Saturday, October 29, 2016
That time was difficult for all of us especially my mother. The stresses we show our children are nothing like the ones we withhold from them. Speaking as a father I know this to be more then true. We had a routine at times where my mother would ask me to pick up my sister Katie who was only a baby in daycare if she wasn't going to be home in time. The walk seemed forever and I would say yes no matter the whether. We were like a team at times . My mother always preached family first. Always protect your sister, hold doors for women, be respectful, be polite, never lose your imagination. I can go on and on with the lessons she would teach. Or tell you how I watched her struggle from choices and at the hands of domestic violence. I even watched her try to commit suicide. I took it real bad. I felt as if she placed that before her kids. Before me, if she loved me so much how could she try to even do something like this? But she struggled then like I struggled later on in life and now I get it. When you feel so trapped inside yourself and that internalized pain is far greater then any pain you have ever felt externally you implode. Not always in suicide but addiction, self harm, abuse and bullying of others, etc. She is a warrior and we all made it through those times together. At that time she had her heart broken by my stepfather and he had just thrown her across the room in front me of the day before.
We had so many ups and downs as family, we were very poor and she was a single mother working to just stay afloat. Some winters the oil would run out with no money to fill the tank we would bundle up and turn the stove on to attempt to heat some of the house. It was at those moments you realize family is all you have. We were all stressed. I showed it mostly in school. My class work was off the charts but I did not participate in homework. I was either too focused on what the adults were struggling with or out committing some form of crime. Smashing house windows, stealing, lighting fires, breaking in to peoples houses and cars. I would steal so many things from stores then try to turn around and sell them in school. I never saved the money I didn't know what to do with it. We never had any and I never knew the value of a dollar. My first 13 years in this world were primarily on paper food stamps. I still remember the 1 dollar brown bills in food stamp money.
My home life would sometimes get exposed at school if my mother decided to challenge the "system". Like the time my mother wrote to the newspaper. In it she wrote how the school system was unfair to lower income families. Mainly in regards to her not being able to afford football equipment for me. I love her for what she did but I was so embarrassed at school. I tried to hide that we were poor. But it was too late and the captain of the football team walked by me on the way to class and asked, " Why is your mother such a ( The word is completely inappropriate)". I lost it on him. I threatened his life. I was going to pick up the pipe right near my hand and split him open. I hurt because I knew even in high school how hard she fought for us. She gave her life up to raise us. Bullying is real and you never know what kind of home life someone has and the struggle they face just to show up for life daily. You also never know who that person may become . There is a saying I live by, " Never look down on someone that maybe one day you may look up too".
My family has character and everyone of us are characters. We are warriors that have survived so much as family. We have had have had angels that I only can thank God for placing them in our lives when we needed them most. My grandmother although we had our battles and it may seem like just my resentments I am grateful for. I can still see her walking up the street on multiple Christmases with bags of toys that she had taken on the train and carried them to us from her home. My mother like my grandmother raised their kids alone . They share the same struggle. Also the same love for kids. I owe a lot of who I am from watching them. They did it better alone then other time with any man. I learned how to be brave even though I am afraid of failing all the time. The message I got today brought me back to a time of struggle and appreciation and if I could ever do it again. I wouldn't change one thing.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
This can be applied to life, business, and the culture you are trying to immerse yourself in. Am I willing to accept the consequences of my actions and decisions? Well..(Are you?) If you are unsure then maybe those moments and situations need further examination before entering into it. That pause you take for yourself before taking action can mean the difference between a thousand and a million. Life or your unexpected and totally avoidable death
I have found myself in my personal life and business life immersed in the consequences that I did not want chasing only a result I desired . Both personally and professionally they have effected me greatly and in a few such moments they nearly ended my life. I am only here today because I have learned to pause in a lot of my situations.
We sometimes close our eyes go all in and just hope for the best. Well..don't. Place value on your life and or business. The quality of life you will receive with your eyes open is far greater then that which you will receive with them closed. The world is not scary. Perpetuated doubt is what fuels fear. Which will prevent you from growing personally and professionally.
