As an eight year old, if your parents threatened you with being left at an orphanage because you didn’t behave well enough, and even went to the extent of driving to the orphanage, what would that do to your sense of well being?
At that young and tender age when I was easily impressed with what seemed real, such an event did occur. Add to that the absence of my father during the Korean Conflict, and these events left me with a fairly severe case of abandonment issues.
The times I was to go someplace where others were providing the transportation, if they were one minute late I began to get this empty feeling that I was going to be left, because I was not as worthy or deserving as others that might be going.
This was not isolated. The memory is still vivid in my mind as a teenager in high school, a particular basketball game was happening at a nearby town about 10 miles away.
I got a ride with some “friends” to the away game, only to be told that there was no room for me on the return. I ended up running all the way home. Being a cross country runner really made enduring the distance fairly easy. It took about 90 minutes, but the feeling of accomplishment far overcame any disappointment. I could tell those creeps that I got home just fine in spite of their lack of consideration. Who needed them!
While all that was true, it didn’t do much for my sense of self worth or those feelings of abandonment. It did help to create in me the beginnings of survivorship, that no matter what the circumstances I would find a way to make it. This has lasted to this day, as I find it difficult to rely on others.
It is a control issue. Trusting others with my well being simply has not proven to be to my benefit. Is it my behavior that creates the problem, perhaps by openly showing my lack of trust in others? A clear demonstration that I will trust my ability to do what needs to be done for my benefit? The fact that I am not a “team player.”
This was perhaps most pronounced in Viet Nam. We were instructed never to have a round loaded in the chamber of our weapons. This meant if we were fired on by the enemy, we first had to load that round in order to return fire. Those split seconds could spell the difference between life and death, at least in my mind. I did not comply!
I carried a grenade launcher and a .45 cal. pistol. There was a round in the chamber of both weapons at all times. The grenade launcher had two different rounds that could be used. One was a “shotgun” round. Another was the “high explosive” which could be devastating with a killing radius of 20 meters. The saving grace was that it had to travel 15 meters before it would detonate.
Because of my rebelliousness, on two different occasions a “shot” round went off, fortunately both times while pointed in the air. Since there was only a “woosh” sound, it drew no attention from anyone.
On a third occasion I had my 45 pointed at the head of a friend while waiting for Huey’s to unload new troops. I was sure I did NOT have a round in the chamber and told my buddy.
At the last second I turned the pistol away from his head and pulled the trigger, listening to the explosive report of a fired shot! Neither of us were impressed with what could of happened. Fortunately for me the Huey’s drowned out the sound of the shot.