Chapter 1 Dreams I'll Never Forget
As far back as my early childhood maybe 5 or 6 years old. I can remember a dream I was walking at my mother’s side we came to an old wooden staircase. We started climbing the stairs together from the beginning, but soon my mother was up just a few steps ahead of me. I thought to myself I could stay a few steps behind watching my mother up ahead of me as she turned the corner to the next landing.“Come on Stephen hurry up,” was all she said while I lagged a few steps behind. I hurried up to the next landing where I turned the corner only to catch a glimpse of her turning the corner to the next landing.
“Come on Stephen hurry up.” Not too worried just yet I knew, she was just a few steps ahead of me. I hurried up to the next set of stairs thinking my mother was right there at the next landing. But I was stunned when I turned the corner and all I saw was another empty staircase. I hurried up the next set of stairs hearing nothing but the sound of my own footsteps sudden fear and frustration overcame me stomping through every step. Every turn at every landing seemed to lead to an endless flight of stairs. I could no longer hear my mother’s voice or the echoes of her footsteps. I felt alone in an endless rising staircase. I began to panic and thought these stairs just keep rising with no ending. I turned around and began running back down the stairs looking to find the bottom floor where I started. But the stairs just seemed to go on forever. Ranting and stomping with every step hearing only the echoes of my own footsteps. I turned around again and tried to run back up to find my mother, but the stairs just seemed to go on and on forever. I ran up and down stomping my feet till I awoke from a panicky rage.
Most young children might have thought a dream like that to be a nightmare. But it was just another dream to me. Falling behind or feeling lost and alone in the real world was the reality of my life in the years to come.
Born in Portland Maine on March 22,1965. The second of four children to Richard and Ruth Ann Smith. I was destined to be lost alone and out of place for much of my life. According to what my father had told me later in life, a high fever at the age of two was the cause of deafness in my left ear. Despite the fact that I didn’t hear well, I also didn’t like to listen to what any adults had to say to me anyway. My childhood was a bit of an annoyance to most of my teachers. I usually didn’t speak much in the classroom, but when I did I was usually loud and obnoxious, interrupting the teacher trying to teach the class.
It wasn’t all entirely my fault I behaved like I did. Being deaf on one side of my head made it hard for me to understand soft speaking good mannered people. Therefor mostly all I ever heard was loud over powering voices who spoke with rude obnoxious mannerism.
I’d always been fascinated with dreams some dreams that felt so real to me I woke up still believing I could escape this world I’m trapped in, only to return to the reality of this world.
A dream of escaping to another room through a hole in the back wall of a closet was something I dreamt about quite often. Sometimes the room was very large still no one else knew of my secret room. In one particular dream I remembered crawling through some cabinet doors and coming out to a sandy beach, a place of peace I can always find, if I just crawl through that little hole in the wall. But my waking life was never so easy as to just crawl through a little hole to a place of safety.
In the years before I met Renee my life was like that endless staircase with no escape, a far different world than where I am today.
I often hear the phrases how lucky I am to be in a loving relationship and have such a wonderful life. You two look so happy together. And yes, I have to agree I feel very lucky to be in this loving relationship. But then when they say to me you don’t know what it’s like to be lonely or to have to escape abusive relationships. I tell them to read my book “Somehow I Survived,” then maybe they’ll understand this was no easy journey to happiness.
I think we all need to experience a certain amount of negativity in our lives to understand what others may have experienced. But for many of us we’ve far exceeded our share of negativity. In my life, God knows I’ve experienced far more than my share. Looking back, I can clearly see much of it was brought on by my own stupidity. I’m ashamed to admit I ever participated in bullying in my childhood years. And even more ashamed I didn’t defend others when I saw bullying still going on in my adult life. I’ve had to deal with being bullied through much of my adult life which I believe had much to do with the way I’ve treated others during my childhood years. My not give a damn about anybody else attitude during my high school years, has certainly taken its toll on my emotional insecurities and trauma I had to deal with later in life as well.
Before I met Renee my life choices consist of loneliness with boredom, but I could keep my home safe and clean. Money was never in short supply during my many months of loneliness. My second choice after my boredom would absolutely overtake me to the point where I would find myself associated with people who brought chaos, drugs, laziness and insecurities along with a lot of other baggage into my life. These were the only choices I had, at least all the choices I could see at that time in my life. Trying to find that balance between overworking myself sometimes 50-60 or more hours a week and then learning how to relax at home with a lot of close friends and laughter just wasn’t happening. Usually, I chose to overwork myself to keep myself occupied and financially stable. There was very little happiness between work or my home life.
Living with the illusion that my life was all going to change soon. I knew the only way to find happiness and keep that happiness was to be in a good relationship with a good woman. Considering the social group, I had to choose from I knew she wasn’t going to be an easy find. I decided to have to extend my search far across the sea to find that happiness I’d been looking for.