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Old 10-10-2013, 08:24 PM   #51
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

We assumed that our friends would let us stay with them. We ran all day and into the night , going to different friends houses , asking to stay and being turned away.

We stole bicycles and rode around the neighborhood looking for stuff to steal. I noticed a carport light on further down the street and could see tables with food and drinks . Then I noticed that everyone was inside because all the shoes were outside! The food was unattended so we immediately started peddling fast to get to it. As we get closer I see it.....
A BRAND NEW pair of the new Reebok pumps that had just came out!! I went straight to the shoes and found I could wear them so I took those and a pan of Indian food that we ended up dropping on the street when we realized it wasn't good.

As we got tired I suggested we break into an empty house to sleep. We found one that was for sale so we went in. It was clean and we figured we had a few days before we had to go. We got bored so we busted holes in the walls before we went to sleep.

I heard the door open and sat up as a guy was coming in. At first he didn't notice us sleeping on the floor . As he turned to shut the door he jumped 4 feet in the air as he wasn't expecting kids to be sleeping in an empty house on the floor.

We jumped up and started putting shoes on and running for the door. He followed us out trying to get us to stop and we are laughing as we are running away . That wasn't working so he said, "At least let me give you a ride home" . Well somehow we ended up in his jeep and thinking we are going home. He is asking us all types of questions and as he is talking I notice he is not heading in the direction of our homes.

I look at Mark, the older twin and I can tell he has noticed the same thing I have noticed. As he gets to a stop sign , I jump out and start running. In turn, my friends jump out too and the guy is yelling and speeds away. We have no plan, just running through random back yards trying to figure out where to hide. Ten minutes of running and I see a police car roll by. Then I see another on a street over, so I know they are looking for us. We are spread out and I cant see my friends anymore . Then I hear tires and shouting really close by and I figure they got at least one of my friends . I'm huddled under a very low deck in a backyard trying to wait it out when I hear " COME OUT FROM UNDER THERE "!! I don't move a muscle hoping its a bluff, then very loudly, he slaps his stick against the wood and I slowly come out.

They have found all three of us and are taking us to the police station to figure out whats going on. At first we won't tell them our names and they stick us in the basement of this very old police station. We were there so long they changed shifts and I noticed they came and went from the backdoor by just twisting the bolt and turning the doorknob.

After a while, we were down there alone, juveniles, unshackled, unsupervised.

We bolted out that back door. We ran and ran and ran. It was late midafternoon Saturday and we made it into the public library and hid up until it closed. We sat in there watching the police cars speed by the doors never stopping to look inside.

We planned to walk the river trail until we got far enough down we could turn and get by without going through town. As we made our way down the river I thought we had done it!! We got away!!

We are walking and there isn't anyone around for a while but then I notice a guy in a camo hunting suit walking towards us. He has no radio or gun so I relax. Right as we are passing him he grabs me and has the tightest hold on my pants so I can't get away. My friends take off running and get away.

I ask him why he grabbed me, he said " You are the fat one and I can catch you" .

I get picked up and driven back to the police station and put back into the basement but this time with shackles! As the officer is putting them on me he notices my new Reebok pumps and says, "We had a report from last night on these shoes, I know you stole these" LOL LOL he took the shoes.

I finally came clean with my identity and they called my mom. Since I had broke into a house and damaged it plus running through town with my friends and not giving up their names, They felt I needed to go to a juvenile detention facility until my court date. Since I didn't have any shoes, my mom went and bought me a brand new pair of Voit pumps.

I will never forget pulling away from that parking lot in the back of that police car and looking at my mom in her car crying into her arms on the steering wheel not knowing I am seeing her.

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Old 10-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #52
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Juvenile detention facilities in NC are run by the state. Since there aren't as many kids as adults going to jail , they only built regional facilities to accommodate the small numbers. There is even a transportation system set up with on-call drivers to come to wherever the child is and drive him to the bed reserved for him or her.

It was a 55 mile ride to Fayetteville and it was my first time going to that town.The older white guy driving had on dark black shades that he never took off and lectured me the entire time.

I was expecting huge fences and guard towers , but there was only a single 8 foot fence with 3 strands of barbed wire at the top surrounding a one level brick building with nice landscaping. He drove inside the fence when the gate buzzed and I was officially going to jail! I was really scared I remember and Its dawning on me now the guy driving must have read me for a newbie and scared ****less , so he drilled me with the "speech" , trying to help me the best he could.

