Deade - My First 12 Years

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Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
Chapter 1 – My First 12 Years

I was born in Los Angeles, CA, USA in 1946. They tore down the hospital, I was born in, within a year; to put in the first freeway: the Harbor Freeway. My father died 6 months before I was born in Nov. ’45, from kidney failure. My older sister died 1 month before I was born, from being hit by a car. That left 2 brothers and my mother. She bought an unfinished home in the Watts district of L.A. (South Central).

While carrying me, she was in 3 car wrecks and was shot full of morphine each time. I was born asthmatic and anemic. Every time I got around lint or dust my breathing would lock up. My mother thought she would go crazy and became convinced she was going to die. She took us three boys down to a Catholic church and had us baptized to gain some god-parents. My mother said she never bonded with me as she couldn’t take it if she did and I died.

Meanwhile, my maternal grandmother bought the house next door to ours. She had 11 kids she raised and 8 were still living at home. Luckily, there were 2 teenage aunts living there that kind of took over mothering me.

14 people living in 2 2-bedroom homes, talk about fun. It gets worse: in 1948 my oldest aunt in Indiana died and her 5 kids moved in with us. These were big kids, two of the oldest were older than two of the youngest uncles next door. The two oldest cousins living with us were female, so they took over mothering me. The two aunts that had the job were dating and getting ready for marriage. As some of the aunts and uncles were moving out on their own, the two youngest cousins move in with Grandma.

By my third year, I was doing well and getting over my asthma. Things were starting to get more normal with me. My next oldest brother, David, was 2 years older than me and the closest human being relationship I had. I followed him everywhere. One day we were playing in the backyard. I was sitting on some bed springs right behind the house and David was about 20 feet away playing with some matches. He walked up to an abandoned old Model T pickup without a gas cap. He held up a lit match toward the open gas spout and asked: “should I?” Dumb me, I just shrugged my shoulders. He dropped the match and when the fumes caught the flame it was like a blow torch. His shirt and hair caught afire and he ran out of the backyard. My male cousin was with a couple of uncles, they were building a tandem bicycle beside the house. The cousin ran after David and rolled him to put out the fire. The last time I saw him, he was all black and whimpering on my mother’s lap waiting on the ambulance. Needless to say, I started suffering from PTSD from that day forward. I don’t even think that was classified as yet, but that is what it was.

After losing my brother to the fire, that left just me and my 5 ½ years older brother. We were quite the opposite in our early years. He was a momma’s boy and I was very independent. I could run all around the Watts ghetto of L.A. as much as I wanted. All my mom wanted was for me to call her and let her know my whereabouts. I met a Hispanic boy in kindergarten and we become best friends. He was slightly younger and a little underdeveloped, so he pretty much just followed me. Many times, I would stay overnight at his house. I became close to his mom, dad, sister and 3 brothers.

With my 5 uncles, next door, along with my cousin and brother growing up in this rough neighborhood; we gained quite a reputation as a bunch of fighters. All the males insisted everyone do their part for that reputation.

I was in the fourth grade when this older black boy, named Shirley, started harassing me. I think he resented the fact that he lived only 4 houses from me on the same street. He was tall, lanky and strong. He was always picking on me at school. One day, he confronted me in front of his house while I was carrying a bunch of books. He stuck out his long arms and started rolling them like a riverboat paddle. I held onto the books and did not fight back. He ended up bloodying my nose. I walked toward the house holding my nose. Three of my uncles and the male cousin were in the driveway working on a car. They stopped me when I got to them. One uncle said: “What’s the matter?” Of course, they already knew as they had been watching. I started explaining that I could not stop my nose from bleeding. They said to pinch it and hold my head back. Then I started explaining that I was jumped. They asked if it was just one boy. I said: “Yes, but he is a lot older and taller.” They said: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall. We have a reputation to uphold and you can’t let this stand. Go back down there and finish this.” I then got mad at them, threw down my books and stomped back down there. I got to the boy’s house and said: “Shirley, get out here!” He came out the screen door and said: “Oh, you want some more?” He immediately started rolling his arms again and I’m thinking “how am I to get past those?” Then it came to me to take my left arm to sweep both his out of the way and step in with a right cross. The next thing I know he is sitting on his butt crying: “mamma, mamma!” He ran into the house and never bothered me again. I deduced my uncles knew what they were doing from that time on

I mentioned my mother did not bond with me, which is true. I also mentioned she did that as self-preservation. From three on, I was hard to influence because of the PTSD. At 12, I moved in with one of my motherly aunts in Long Beach, she was a Navy wife. I was there to go to junior high school. My Watts neighborhood was 85 percent black and 15 percent Hispanic. I went out for gymnastics and track in Long Beach, I just loved going to school with my own kind. On the weekends at home, I started talking about my brother’s death and how I felt about it. It was very hard at first, but the more I did it the easier it became. Soon the nightmares stopped and I balanced out.

During my 12th year I started going to church and seeking God. It started with my Hispanic best friend and Vacation Bible School. I memorized all the books of the Bible and a few Psalms. I was a smart kid and I was really looking for Jesus. In my immaturity, I was really looking for someone to follow that I thought was really living for Jesus. I didn't realize nobody could do it perfectly. So, I Naturally became disappointed with what I thought was hypocrisy. At 14, I finally concluded that 1. God did not exist or 2. He exists but doesn't want me to serve him.



i am excited to hear the rest of your testimony

God bless you


Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
It is going into my "text-to-voice..." Thank you..........jack