To Be or Not to Be (Part 1 of 2)

I lost count how many jobs I’ve had between the age of sixteen till I reached my thirty-first birthday . Lets see.  I was a stock boy at Associated Drug store when I was living in the group home back in 1979 and a daycare counselor as well for Saint Lucy’s Day Camp during that same summer. I was a drivers helper for Coca-Cola, worked as a full-time dishwasher and busboy doing 12 hour shifts at The Bread Shop Café on Duane street in New York City and going to school for my G.E.D.
I worked as a delivery boy for Kramer’s Flowers on Church street, which ironically, a stone throw away from the World Trade Center. I worked as a skate guard for a roller skating rink on Staten Island. A security guard for Path Mark. Pumping gas at two gas stations and a car wash. Did I mention Burger King for just 20 minutes? Yep. My first day working there and I lasted twenty minutes. Not that I didn’t want to flip burgers or clean the bathrooms either. But get this.
Policy required that all employees wear black shoes. Well, I didn’t own black shoes. I was homeless living out of a frigging beat up grey suitcase. where was I going to get the money for black shoes? So I asked for an advancement to buy shoes across the street. He said no and I quit. While walking out the door, and spitting out every profanity I could think of, even in Spanish, I took off one of my sneakers and threw it like an angry pitcher looking to take off the batter’s head and walked out.
Now let me just say.  It gets better. I am now standing across the street wearing only one sneaker. The manager didn’t even give it back to me. What was I to do? You guessed it. After 15 minutes and with pure humiliation, I walked back to Burger King, approached the counter, and asked the manager if I can have my sneaker back. He said sure, no problem. But I had to dig into the garbage pail by the front door to retrieve it. Did I learn any lesson from this experience? Sure did. I’ve should have taken the manager’s shoes and applied at the McDonald down the street. Live and Learn.
Now you have to understand, these are just a few of the jobs I held before I even get to 1982. Throughout the 80’s, I held at least…..hummm….thinking….maybe about twelve more, not including my own lawn care business with my wife’s cousin Tony for about one season. But that’s a whole story by its self. At twenty-seven, I worked as a part-time bouncer at the biggest dance club on Staten Island called On Stage for about three years.
Just Fridays and Saturdays. I also pimped myself out to other bars and clubs as well if we were slow. During the week, I worked as a full-time truck driver for a company out in Port Reading New Jersey. FOUR YEARS STRAIGHT…A RECORD FOR ME! I couldn’t afford to keep jumping job to job anymore. It was time to be responsible for a change. Time to get my shit together. Time to show my wife I wasn’t a mistake that she married me. To prove to my father-in-law I wasn’t a loser.  It’s now 1993. A letter came in the mail…

My Battle With Depression and P.T.S.D. A War That I Must Win.

I needed to touch on a topic that effects over 35 Million people at one time or another. That’s right…over 35 million.  Make that 35, million and one…I suffer from this illness for over 13 years myself. What started out as a simple topic on my Facebook page took a whole life of it’s own…Depression.

I received overwhelming response from my followers that at one time, I found myself responding personally to them for over three hours. If you are feeling Depressed, Alone, Hopeless and Suicidal…let me make this very clear…YOUR NOT ALONE. Depression is a serious medical condition that can keep you feeling sad, helpless, and uninterested in your favorite activities.

It can make you feel like you have to constantly wind yourself up just to get through the day. With all the responsibilities in your busy life, managing depression can be even more overwhelming. Depression is not your fault. It’s not a personal weakness or a condition that you can just “snap out of” and feel better. Depression is different than feeling sad or blue.

Feelings of sadness go away with time, whereas depression can last for weeks, months, or even years.  The encouraging news is that depression can be treated.

What causes depression?

Although no single cause of depression has been identified, it seems that genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors may play a role. Scientists are actively seeking new knowledge in this area.

I found this short but very informative article along side a medication advertisement that I needed to copy and paste. But what will not be copied and paste is the many stories to follow, how I battle my depression that continues even to this very day. I will share with you the first day I was diagnosed with not only sever depression, but Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  known as P.T.S.D., after the terrorist attack on 9.11.2001.

As many know, I was a member of the many Search and Rescue/ Recovery Teams for the Port Authority Police Department at the World Trade Center site in New York City. My many days at Ground Zero and the months and years following had such a traumatic effect on me that perfected hiding my depression till finally it caught up to me and cost me my childhood dream as a Police Officer.

Some of my stories will be graphic and disturbing, but I am willing to share them to all those who suffer this serious illness and want regain their lives back just as much as I do. So if your ready, sit back, tighten your seatbelts and hold on.

The Beast in my Family

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So much has been going on in my life lately that I don’t even know where to begin. But I guess the beginning would be a good start.  After over 20 years of being a Police Officer, I retired officially last June of 2014.

I miss the job, but definitely don’t miss the politics. My retirement dinner was great considering I pretty much planned it all. Why Not?  I wanted a Batman theme and it needed to be the way I envisioned it.

