We write a story of life everyday. We start as children going to adulthood and even to our elder years. We need to make the right decisions, resist pier pressure, and correct the wrong choices in life.
I do not remember a lot from when I was a child. I think some can be because of medical reasons and some could be to all the drama I went through as a child.
I want to tell you what I mean when I say “medical reasons”. When I was 10 months old I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disrupted, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness. When I was 2 years old I had Grand Mal seizure. This is the worst type of seizure and should only last a few minute. This seizure lasted all day. My neurologist was concerned I would not come out and feared I would not survive. It was a miracle that I did survive, but not without cost. I had severe memory lost, developed ADD, and my mood change for the bad. All that I am telling you I have heard from my parents and my sister. My dad told me after that seizure is when bees would chase after me. I am also allergic to honey bees, which at one time caused a minor seizure. All my life my mother has been very protective of me due to my epilepsy. When I was a child I appreciated it because it made me feel like I did not have to worry so much. Now I wish my family would trust me that I know what is good for me and what is bad for me.
Going to school
I have been through four different schools until I graduated in 2000. I barely remember kindergarten through second grade, but I do remember the school. I lived in Avis, PA until I was 7. I had a few friends and had a family. Then my family broke apart. I did not understand why I was still a kid. We moved out-of-town, I went to a different school, and my mother got remarried.
I started going to Jersey Shore Elementary School. I did not know what to do, how to make new friends, and still make my father love me. I was so distracted and distressed I got very low grades by the end of the school year. They asked my mother if they should move me to third grade or hold me back, she decided to hold me in the second grade. I do agree with her.
As I stayed in Jersey Shore I got teased and harassed, got into fights, had my homework stolen, and cried myself to sleep. I had to find my happy place so I would imagine myself in a beautiful open area with a good friend. My mother and step-father did not really listen to me to well when I told them I was “picked on” and did not like it. They would tell me, “They are just having fun, you need to give it back to them.” Well since high school I understand what they mean, but there are also the jerks out there. They are the ones who don’t care if they hurt you with words, their hands, or their gun they just want to hurt you.
I could not put up with anymore. I wanted out of public school. I heard of a Christian School that only allowed religious believers go to the school. I had just become a believer of God and Saved by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I decided I didn’t care what they said I was going. I talked to my mother about it and she agreed because she was thinking the same thing. She worked with a teacher from a Christian School, Memorial Baptist Christian School (MBCS). I told her I wanted to go. My mother said I had to wait one more year, because of the way they do their classes. See they had two grades in the same classroom. I was going into the sixth grade. The fifth and sixth were in the same class and they were not teaching sixth-grade material that year, they were teaching fifth grade. I really could care less, glad I made this choice because I barely made it out that year alive I needed to feel safe.
I went to MBCS fifth to ninth grade. I made friends and enemies. My enemies I met later in life and forgave them that apologized and even the ones who did not. I learned how to ski and snowboard. We went to Ski Sawmill during the ski season. I loved skiing. It gave me a rush, feel free, excitement, and gave life a meaning. It gave me common ground with my enemies. They even gave me advice that I took and it helped.
I left MBCS in 1995 because all my great friends left also. They all went to the same Christian School so I convinced my mother to send me to Williamsport Christian School (WCS) as well. It was great at WCS, other than one religious dispute, I really enjoyed it there. The Pastor was a kind and interactive man. His sons were good people too. I was lucky to Graduate with one of his sons. He gave me great advice and guided me with the Holy Bible. The year I went there they started a soccer team. My friend convinced me to join the team, so I did. I have watched soccer a few times on TV before that and it looks boring, but I loved playing it. It was so much fun kicking, blocking, and chasing. I also played basketball, but not as much as soccer due to as many on the team. I had the founder of the church and school as my Bible Teacher. He passed away a few years ago, I miss him. He really educated me in God, Jesus, and myself. I was lucky to have him. I graduated in 2000 in a class of four. The class was my two friends that came from MBCS, the pastor’s son, and myself. I will never forget them they were a blessing of God the Almighty in my life.