I think the worst situation for me would be to have my eyes open but watch the world pass me by. I challenge myself with growth everyday. I do a lot of things afaraid. I do them anyway. My list of regrets should be blank when I am done. I have had so much time on this planet not to waste. It would be a shame to take advantage of my most precious commodity.
Monday, October 24, 2016
If you have survived to this point and identify with this story. Know it is a true story and you are not a loser or any of the lies we perpetuate to ourselves or others press upon us. We are warriors meant to transform the status quo. To create a safe pathway for those without a voice. You are a winner and a champion of trauma. Domestic violence and child abuse have no room in my life and I do not tolerate it around me and I do not pass it on to my child. She will know that she matters. I can remember her and I walking one day and we are cracking jokes back and forth. She was walking behind me and said, " You are a loser". At that moment I paused but did not let her see it effected me. But it did. I am not sure If I will ever fully escape the stigma of that word but you can be for certain I am going to help others that struggle in the same fashion. So I turned to her and explained that I do not like that word and that nobody is a loser. Its hard to explain to her that her Great Grandmother was cruel in that sense. If she reads this when she gets older I want her to know that this is my truth. This is my life that I survived and that you will face many wars in your life. Don't ever give up on yourself and know that if it wasn't for you I might have. You came at a time when I was at my lowest. I survived it to become the father I always wanted to be for you. Neither you nor I or anyone for that matter will ever be losers. This is a cold world that can eat you alive if you let it. So make the best of it and bring light and love to the ones around you. Be the light for the others that become lost and need to find their way home. Just like you were the light for me when I drifted into the deep. Be a winner like a Boss. Be the champion of all your challenges in your life. Impossible cannot be spelled without the word possible.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
So here we were once again and I wanted to be left alone. He wanted me to get better. He saw that my spirit was sick and kept mentioning to me to start believing in a new faith in which he had found. At first it started off with prayer. What I didn't know is that he was reaching out to the Pastors at the church and praying for me to get there for over a year. Then he would nag me to go and I would refuse. Eventually we verbally fought over him wanting me to be open minded and just attend and me wanting to be left alone. I thought I was well. The problem is the Devil will tell you 100 truths about yourself just to slip in one lie. That lie was that I didn't need any more then what I had when it came to faith. I believed in the basics and up until that point that was perfectly fine with me. Or so I thought. What was he seeing that I didn't in me? What was it that he found that I hadn't yet? These questions were burning inside me and I was burning up with anger that once again he was competing with me and I was losing. Not realizing I was competing within myself and kicking my own ass. Understanding that I am going to be the hardest opponent I have to face all day is easier said then done. Sometimes its best to just get out of my own way.
Reluctantly I gave in. Mike if you are reading this you didn't win and you will never. In all honestly from the past we both had together and separately to what we have become is the impossible becoming possible. Recently he got married , has two children, and a rescue pitbull we shared together named Nina. He is tucked away safe from the chaos we used to bring on ourselves. He is clean and not the person anyone remembers . All due to the Grace of God. I started to change in this new fellowship. At first I was listening and then out the door the minute it was over. No stopping for conversations or small talk. I didn't want to be asked personal things and I wasn't ready to share. I hurt so bad inside , I was going through so much. I decided to get active quietly or so I thought. The funny thing is when you reach out to God for help it does not always come quietly. Sometimes the Universe seems to conspire to help you. Suddenly I found myself immersed in a new belief and a new family.
