Life has a funny way of changing us, sometimes into the very person we never wanted to be, sometimes into the person we never thought we COULD BE. I’ve experienced both.
Here’s the highlight reel:
- I was a very weak, sickly baby and my parents were told not to get attached to me because I probably wouldn’t make it
- As a young boy I was physically and emotionally abused.
- As a teenager I was angry, violent, always fighting and out on my own at the age of 16
- Had a gun stuck in my face twice, was hit in the side of the head with a baseball bat and was stabbed all in separate incidents
- In my early 20’s I went to prison for 4 years
- Lost everything and started over from little more than the clothes on my back FIVE TIMES in my life
- I lost my first son to S.I.D.S. at just 6 weeks old
- A year later I had a daughter who I ALMOST lost several times and has subsequently been diagnosed with RETT syndrome
- Built several small businesses, including a successful plumbing business which I owned and operated for over 15 years
- Married the mother of my children and had another son and another daughter who are both healthy
- Lost everything to a house fire in 2005
- Purchased and restored an old house and 6 weeks later was kicked out by the mother of my children
- Lost my home, family and business all within a year in 2007-08
- Spent the next 6 years fighting for custody of my 3 kids while watching them suffer from neglect AND abuse
- Began learning how to use my computer to do things online and built an internet business creating/selling digital info products
- Got physical custody of my kids and raised them almost completely alone for the past 5 years
- Lost everything in my internet business and had to rebuild from the ground up
- Have had family court and CPS (Child Protective Services) in my life for almost 11 years to date
I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride most of my life, starting near the bottom financially, slowly working my way up just to come crashing down again. Physically I was a frail, sickly baby and spent most of my youth in and out of the hospital and emergency room.
As a young adult I gradually got stronger until finally got healthy enough to lift weights. In my early 20’s I went from 155 lbs. at 6’ 2” up to 265 lbs of ripped muscle in just under a year.
Mentally and emotionally I was a shy, insecure, depressed, negative, angry and occasionally suicidal kid. It wasn’t until my early 20’s when I was in prison fighting for my life almost daily that I began to realize that I DID want to live and I WAS WORTH SAVING!
After several years of my kids, friends, family and dozens of strangers telling me I was a hero, I finally started to accept that I had actually become the one thing I never thought I would or could be… MY OWN HERO!
Why did it take me so long to accept that I COULD be and actually had BECOME my own hero? Because I had done so much wrong when I was young? Maybe. Because I had been so humbled by life for so long? Maybe. The bottom line is that I had to realize that NOBODY could or would save me but ME.
It wasn’t being called a hero by others that made me accept that I had actually BECOME one. All they did was make me look at myself with an open mind and ask the questions. It’s not what I have or what I earn, it’s who I AM, what I stand for, how I treat others and that I SAVED MYSELF!