The foggy time in my childhood
Early in my childhood is not very clear to me. I do not remember much before I was seven. I do not know if it was because of my seizures or suppressing that time in my life. What I do remember is the street I lived on, I can see an image of what the house looked like, and some image of the backyard. I also remember my school and a friend I had. I have always wondered why I do not remember playing with my sister or watching cartoons.
When I was seven years old is when my parents were divorced. I remember when my mother came to my room and told me we were leaving. I do not remember how I felt about it or if she even talked to me before that. I guess that has to do with suppressing memories. I do remember feeling welcomed and needed at my stepfather’s home. All does change in time, though, but not now.
Growing Up Is Not Simple
I am in a good home, have a nice room, and an open yard; but school is about to start and I had no idea what it was going to be like. I was in the second grade and my sister was in the third grade. I remember standing at the bus stop with my sister and our neighbors. I was nervous because it was something new. I think they could smell fear from me.
I got on the bus the first time and I had some jerk flick me in the ear from behind me. My sister would stand up for me, but it got worst from there. I will get to that later. When I got to school and went to class I looked around for anyone I knew, did not find a soul. I would have someone give me “wet willies”, kick my chair, or toss paper at me and the teachers would say nothing. I finally got angry and turned around and yelled, “Knock it off idiot!” and get sent to the principal’s office. This made it feel like I was neglected by the teacher and I would have to fight for myself. I have taken a stand a few times and gone home with a black eye. That year I did not pass second grade because my English grade was a “D” and my parents held me back. Today I am grateful they did.
I endured public school until the fifth grade. I would come home crying every day. The teachers did not care, except for one. The bus driver did not do anything to help. We got assigned seats one year and I was halfway to the back with all the jerks that wanted to beat me up. I told the bus driver, but they said, “You will sit where you’re assigned.”. I talked to my mother and she called the bus company and they made the driver move me closer to the front. Once I turned 16 I got my permit and when I turned 18 I got my license. I did not get my license until I was 18 because of my parents’ insurance plan. It made it cheaper to wait.
Leave the public and go to Christian school
When I wanted out of school my mother was working with the husband of a teacher at a Christian School. She talked to me about it. I was told that there was a dress code, Bible class, and more rules. I thought it can’t be worse so we went for it. At the time my mother was getting child support from my father for me. She decided to use the to pay for the tuition. I had to get new clothes because I was not allowed to wear blue jeans or t-shirts. I also had to wear dress shoes on Friday.
Memorial Baptist Christian School- My Salvation
When I started going to MBCS I believed in a being the controlled everything. I could not comprehend how all this could have happened by chance and keep going every day. I learned that there is an omnipotent being and He created everything for a reason. At that time I felt in my heart that there was a purpose for my life, a purpose for what happens in life, and I wanted to learn more. I was saved in September of 1992.
Now not everything went great there. In every bag of apples, there is always a bad apple, trust me! I made friends, got along with all my teachers, learned how to ski, went bowling, and more. The one thing I wish could be left out of the past is the jerk in the class. He always had to pick on me, joke cruelly, and even gossip. He had an older brother and sister. I got along with his sister for the most part, but his brother was just like him. Now like in public school every now and then I will yell at the jerk and tell him to leave me alone. Well unlike public school I was not the one in trouble HE was. I did not like the fact that he got in trouble because even back then I felt I needed to take a stand for myself.
I made a few friends there as well, three good ones. When 1995 rolled around two of my friends decided to transfer to a different Christian school. My one friend and I talked all year-long about what we should do. We made the decision to go as well to keep the friends together. When the next year came we were enrolled in the new school and left MBCS. I missed the school, the skiing, and the bowling. Although I was getting a better school and a great graduation.
Williamsport Christian School- My Friends for Life
I started WCS in August of 1996 and I was nervous. I have always, since I could talk, had problems making friends and keeping friendships. I at least felt secure because God was with me and I had friends already. I did not believe I would make more friends, have more fun then I have had before, or feel more secure in my Faith.