The message came to me so much clearer then I have ever experienced before until that point. Still I was broken and I needed an answer to the one question that frightened me the most. If I have already sinned then what is the point in changing my ways now? Pastor John had a very simple but most impactful answer for me. He said, " God already forgives you for your past sins and the sins you are going to commit". What he explained was that the point is to recognize these things repent or change your ways and continue bettering your life and those around you. Ok the answer was not that simple but the message was divine. Mike's push brought me there through his faith. If reading this and you think , " Oh he must not think he sins now". Wrong I know I do but it renews my faith to understand no matter how far gone I feel there is someone that already knows my story and loves me when I cannot love myself. Having a mentor with me as I try to grasp and learn this new way of life has been valuable to my growth. If you are struggling with lack of inspiration, pain, addiction, depression, or whatever it might be. If you find yourself lost in a crowd of people. Find yourself a mentor. Mine was a pastor. Yours might be different. Just don't pass on the opportunity when the universe presents itself to you. You were not made to feel alone. Especially if Adam had Eve. It could be the most important decision you will ever make in your life. I know mine was and still is it is infinite love and power that I have discovered not mine but loaned to me for the price of service, worship , and prayer.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Pete and I first met through our mutual sponsor. He was loud, loving, and obnoxious. He was extremely smart and talent with word and lyric. He had such a way of pissing you off with his words and also harbored a hidden talent of writing music. You would never know with spending the majority of time speaking fluently in sarcasm and insanity. We didn't intend to go crazy or die. Its what the obsession brought on by drug addiction starting with drug use brings. I hear so much talk these days about safe alternatives and medications to cure drug addiction. Personally speaking after leaving the lad of drug abuse and experiment for over 10 years there is NO CURE. Just solutions and the chemical way has already failed us. How is it supposed to cure us? It is said that these alternate medications take care of the cravings. Suboxen is said to do this exact thing while blocking opioids. Yes it does take care of the craving. But it is never the craving that gets us in trouble. Its the obsession. I crave beer hear and there to this day. Fleeting thoughts that never transpire or last for more then a few seconds. The obsession to chase that first one lasted me 10 years and led to arrests and homelessness. The obsession led me down a path where I could not recognize who I was nor could the people in my life. They thought I was making bad decisions and at one point so did I. Truth is though we were right and wrong. Right that I was unrecognizable wrong that I was making the decisions.
The obsession is like no other. If Pete were here he could tell you about it. We share similar and different war stories. We also share being parents and being helpless to our addiction while our kids were young. My mind was so foggy with how to fix myself. I only had one clear thought. When and how the fuck am I getting high today? As long as I could get high first I could start trying to figure out how to get my life back together. Who I was going to be that day depended on how my medication worked that day. The hard reality is the medication hadn't worked the same since the first day I tried it. I nodded out almost puked and fell in love with opiates. I remember falling asleep that night with a blueprint on how to fix all my problems. My mind and heart were so connected that night. I had reached a spiritual experience that I had never experienced before or after as a matter of fact. It came with one catch though. The next day I wasn't going to remember shit until I tapped back into that finite power. I would tap into again and again and just like the first time the answer was there when I was high and nowhere to be found when I was sober. Pete and myself along with so many others have all shared this same exact experience. We are not morally bad people making shitty decisions. We are unique talented souls who are in trouble and need some serious help. We cannot figure it out for ourselves and it does not seem to be getting better. So whether you see us as sick and suffering or just bad people. You should get to know who we are before you only get to know about who we were. I only can tell you who Pete was. I prefer to still think about who he is. He is important and will remain important along with all the other friends we have lost as a collective nation. I loved him like a brother. I am going to miss you Peter. Thank you for everything brother.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
When my father tried having a talk with me about God I had told him , " F-God". He doesn't exist. I was 18 years old, pissed off and had the world figured out. I thought he might laugh or joke with me but he was adamant about me finding a some sort of faith. I was great at avoiding and running counters to get away from what I felt was not a good fit for me. To me there was no God. If he existed I wouldn't have had to deal with the life I had to that point. By 18 I had gone through physical abuse as well as witness my mother go through it. We had experienced true poverty trying to heat the house with the stove because we couldn't afford oil. The beginning of the school year was always difficult . While other kids came in with name brands we used to have to wait for the welfare school allowance that went towards all three of us. Trust me 1800 for an entire school year does not go very far for a single mother with 3 kids. I would get bullied in school for my attire. It was so traumatic to be made to feel different when you already had struggles at home. So to me if there was a God , why the fuck would he put me and my family through this shit.
