the formidable years.

approx years 2-8.

so much development happens in these years. so much happened in my life, moves, etc.

some of the big events not in chronological order:

  • moved from baltimore to halifax county va at age 5
  • start going to fundamental baptist church
  • failed kindergarten
  • moved to bedford county va

moving on.

by now we have moved from baltimore to halifax county. think green acres, because that’s what it was. dad had taken a job at a kmart pharmacy as a pharmacist a little over an hour away. the parents were clearly not ready to live in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors. dad had never driven a tractor, and we had 48 acres of land, fields and all. who would have thought that that would be too much to do. mom grew up on a farm outside of washington dc. she knew what to expect, but there were 3 kids, all under the age of 6, with no friends except themselves now. oh, i forgot to mention that when we moved to halifax county, the neighbors in the town of 170 people we did have wondered if we spoke english. they knew we were of italian heritage.

enter the pastor. he came by the house one day. my brothers are in the front yard naked because they ripped their clothes off. mom got the lawn mower stuck on a stump. the epitome of shit happens, you only live once. you would think he would have left, but he didn’t. he had a conversation with my parents about religion, and we started going to the church. it was an independent, fundamental king james version only church. we’ll get to my experiences on the church a little later on.

for some reason, the pastor wasn’t scared away with 3 seemingly unruly and unmanageable kids. we attend this church. at this time, we are the only youth in the church.

we now enter school. i’m enrolled in the school system up the road from me. they won’t let me go to halifax county schools because the system was bad. i go through kindergarden with ms payne, who i only remember as mean. it is in this time that they realize i might potentially have a learning disability. i finish kindergarden, and am placed in transitional 1st grade, or t1. this is for the kids that didn’t pass kindergarden. my t1 teacher was great. i was able to pass the class and move on to first grade. my first grade teacher, mrs hamilton, was decent. nothing memorable from this experience.

the parents come to the realization that it is not practical to travel 1.5 hours for doctors appointments, work, and shopping. they started searching for a new place to live, and we wind up in bedford county, where i finished my grade school career. by this time, i am entering 2nd grade. my teacher, mrs. rosser, was amazing. she always made me feel special and valid throughout my time in 2nd grade. by now, we have moved into an actual neighborhood with kids around. i am now involved in the cub scouts. i have friends now, and spend most of my time outside playing with them.

it is around the age of 8 that i realize something is different with me. my parents realize that i have a more defined learning disability that needs help. they aren’t sure how to approach it, so i enter into speech therapy, as that is the only thing that the school can offer until 3rd grade.

by this time, i am still playing dress up in my mom’s clothes, now in private. my main interest was heels and dresses. i am able to keep this a secret for the most part. i am very envious of the way girls look. my whole goal around 8 years old was to try to make myself look as feminine as possible for some reason. it doesn’t really make sense in my head. mind you, we don’t have tv in the house as the parents were strict baptists and didn’t believe in tv for us kids.

we enter 3rd grade. i have the same teacher as i did in 2nd grade, which was a great thing in my opinion. at some point in this school year, i am taken to get some tests done by the child psychologist. we determine that i have attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity, and have aspergers syndrome. i am now in special ed classes for math only. that was, and still is, my struggle. my friends circle is growing. yep, i am still doing the dress up thing. except somehow i get caught and get told to not do it anymore. hint: that didn’t work.

i complete these years of school with no issues. we are now driving 1 hour each way for church on sunday mornings and evenings and wednesday evenings, because the churches around us in our new location aren’t the kind that my parents want to attend. we’re still the only youth of the church. i start to make sense of the whole christian thing, which seemed like a fairly abstract thought. i ask questions and my parents give answers.

in summary, these formidable years are a great deal of new experiences and moves. we learn that i have aspergers syndrome and attention deficit disorder. my parents scold me for wearing women’s clothes for the first time, because it isn’t ‘appropriate’ or so they deem. i complete 3rd grade with my special ed math class. i have friends.


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