This may sound minor in comparison to some stuff or even your own secrets, but it is much more detailed than the title describes. I know going into this secret, and the others I have already disclosed and will disclose, that I will lose friendships over this and it may tarnish the views some have of me, but please read and try to understand why I did this.
I was a difficult kid, as was my brother. We were living in an apartment in small town Tennessee. We caused so much trouble that my mother was evicted from the apartment. Because of this, and all the other trouble we got into, she decided it was best for us, and her sanity, if we moved to Texas to be with my father.
“This “small town Tennessee“ part is the first kicker that I wasn’t exactly who I said I was.”
The biggest problem with moving in with my dad is the fact that he just wasn’t around the majority of my life.
Before I go into to much detail about what I said, I will try my best to explain why I did it.
Before the lead up to the move to Texas I was getting into a lot of trouble. I was doing a lot of things to get that high and/or attention. The illegal stuff got me into some trouble with the law a couple of times as well. I stupidly bragged about the illegal things I had done and eventually got caught. I was doing miserably in school because I just gave up and didn’t care anymore.
It was my decision to act the way I did, and I blame it on no one else. I thought I was getting the short end of the stick when it came to my family, especially my younger brother, the one sibling I grew up with.
My brother had some behavioral problems as a child, and naturally he needed a little more guidance and attention from my mother and others. But as a kid I didn’t see it that way and blamed my parents and grandparents for all the extra attention he was getting. I felt neglected.
Fast forward to the hell that was my trail end of eighth grade and my first two years of high school.
We were rushed to Texas via Greyhound, as we had done many times before during our summer breaks, by an understandably at her limit mother. I wasn’t sure what to expect once we moved there. New school, new friends, the end of my old life. I really had grown to love the town in Tennessee I had lived in and loved the friends I had made while I was there. I would eventually make it back to Tennessee to the same small town, but not until after I had two very bad years in Texas.
The first thing I dreaded was living with a father that was never actually an integral part of my life. I didn’t know him very well. I had seen him a few times over the years, but had never spent any real time living with him beyond the time when I was a toddler.
The house he lived in was falling apart, and I’m sure if Codes were to have seen the condition of the house, it would have been deemed unfit for habitation. There were roaches everywhere. So many that you could hear them moving around in the ceiling and the walls. The heat was an old gas system that I was not allowed to turn on, only my father was. There were two air conditioner units in the house, but neither were in my bedroom. They were in the living room and my fathers room. There was hardly ever enough food in the house. The food situation had gotten so bad at one point that my mother had called the police to come check on me, but they seemed to not care.
He was never at the house. He spent the majority of his time at an old bar in town that he usually stayed at until last call. This is also the first place I ever had a drink, and he took me there for it. When he would come home you could smell the booze emanating from his skin as he passed by to go to his room. A smell, that to this day, I still remember vividly as if it could have been just yesterday.
I had heard some stories of my fathers drinking problems from my younger brother who lived with him for a couple of years. But I thought they were just exaggerations from a child who was just being a kid who wasn’t happy with anything. This was until he came home one night so drunk that he had woken back up shortly after he stumbled to bed and came into my room and urinated on my backpack and school books. Although skipping school was for many reasons that seemed much worse to me at the time than the books was that I would have to try and explain why my books had to be replaced. I felt it easier to just not go to school and face the embarrassment of trying to explain that.
The other hard part of those years is that I was a gay teen going to school in rural Texas. This was the main reason I spent very little time at school and also a big reason why I fabricated this story that I carried through 2 years while living in Texas.
“I felt it easier to just not go to school and face the embarrassment of trying to explain that.”
Because of everything I had gone through, and the uncertainty of what was going to be the next two years of my life, I fabricated a back story of who I was and where I was from. I felt like if I distanced myself so far from who I really was, that no one would notice what was really going on or who I really was and the life I had lived and was currently living.
I wanted to escape from that reality and be something better than I was. I saw starting a new life as a different person who had a lot to brag about would be much easier than the messed up life I really had. I wanted it to be grand and take as much attention off of the jacked up things as possible.
It began as simply rambling something off about where I was from when people would ask. I was now Ronnie from New York City facing culture shock in a rural Texas town. I was able to pass off the culture shock part because I was so new and people didn’t know how I usually was, so my quirkiness was pretty much chocked up to the “fact” that I didn’t know how small town people lived.
Once I started that story I had to create this entire back story and life of this kid who used to live in NYC. I think a major part of the allure of the story was that I got to be someone I wasn’t because people truly believed me. I was able to live in this lie and escape my reality for little bits of time when they asked me questions about who I was and where I was from.
Living in NYC sounded grand. Not only did it hide who I was, but it made people jealous at some things. I reveled in this feeling because it too made me feel like someone better than I was.
As the story grew and got more detailed it started to become more difficult to keep up with it myself, and I had a few slip ups with people and I think they figured it out, but most just rolled with it. Because it was getting more difficult to keep up with it myself, I chose to avoid people as much as possible so I didn’t take a risk letting the truth get out and people seeing me for who I thought I really was; a gay kid with no prospects and no real exciting life.
By the time I was there for two years I had grown so tired of dealing with everything in Texas and with the extra stress and strife I created for myself with my story, I had begged my mother to take me back home with her one summer. So, we packed up all of my stuff while my father was at work and we took off without telling him. I was finally able to go forward with people I knew and who knew the real me and I didn’t have to try and keep up with a difficult story about who I wanted people to think I was.
So, that’s Secret #2.
Every kid has things they fib about and every kid wants to escape their horrible teenage life, but I hurt people along the way with mine. The part that I feel worst about is that I met some really good people those two years who thought I was someone I wasn’t. I am truly sorry that I lied to you about who I was and I hope that you find it in your hearts to forgive me.