That was November also of 2014.  But we as a family received devastating news the same week as my retirement dinner that my 13-year-old god-daughter was diagnosed with Cancer. She had a tumor successfully removed from her front of her brain the day before my dinner and that was Great News for all of us.

To this day, she is going through chemo and follow-up MRI’s showing that the tumor never came back. She is now Cancer Free. But This Epic Battle is not over just yet. My God Daughter has no intention of ever surrendering to this Beast.

The will to live a long and healthy life is so strong in her, is truly amazing to witness. She has a loving family by her side and great friends who love her dearly.  I look at my life  differently now…all because of a 13-year-old girl’s passion to live.

 

 

My Message

Just letting everyone know that I have not stopped writing any new stories. I have put them on hold due to very emotional times for my family and I. In time I will share them with you. But for now, please visit my New Web Page Www.LiveToSucceed.net and take a peek what I have been up too till I start posting stories again. Thank you for being patient and following Mikes Kitchen Stories.11024278_613857332080082_7174255922808709458_n

Dead and Gone

 

I would like to  believe that the Old Me is Dead and Gone, but my past always seems to creep up  just to remind me that it’s never to far no matter where I am in life. At 52 years old, one would think that I have everything under control and that I am where I should be in life…but I don’t feel I am.

When I look in the mirror I find myself asking a question that I thought was already answered years ago…Am I Happy?  Sometimes I feel I am, and other times I don’t.  I do know one thing…when my grandchildren are around, I am the most Happiest. I forget about everything that ever makes me or made me sad in Life.

The Love they have for me is so powerful it overwhelms me…almost intoxicating to say the least.  But my life is at a stand still for the moment. I feel like Bill Murray’s Character from the movie Groundhog Day. Outside caring for my grandsons, which I look forward too when they do come over, I feel like my life just repeats itself over and over again.

I can’t help feeling that no matter how hard I am try, I just can’t seem to shake off the ghost of my past. The monster still waits for me in my dreams even to this day, and I am reminded that I am still the scared little boy who feared the words Wait till you Father gets Home……I guess the old me isn’t dead after all.

Imagine

When my three  young grandson Christopher, Mikey and Brody comes over my house, I brace myself for another round of smiles and amazement. Mikey, the two-year old, loves to sing. My other grandson Christopher who’s four,  loves to dance… I mean he can really shake his  little tail feather…and Brody, well he’s the new edition to the family, he’s only 9 months, but his talent is SMILING.

Christopher loves to dance to a song called Gangnam Style, and you can find him  all over the living room floor dancing up a storm while the song plays in the background on the iPad. His cousin Mikey tries to imitate him, but he can’t catch up with the moves Christopher displays. I even have it on video, and all I can say is you really have to see it to believe it.

I even thought about putting it on YouTube, but I guess some things are left for just my eyes only…considering he was dancing for me. Mikey loves to walk around throughout the house singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Now, he doesn’t say all the words but he sure can hold a note unlike his grandmother…shhhh, I will deny it if anyone reading rats me out 🙂

Now Brody, the baby of the three, has his own special talent. He will just stare and BURST into a BIG SMILES when being held, besides pooping his brains out now that he’s eating baby food and slowly coming off the bottle. But that smile is priceless. He will sometimes grab at my face gently as if he is telling me how much he loves me and then that smile just comes alive.

When I am watching them, well more like caring for them because I do have them a few days a week to help out now that I am retired after serving twenty and a half years in law enforcement, so I figure that no way in hell was I going to let my daughter’s have strangers looking out for my grandsons when I am home.

So, I put my new business adventure on hold as an Inspirational Speaker to do my Poppi duties…and help my girls out. I do a few speaking engagements but not on full-time basis for now….Family First! My daughters grew up hearing be countless times tell them that Family Always Comes First no matter what…and that includes me as well. I will do anything to for daughters.

They are both professionals and everything they have in life they both worked hard for it on their own. My youngest girl married a Police Officer and her older sister married a Federal Correction officer who was once a Police Officer and decided a career change…some change… from locking up the bad guys to now living with them….go figure.

I am sharing this little short story for one reason. Imagine had I given up in life over 35 years ago, I wouldn’t be sharing this story with anyone because I would have denied myself the life I am living now…just something to think about. If anyone contemplates ending their lives thinking it will ease the pain, just pause a moment and think about the pain you will leave to those who love you the most… for their rest of their lives.

There is only one person who can save your life……that person is you.

Color Blind (Part 2)

When I received a second call from the Police Desk to return back to the Grey Hound Bus waiting area to remove the same person I just told to leave the area an hour ago. Sure enough, there he is again, standing by the Hudson News Stand setting up shop.

I stood there for a minute to see what he was going to do when he looked up and spotted me standing by the stair case above the Mike and Mike’s deli across the Hudson News stand. I will say this, he had balls, because he didn’t even bother to walk away or anything.

It was like as if he just didn’t give a shit this time and even opened up his folding chair to show me that he didn’t. Maybe it was my uniform all looking new and pressed as well as my holster belt wasn’t scuffed up from wear and tear that he knew that I was a rookie, because that is a dead give away.

