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Thread: What were you like from ages 0 to 8?

  1. #21
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    Precocious, into everything, asked endless questions. Dance and piano lessons, extra science classes at the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. Into dinosaurs and unicorns before they became "cool." Played in the dirt in the backyard garden and in the waves and sand at the beach. Socially adventurous yet socially clumsy. I was a natural scientist and constantly made experiments which must have exasperated my poor parents; I caused some plumbing problems several times and nearly ruined the foundation of our house once. I collected Breyer model horses and rode real ones - when I was three or so I rode a gentle old dapple gray Percheron mare, bareback, with a thick rope around her even thicker neck, for steering. No helmet, no tack. Western riding lessons started when I was in elementary school.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  2. #22
    HIISSS! Jimothy's Avatar
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    I feel like I need to start with how I was from 11-18. Super shy guy and nervous as fuck. Mostly a result of being a late bloomer and the shortest kid in the class. I came to terms with that pretty quick in my 20s.

    But when I was young I was a total ham. When I started school at 5 years old I knew everyone and would run around chatting with them all at recess. Age didn't matter. When my sister and I would go to stores I would do the talking for her even though she was 3 years older. My parents wouldn't let me have video games so I abused several friendships to get my fix. Read a lot. Did smart kid programs. Kinda had a boring childhood honestly. I'm glad I was always out in the woods. By myself or with friends. I think I've actually blocked out a good part of my childhood because it wasn't interesting enough for me.

    After going through socially awkward phase, I've pretty much returned to where I was when I was five. Except now I drink alcohol.
    every sunday morning

  3. #23
    Member Phil P's Avatar
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    These are interesting.
    I'm gonna compare, contrast myself with some of the posts:
    I never was a bully or mean. I was always suckered into things rather than sucker people into them.

    I was dreadfully frightened of Carmen San Diego characters and the only nightmare I remember having was with Mr. Sournote from Jumpstart music game thing. I also hated the mascot costumes people would wear. I always ran away from them. I still hate anything horror to this day and I'm the one who jumps highest when something scary happens. Although I don't and haven't really ever had nightmares.

    I did talk to adults a lot as well. I don't remember having talking with stranger issues. I would talk to people if they were interesting. I wasn't really socially awkward until sixth grade and again in ninth grade, when I didn't have a friend base to rely on.

    I was more of a mad scientist than a scientist. I'd just mix things to see if anything cool happened. Nothing orderly.

    Also I have always had HUGE affinities for symbols. Like on Civ V, the little drawing things on the social policies trees. I LOVE those. For some odd reasons, attaching a symbol to an idea stimulates me and makes me happy.
    "I'm so cool" - Carl Sagan

  4. #24
    non-canonical Light Leak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I was fairly popular with the local girls because I played dolls/house with them--and it wasn't boring. I didn't play nice fathers or older brothers. I played tired, angry alcoholic fathers who just wanted a moments peace, who bitched about the mortgage, dinner, and how much a disgrace his kids were. I played surly older brothers who were forever telling their siblings to go away and leave them to be alone in their room. Sometimes they were openly verbally abusive (sans profanity), and from time to time, they were just flat out crazy. I played with the idea of MPD--so a single sibling was at turns nice, then cruel, then just kinda dumb or insecure.
    Lol. I didn't play with baby dolls. Those were boring. I did play with Barbies, but I had to play by myself because none of the other girls wanted to play with me unless I promised to play right. They didn't like how I played. I liked to pretend that Ken was in a band so I could play music at the same time and pretend that he was playing the songs on the radio. Barbie's little sister, Skipper, would go to his concerts and they would sleep together. (I didn't understand what sex was at that point so they just kissed and then slept side by side in the same bed together.) Then Skipper would get pregnant and it would be this big scandal.

    My sister always wanted me to play with her. Her favorite thing to do was to pretend that Barbie was going on vacation and had to pick out all the outfits that she was going to pack. I always tried to pick out the most inappropriate outfits and then my sister would get mad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I came back home, and my parents returned, and I cheerfully asked when we were going to go take care of my puppy. My mother told me they had just come back from doing it, and the bottom fell out of my very existence. I went from internally cheery with a hint of trepidation, to devastated and ran to my room to hide and sob.

