It’s funny, I hadn’t realized that I had been anticipating the worst possible outcome for this event for quite some time. Your question brought to light my lack of a concrete answer. Looking for clarity, I searched local newspapers for any mention of forest fires but found no such references. It was only when I asked my mom that I got the answer – she said Brian, my stepbrother, once started a fire that was quickly extinguished. This must be the incident he had me light the tinder piles he made. Fortunately, it turns he wasn’t skilled at building fires, it resulted in minimal damage.
Over the years, I’ve consulted lots of psychiatrists and therapists to understand my challenging upbringing. However, their approaches, often grounded in Freudian methods, became predictably unhelpful in addressing my deep-seated emotional issues. One of my psychiatrists even had a tragic end, as detailed here:
Updated article, the other one had a paywall:
My childhood was marked by a series of traumatic events. I grew up in a neighborhood influenced by Nazi ideology, where I was frequently targeted and beaten by the local leader, possibly due to my refusal to attack other children based on their race. He later passed away when he was having a drug overdose and his friends pulled him out onto the street and left him to die.
Furthermore, our family faced abandonment when my father moved to Arizona, leaving us behind when I was just two years old. He then refused to pay child support which led to multiple arrests for non-payment. My mother’s hardships were compounded by the emotional and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of a heroin addict in which I had a front row seat to watch. Personal trauma escalated when Mr. Anderson, my next-door neighbor, would lure me to his basement with promises of playing Zelda on Nintendo. Once in the basement he would then proceed to rape me. Ironically, he is now wheelchair-bound.
Then when I was eight, my mother lost her home due to its unfortunate location on sacred Native American swamp lands. Situated below the flood plain, one harsh winter, the local township piled a a massive mountain of snow, over three stories high, close to our house. This accumulation of snow, upon melting, led to severe flooding, resulting in the condemnation of our home after the foundation shifted and because my mother was already struggling to provide for us she was placed in a difficult position, now homeless she had to find places for her children to live while she started fresh. This was the time I was sent to live with my Father, isolated and living with a stranger in Arizona my life chugged on.
There are more details I usually reserve for psychiatrists and therapists in which they taught me a harsh truth: “most children endure difficult upbringings.” In response, I’ve learned to become resilient, embracing silence and inner strength to navigate my life.