It wasn't a big building and the one thing that stands out the most is that the door jambs were all painted Duke blue and all the doors were very large and made of wood. The inside walls were all block and the glass was the safety wired. I had to take a quick physical, shower with this lice disinfectant, put on gray sweat pants and a white tshirt and then I was taken to my room. I walked through a door close to where I entered the place and was in the dayroom and could see the doors to each "room" were surrounding the dayroom and at the end opposite was a glassed off room with tables and a closed stainless steel window to serve food through.

He led me down the left side of the room and opened one of the doors with the biggest key I had ever seen and told me lights would be on at 5:30 and showed me the callbox in the room in case of emergencies, then he shut the door and walked away.
Just like that. click.

I went to sleep immediately. I was so tired from the past few days that I didn't care about where I was at. All I knew was that I was where I was going be for a while and the plastic mattress and pillow were soft.

I didn't even know the lights had came on. The door just suddenly clicked and came open and my room filled with noise from the tvs blaring in the dayroom. An adult was yelling "rise and shine"!! "get up get up get up" !!! So I slid on my brown plastic flip flops and shuffled to the door. I looked out to the other "detainees" basically doing the same thing as me blinking away the sleep and hating the fact the sun wasn't up.

We all had to make our beds and wash up before we were fed breakfast. I can't even remember what we had but I'm sure there was a carton of milk and toast. After that we sat in the dayroom playing games and watching tv.The food was ok and at lunch and dinner you got seconds . I learned that a couple of the kids had been there longer than a year waiting for trial on murder charges. Other kids had done things similar as me and others were there for rape. On Monday the people who were inside with us changed and at 8am a teacher came in and we had class. Luckily I only stayed for a few days and was taken to court for a pretrial hearing.

My Mom was there and my court appointed juvenile attorney talked the judge into sending me home with her. All I can remember feeling was a feeling of pure dread that I had to go "home" and possibly get punched in the face but for sure get treated like **** . either way I was gonna get beat up. Emotionally or physically.

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Old 10-14-2013, 08:13 PM   #53
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Could not have been easy, but I'm glad you decided to share your story with the community. Excellent read

Best of luck sir
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:23 AM   #54
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Wow, your story is very scary. I cannot imagine what it was like as a boy to be assaulted by a man. Although you've not yet gotten to today, I suppose the fact that you're writing this story means you've overcome all of this adversity in your youth, congratulations on making it through that ****e.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #55
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My life changed when I went back to school. Instead of being the insecure loser, I had become famous at school for running through town from the police. Everyone wanted to talk to me and ask me about being arrested. I was still insecure and emotionally immature but for that moment I felt ALIVE!!!
Girls who had never spoken to me all of a sudden wanted to hear my version of what had happened. My friends the twins Mark and Matthew were now my best friends.

I wanted to keep the attention going so I always done crazy things in class to get noticed . Even though I was becoming popular , my haters still wanted to punch me so I had a cat and mouse game in the hallways avoiding a confrontation. I went to school but it was only for social interaction. I couldn't pay attention.
I felt wanted.

People were starting to think I was cool. They didn't know about my troubles at home or my insecurities that my family didn't want me.

One day Mark told me he had taken his moms car in the middle of the night and drove around with a couple of the popular girls....

I knew as soon as I heard that from him that I would also be driving in the middle of the night .
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:12 PM   #56
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

We had to go to grandpa Rays one Friday because there was a work meeting Mom and Chuck had to go to. I thought it was great and happily packed a bag, ready to go and be around happy people that didn't drink and get angry because there were kids in the house. It was a boring Saturday morning with cartoons when the phone rang. It was Mom and She was calling to say hi and that her and Chuck had eloped to South of the Border in Dillon, S.C. and gotten married.

Just like that. After she had grumbled to me in the car when we drove somewhere when it was just me and her...."His parents hate me, doesn't want him to date me" I can remember her telling me all this stuff and then marrying him.

It took a while for them to warm up to her . At first they would send over food, then they outright started cleaning out their closets and sending it all in big trash bags for my mom to go through before it went to the dump.
They were very wealthy. Chucks father was a retired Marine and had bought up commercial property all over NC and leased it to the government for post office space with 20 year leases. They got a new Cadillac every year and they gave my mom the older one out of the fleet they had .

