Who Is Clayton Lessor?
I realize that in order to trust me and understand why I do this Quest Project work you should know a little about me. Over the next few weeks I’m going to tell you my story and how a very abusive childhood led me to the work I do.
If you’re from St. Louis, when I say I grew up in the “South City” you know exactly where that is; if you’re not from St. Louis, South City is a suburban neighborhood near the famous Anheuser Bush Brewery, everybody knows that name! Other than the brewery there wasn’t anything special about my neighborhood, in fact, most of my memories are ones I’ve worked hard to let go.
Meet My Family
I am the oldest of three children, I have a sister and a brother. My mom was a hairdresser and my dad, who was a Marine, worked at GM and eventually would retire from Monsanto. Much of my story is a result of dad, he was an alcoholic and extremely abusive to his family.
When I was four years old, I remember covering my head with my pillow trying to drown out the sound of dad hitting my mom. The next morning mom had two black eyes and a bloody lip. She would gather up my sister and me and take us to our grandparents house where we would stay for a couple of days, maybe a week and then we’d return home where this cycle would repeat itself for years.
You see my mom, not unlike many abused women, wanted to make her marriage work. My dad would apologize and promise it would not happen again, and she believed him. The reality was, he not only continued to abuse her, he began abusing me too.
How Did This Happen to Me
I spent the majority of my youth walking on egg shells. I was just a little boy yet I was tasked with keeping my brother and sister safe. My grandparents would constantly remind me to “take care of your brother and sister and be a good boy.” I got really good at assessing my surroundings and making sure not to do anything that might provoke my father to anger because if he got mad we all got beat.
Needless to say my childhood, in that quiet suburban South City neighborhood was anything but quiet. I lived in fear of my dad. Most of the time at school I was tired and scared because I’d been awake most of the night before and scared to death we might go back there when mom picked us up. So many times I wished that someone (a teacher, neighbor, pastor, family member) would notice or help, but no one did so I had to learn to handle my circumstances to survive….
Over the next few weeks I’ll take you through turning points and lessons learned in my life that eventually led me to this work.
In the meantime if you have comments you’d like to share I’d like to hear from you. Did you have a less than perfect childhood? How did you cope?