My Childhood and Teenage Years Growing Up With an
OCD Manic Depressive Bipolar Schizophrenic Father.
There is a small problem with growing up with Robin Williams as an Idol, he is paid to be crazy and spontaneous and absolutely hilarious; legally insane as he put it. So, with young idolizing I had done, I had thought my father was perhaps one of the most normal beings ever. He was funny to me and made me laugh tremendously at times. Other times this was not so much, I would stand back in constant shock about what he was doing and for the life of me could not fathom how these things connected to him. But everything did, I grew up as the girl who would say… “Well that’s… my dad.” It wasn’t with pride though, least not most of the time; it was more often if not a way of not saying sorry but sympathizing with someone close by. Someone sharing the same look of I cannot believe what this person is doing. Yeah, sometimes, you just want to tell them to go away.
But still they stare and ask what is he doing? Somewhere in the pit of your stomach you just want to say “I have no idea.. we should really just walk away.” Leave him to his episode and then just let the world go in to chaos behind you back and you will know you are getting that call at 2 in the afternoon from a family member going to inform you on all the things your parent has done.
This is not a book about how horrible of a father I had that is not completely true. This book is called Hindsight for a reason. Years later, I look back and laugh at the situations that happen the off the wall actions and reactions that were done and it is more or less hilarious. At the time it was frightening, scary, embarrassing and just plain weird who knew. This book is a list of my memories of situations that happened. I would love to crack open my father’s mind and let you in it for a look-see but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Anyway I hope this helps those of you who have a parent who is this way. Perhaps you can sit back and smile to the odd ball things your own family members have done in the past and bury whatever hatchets one may need to bury. After all, everything is better with Hindsight.
As a young girl I was in love with the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons the names were simple for a child to grasp, this was the core heart of my existence. I grew up on three acres of nothing but a small pond. There were three trees set out in the front yard, a cherry, a plum, and a crab apple. There was a long rock road that was twisty that made it up to the house. In the front the large trucks with big signs that were orange, had the words displayed YELLOW on the front would pass by nearly every day in convoys over the hills area of Missouri. Our nearest neighbor was a few miles away. Civilization was about 35 minutes away.
Isolated from the rest of the world, I believed everything was the way it should happen. We had a lot of animals from rabbits to giant geese; large turkeys and chickens, a giant snapping turtle, goats, roosters, arctic foxes and wolves. I had a zoo practically that was mine to play with whenever I wanted, I am pretty sure there was a donkey or something as well but who knew. I had a full safari of animals that if I wanted could be released from their shackles and allowed to roam free. Insert an evil laugh! For the most part, I loved my life in Pea Ridge, there was no one to tell me or look at my father oddly there were no faces wondering why this insane being was let out. No comments on how normal people do not act this way. It was just… free.
The youngest incident I can remember was I was finished with my Peter Pan obsession. I had watched the movies so many times it was known word for word in my 4 year old mind. I had a head dress made from turkey feathers from Jake, the turkey, who was last thanksgivings dinner. The shows were changing on the television it was no longer the age of repeating stories and Captain Kangaroo. It was a new age a changing age.. It was the Age of HE-MAN. But honestly, what father wants their daughter drooling over barbarians with swords as they go to make bad guys flee the scene! It might be why so many of us who grew up in this area would love to scream out obscenities about a Castle Grayskull and smite our obstacles, it would make life at work interesting. Corny jokes paved the way for brain cell destruction. You laughed cause Chisel Jaw was throwing his head back and laughing. She-Ra was made for girls, they had to separate the television show cause it was absolutely foolish to focus the shows for both girls and boys. The girls came out in easy to remember names and brightly colored outfits.
I had it in my mind I could be She-Ra, no this was a fact. I imitated her moves followed her every course of action. Catch Phrases were great, “For the Honor of Grayskull!” I said them after everyone drilling them in to my parents brain like some odd form of guerrilla warfare.
“Cynthia, you need to go and clean your room”
“What foooooooooooooooooooor mom….”
“For the………… Honor ……of………… Grayskull……”
You could hear her slowly losing all will to speak.
“For the Honor of Grayskull!”
— And some where in there I’m certain my closet was destroyed shortly afterwards.