It was white with royal blue plush interior and had the plastic woodgrain accents. It was the nicest car she had up until that point and even though it was an old car to them, she took pride that it was nice. It was comfortable to ride in but it was long so parking was a little tough.

My Mom always left her pocketbook and car keys on the kitchen table . It was left there until she needed them. So when she slept , the keys were accessible. Had they not been my life might be different now.

I knew I could be out by midnight and try to be home by 3 am. I just had to wait until the house went to sleep. It was easy to predict my mom going to bed, but Chuck , him having drunk a half gallon of Tanqueray gin, he could be up 5 minutes or 5 hours. I just had to wait him out. I crawled right up to the top of the basement stairs and stuck my face to the crack under the door to try and see when he headed to pass out.

It didn't take long so I went back down and quietly made my way out the back door and around the house into the carport. I slid the key in and unlocked the ignition so I could put it into gear and push it out into the driveway to minimize the noise when I started the engine. I pushed it way back into the grass and waited for the lights to come on In the house. After 5 minutes of being scared I finally turned it over and started it .I crept up the hill watching in the rearview if any lights came on . When I finally couldn't see the house anymore, I turned the cars lights on and stepped on the gas.

It was the first time I had drove like that on the main roads so I was really nervous. I even had to slow down and watch for deer because that would be the worst, hitting a deer as I was almost home and blowing my cover. I managed to drive perfectly to pick up Mark and Matthew but it did take me forever to wake them up and talk them into going out.

I drove us across town to the same neighborhood we had trampled a few weeks back and went to a girl in our class's house. She was kinda like us but just the wannabe version. She had a cool older brother so she was down to go ride with us. We piled into the Caddy , headed for the 24 hour mini-mart right beside I-95 .

I could see the store up ahead on the right and I'm doing the speed limit with my seatbelt on. A car is coming towards me and flashes his brights at me to signal I have my brights on. I reach over on the left and push the lights on knob back into the dash cutting the lights off , then back on , just as bright and right into the eyes of the person letting me know I had my brights on.

It is just a matter of seconds and we have passed that car and I look in my rearview and notice that car is whipping around to get behind us . I then see the lights come blazingly on in the dead of the night . I panicked.

I gunned it and started speeding towards the store and then I started to think about not trying to get anyone hurt so I made a quick right down the street that runs beside the community college and I pulled over.

As soon as I stopped the officer was screaming, "throw the keys out" so I cut the car off and threw the lonely ringless key right into the street. His flashlight instantly went to it then back up into the windows to survey the occupants.

He said, " Got daddy's car huh? does he know you got it?"

They took us to the same old building we had run from a month or so earlier . My friends parents had to come and pick them up but I was in big trouble. When they called my house, Chuck somehow answered and said he wanted to press charges. I had to wait a long time in that same police station, waiting for him to show up and make a formal complaint and to pick the car up.

Like before when I got in trouble I had to go to detention except this time, it was in Raleigh , a different regional kid jail. This time I arrived in the dead of night and had slept all the way up there. It was a little different in design , like the doors were steel and the dayroom and cafeteria were in a different area than the cells were. Also there were girls in the group of kids instead of all boys. I remember I sat with two black girls my first morning and was still sleepy from being up all night. I went to sleep on our table and drooled all over myself and was woken up to one of them pushing my head away from her side of the table.

I stayed another week just like the other place and went to court. Again my mom was there but this time, Since I was on probation and had now violated, I had a punishment coming and it was gonna be somewhere locked up a little while to show me I cant keep doing these things with no consequence.

My mom begged and pleaded for time so she could find me a good program where I could get help. She was granted a 90 day stay to find a solution. In the time being, I was allowed to go home but only with weekly probation monitoring instead of monthly.

I went home and hid in my room .

Last edited by tarheelbluez; 10-15-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:12 PM   #57
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

I need to detail the wait in the police station after I was pulled over in the Cadillac.

First, let me say that I am calling myself out for skirting this detail in the story. It is actually something that bothers me so much that I try and block out the memory. I have to get it out , so here it goes.

It took a while but eventually Mark and Matthews' mom came and picked them up .Then HA's mom came and picked her up.