You can imagine how the religious intervention went. I am laughing now thinking about it. I can't remember if they were Mormons or Jehovah Witness. They came to my door after one of our blasphemous talks. My father told them to come back another day to speak to me or to perform and exorcism , one of the two. I was not made aware of this secret plan until a week later 5 minutes before their arrival so ran out the door literally and hid behind the house until they left. My agnostic behavior lasted well into my 20's. I would only pray to God when I had reached a new low in my life like being arrested for masked armed robbery. I put on a ski mask and robbed the local convenience store like an asshole. I got caught and landed in county jail for the first time. I was terrified my first night. God and I had a long talk that day. Then found that I enjoyed it and totally forgot that I was asking for his help 2 days before to get me out of my situation. I was around people like me being fed for free without a care in the world. That is the problem with jail there is more less rehabilitation then you think. When you are used to struggling and getting high having the struggle for a bed and a bag, pill, or drink and now someone is offering you free room and board. You get comfortable real quick. heavier moments when I would shoot a bag of heroin just before bed. My breathing would slow and I would wonder if I was going to die. How my daughter is going to grow up without me. That if God could just make sure I wasn't going to die I would change my life tomorrow. It was always tomorrow and yet God still loved me for all the lies I told. All the promises I never kept. For all the mistakes I made and I was going to make. God did exist . My mother still tells me today that Gods favorites always have the hardest times. If you are struggling I hope you make it through the pain and storm to discover this for yourself.
Friday, October 14, 2016
I was 8 when my father came in the house and told me, " Buddy I gotta go. I'll be back". He was leaving for Florida for the next 10 years I didn't know it and I am not sure he did either. He had his demons to face . Mine were not here yet. All I can remember is crying. He was in and out a lot already. Later all I remember is being hurt and fucking pissed off. That was also the last time we spoke till I was 18. My father was a mystery to me growing up. People had their opinions and tried to mold mine. Love is what kept me from forming an opinion before we really got to know each other. I lived this double life though. People were nasty when discussing my father in front of me they would tell me horrible stories about this man when I was a kid. My mother who probably had the biggest reasons to be angry and hardly ever bad mouthed him and always reminded me that he loved me. Especially those moments where my grandmother would trash him or call me a loser just like he is until I folded into tears in front of her. My mother is such an amazing women. Knowing all the struggles she has been through and what she has had to shield us from even at those moments you see light shine through her.
As an adult and a parent we have to learn how to filter what we say to kids or we risk adding trauma to an already fragile mind. We should not share with children things we do not have resolved as adults. That's just what happened though. So I had this struggle. I thought I had to hate him to fit in with the adults that would bad mouth him in front of me when I was kid. Secretly I never stopped loving or missing my father. I learned how to hide my feelings and fit in even though emotionally I was so uncomfortable.
That bond between a parent and child needs to be formed between those two and those to only. That is why it is also important for the parent to stay around so the child's perception of him is of consistent unconditional love. I have worked on that relationship with my daughter and my father has started working on that with me. We both have to meet each other all the way. It takes work. Being a parent is a challenge. If you don't want someone else molding and shaping your child's mind. It is best to be there through any and all conditions. To be able to write about my father is an honor. This is not a bashing of the man who created me. He is apart of my story from rock bottom to recovery. I am a survivor by every means. The things in my life should have ended me 10 times over. But they haven't I am here and my father is too. We watch football every Sunday and cry laughing while saying the most inappropriate jokes and we can cry with each other about anything. There is nothing this man does not know about me. That's what a father is supposed to be. Everything happened on Gods time and that is ok with the both of us. Just like this man my absence as a parent occurred with my own daughter...
