John was born in a small village in Greece in 1921. He lived there until he was about age 6 when the entire family moved to Athens. He lived in Athens until he was 18.
A story he heard about his first year of life left the impression that he had trouble digesting food, possibly suffering a colic syndrome, with an inability to digest fats leading to infantile discomfort. A joyful early memory involved getting dressed up to be photographed with a cousin at age 2. The most significant event in the early years involved a seduction by an older cousin when he was about 5. This was traumatic because his cousin told him that he would be punished if he told. He said “I remember that after it happened I came out in the sunlight and I was surprised, because I thought that it would be dark and that the sun would fall from the sky.” Although some sexual play continued with girl cousins the next traumatic event involved a fall from a banister of 35-40 feet that left him unconscious for 2 days. When his grandmother picked him up she thought he was dead and she wanted to die along with him. However, hearing him moan, she brought him into the house. He gained consciousness gradually and was taken to the biggest city near his village to be examined. He recovered fully and afterwards felt normal.
John’s early years were characterized by the presence of a lot of women around him and the absence of men. He was the fifth child following 4 girls and therefore he was pampered, spoiled and treated like a king. His father was away working and traveling in Europe and his two uncles lived at a distance. His grandparents doted on him. John describes his mother as “a very sweet woman” who loved him deeply. He was never afraid of her and he loved her in return. However, his oldest sister, Catina, was told by their father to teach the younger ones manners, and she would therefore discipline him and punish him. He remembers resenting her authority and battling with her.
To Be Continued……