I was separated from them by an open door upstairs this time in the main lobby area of the police station. There were officers sitting at desks in between us and there wasn't any talking allowed. They looked scared I guess but probably weren't as scared as I was.

I felt so doomed as soon as the blue lights came on. It felt so good to be hanging out with kids who I thought were cool at the time. Doing something daring but not intending any damage . Just a joyride that turned into one of my most hated memories.

I didn't know the dim switch was in the floorboard and when the officer hit me up to check my lights I panicked and FAILED miserably. I didn't damage the car , I wasn't headed to steal anything and my ignorance got me caught.

In this room I was waiting in , I had to wait on Chuck to arrive and sign a complaint. The sightline from where he would be signing those papers was directly into the room except for a slight offset of the door I had about six inches I could bury myself in and I didn't have to face him. From the time my friends left I stood in the corner of that room . Terrified.

When I heard the door open I squeezed everything I had into that corner. I didn't want him to see me . I didn't want to look at him and see how much he hated me.

There wasn't much dialogue between Chuck and the officers. I do remember waiting for Chuck to ask about me but he never did. He was there for less than five minutes but the whole time my heart was pounding out of my chest and tears were rolling down my face.


My face hurt the next day from pressing so hard into that corner.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #58
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

You never know how your mind will unlock itself when you think about traumatic experiences.

There is a list of emotions that has run through me since my last post. I reached out to my only family member, my younger brother.

He and I are very different, being a six year age gap and that I left home to juvenile detention, he stayed behind in that hell hole he now calls home.

I had made peace with my past and the aspect of having zero family, but the guilt of wondering if I would feel whole again , if I reached out to try and help him gain stability , would it lift me up inside to attain my best?


I paid his way to Vegas. I helped him out of a bad situation , into what I have made for myself here. I "forgot" all the bull**** he put me through .

I got him two jobs, making decent money here and gave him a place rent free until he was on his feet. All I asked was that he save every penny and not to drink and drive.

He lasted almost two months and decided he couldn't make it here after I had went to work one morning and packed his stuff and left. One day before his part of the bills were due. 2500 mile drive back to where he had just sold his few ****ty possessions .


I learned a valuable lesson. Family will **** you over many times and not give a ****.


I don't need family.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:28 AM   #59
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Mr. Wilson was my juvenile probation officer. The nicest I can ever remember having and definitely the most helpful after I had violated. He was from Johnston county , born and raised . He had a deep country voice that would get real loud at the end of almost every sentence , almost like he had a disability. He wore really thick glasses and always had a cowlick . He even had the brown shoes and socks he wore with the high water suit pants, ( yea , you know what I'm talking about), but he was a super good person and I will be forever grateful he was in my life when I was starting this journey.

Most kids that were in trouble , in and out of school , ended up going to reformatory school or training school as its called in NC. I had the added bonus of mental health treatment records and a Mom who used every tactic and avenue she could find to get me sent somewhere other than juvenile jail.

Mr. Wilson told her about a place in Candor , NC that was run by Jack and Ruth Eckerd , the owners of the FL based Eckerd drug stores.



The initial visit was set up and my mom , Mr. Wilson and myself drove up into the foothills of N.C. and toured the camp. We seen each campsite and I was invited to join E-Ka-Sumee. My first day there was the same day Mike Tyson went to an Indiana prison for rape.... heard that on the radio on the way there...

There were six groups of 9-11 kids. Every group had their own tribe name and campsite on thousands of acres of woodland. Five days a week there was a community area with an admin building and kitchen where every group had built their own tent made of trees and heavy duty tarps... It was serious business, the building of the tents. There were blueprints and we had to go as a group and cut trees that would be big enough to use a ridgepoles and uprights.

Each community tent was big enough to seat the whole group as we would wait there to be called into chow....

Two days a week, we would cook our own food at our campsite deep in the woods. Every Monday we would submit or weekly plans and grocery list and on Tuesday evening there would be three big blue totes full of food to cook over the next six meals.

Our campsite was very cool. There were four sleeping tents , a "chuck" tent, that served as our dining room and classroom, a kitchen tent , that houses all of our dishes . We had a tool tent , a laundry tent and multiple trails throughout the campsite that we all took turns maintaining .

Every tent was made at a different time, from a different group of kids before or after me. The tents were huge and the trees used would take the group weeks at a time to debark and assemble each piece .

