Autoskitzography part one Growing up in Columbus   
Equivilant to 2 pages - 12pt. font
I call this an autoskizography because it focuses on my bout with schizophrenia
with just enough background on me to set the stage. I wrote the body of this in a
few days and have fixed it up and expanded it eight years later, just before the
publication of this book. This story is meant to put a personal face on this illness I
and many others suffer from. I hope to be done with the “whole“ story some time
after the Peace Army school has been started.  So this long blurb is like a “trailer”
to the main story which will be rated R or X or Rx for sex, language, violence, in
lessons/stories shown and told.  
I was raised on the suburban fringe of Columbus, OH.  My two younger sisters and
I lived in a lower middle class family with our two parents.  My Dad battled
schizophrenia and my Mom took up the slack not knowing he had a serious illness.
Arguments about money, housework, and morning wake up, were common.  My
Dad, having had four or five nervous breakdowns, left me feeling responsible for
my own state of mind.  I never thought I’d have a breakdown.  My Mother would
get furious about things and life would be good for a while, until chores not being
done or money being wasted sent her into another tirade.  I love them both dearly
to this day and I know they Love me. They just weren't there for me like “most”
parents were. I was always sure they Loved me by their actions and words, and
Love covers a multitude of sin.  
Both my parents came from divorced families. We lived in a poor part of town
initially. One of my earliest memories is being beat up by a kid twice my age. My
sister and I would play next door under Cicilia’s porch and her brother Bobby
would come home from school and beat us up for being in his yard. The last time
that that happened, I remember telling my sister to go get our parents and I would
fight him alone. I knew from previous experiences that I would leave my body and
not feel a thing. She ran out and I got beat up. Running back to the my house
looking down at myself running, I came back into my body. I found Laura crying on
the front porch. I was angry and asked “why she hadn’t gotten Mom and Dad.”
She said “the door was locked” and they were yelling at each other. That night the
neighbors Dad came over and said that “if we were in his yard again his son would
be using a baseball bat.” My Father told him “that wouldn’t be necessary” and
apologized. I asked why Dad why he“didn’t hit him” and was told he “didn’t believe
in fighting and to stay out of their yard.” (My Dad was raised a Quaker)
We had our share of good times also.  My dad was a troop leader for a while and
went on many Boy Scout campouts.  My Mom went for bike rides with us kids and
sometimes sang happy songs in the morning to wake us up.  Dad loved to bust
out on occasion with the first few words of “People who need People” are the
luckiest people in the world!  Trips to parks were a regular part of our monthly life.  
Sometimes in winter, Mom or Dad would drive me along my paper route on
Sunday morning.  They gave me a good sense of humor and a good set of
values.  I spent a lot of time in the woods near my home.  I learned to be a good
fighter in the neighborhood where I lived.  I don’t think I was a bully, but my sisters
and friends knew my capacity before they crossed me.  Being a good fighter was a
large part of my identity.  It seemed like I had to have a fight or two a year to keep
people from taking advantage of me.  I could bend and be a people pleaser but I
wouldn’t resist a fight I thought I could win.  I thought that it was better to beat
someone up than hurt their feelings with my words.  I’ve always been real
sensitive.  Billy Jack and Bruce Lee were idols of mine along with George
Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Jesus.  Anybody who would go through what Jesus
did for his friends deserves my utmost respect.
I was raised Catholic and had a personal experience that made my faith rock
solid.  While the new suburbs were being built, and our woods were being torn
down, construction sites were the new places to explore.  One crisp November
day, John and I went to a trench where a new sewer line was being installed.  One
end was sloped and the other was straight up.  The idea was to step lightly across
the mud and climb the straight wall.  The first person up the wall was the king of
the club.  I ran first and started climbing the wall.  John stood in the mud because I
was in the way, and got stuck.  I was almost at the top when John said he “was
stuck.”  I jumped down to help him but I got stuck also.  We yelled for “Help” but at
ten feet below the street level no one could hear us.  We could hear my Mom
going by in the car yelling for us but they couldn’t hear us.  It was getting darker
and colder.  We began crying and praying.  I blacked out but John said I said “God
give me strength” and I picked him up and set him on the drier slope.  I came to
and remember letting him go and saying “Go get the police, go get the police”.  He
ran back to our neighborhood yelling, “Bruce is dead, Bruce is dead”.  Our
neighbor across the street got the story from him and he and another man
grabbed a rope.  They told me to “loop the rope around my armpits.”  I did it and
they pulled me out.  I had tried to slip out of my pants and boots earlier so I ran
home the three hundred yards with my pants around my ankles.  I got home and
soaked in the tub and my armpits were sore for days.  The neighbor and I didn’t
really get along, but in a pinch I guess he was true blue.
As the new suburbs came in, my paper route expanded and so did my circle of
friends.  Marijuana came to the neighborhood eventually and soon I was hooked.  
At fourteen I was hooked on cigarettes and at fifteen I was hooked on pot. My
paper route became a way to support my habits.  I thought it was great to have so
many friends.  Pot seemed to be this great socializer that brought diverse people
together.  We’d smoke and talk and listen to music. We would get into deep
discussions about life and the world, like I had never had except when me and
Mom would sometimes have when we both woke up late at night.
Soon my paper route was in debt.  I decided to unload it on a friend’s brother
rather than stop smoking reefer.  My friend’s brother didn’t mind because in a
month it would be solvent provided he didn’t spend too much. LAURA HOSP..
I worked at a department store for a while for a real grump that made every other
employer since seem nice, no matter what.  I became pretty depressed and
remember that the only glimmer of hope I could see was joining the army and
eventually buying a place in Canada to homestead.  That was the plan if I didn’t
stay with the military and become a General or something.   I would come home
from another grueling  day at school and just lay around in front of the TV feeling