Age is a funny thing.
It is weird to actually start feeling as though you're older, wiser, more of an adult. And it's little things that set it off. My Dad running around dating my mom's friends, flying them to see shows in different cities just because he can. My mom flipping out that my 28-year-old brother is HAVING SEX!! with his girlfriend of two years.
I feel more adult than my parents. Like I can step back from this situation right now and say, "Hey, family, you are crazy. I see that now. And all the things I thought were normal when I was little? It was really fucked up for you to teach me that was normal."
I thought it was perfectly acceptable to be arrested and thrown in jail because of political protests I did when I was TWELVE years old. And it was my mom, telling us that this is what we were SUPPOSED to do, that we were right, and the other people were going to hell for everything they did. So she let us get arrested and thrown in jail. And not just once! I lost count of how many times I was arrested as a minor. It was probably over 20 times.
We usually got arrested with other kids, too. We'd all get thrown into juvie for a few hours, until our parents (or the random person our parents had signed custody to for the day, since they were also getting arrested) came to get us. Sometimes they'd just put us in the holding tank at the regular jail with other adults who'd been arrested. Crackheads, parole violators, shoplifters, prostitutes, drunks.
And I thought that was NORMAL. Like, that it was just how the world was, that I, as a child, had to go to jail all the time to show God that I was serious about being on his side or something.
One time we were in Washington, DC, and my mom got arrested in a lock-in at a US Senator's office. Me and about six other kids just bummed around DC all day waiting for our parents to get out of jail. We slept in the hotel room that night with the DOOR OPEN because it was hot. In the fucking murder capital of America.
I never really thought about some of this stuff until recently. Just how fucked it all was. What could have happened to us! What the FUCK were our parents thinking? For real. WHAT. THE. FUCK. I mean, I know my dad was working and not really paying attention to anything, until my mom got locked up for 60 days or something. And since we were being homeschooled, I had to homeschool my brothers. I think I was 14 when that happened.
I dunno, man. I just feel old. Maybe God was protecting me that whole time. I can't believe my parents would put me in that position. I would NEVER do that to my kid. I know that everyone in the world is basically just waiting to rape kids. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but still. I am going to do anything that I can do to give him a fun-filled life with a bare minimum of danger. LIKE AN ADULT.