In the summer we had mosquito netting around our beds with the tent having open air around the sides, but the overhang of the roof allowed no rain to come in...In the winter we would use heavy duty plastic as a barrier.

Each night before bed we had a "powwow" fire , which was a chore in the mornings to clean and rebuild the fire , for the coming night...

At the powwow fire, we each took a turn to reflect on what went right about our day and what went wrong. The fire would smell so good as usually it was made of cedar shavings and kindling..

Sometimes, it wasn't all fun. Every kid there had issues and was there for a reason, that being said, there were rules.....

If it was serious enough, we would call a "huddle". The group would stand in a circle and it would go something like this....

"Group, I called this huddle because Chad is being disrespectful to "Chief" Eric. "

Then, Chad would either address his issue and deal with it or we would sit right there until he did. Sometimes, issues would be resolved in 30 seconds , others would take hours and hours because eventually the real problem would come out and it would be traumatic **** the kid needed to get out and his only way of dealing with it would be to act out....

It was a great place and I will be writing quite a bit about it. I stayed 14 months.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #60
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

OP,

I really admire your tenacity to overcome all the bull**** you've encountered at the hands of a ****ed up family. Had to be brutal. Sorry to hear about your brother and that situation.

So how did you end up getting away from Chuck, getting into Poker, making your way to vegas?

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #61
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

This is a very complicated story . Getting away from Chuck took many years of insanity to finally realize getting away from that place entirely was the only way I could be rid of him.

What sucks is, I had to go to jail to be away from him as a kid. I couldn't just pack up and leave at 12 years old.

At the time I wasn't mature enough to realize I was acting out as a defense mechanism. I tried very hard to impress my peers at school by doing the dumbest ****, because I felt so bad about my home life. Those years really seared bad , bad feelings about myself and it carried well into my late twenties.

Poker was there my whole life. A lot of times as a kid , all I had was a deck of cards. When I was locked up I played jailhouse poker . I was the only white guy in the game most of the time. I have some great stories about that too.

Moving to Vegas was just a natural progression for me .
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #62
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

OP,

I really admire your tenacity to overcome all the bull**** you've encountered at the hands of a ****ed up family. Had to be brutal. Sorry to hear about your brother and that situation. So how did you end up getting away from Chuck, getting into Poker/Gambling, then making your way to vegas?

Thank you for sharing. You're very inspirational in overcoming adversity, and I would love to hear how you built a life for yourself out in Vegas.

Keep on grinding man.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:38 AM   #63
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Sequoias

That was the name of my group. My very first night, instead of going to sleep, we sat on the cold ground all night discussing why the other group members were sneaking out in the middle of the night and roaming the admin property , stealing stuff from the commissary. The only way they were caught is one of the kids tripped in the dark on a trail and broke his wrist.

So my first day in the group was hella drama! They talked about putting me in another group to keep me from having to suffer the consequences of something that happened before I got there... No dice, I stayed a Sequoia.

I wasn't too sad about being there. I didn't feel intimidated like I did at home. No one was gonna make me feel like they didn't want me around. These kids were just like me in a lot of ways. I fit in.


It took a while to figure out things for myself emotionally. I was in a stress free environment for the most part. I lived in the woods. I was around brothers from another mother 24/7 and the adults were all certified therapists and counselors.

When we played games it was ultimate Frisbee, which turned into a taped sock football- , foot races or some type of tag. Usually we played within our group as co-mingling outside of community time in the chow hall was forbidden. On special holidays we came together as a whole camp to have contests against each other like --

footraces , canoe races, down a dew contest - skits, . I know I'm leaving stuff out but its been 21 years

I learned that I was a very fast runner and a great oarsman. One of the best things I did there was a 31 day canoe trip down the Peace river in Fl. Each group could take a trip like that , once a year, permitting the group was strong enough to do it.

Sometimes it took a while for the group of kids to work out their problems and have some consistency . It took my group about 9 months after I got there to take a river trip.

This was a serious deal. Each person had to be certified in CPR. Everyone had to pass multiple tests about canoeing , safety, map reading and deadly animals. I thought it was a joke haha until .......