    Now, some might wonder about the authenticity of these reactions, but up until that moment, I still believed I was going to get another day with her to say goodbye. That's why I was cheerful: up until that moment, she still was. Then suddenly, she wasn't, and I'd never had a chance to say goodbye, let alone see her off.
    I just remembered that I had something that I wanted to say about this. The same thing happened to me, but as an adult. I'm not sure if it was any easier. I still went to my room and sobbed. This was about 10 yrs. ago. I had recently moved out of the state where my parents live. My mom called me to tell me that they had put the family dog down the day before. I had plans to visit the following week, and I had been excited about seeing the dog. I was also angry because I didn't know she was dying. I had also talked to my mom on the phone earlier in the week and she never mentioned the dog.

    I had a special connection with that dog. By some coincidence she happened to have a doggy version of the same autoimmune illness that I have. She was on meds and I thought she was doing okay. I didn't know she had taken a turn for the worse. It's something my mom could have mentioned on the phone. Or she could have at least called when they had made the decision to put the dog down. I was really angry that it had already happened by the time she bothered to call me.
    Last edited by Light Leak; 02-26-2014 at 01:16 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Leak View Post
    I had recently moved out of the state where my parents live.
    My mom called me to tell me that they had put the family dog down the day before.
    I had plans to visit the following week, and I had been excited about seeing the dog.
    I was also angry because I didn't know she was dying.
    I had also talked to my mom on the phone earlier in the week and she never mentioned the dog.

    I had a special connection with that dog.
    By some coincidence she happened to have a doggy version of the same autoimmune illness that I have.
    \She was on meds and I thought she was doing okay.
    I didn't know she had taken a turn for the worse.
    It's something my mom could have mentioned on the phone.
    Or she could have at least called when they had made the decision to put the dog down.
    I was really angry that it had already happened by the time she bothered to call me.
    HooooBoy ... you hit a nerve with that one.
    My first sibling rival came along at a day shy of 11 months.
    The family dog became the most trusted member of my family ... and my best friend before being trotted off to school then after immersed among extrafamilial hominids.
    And my mother resented -- or in her SJ/traditionalist passes-for-wisdom only wanting What's Best -- my bonding, empathy, and demonstrative affection and made my Best Friends disappear like a South American Dictator.
    I lost two Best friends this way by the time I was, say, 8 to 10: Goldy and then Buster.

    I haven't talked with that power-tripping cunt -- or my female sibling rivals who routinely conspired/conspire with her -- since '04 and still trust dogs more than I do people.
    Hmmmm ... I wonder why.
    Last edited by gps; 02-28-2014 at 01:14 AM.

  6. #26
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    As a child...
    • I had a great deal of difficulty distinguishing the "experience" of my imagination from the experience of the real world. I spent every waking moment I could daydreaming (I haven't much changed, apart from being able to tell the imaginary from reality, heh) I would see things around me and attach to them characters and stories, which would take root in my imagination and go from there, independent of real-world experience.
    • I balked authority figures; parents first, educators next... I disliked being told what to do or how to do it, I had no interest in whatever they had to say to me, etc.
    • I spent my days making up characters and giving them stories. Occasionally inspired by toys, but usually not.
    • I balked punishments brought down like "go to your room" or "kneel in the corner" because I was already rather head-in-clouds, and that was something they couldn't take away from me
    • I balked punishments like detention, PTA conferences for bad behavior, suspensions, expulsion-threats, etc... again, they had no power to take away my ability to daydream. I didn't care about school, and I didn't fear my parents.
    • I started back-talking as I got closer to 10, when my vocabulary and confidence caught up to my willpower. Rather than just balking adults, I'd let them know exactly what I thought about them. As I went along, I was the precocious little snot who unraveled adults' arguments pressed against me.
    • I was usually pretty easy-going and calm, even under pressure of adult bullshit, although when my calm was broken, I really exploded outward. I remember a few rare rampage meltdowns of screaming and throwing things at people, crying until it hurt and screaming my throat dry, breaking the skin on my hands from punching walls. What broke my calm? When people would refuse to leave me alone.
    • I was an awful older brother. By and large I ignored my younger brother, however when I saw him trying to copy me or follow me around for no reason, I was pretty merciless to him (I still carry guilt around from those days viewed in retrospect); name-calling, physically striking him, breaking his toys, scheming to embarrass him in front of his friends, etc.
    • I applied what I learned in my anti-brother schemes at problematic adults as I developed my first revenge-plots against educators who had labeled me as "does not play well with others", "does not pay attention in class", "does not participate in class", etc. Leaving tacks on their chairs and even targeting the "teacher's pet" students with verbal takedowns, etc. Once or twice I even schemed against my parents, provoking subjects that I knew would cause them to infight explosively. Basically, I learned that adults were just big children, vulnerable to all the same emotional manipulations and embarassments -- only it seemed to hit them even worse.
    • I was -- in summary -- an arrogant, adamant little shit (when provoked, when not left to daydream in peace), although I blame those who raised and try to educate me for warping my early development against them, as such. I still hold nothing but two middle fingers raised to nearly everyone and everything that influenced my early childhood.
    • overall ... I just wanted to be left alone to do what I wanted to do. I was friendly to people who were friendly to me, although I didn't go out of my way to make friends; I had little to no time for them.


