We all have a story to tell. It is our individual stories that define who we are and how we act in each situation. It has taken me many years to realize that it is my story that makes me unique. Originally, I did not want to embrace any part of my story and was totally ashamed of how I was brought up and what I went through as a child. I thought that once I graduated from high school and went off to college, I did not have to address the issues of my childhood and they would just go away. Boy, I was totally wrong. The light bulb finally lit up in 2008 when I came to the conclusion that in order for people to get to know who I am and what makes me tick I needed to share a little about myself. Here goes!
My name is Juneous Alexander Pettijohn! I was born on January 8, 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to Dorothy Seay and Junious Boyd. My mother died in 1998 before I got to meet her in person. I finally met my father for the first time in 2009. Meeting my father for the first time was not a Kodak moment – I am just glad that I got to meet him. I was adopted to Alvin and Vivin Pettijohn when I was in the second grade. One would think that finally being adopted would lead to a happy ending. Well, this was not the case for me. They were neither loving parents nor did they create a loving environment for me to prosper in. They fooled the social worker into thinking they were a loving couple who were looking for kids to call their own. They played a role in my upbringing in a negative way. I am happy to report that I became the man I am today despite what they intended. It has taken years for me to overcome the negative hold they had over me. They were determined to damage me mentally and emotionally. It was by the grace of God that I am still here today.
One of the biggest atrocities that took place under their care was the time when I was forced to wear a dress to the grocery store. Being the big brother that I am, I had bullied my little sister into carrying my stuff home from school. Upon seeing what I had done, Alvin felt that since I was in his mind acting like I girl, I should be treated like one. In his infinite wisdom he made me put on one of my sister’s dresses and walk about 3 miles to the grocery store. He had my sister tag along with me and forced us to take the scenic route so everyone could see us. He even followed us in his car. After coming home from the store, I was forced to sit in the front yard where everyone could watch me and laugh. This incident has had a lasting impression on me, and it could have sent me in totally different directions. It could have turned me into a hyper masculine, insensitive individual who would have done anything just to prove that I was a man. Luckily, I did not turn out like that! I was only recently able to share this story with someone who informed me that I had been stripped of my young manhood and what had happened to me was not my fault. This is not an easy story for me to tell and I cringe every time I think about it. In an effort to fully understand what makes me tick and to better understand who I am, I must fully embrace and talk about the dark periods in my life. There was a time in my life that I did not want anything about my childhood to get out. This has proven to be a mistake on my part, because my past is what made me who I am today.
Each and every day, I am constantly telling myself that I am so blessed to be where I am at this present moment. Every time I experience bumps in the road, I always remind myself that I have been through rough patches in my childhood and I can overcome whatever current challenges I am dealing with. This is who I am and my story is what makes me tick.
What is your story? Are you willing to share your story or are you still running from it?
Have a Happy Day,