Confronting the Past Part Eight

As I have said before, I grew up in a very strict, old-fashioned, European household. My father believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child.” I don’t feel my father was all that abusive, although there are people who would disagree with me. To me, one of the problems we have now is that our children and grand-children, are not really taught much self-discipline. I’m not sure the rod is the right way to teach self-discipline but it seems to have worked better than the modern permissiveness. Because of this strict upbringing, I was very much the introvert growing up. It was not until I went off to college in 1966 that I started to come out of my shell. And boy did I come out!

I won’t bore you with all the salacious details; let’s just say there isn’t much that I wasn’t more than willing to do, and did do. I drank, I smoked pot, I did acid, occasionally I did coke. I chased women and caught them regularly. From 1968 to 1990, I was married and divorced three times. That does not include relationships that did not result in marriage. Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places.

It was not until October of 1990, when I met Elizabeth, that I finally found love in the right place. Elizabeth is the love of my life. We’ve been married since August 3rd 1991, and I have done what is, for me, a most extraordinary thing: I’ve been faithful to Elizabeth for all that time. What Elizabeth provided me was the one thing I could not find elsewhere: love and a family. We have three children: a daughter (22), and tow sons, one 18, and one nearly 17. Not bad for an old man!

In my younger days, I doubt seriously I would have expressed the opinions I have expressed here over the last ten years or so. Also, I doubt that I would have been willing to even try some of the things I have done in my life since I left home in 1968. I am not proud of everything I have done, but I have no regrets. I made my choices and I have learned to live with the consequences. Now that I am somewhat wiser, I probably would make different choices for some of the things I have done. Hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunantly, we are not born with a great deal of wisdom and for some of us it takes years to develop. I’m living proof of that. The only thing I can do is try to pass as much wisdom as I can on to my children. What they do with those attempts is up to them.


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