My teenage years and adult life have been an existence of emotional problems. I have, over the past forty-three years been treated (and medicated) for depression and related conditions. I have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulsive behavior, an inability to focus/concentrate, and a constant day-to-day battle with compulsive thoughts related to guilt and especially shame.
I have been persistently afflicted with mood swings, emotional outbursts leading to verbal abuse of family members, and an inability to voice true feelings. To verbally express my love for my family members has always been next to impossible.
Normal sexual behavior in my teen and pre-marital years was always thoroughly saturated with feelings of guilt and the concept of sin. I have had great difficulty in understanding female sexuality, as well as establishing close relationships with women.
I have never had the feelings of self-confidence, self-trust, and self-worth that I observed in my peers at Assumption High School and over the ensuing years.
My insecurities were manifested in binge alcohol abuse and these episodes were marked by foolish and immature behaviors. I look back and see those episodes as fruitless attempts at self-acceptance, self-importance, inner solace, and an impossible attempt to find my long gone youth. However, I have abstained completely from alcohol consumption for the past twelve and a half years.
I am no longer a practicing Catholic and bear significant resentment (and often outright anger) towards that institution. Whenever I am in Windsor and drive past Assumption College or Assumption High School, these emotions emerge and remind me of what I lost there.
The successes that I have had in my life (and my redemption) have been largely due to my wife of forty-three years. She is truly a unique individual who married an extremely troubled and insecure young man, and I have no doubt that her kindness, patience, and tolerance saved me from complete ruination.
With regard to my successes, I believe that I was able to accomplish much through a work ethic and also an ability to repress my feelings and emotions. The result being a facade of normalcy and a cover for my inner turmoil.
My years at Assumption High School were essentially fruitless and negative. Years that should have been intellectually, emotionally, and socially a period of personal development were no such thing. They were to a minimal degree either positive or beneficial.
I look back on my attendance at Assumption High School and see an environment in which I was abused and shamed. Instead of attending an academic environment in which I should have found various forms of success, I never found such forms. Nor did I find or realize the paths to true worth, true talents, or true self.
I am indeed resentful and angry. My fondest wish is that I could relive my teenage years and recover what was taken from me at Assumption High School.