My first year at WCS the principle was a good man. He introduced me to the Pastor’s son in my class and he was very supportive to help me get into the flow of their school. He retired the end of my freshman year, but I believe he was there for me to help me meld with the school.
My sophomore until my senior year the pastor of the church took over principal. His father, the founder of the church and school, began teaching us the Holy Bible in class. During these years I had a contradiction in my morality and spiritual beliefs. I went to a non-denomination church and they preached that women were fully equal by God. The founder taught me that a wife was supposed to be supportive of her husband, women were not meant to be pastors unless they were called by God, and they were to be supportive in the house as mothers, wives, and advisors to friends and extended family. When he taught me this I was torn in two. I did some research in the Holy Bible to find out who was right, even wrote a sermon and was not allowed to preach it, and now after all these years I think they were both wrong and both right.
1 Timothy 2: 11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Ephesians 5: 21- 27
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Now the way I understood it when I was a child was that women were not allowed any authority in the church as a preacher whatsoever. I was wrong. Look at the scripture from 1 Timothy. It says in verse 12 “not for a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over a man”. What does that mean? Let’s look at Ephesians 5: 22, it says, “Wives submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord.” Well God wants wives to be submissive. Here is what I believe. In the Old Testament God wanted women to keep silent, because as a punishment of Eve committing the first Sin. Also, He was teaching them to follow the leader, the husband. When Jesus Christ died on the cross our sins were forgiven and we have the chance to get to Heaven through Salvation. Jesus still wants women to be submissive to their husbands, but He also wants them to preach the Word. If a husband and wife start a church the husband should be the lead pastor and the wife is allowed according to Jesus as the secondary pastor. Also the husband should be more assertive in the church and the wife more supportive. In the end the wife needs to support her husband at home and in the church to be successful as a pastor. Also the husband needs to support God. It is a link in a chain, the weakest link breaks the whole chain and they all fall.
I have already mentioned about getting harassed by classmates. I thought leaving public school and going to a Christian school would solve the problem, I was wrong. When I left Williamsport and moved to Mechanicsburg, PA to got to college at ITT Technical Institute I started to learn that I was even more wrong than leaving public school.
I meet new people and actually made friends, but what caught me was my “friends” started to “pick” on me like they did in high school. Now I got a pretty close friendship with a classmate and I talked to him about it. The thing is he laughed and said, “They are just having fun with you. Trying to be friendly. If you don’t like what they say let them know or give it back to them 10 times as much.” I was skeptical, but I took his advice and before I knew it I had many friends. Now there is always one bad apple in a bunch, but just ignore them and move on. I wish I learned this when I was in elementary school. I think I would have a lot more friends and grew up a lot happier.
I do not remember much when I was starting elementary school. What I do remember is my parents getting divorced. I remember one night my mother came into my room and told me we were leaving. I do not remember where we went that night, but I do know where we ended up. I think I have memories of visiting my step-father before the divorce. I am not sure though it is a little foggy. I know about the custody hearing from my mother and father. He admitted he was upset when he went to court because it was custody and he had surgery around the same time. He was upset for a few reasons, he also knew that his job was going under in a few years because they were not getting as many customers as they were in the past. Instead of going through my choppy memory let me get down to it.
When my parents got divorced they got joint custody. My dad eventualy gave that up for visitation rights. They had a meeting point. There were an accident and a fight. We were at my grandparents and I stepped in a ditch filled with poison oak. I do not remember, but I have asked my father and he told me that his mother cleaned my shoes, socks, and feet.Unfortunately, there were no more shoes and socks to wear home so I had to wear them. My sister remembers me wearing wet shoes all day long and my mother is just angry at him. After that happened we did not talk again for another 25 years. I have always felt I needed to ask permission from my mother and sister to call my father. I was wrong. If I could change one thing in the past that would be it. I believe my life would be different.
What Childhood Teaches You
When parents say the being a child is simple it really bothers me. My childhood was not a piece of cake. I went through a lot of challenges. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 10 months old. Since that time I had Complex Partial Seizures. When I was 2 years old I had multiple seizures all day long. The neurologist could not figure out how to stop the seizures. The seizures just stopped after 10 hours. I believe God stopped the seizures and protected me that day. They were dumbfounded that I survived or not at least had server brain damaged.