We camped on a river bank and were woken in the middle of the night by HUNDREDS of alligators grunting like frogs right outside of our tents. I remember chief Rich saying....Don't come out of your tent!!! DO NOT come out of your tent... I went back to sleep and didn't know until the next day that is wasn't frogs making that noise.

Each campsite had to be set-up and built by us. Unpacking each tent and gear bag. Setting up the fire pit, the rehydrating of the food, clean-up and pack -up...

I built some massive shoulders at 15 being in the bow of a canoe racing down the peace river without a care in the world.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #64
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

OP, So glad to see you bumped this thread. I enjoyed reading it then & now. Keep it up!
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:14 PM   #65
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Even though I graduated from E-Ku-Sumee , I never was honest with myself or the people trying to help me there.

I never told anyone that I was punched in the face at home. I was so ashamed and so confused that I kept it inside. I get all tight in my chest thinking about how I would feel around Chuck and always having to watch my blindside. It is a godawful feeling. I guess the feeling of being myself there , made me feel normal.

I flourished there . I read my first novel there , about some kid elves living on the London streets in hiding...or something like that. I wrote a lot of letters to famous people from the backs of the pop magazine covers. The only response I got was from Mtv's Ricky Rachtman. I fished and camped and explored . I found a timber rattlesnake early one frosty morning, walking down our campsite trail on the way to breakfast. I always wish I had scooped him up in a pillowcase .

As my time there grew longer, I became a leader within our group and helped some of the younger guys start being consistent with their behavior, as that was what it took to graduate from there.

If you never changed , you would be sent to reformatory anyway, but if you done what the program asked, you would go through the process of reintroduction into a classroom setting before you left. There were six groups, five being therapeutic and the sixth, a transitional classroom.

Once in the classroom group, the Mahetu 's I just had to really apply myself and show I could pass the tests required to be in the class of my age group. It was fairly easy to do and I breezed through it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:52 PM   #66
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

There is an absolute serenity living deep in the woods without television or radio.

The only lights at night were from our lanterns and when they went out , only the sound of the night would turn in my mind as I drifted off to sleep.

Cooking at our campsite was really an awesome experience . Six meals we would have to plan, order and cook for the entire group. There wasn't really a budget but instead of just ordering blindly, we had some camp menus and staples we always ordered.
There was lots of captain crunch. Peanut butter, cold cuts, ground beef and sausage.

We made pancakes and big quiches in a dutch oven. We grilled chicken over hardwoods we found as deadfall. Goulash was a big hit as were cheeseburgers.

When we wanted to go on a "ramble" or hike, we packed up bread , bologna and cheese and would just start walking , to a destination where we could siesta and possibly play group games.

There were a lot of daytrips to national parks and YMCA's . We also visited other wilderness camps in NC and in FL.

Sometimes we would have speakers who either helped young people or just had a motivational message, I remember Dave Rowe coming and speaking one time.

There was quite a bit of good stuff there and it definitely allowed me to grow .
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:02 PM   #67
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Graduation day is a big deal there.

Lunch is when they hold the camp-wide ceremony and "howl" you out. My mom , Chuck and my little bro were all there. Everyone has just eaten lunch and the chiefs from your original group call you to the front and introduce you as graduating today.

They talk about your journey and how you have grown and overcome setbacks. They talk about how much potential you have as a human to do anything in the world from this day forward.

Then , it's my turn to say a few words about my experience and my future goals. Which, I talk about being strong in the face of adversity.

My mother is asked is she would like to say something and all she can muster is a " Lets go home" half joking, half uneasy reply . My grossly overweight brother that has ballooned since I went away is gorging himself on the leftovers and Chuck is just sitting there staring straight ahead.

As everyone files out of the chowhall, it is custom for the graduate to stand at the door and shake all the campers hands to say good -bye. out of 60 or so kids I remember one from that day---- He said , "I never knew you had a sister"... that's how big my brothers boobs were. It was absolute insanity that he looked like that. I will never , ever forget what I felt at that exact moment.

I wheel-barreled my clothes to the car and loaded them into the trunk. I had the biggest sense of dread having to do that.

As we drove down that long dirt path , away from serenity, I sat in complete uneasy silence . My 16th birthday was the next day and I was leaving a behavioral health center to go home and I didn't want to go.

I went right back to that place I had overcome.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #68
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

tarheelbluez,

I really enjoy your writing and reading about your experience. It seems like you are getting to that point of being a 'man' when it comes to Chuck and his effed up sadistic behavior. I look forward to reading about how you made it out of that home life and went your own way.

