“I brought so few gifts to the task of being a military brat. You learn who you are by testing and measuring yourself against your friends you grow up with. The military brat lacks those young, fixed critics who form opinions about your character over long, unhurried years or who pass judgment on your behavior as your personality waxes and wanes during the insoluble dilemma that is childhood. But I do know the raw artlessness of being an outsider.
Each year I began life all over again. I grew up knowing no one well, least of all myself, and I think that damaged me. I grew up not knowing if I was smart or stupid, handsome or ugly, interesting or insipid. I was too busy reacting to the changing landscapes and climates of my life to get a clear picture of myself. I could never catch up to the boy I might have been if I had grown up in one place.“
“…and I think that damaged me…” Oh, how this phrase resonates in me, even today! I have had to continually struggle not to give in to it, and to just “quit.” Some days I think I’m there… but not today. Those days are fewer, and further between now – thank God! Today I have more “hope” than I have ever had, and “faith.” Through my recovery (from alcoholism) I am learning so much more about myself, and am actually “loving” myself these days! That’s new for me… I am not where I want to be, yet – but I am also not where I was at one time. What more could I ask for?