11 and was already showing signs of anxiety and performing acts of self-harm.
Of course, I didn’t have clinical names for my feelings at 11y/o but I still recognised them and started becoming aware of the impact it was having on me.
High school was the beginning of the end of what I guess I could call any stable normality. I clashed with every bit of structure and authority that education could throw at me to the point where I was threatened and assaulted by not only teachers but punched by the school principal. When I wasn’t skipping school all together, I was in lunchtime detention for any of a number of reasons.
By year 8 I was 12y/o. Out of control at school but only mildly in comparison to how much trouble I was getting in to out of school.. shop lifting, break and enter, smoking, drinking, doing drugs. I’m not sure what the breaking point was for my parents but it was decided that I had to be taken from my friends and school before I ended up in jail. So my parents moved us to Qld.