it's working now.
i could relate to many of the details: being an outsider in middle school, shutting down emotionally, the fatherless boy experience, craving male role models and mentors, the church setting, the benign neglect of a widowed mother, the loss of specific memories and regaining the experience as an adult.
good work. i anticipate the next narrative episode - whichever direction you drive it.
There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. - Hamlet, Act 5, sc 2