I had been put on medication my entire life and they have kept changing them. In my teen years, the seizures seemed to get under control but kept happening. I started feeling this “sick spell”. I would get up in the morning start getting ready for school and all of a sudden not feel good, get hot, and sometimes dizzy. My parents started thinking it was an excuse I used to skip school. They were wrong. They started noticing I had the “sick spell” when I was off of school and when we were out to eat. It got my mother wondering because I love going out to eat. It took years to get a definite answer from a neurologist. My childhood neurologist said it was a warning for a potential outward seizure. He had me take an EEG, electroencephalogram test, and it showed I was still having seizures in my temporal lobe. The medicine I was taking was not allowing it to come out, kind of a good thing. He put me on another medicine and the “sick spells” only happened once in awhile.
My neurologist retired so I had to find another. I went to Hershey Medical Hospital in Hershey, PA. The neurologist I meet was really nice, young, and always talked to me directly. I told him about the “sick spells”. He said, “Oh yeah they are seizure auras.”. I was like, “What?! Never heard of that.”. I had already been on the internet a lot looking for answers about my seizures and now I get it from my doc. He told me seizure auras were different for everyone. Some, like me, get sick feelings, hot spells, and dizziness and others can have visual hallucinations, hear things, or just daze out. When he told me this he gained my trust and confidence. The one question I have had since I was a child and it finally got answered. He was given to me by God, it was fate. He did multiple EEGs, MRI, and CAT scans and finally got me into surgery to remove part of my left temporal lobe. Since I have had the surgery, which he did, I have not had a “sick spell’ nor a seizure. I have lost some memories and struggle with my short term memory, but I rather deal with this than have to worry every day if I will have a seizure especially when I am behind the wheel of my car. Till this day I thank God for getting rid of my seizures.
My childhood was not really simple as you can tell. The seizures were just the beginning. My parents were divorced when I was seven and I didn’t see my dad for the next twenty years. That is not completely true. I did get to see him for a little while after the divorce. A lot happened though that scared my mother and my sister. I think the one that “broke the camel’s back” was when my dad slammed a ruler next to my sister and I at breakfast because we needed to get ready for school. He had a bad temper then, he has changed since then. It sent me into a seizure that lasted for almost 24 hrs. If it were not for the great doctors at Geisigner I would not have survived. Supposedly they did nothing to take me out of the episode it just stopped. My mom still holds this against him till today. She reminds me of it every now and then, but Jesus teaches us to forgive and forget.
I do not remember the divorce too much. I do remember going to see this man and playing with him. We had fun. Then I remember leaving at night with my mom and my sister and going to see that man. That man today is my step-father. I have never truly accepted it till this day. I did not hold it against my mom, but I don’t think I ever accepted him as a father.
Growing Up Is Not Easy
Childhood can be difficult, teenage years get even more difficult, but approaching adulthood gets complicated. I learned this when I moved to Mechanicsburg, PA and went to college at ITT Technical Institute. But I do not want to get into adulthood just yet. We all continue to grow up over all our lifetime. We continue to learn, rebel, disobey, and repent and finally obey. We learn life lessons at all stages in our life sometimes from the younger generation. I have looked back on my choices in my childhood the last couple years. Some choices were good, some were bad, and some I did not stay committed to. I have wondered where I would have been today if I followed a different path in life. We make choices and we do not know what is the true destination. Too bad we cannot go back a change some of our bad choices.
School life was difficult
When I was growing up I have been through a few schools to the day I graduated. There are a few reasons, but I am going try to make it brief.
I first went to Avis Elementary School kindergarten to first grade. I made a really good friend. His name was Ben. I miss him a lot today, but I learned, from my sister, that he did not grow up very well. He did drugs, smoked, and who knows what else in high school. This is one thing I have wondered if I would have made him better or would he have made me worse. The reason I was only in Avis until the first grade was because my parents got divorced. We, my mother, sister, and I, moved out of Avis school district and were in Jersey Shore school district. I was still friends with Ben, saw my father for a few years, and liked where we moved to but all that changed.
