Depressed From Birth

Might be hard to believe, but true. I was born on Christmas Day, 1951. Second child in a family that grew to 4boys and 4 girls. From the first I realized that my birthday was different than other kids. Their birthdays were special. They'd have a party with other little kids and they got all the presents. We spent Christmas at my grandparent's farm with all the aunts, uncles and cousins in attendance. Everyone got presents and after an elaborate meal they brought out a cake that read Merry Christmas and happy birthday. Candles were often forgotten. Going to mass was not.
On my sixth birthday I got a real special present. A new brother to share the day with. From then on I swear the cake read Happy Birthday Jesus, Gary and Scott. This is the truth! My mother's birthday is March 15 which is nine months and ten days before Christmas. I guess we were both special presents from dad. Depressing, isn't it?
My childhood was pretty bad. Dad was an alcoholic and often lost his job. We we a large struggling family and moved often. In 1957 my folks bought a house in Bloomington and we move again. I went to a catholic grade school years 1-3 but tuition was tough on us so we went to public school thereafter. In 4th and 5th grade I attended the same school but every year after that I started at a new school. In all I attended 11 different schools in 13 years, counting kindergarten. Some of it was normal, graduating from elementary to Jr. HS to HS for example but often it was due to relocation. You never really get used to being the new kid every year. You don't make many friends and really can't participate in team sports. Are you depressed yet?
Summers were no better. While other kids played with their friends my folks shipped me and my older brother to help on the farm every summer for six years or so. It wasn't until I was sixteen and got a job that younger brother and cousins went to the farm. My older brother was something of a juvenile delinquent so I tried to be the good son. My mother was working by then so I helped out with the younger kids, spent my own money on groceries when needed and chauffeured my siblings wherever thy had to be. Need I go on?
When I finally graduated in 1970 I enlisted with three of my buddies. We all signed up for green beret training but I was rejected due to my poor eyesight. For some reason this depressed me even more. Turned out it was a blessing though because the army version of the NSA recruited me to be a linguist. Good duty, student status for 1 1/2 years and then assignment for Vietnam. This was not depressing, I'd enlisted to go to war. One of my green beret buddies was already there and I was truly happy.
I turned 21 a month before the war ended. Some of my army bud.dies went to the NCO club Christmas eve to celebrate but the threw us out at 11pm. We hooked up with a few marines who were just as pissed all scrounged our barracks for alcohol. We came up with a few bottles of different sorts and a gallon jug of gin. With a packet of Wylers Lemonade mix we all sat in a ditch bunker til well past dawn and drank everything. Somehow I was awake for some of the Bob Hope Christmas show at the airbase, his last oversea's tour and the perfect end to my best birthday ever.
PinksWoman PinksWoman
61-65, T
Sep 10, 2012