I knew a few guys that went to wilderness camps here in PA. Some thrived and went straight, others went to the big boy bin by the time they were 18-19. The camp you attended sounds like a great help in overcoming the trauma and abuse you experienced.

Please do us all a favor and keep on writing.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:11 AM   #69
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

keep on writing brother this is really good.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #70
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Just wanted to say this has been an amazing read and I'm sure it hasn't been easy. I think you should seriously consider fleshing some more stuff out and having a nice outline for a book - I think it's that good.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:06 AM   #71
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Thank you very much for the kind words and encouragement.

I will get a big piece out for you guys in the next couple of days.

any suggestions on how much I need to do before starting a book is appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:07 PM   #72
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

I always enjoyed my birthday being in the beginning of June. School was letting out and being a kid living in the country, playing in the woods was second to none and I would have two solid months of it before returning to school in the fall.

The neighborhood kids were glad I was finally home for good. To them everything was the same I guess. I was still a kid like them and it was summer, so why wouldn't I be ready to run all day long? Why wouldn't I be happy to carouse through creeks and deep woods , not having to do anything or be anywhere.

I never told any of them. What was I supposed to say? What would their reaction be? Would they laugh at me or tell other kids at school? As happy as my friends were about life, I couldn't really muster the same enthusiasm. I was on constant guard and being back home living another life again , not being able to relax and trust, sent me over the edge.
I never could trust my childhood friends with the secret of being abused at home. Sure they seen things but if they don't see and hear the actual situation, some marks seen later on , go down as just "being a kid".

Needless to say, the kids who lived on my street and in the neighborhood, we never bonded like that.

It was my moms idea to start at a new school after I left wilderness camp. Since I was credited all my education needs from 7-9th grades, I went straight into the 10th grade at Clayton High school.

I love sports and had played peewee football before my dad had left from my life. At E-Ku- Sumee , I had thrown a lot of football and was hitting a 4.4 in my 40 yard dash, so when I went to enroll in school, I seen the jayvee tryouts ad .

I showed up to practice , and right away, I got a spot playing defensive lineman without trying real hard to get the job. I didn't know it at the time , but most high schools take almost every player because there isn't really a draft to get who and what you want.

I took pride that I had made the team.

No one at home cared though and that was enough to make me hate everything worth doing. I spiraled so hard from the letdown of not having the support of a parent. I had just went through 14 months of therapy and education . I knew exactly what the problem was.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #73
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Hey man let me get a ride to the crib ?

School was a week away from starting and we had just gotten our practice jerseys for jayvee football. I had gotten my license a week after turning sixteen and was using Chucks old Buick somerset 5 speed to drive back and forth to practices. I didn't know anyone on my team so there wasn't a lot of chumminess with the new kid.
So, when I heard a voice asking for a ride, I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy to be nice , but also understanding I was being used .

My gut instinct at that exact moment was to ignore the request , but instead, I turned and said sure. His name was Ryan and everyone called him doughboy. He was your average white wigger and lived in town not far from school. I guess that ride was an open invitation to a ride every day because that's what happened.

I was such a nice guy . I had a hard time saying no. Even when I showed up on the first day of school and there were 6 total wiggers waiting for me to take them 4 blocks to school. I went along with it for fear of rejection. The first kids who showed interest in being my friend used me for a ride and I went along with it because I didn't know any better.

I didn't know any better because I didn't have the maturity or a role model to set me straight.

What is ironic is that every one of those kids were from broken homes. There was only one in the "crew" that had a father at home... So the first day of school, I have so many kids in my car that the police pull us over a block away and give me a warning ticket for unsafe driving. Not one of my new friends offered to get out and walk the rest of the way. I had to ask.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:19 PM   #74
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Getting along with all the kids I competed against on the football team was easy. We all wanted to play and compete . In the weeks before school started , we just played football , no books, no classes and no other kids around, no girls especially.

Once classes started everything changed. I wasn't on a field anymore effortlessly playing a game. I was the new kid . I was the new kid hanging out with some , unknown to me--"undesirables". I tried to fit in. I tried to study.

I tried to be the loudest guy in the hallway between classes. I embellished everything , be it , " my dads a lawyer" or some other crap that I thought would make people like me. Instead, it had the opposite effect .

