Allender states that in order to understand our personal stories we must, “consider the various characters – both major and minor- who make an appearance” in our lives.
Allender points out that the major characters of parents come with their own stories that are often passed onto children.
My parents were raised in two different worlds. My father is 13 years older than my mother and the only reason they met was because my mother went into the recruiter’s office in Louisville KY to get away from her life. My father was not my mother’s recruiter but was in the same office. When she went to basic training they wrote and then got married when she got back to Fort Knox. So that was how they met but they each have a story of their own.
My father was born in 1948. His parents were married and lived on his grandparent’s farm. He had three brother’s and they all had to help work the farm or worked on farms around town. Although there were problems growing up there was nothing major.
His family was a very close family and very supportive. He had two older brothers and one younger brother who he loved and were close to. In high school, my father was on the dive team and had many friends. It’s not that he was popular exactly but that he was very friendly and made friend easily. He was good at diving and could have gotten a scholarship, but he decided to continue smoking.
Instead of getting a scholarship he joined the army at 17. Had he decided to stop smoking that could have been the end of my beginning.
My mother was a whole other story.
She was born in 1961 to two people who did not love each other and should have been divorced. It would have been better had my mother’s father not been in her life.
My mother was the youngest of seven children. She had five sisters and one brother, two of her sisters and her brother were mentally handicap and so my mother tried her best to look after them. My mother’s father was very abusive physically and sexually to all of the children.
Her oldest two sisters left when my mother was about 3 years old and that is when the abuse started. She did not have a normal childhood like my father but one I cannot imagine. She stole peanut butter sandwiches to give to her siblings, and ate potatoes out of the garden to survive.
She started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 12 to escape the horrors of her life. Then finally at 16 she got married to really escape.