    This set me up for one hell of an adolescence.

  7. #27
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    ^^^Subtract the brother, setting my parents against each other, and vengeful assaults on teachers or teacher's pets, and that fits my youth pretty well. My vengeance against teachers who labeled me as not paying attention etc, was to do well on the tests and conspicuously ignore them. It was a win-win because even if I didn't do well on the tests, I hadn't cared in the first place, so a poor grade didn't phase me. But for the most part, I aced their tests.

    Also, for the most part, I was polite to my teachers. I only butted heads with them if they tried to control me. But since my worst behaviors were daydreaming or cover reading, they usually didn't bother. They just expressed frustration that I didn't do any homework.

    "You realize that it takes 5 A's to cover a single zero? But you keep getting zeros, and only because you don't turn anything in. Even turning something in would be better than nothing."

    They had simple math to back up their point. What they didn't realize was that I'd been taught by earlier teachers not to turn in incomplete work. If I did, I didn't get a grade, I got a mark of "Incomplete", which was worse than not turning it in in the first place because I'd done work, but got no credit for it at all. I quickly realized I could just not do any work and end up with the same result, and that became habit.

    Sure, I was racking up zeros in class, but I was racking up extra-curricular reading in its place when more than half my peers were functionally illiterate compared to me.

    To this day, I pity 90% of the people who read aloud in class. They were doing it wrong. I tried to show them, by example and through little conciousness raising tricks. But alas, there were maybe two people, including myself, out of any given group of 100 students, who read with colour and passion in their voice.

    Ok, maybe my examples were a form of rebellion too. We'd read aloud and I would grow frustrated as reader after reader would drone on in a flat voice, so when it came to me, I started doing more than just reading with dynamics, I started fucking with dynamics, pronunciation, and punctuation. I read in sforzando. I read using to flat pitches, one a little high, the other a little low, switching at commas and periods. I read with pulsing speed in opposition of what was common for learning readers: I read big words fast and small words slow. When we were playing "popcorn" where we'd read for a bit then call on another student, I broke the tacit rule of finishing sentences and broke off mid sentence--mid-word. I read not just with tone, but with inappropriate tone--tragic passages read with comic glee, happy passages as read by Eeyore on a dismal day. My greatest triumph: reading as though I had completely different punctuation than was present. I gave inflection and pauses that indicated the end of a sentence in the middle of a sentence, and picked up as though beginning a new paragraph. I gave all the wrong tonal cues but still read the words printed on the page.

    Sadly, the most effect I perceived was amusing my classmates.

    But I've digressed. My most common area of rebellion was being tasked some punitive writing and either ignoring the task completely, or enjoying it entirely too much. I took tremendous delight in taking an apologetic essay and putting a completely improper and irreverent tone. Not rude, not antagonistic, just not what they asked for or expected.

    The most hilarious was when PE teachers assigned me punitive laps. I walked out the clock. They'd shout at me to run. I'd ignore them. I was in no hurry to return to their class. I liked walking. Running just meant a more rapid return to whatever it was I hadn't wanted to do in the first place.
    You winsome, you loathsome.
    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #28
    ..you don't know me LordLatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    To this day, I pity 90% of the people who read aloud in class. They were doing it wrong. I tried to show them, by example and through little conciousness raising tricks. But alas, there were maybe two people, including myself, out of any given group of 100 students, who read with colour and passion in their voice.
    Mayhaps one will demonstrate via you tube video! You may conciser that the glove slap challenge if you so choose.
    Stand clear of the closing doors, please.