I already had **** self-esteem issues and my mechanism at the time for defense was to act out. I didn't do my homework. I skipped classes. I brought a package of wild turkey mini bottles to school and gave one to this kid who's dad happened to be the school district supervisor . He drank it in the hallway and someone told on him. Then I was called to the office to explain why I gave him the mini bottle. His dad had been called in and was sitting there when I came into the office.

I denied everything. I even denied it to my mom and chuck after they had read my suspension papers....When my mom read outloud what the kid had drank, chuck immediately gave my mom a look of confirmation that I had stolen his minibottles.

I wasn't kicked off the football team after straight f's and a suspension. I was even brought up to varsity for the last game of the season and even dressed. I felt a little disappointed that I didn't get to play that night.

From the start of the school year I had been hanging with the same "crew" , I had met through Doughboy. One of the things that I liked best about hanging with those guys , is they all liked to play cards. The only game they knew when I first met them was , Tonk.

We usually played 4 handed with $1 per hand , $2 if you double. Sometimes on a Friday night we would end up at big G's mommas trailer and her boyfriend Bugbee and us would have epic acey-deucy games with tonk on the side .

After school everyday the ritual was to ride down mainstreet before taking everyone home. These great friends of mine would be riding in my car and unbeknownst to me, starting trash talk to the redneck kids who went to school with us...

So now I got beef
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:58 PM   #75
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Re: My Journey from lost to found - The Hard Way - My life story

Vulnerable. That's what you are as a young adolescent without good leadership in your life. In a mother nature sense of the situation it's just as plain to say , that you need your fathers guidance.

I always, ALWAYS wanted to make someone proud. After really trying and not having much of an effort made by my family to be supportive, I turned to the kids I seen at school everyday. The " crew" who rode main street with me before and after school everyday. I turned to the people who I thought wanted me to be there because I was me.

I lied to myself everyday and tried to be who I thought they wanted me to be. I had my hat cocked sideways, I blared NWA , Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg . I sagged my pants. Just to be accepted by these kids , I played dress-up like a wannabe gangster wigger and went to school everyday acting like a total tool .

Instead, I was a dumbass who couldn't say no to outrageous ride requests. From anyone-
Looking back I would give anything for a dad at this time in my life. The first time I heard, " to cool for school" , it really hit me hard. In my warped sense of reality, I thought it was cool , but in fact I was forfeiting my young adult life.

The rides started to turn into ditching school all day. Then the boredom of not going to school would slip up on us and since I was so good at stealing, why not impress my friends with stuffing hats down my pants at the mall.

Jeff, who had never stolen anything in his life , was immediately taken by how easy I had gotten a free hat. He was the most popular kid in the "crew" . His parents were split up and he had bounced around from grandparents to aunt and uncles . That's where he was staying now , in C-town as we called it back then.
He was best friends with doughboy and was the main reason I was giving rides . I just couldn't ever speak up and say no for fear of losing my new friends.

It is actually hard to admit these things now . Not that I knew these people or that I gave them rides. It's the fact that I never stood up for myself . I let them walk all over me. I was so ashamed and felt so stupid that I didn't speak up for myself.

There were some tense moments at first between me and Jeff. He used to always have me go to Mcdonalds drive thru on the way to school and the only time I started to stand up for myself , we ended up getting in each others face in the parking lot. I backed down because I had never really went toe to toe with anyone and was scared.

Eventually, we bonded and were friends to an extent. Basically it was convenient for him with rides and for me with friends.

I wasn't the first guy they used for rides. I just had the nicest car and was the same age . The first guy was an older kid who had graduated but worked at the pizza place close by the school and always showed up at varsity football practice to watch. Paul Kittrell. 270 pounds of freckled ginger. He also had a Buick somerset which is ironic but his was a salvage vehicle repaired after he plowed into a cow one foggy night. It was mismatched colors and very recognizable.

Paul needed friends too. He somewhere fell into the same situation as us. Of course every person is different but one thing I learned through life is that you tend to gravitate towards people that feel or think the same as you. So, Paul was the backup guy for rides. He also liked to steal once he seen me come up on some licks.

Once football season was over and the weather started to change, we started to hang out a lot more, trying our best to be the coolest kids in school.
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