Many boys suffered attacks where they were viciously blind-sided with hits and even clothes-lined by Hammeren Hank. Kids reported seeing stars. I was blind-sided by a full-force startling roundhouse slap from behind that came out of nowhere. It left a red hand imprint on my face for a long time. My head hit the cement wall I was standing next to one time when an angry nun wound up and slapped me. Kids who acted up were usually slapped up in front of everybody or in private by a nun or lay teacher. They may have had their hair pulled and ears twisted. We were often subjected to further humiliation in the church by being made to kneel at the side altar in front of everybody, including strangers, during the children’s daily mass. Kids were publically tortured and humiliated after school by being beaten up first and then made to walk Monsignor’s porch in open view of school people and any strangers who passed the rectory. Kids were made to continuously walk around the perimeter of the porch. You could be taunted by anyone during your humiliation period on the porch. It was common for community people not connected with the church or school to witness children being viciously slapped outside of the rectory. Many of us acted up in order to cope.
I was born in Wisconsin to a Roman Catholic family. My mother June was a talented writer and started her own service club. My father Joe was a Right-of-Way agent for Bell telephone. Joe was an avid golfer and overall sports enthusiast. Joe would play sports with me and I became a life-long athlete.
I was known as a rebel and was expelled from the Catholic school I attended at the age of fourteen. I was arrested at nineteen for being a thief and was placed on probation. Around this time, not being happy, I turned inward. I worked at different jobs that did not satisfy my budding inner life. I traveled down south several times reading books trying to find myself. In 1980, at the age of twenty-seven, I enrolled at a local college. I was now in an interesting environment. I was curious about almost everything and I eventually majored in speech and psychology or speaking and thinking.
Many people told me that I was funny. I was able to make them laugh about unusual subjects. In the summers of 1981 and 1982, while still a college student, I traveled to Minneapolis and pursued the art of stand-up comedy. During these summers I would write comedy, run twenty-five miles a week and perform comedy at night. I was also a juggler but did not juggle in my stand-up act. I took up Hatha yoga and studied nutrition. In Minneapolis, I interacted with the local up-and-coming comedians. Minneapolis at that time had a small close-knit comedy culture that produced a good number of comedians and some became quite famous. I was making audiences laugh shortly after I started. During this time I was also performing comedy in other cities. I planned on being a professional comedian.
Catholicism conditioned me to have a clear inner voice. I had to make people laugh and the only way I could see to do it was to be brutally honest with myself. I thought honesty would align me with common reality. The Sisters of St. Agnes, who taught me, always told me to tell the truth. So I was continually examining myself and weeding out delusional thinking. This became my way of life.
One day in 1983, I was alone at my parents house and all of a sudden I had a massive spontaneous kundalini awakening. The awakening of this spiritual energy made me realize my self. I achieved the ability, among others, to see through other peoples egos or read their hearts. I was forever changed. In 1983 there was no internet or otherwise easily accessible information for me to be able to find out what had happened to me. Because of the massive explosion of energy my nervous and digestive system had to rebuild.
Due to what happened to me, I changed my plans and soon moved in with my best friend and her son. We lived together for many years. I hid out in college going on and off for thirteen years. I read one book after another to understand what happened to me. I eventually received an M.A. in Speech/Rhetoric and also amassed many extra college credits. Currently I am an investor and forever a student.
I am repentant of the trouble I got into years ago and the embarrassment it brought to my parents. People that knew me when I was a kid remark that I sure changed my ways. I went through what I call psycho/spiritual/physical alchemy or I transformed myself by healing the past and living in the ongoing present.
View all posts by Gary Hobbins