Lessons From a Skinhead | Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW

August 12, 2014 6:45 PM

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Lessons From a Skinhead | Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW

Frank Meeink beat the odds; he survived. An Irish-Italian kid, he grew up in the slums of South Philly. Both of his parents were alcoholics, drug addicts and dealers. Frank was 2 and his mother was 19 when his parents split up. A few years later, during their once-a-month visits, Frank's father taught him how to fight with beer bottles, pool cues and lead pipes, then later with knives and guns. His mother remarried a brutal man who physically abused Frank frequently calling him his "prisoner of war" and "retard." Frank's mother did little to protect him from the savagery that he was subjected to on an a daily basis. She made it clear to him that she would always choose her husband over Frank, every time. The one only bright spot in his life were his loving grandparents, Nanny and Pop. He lived with them intermittently throughout his teens. During this time Frank's big love was sports. He played hockey, football, and baseball, and he played well.

"Wardens and gang chiefs parented me more than my parents ever did," Frank told us. "As a kid, I never felt accepted by the Irish or the Italians because I was half of each and they didn't like each other. I also never felt accepted in my own home." Filled with rage as a result of the humiliation an...

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