  9. #29
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    0-8? I have trouble remembering that part of my life in a cohesive way. It's very fragmentary. I know some bad things happened which probably contribute to my difficulties recalling a sense of what my life was like then, but I'm not sure how abnormal my level of recollection is, if at all. My personal interests and inclinations are in some ways the hardest things to recall.

    I remember episodes of being very domineering toward other children. I think as the oldest child it must have been drummed into me that this made me a de facto leader in most situations, as I recall my own reasoning working this way. (The role being non-optional, too--everything was my responsibility so I had to take charge even if I didn't want to.)

    The middle brother, next after me, really seems to have looked up to me and imitated everything I did. In funny ways, this pattern has even persisted into adulthood. The youngest did not do this, being or becoming the one who was "different," and I think we did give him a lot of shit as a result.

    Plus the youngest was born with a dangerous heart defect and needed major surgeries a couple of times early in his life, meaning periods when he would be away in the hospital for what felt like a very long time to me. (Probably a couple of weeks, at the most.) Sometimes this also meant extended absences of our parents, where the middle brother and I would stay at our grandparents' house. (Or maybe this only happened once--I don't remember.)

    I guess it would stand to reason that these experiences encouraged us to see our other brother as something of an outsider, and perhaps resent him to some extent. (For literally depriving us of parental attention by way of the amount and kind of parental attention he required.) I think I had a tendency to aggressively watch for and punish signs of him thinking he was "special" in any way, as this distinctly bothered me in a way I couldn't just ignore. It bothered me in general when anyone seemed to think they were different from others, or deserved to be treated differently than others were, but markedly so if I saw (or thought I saw) signs of such thoughts in my siblings.

    I remember carrying around a metal spoon in my coat pocket which I referred to as the "Spoon of Justice." Whenever one of my brothers (but mainly the youngest) did something I found annoying, or which I thought he should be embarrassed about, I would pull it out and give him a pretty good whack on the head with it. I would explain this as punishment for "being stupid." ("[that thing you just did or said] was stupid, you understand? Don't be stupid.")


    So in short I was kind of an asshole as a young child, or that's a lot of what I remember. One time one of my brothers had his friends over for a slumber party, I was invited to participate in a pillow fight, and after a while I had taken several "prisoners" who I kept proned on the floor in the room I'd designated as the prison, and repeatedly subjected to punitive pillow-beatings for minor infractions against arbitrary rules I kept changing.


    On the other hand, we were a pretty close-knit nuclear family and my brothers generally looked to me to take a leadership role during extensive play time that we spent together. For imaginative/fantasy sorts of play, I would be a participant in the fantasy but also have a kind of Game Master role in the whole thing. Their ideas needed my approval before being incorporated, evident problems or contradictions were brought to my attention to be resolved, etc.

    I became very fascinated with things that were offensive to adults or otherwise deviant-seeming. For a while I had a "bad influence" friend who my parents openly disliked. (This would be more around age 9-10, though, after we'd moved to a different town.) My dad had a new job and the family was in the midst of a transition from what I guess was lower-middle-class to upper-middle-class status by local community standards. My friend came from a decidedly working-class sort of family and neighborhood, his mother had died from an illness when he was younger, his older sister was repeatedly arrested for selling drugs, and his father never seemed to be around when I went over to his house. (Like I know I must have met his father at some point, but I have no memory of this ever occurring.) I loved it because we'd listen to Snoop Dogg, watch "Beavis and Butthead," and play Mortal Kombat, all things I was expressly forbidden to do at home. We drifted apart at some point (probably when my family moved to a different neighborhood and I changed schools), and I recall he ended up turning into a real right-wing racist redneck sort of person. Somewhat later we started hanging out again because he ended up going to my church and we were in Sunday school together.

    Otherwise, typical introvert stuff I guess. I spent a lot of time by myself, reading books, playing computer games. I never really made friends with the kids in the new neighborhood. (The previous house had actually been a ways outside of town, where we didn't really have neighbors.)

    I was pegged as a "gifted" student early on, but I was also in special ed pullout classes because of Tourette's syndrome and ADD. The special ed lasted until about 7th grade, when I didn't think I needed it and had grown to resent it. (Remember I categorically hated people who were "special.")
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  10. #30
    unbeknownst Lilith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    To this day, I pity 90% of the people who read aloud in class.
    Actually they're exercising their vocal chords. So, chill.

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