I started Jersey Shore Elementary School in the second grade. My teacher was very hard hearted and seemed like she did care if you passed or failed. I had a learning disability at this time in my life and needed a little more help learning English. I technically passed the second grade, but my English grade was so low my mother and my father decided to have me held back. I did not mind at the time. I do not regret it either. If I did move onto the third grade I probably would have failed it big time and maybe even avoided going to school. When I got to the fourth grade I met a girl I really liked. I think it was my first crush. I wish I had asked her to go steady or something. My parents never really talked to me about relationships. I learned it from friends, TV, the internet, and church. I have had a lot of relationship screw ups in my past. I will leave it at that.
While I was stile at Jersey Shore I had plenty of conflicts. I was the class geek. I was the one to be picked on, harassed, threatened, and even go home crying. I got into a couple fights and went home with black eyes, not both at once, and my mom would baby me. It would have been better if I got a little encouragement and maybe even a little self-defense training. It would have made me more secure and self-confident. I eventually got so upset, sad, and in fear of what Junior High would be like I wanted out of public school. I did not know what to do. I told my mother and God sent her the solution.
My mother was working at a bank at the time. One of her co-workers was the husband of a teacher at a Christian school, a private school. He told her what it was like, how much the tuition was, and what they did. When my mom told me I was all in! I was not a Christian at this stage in my life, but I didn’t care I figured Christian people are always nice. Well what I have learned kids will be kids even at a Christian school.
It wasn’t as bad as it was in public, but I got picked on from the kids in one family. I ended up going to the church of the kids who constantly picked on me. I noticed that they did not have a father. I got a chance to talk to their mother and she told me that he left when my classmate was little. I learned later from the church that he abused his wife, his daughter, and was just a jerk. She divorced him and got a restraining order. I never found out if the guy ended up in prison. From that day I forgave the family in my heart for all they did and will do. For love is what we all need. I mentioned it to my classmate and he got really upset so I just dropped it. I had good friends at that school. The school took us skiing, bowling, and swimming. I liked the school, but my friends were the most important. I had to stay back a year because they did two grades in the same classroom. I would have been skipping a year. So to stay on course it was either go back to public school or stay in the fifth grade. I took the latter.
It started getting a little difficult in the eighth grade. The reason being because two of my friends, those I went skiing with, went to another Christian school. I had one close friend left that year. I asked him if he was thinking about leaving. He answered, “Yes.” I did not want to stay there without any close friends so I checked out the school and decided to join them. The eighth grade was my last year at Memorial Baptist Christian School.
When ninth grade came I started with an open mind to make more friends. I knew it was a good school because my friends that had already been going there for a year told me it was nice. I heard that they were talking about starting a soccer team. Oh I was in. I really liked it there, now I still had problems, but don’t we all growing up. I played soccer and basketball, sung in the choir, and even got into some plays. I had a religious revelation one year. I was taking a Speech class and the guys had to give sermons, if we had time. Well at that time I believed that women were called to be preachers, dancing in the church, speaking in tongues, healing, and dancing. Well with all I learned in school, on the internet, and sermons on TV I have changed. I still believe there is healing and we should praise God, but not in public. I never got to give my sermon at school. I did learn a lot though. I think that changed me over time to who I am today. Oh I also returned to the Church to hear my Principal and classmate preach God’s Word. Unfortunately my Bible teacher passed away years ago. I miss him he was a big influence on my life. I graduated in a class of four, the Pastor’s son, my two friends from MBCS and myself, in 2000. I could not be happier that day because I was moving on in life with friends. I graduated from Williamsport Christian School and I recommend if you are in the area send you kids there it will be good for their soul.
We think growing up as a child is hard, it is, but it gets harder and more complicated as we grow up. We need to learn from the challenges we have in our childhood to be strong as an adult. It is in God’s plan to make us strong.
definition- Omnipotent Dictionary.com Dictionary.com, LLC 2016
Epilepsy Foundation, What is a Seizure?