But that's another story for another page.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Sunday, October 9, 2016
It started with a man named Dave. When we met I was fresh into my Recovery and told him right away , " there is only one thing I don't like and its to be called a loser". So of course as we grew close while he taught to overcome my problems he would answer my calls with " What's Up Loser". I would laugh . He stripped away the stigma of it and I took it less serious. He would teach me to look in the mirror and repeat affirmations. At first I would laugh or think it was a joke. It started to change me. I started seeing things for what they are including the word loser. It was just a word. Affirmations and prayer work when you practice them. Dave could tell if I wasn't practicing by the way I would perform on that day. If I was insecure, negative, or overly-emotional he could tell and call me on it. I had that accountability. I would hit the reset and start the day over with those affirmations. At one point you have to start believing in what you say to yourself. I call it "When head meets Heart". Once that connection occurs whatever your mantra is its going to change and alter your life. If you call yourself a loser you sure as heck are going to experience losses and struggles like the world was built to defeat you. I know I have and experienced complete destruction when I woke up in the back of a car . It was the only place I had to sleep. I was homeless. If you tell yourself , " Be Positive, You are a Good Shit, You can and will be Successful". Things start to take place in the world. Your energy is attracting what you need around you. The world conspires to help you. You have to seek it though. Whatever that maybe. Most of what makes up the word extraordinary is ordinary. It has to start somewhere. Where it ends is up too you.
Friday, October 7, 2016
This is what it feels like when you know something is wrong with you but you can't describe it. Its as if luck ran out on you before you had a chance. I was always taught not to say much because of fear the DCF would take us back to a foster. They attacked my mother for being young and irresponsible while protecting the physically abusive foster father. Their reasoning was that he was a Firefighter and under a lot of stress. " Congrats asshole, you made my resentment list". So I learned to say nothing even when things were wrong in fear I would be sent back there. They took me from imperfection only to place me in true brokenness. Who the fuck could I trust? I never had a healthy outlet. I was introduced to pornography, theft, and breaking and entering by 9 years old. All three played a roll in warping my perception and mind. I stole everything from stores to houses. Anything I wanted I would take. There would be so much fear and then a sense of gratitude once I got it. Similar to when I would shoot heroin. I would fear for my life then get such a sense of ease and accomplishment once I was high. Pornography really destroyed a lot for me. I had a twisted perception of how sex and relationships were meant to be. On one hand I wanted to get married and have a wife. On the other I was extremely sexualized before hitting puberty. I couldn't focus in school I obsessed about sex not even knowing what the fuck it was. So when I got older my expectations and perception of how sex should be lacked true enjoyment. Its like my mind is always at a tug of war. I hear some say they don't think of anything while having sex. I wish it was like that. I could recite a newspaper in my head at times. I couldn't escape. Unless I was totally drunk off my ass and on the precipice of a black out. There in that moment I felt totally free from insecurity and thought. I felt power and control of my own actions. The only problem is I couldn't reenact the same magic the next day when I was sober. I was back in my shell with sarcasm and a smile to hide my problems. I became very suicidal being trapped inside myself further adding to my problems now was a vicious binge drinking habit I had formed by 18.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
He was only a child when he realized he was being punched by a grow man. What was maybe seconds or few minutes felt like hours . Pain lasted for days. Memories lasted forever. It instilled fear and confusion in him, he didn't have time to ask questions when the blows rained down. In the aftermath he would reflect on the absence of his mother in these situations, the anger would rise when his father was not there to protect him. He couldn't protect himself or his sister from this mans anger. This was child abuse and he felt like they were the only ones who gave a care to stop. The silence and abandonment was crushing on these matters. Someone needed to say something. They said it was similar to screaming at the bottom of lake.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
How is someone supposed to reach rock bottom if we pick them up before they hit? How are you supposed to grow if we do it all for you? Why do you lack gratitude after you beg for help then receive it? Recovery is not supposed to be easy. No one owes you a fucking thing. You spend years taking from others. When do you give back to them? How long before giving away actually means something instead of what can I have? If Jesus was crucified and ransomed his life for you. What are you willing to sacrifice to pay back the second chance you have been giving? Does life actually mean something to you? Or is it just a word? If we rent time on the earth. Your rent is due. In order to feel different you should start first by making a difference.