Was there a time and a place that had an inordinate influence on who you become and are today? If so, what was the time and place? What was there about that place and time that influenced you.? Describe what things about yourself that it shaped.
Sharing such things about ourselves can help us to understand and appreciate each other more. I would like to propose that those of you who are interested try to answer those questions. It could be quite enjoyable. I will try to answer that for myself and share with you. If you would like like to join me in that sharing, pleas do.
In the meantime, I will be working on my answers to those questions. I absolutely know the time and place.
If I had to point to ONE thing that had the most effect on my life, it would be that my father was unfaithful to my mother on the day of my birth, which set into motion a series of events that completely affected my life from day one. As it turns out, it was very possibly the best thing that could have happened.
6 years active duty Army, I entered the Army as a WAC, and I was also ASA. That and my mom died when I was 14, my dad remarried the stepwitch from hell, which prompted my decision to get the hell out of his house. He or they would not let me go to college because dad would have to sign the papers and he was not going to be financially responsible for me. He still had to sign papers for me to go active duty, but as I had two brothers who were active duty he'd have been on shaky ground refusing. The Army helped me find a great big world beyond my small midwestern town.
The headmaster in the final year of primary school. He was a fundamentalist Christian and a bully. He turned me into a rabid anti-theist: anybody who is idiot enough to try to ram his religion down my throat very soon regrets it.
He pushed me in the direction of being a highly analytical thinker, which sometimes manifests itself on this site.
No one single thing, just lots of steps along the way.
With regard to religion/atheism though: The death of my wife through cancer, despite her being very devout. The realization as a child that Christians were not the good people, I had thought they were, thanks to a largely secular upbringing. The vicar who told me that he was not interested in people like me who were searching for something. The religious teacher, who tried to convince us that animals had no feelings, and that therefore animal cruelty was not a crime. The teacher who punished me for reading too many books.
Each moment once.
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Not so much a specific time but overall watching my step daughter slowly die of liver disease despite a couple transplants. She passed just after her 20th birthday. I could no longer go along with the facade of religion. I was a tough guy emotionally and never broke down or anything like that. It was just the final straw, the nail in the coffin so to speak. I could no longer accept ignorance and found myself spending a lot of time seeking truth and knowledge. Of course there were other things like my Dad passing several years before that. I still recall the minister at his funeral speaking. Absolutely horrendous shit in my view. Overall just a journey through life and all the typical ups and downs that everyone goes through.
There were many, and I'm not ready to talk about it.
The night my first ex beat the crap out of me on a dance floor in front of 150 or so people (repeatedly kicking me and hurling me around by my hair after he knocked me to the floor,) and not one person intervened in any way.
I had been trying to get him to stop drunkenly mauling my 14-year old sister-in-law ( yes, ALABAMA folks!) so her husband, his brother, wouldn't knife him.......STUPID ME!
I crawled to the ladies room to escape & huddled on the floor, repeating "nobody helped" until I got over that horror & started to grow up.
I was 19.
Most def colored the rest of my life, especially regarding self- reliance and learning everything about everything so I can take care of whatever arises, & never, ever look for help.
For me, that time and place were 1957 in college when I tossed religion and realized that my life was mine. It freed me to study what I wanted, science, at my pace. I accidentally discovered computers and found that people would pay me well for doing what excited me.
I was lucky and found a woman who, like me, did not want to add to the earth’s population. We didn’t. We split, and I was able to retire early.
6 years US Army also. The exposure to other cultures was a big influence on me too. I also learned that when I’m in a crappy situation I can either whine about it or make the best of it. Drive On Drill Sergeant!