So I finally decided. I had learned they ways, I fought the enemies with honor in my heart. Though they could not stand a chance, I was more like… Glorian, from JourneyQuest in every single aspect.
After defeating the live stock and any stray creatures through out the yard with sticks I was certain I had leveled up, and it was time for some better weaponry. I had devised a plan, my parents had said I could be anything I wanted to be, anything at all. All I had to do would be to try at it. So I took that plan and in my just turned five year old mind I believed it was time to ask the ultimate question.
“Dad… I want to be She Ra..”
“But you don’t have a sword.”
“I could if you made me one.”
“I am not going to make you a sword.”
I figured if I found a good reason why I needed a sword I might be able to get one. So I devised a plan. Swords were needed for things of defending the house. So if there was a reason that the house was in danger I might be able to get a sword. I was delighted at the thought and quickly began to plot against them. In our home you could not leave food in any room but the kitchen. So opening the doors and sprinkling bread crumbs is a serious no no. I am the parents nightmare.
I took animals in, I fought them off in the living room with a broom and chased them through out the house defending on the family homestead. For honor.. no not for honor there was a blade I needed. My cousins had heard of the fact that my sword had still not been made. That I was not She Ra, and this would never do. Instead of playing He-Man and She-Ra we were reduced to playing Ghost Busters. Which would of been awesome, but there were no female ghost busters, my lack of male genitalia was again ruining my want to play with cousins. (Yes the worst sentence in here.) It was after this one incident that I refused to do anything else but play She-Ra and He-Man the next time they came over.
So, my cousins had come to play, my aunt had come over to bring her 2 sons and sit and talk religion. I refused to play, I refused to leave my room. The day went on and I was not going to play. I had no intention of saying “hi” to anyone. Hours went by and several times they had come to check on me. Soon it was bed time, and my mother was worried so when she was asking me what I needed to feel better, I told her. “A sword.” It was then she had a discussion with my father about making me the sword. In the morning I woke up to my father hammering away at his make shift forge. Days went by, and more and more coal was needed so we had to gather more sticks and trees and logs.
My dad had said he wanted to make me a fantastic sword, one that only She-Ra could wield. So scrap metal after scrap metal, was welded on to this sword till it was 6 feet long the edges were rounded. There was a smile that no one could take off my lips. I ran for it, I went for it and dispute my efforts… I could not lift the sword. 2 days of trying but like all good stories. On the third day. I became She-Ra. I had made a rope and went out with my sword attached to it and hung it over my shoulder and dragged my sword across the yard. There was nothing else with in me but the urge to fight my enemies.
About a mile away lived my friend Jason and his father and they were taking their Sunday walk from church. in the yard they see this child tied to like a long pipe and running circles in the yard. Any Family Services worker would of came up and took me away. The rope had slipped so many times it fell off and was moved and I looked like I was a caned victim. Our neighbors came out in to the yard, and called my parents out. I am not sure what the conversation was. I am sure it had to do with me and the self inflicting marks I was making cause I was bound and determined to be able to carry that sword.
In the end mother had told me the rest of the story. I remember getting drug off shortly after my father began to rip his shirt off and screaming about being He-Man. There was a lot of confrontation and mother had stated several time that this was going a bit out of hand. In the end it was the image of my father running down the road stripped down to his underwear doing a Tarzan chant about the Power of Grayskull, the neighbors were steadily increasing their speed in front of him till they got off the property. To this day, I am not sure how my dad had decided he was going to be He-Man or how he talked the neighbors in to letting him chase them. I would like to think the world was like that, my father in his fruit of the looms running down the road with a six foot sword in hand protecting us from a neighbor who was worried over my own safety.
At the time yes, I was the bad little kid that desperately wanted to teach herself a lesson. I was the child that would not take no for an answer. The neighbors were not upset at my dad, They were dear friends on till our departure of that wonderful home. But the lesson that I really learned that day, is parents have ways to make you regret asking for a gift they did not want you to have.
You’ll shoot your eye out kid.
It was not till I was 17 that I asked for another sword. Once more my father had found I had another obsession. Adrian Paul, and the Highlander. I showed him a picture of a fan blade that cost almost 200 dollars, and my dad returned me with a welded sheet metal sword, with a highlander bumper sticker on it, roughly about 7 feet long, lesson has been learned and relearned.