Just Another victim.
With the world so full of victims already I thought that I should explain something that has been on my mind of late. Everyone seems to be a victim of something these days.
Having grown up in the 60’s I clearly remember being down the street playing in another boys backyard sandbox with him one summer day. I remember because that boy’s father saw me take his sons Tonka truck away from him and play with it myself. I remember the spanking the man gave me and I clearly recollect the spanking that my own father gave me later that evening. I have never taken anything from anyone again. I guess I’m a victim of physical abuse and mental anguish?
I went to a Catholic school and our recess activities were held in the church parking lot and therefore quite limited. We mostly played dodge ball and as we grew we felt superior to those younger than us. To a third grader a second grader or first grader was easy prey. We would throw the dodge ball at them on occasion and a head shot was worth a ton of points with your peers. The last time that I ever did it I got caught by one of the nuns and she took me to see Sister Superior. It seemed to give Sister Superior great pleasure to smack me across the knuckles with her steel ruler and I have to say that it hurt a good deal, although tough guys like me tried our best to never show the pain and indignity of it. And of course later that night I got my butt tanned by my father to go along with the sore knuckles. I never threw anything else at anyone in my life. Therefore I must wonder if I’m a victim of some deep psychotic, tyrannical abuse that warped me when a mere child.
When I was just a rookie alter boy I made the mistake of pouring water into the golden chalice of wine offered me by Father Carrick during mass one Sunday. Yes, I had been forewarned to only give the appearance of adding water to the wine, not to really add any. But caught up in the fervor of the moment and all excited because my parents were watching, I had indeed poured water into that Chalice! I had wondered why the harder I tried to pour the water the higher up the good father pushed that chalice. And the look he afforded me at that moment told me that I was in trouble. After Mass and back in the sanctuary, Father Carrick knocked me to the ground and made it clear that water and wine do not mix during his masses. And now, some forty seven years later, I hate wine and I wonder if I’m a victim of some sick priest abuse.
I was with two of my brothers in the back yard one day and we were throwing rocks and one of those rocks happened to break a window of the garage. Dad heard it as he sat at the dining room table reading the paper and out he came wanting one of us to admit to breaking it, which of course no one did. And so he took off his belt and spanked all of us and he went back inside. I can’t help but wonder now if I am a victim of some sort of profiling, maybe some dastardly plot to cause us permanent fear of belts. I never wear belts, hmmm.
In about fifth grade I got lazy and stopped doing my homework and one day the nun teaching me English asked me for my homework and I lied to her one time too many. I told her that it was on the back of my math homework already turned in to a different nun. The sister walked me right over to the other classroom and asked that sister for my math homework, at which time I heard the other nun say that she had been led to believe that my math homework was on the back of my English homework which had already been turned in. I was caught, pure and simple. I’ve tried very, very hard ever since to never lie again and only to spare someone’s feelings, not my own. I could be a victim of something here I think.
My first wife belittled me and never encouraged me to be successful at anything and I allowed it to continue until the day that she threw me out. It was at that moment that I began to achieve every dream and every goal I ever had and low and behold, I was successful. I’ve even published a book, “Unlawful Flight” and it’s quite successful too. I wonder if I am a victim of spousal abuse,harrasment and mental anguish. Am I permanently scarred and hopelessly lost?
When Unlawful Flight was about to be published I quietly resigned from my well paying position to take what I called “a Leap of faith” to publish and promote my book, a book that took me almost ten years to write, edit and finish. Most of my friends and coworkers told me that I was nuts to go so far out on a limb simply to achieve a dream. They said that I had worked too long and too hard to walk away from my job. And because I had expected whole hearted support from these friends rather than the almost unanimous “Don’t quit your day job”, I became confused and unsure, unsure if reaching for dreams was the right thing to do or not. It was much like my first wife and the lack of faith and encouragement that she showed me, and so I second guessed myself for a long time. I suppose that I’m a victim of attempted squashed dreams and hopes; we’ll call it A.S.D.H. syndrome.
Most people who know me probably think that I’m some kind of nut. A victim of my past, a victim of everything that has been put in that bag that was secured to my ankle at my birth and drags along with me everywhere I go, the bag that looks just like your bag! The older we get the fuller and heavier our bag gets. What's in your bag?
But the truth is that I am a dreamer, a believer that all things are possible with enough desire. I will always dream and I will always encourage others to dream and to fight and claw to achieve those dreams. And I tell them to never take no for an answer when it comes to those dreams.
But am I a victim?
I am the person that was molded by all of these people from my past. I’m no victim, just a very grateful man and I thank them all for making me who I am and I ask God to bless them and all those who read this as much as he has blessed me.
Glen C. Schulz