Like you, I hit wrong turns learning programming as a kid. Perhaps I got a bit farther than you, but I spent years writing in crippled languages like QuickBasic and Visual Basic, and bought poorly written, unhelpful programming books I couldn't get through. Everything I tried to write until my late teens was unfinished or a stupid toy.
What I lacked in my younger years, and it sounds like you did too, was resourcefulness. We weren't like this: http://www.paulgraham.com/relres.html The proper response to getting stuck with a dead-end IDE or book would've been to try like hell to find a different approach that works.