Maybe he even thought because I was pleasant with him as I asked him to leave was a sign of weakness on my part….either way, I put my leather gloves on and had no intention of asking him to leave this time…I was going to remove him myself…old school style.

So I walked over to him, pulled the chair from underneath him and told him to pick up his art tools. He just stood there with a look on his face that pretty much told me he wasn’t going anywhere and yanked his chair right out of my hand. I went to grab his arm, that’s when he took a swing at me and connected to the top of my head.

Shame on me because I didn’t see it coming. He didn’t hurt me nor did it knock me down, but I did return a solid punch to the side of his head and he grabbed my waist and we went right through a plexiglass window next to the Hudson News stand and the fight was on.

He was on top of me at first as I ended up on my back, but maneuvered myself on my right side where my gun is holstered and that’s when I felt his hand already on my gun. I knew at that moment I was in deep shit now. He was actually trying to pull it out.

The only reason my gun didn’t un-holstered was because my safety lock was still connected and that prevented him from pulling it out. But I couldn’t take any chances, so I  maneuvered myself to my back to free my right hand while holding him with my left arm in a slight choke hold and ejected my magazine from my gun.

I then rolled over to my right side onto my gun and switched arms and held him with my right while I started removing my other two back up magazines and my pepper spray canister and tossed them to my left. I do remember hearing people yelling and screaming for someone to help me, but no one did.

I can see from the corner of my eye a large crowd formed around us, but no one made a move to help me. But I do remember hearing a woman screaming that the officer is fighting and he needs help. At that moment, I ended up on top of him and landed a few solid punches to the face as he still tried to free himself by kicking his knee up hitting the back of my ass.

At that moment, I heard the greatest sound every cop once to hear when fighting for his life…the sound of KEYS. All cops carried keys and they jingle really loud when running. The next thing I knew they were above me attempting to pull me off when a black boot landed on top of the subjects forehead while the other back up officers grabbed me off of him and finally placed the handcuffs on him.

I had people retrieving my two-way radio, my badge, my gun magazines that holds my bullets, my pepper spray bottle, my night stick, my memo book and my hat. I later found out that the woman screaming that I needed help, picked up the direct phone line by the Hudson news stand and called the  police desk and told them what was happening.

She was the reason they came the way they did.  My back up officers were in great numbers as well as NYPD. The same call went to city-wide 911, so that explained why there were so many cops at the scene. I was exhausted from fighting with this guy for what seemed like hours but was actually just under 10 minutes.

That is a long time to be fighting with anyone, but I wasn’t going to die that day…and I made sure of that. By the way…the subject who fought me and tried to take my gun and maybe try to shoot me…was black. The woman who called the police desk…was black.

Half the crowd standing around and handing me my personal belongings were all black. I didn’t see color…I saw people who were scared, but still tried to make sure I was ok. The subject was placed under arrest and requested medical treatment for bruises to the face.

As for me, I thanked all for the officers on the scene that came to back me up as well as a friend and fellow officer who was the one who placed his boot on top of the head of the subject. I did tell him he needed to polished them considering how close I was to see that it need polishing.

He just laughed and told me all he cared about that I was alright. By the way…he was not only my classmate, but just got promoted recently to the rank of Inspector…. and he’s black. My point to this whole story…this job made me color blind.

Daddy’s Little Girl’s Forever

On November 21st 2014, my Queen and I just celebrated our 32nd Anniversary in a special way this year. My youngest daughter Alicia got married for the second time to the same man within three years. See…they got married on 11-11-11 Vegas Style at the Little White Chapel with our blessing with the understanding that we wanted them to also have a traditional wedding as well.

I never been to Vegas before, but my Queen and my daughter’s all have at least  five times. I figure what not? Because she married there, I got to meet one of the Greatest Heavyweight Champions of the World….Iron Mike Tyson…TWICE!!! Had a great conversation and told him how proud I was that he straighten out his life and how he came a long way from biting off Evander’s ear.

We ended our little private pow wow with a great photo of him posing with my Queen and I. Ok, Back to my original story I wanted to share. So Alicia asked if it was ok to get marry on our Anniversary because they couldn’t get married on theirs since it fell in the middle of the week….we said YES, and a Beautiful Day it was.

I got to walk my little Princess down the aisle just as I done 2 years ago with my oldest Nicole. It has always been a dream of mine to do just that….what father’s doesn’t dream for that day? I am so proud of my daughters. They are both professional woman with families of their own living in beautiful homes they made for their family.

They are so responsible and very Successful in Life, and they made it happen with positive guidance from my Queen and I. I never had that growing up and found out the hard way by the many mistakes I made along the way to get where I am today. Just because I learned the hard way didn’t mean my daughter’s should.

Sure, they made some mistakes but nothing that couldn’t be corrected, where the mistakes I made could not and I lived with the consequences and was fine with that.  They both have husbands in Law Enforcement (wonder why) and they both treat my girls like Queens that they are.

We couldn’t ask anymore from them. They both live close by us so we do see them a lot and I get to care for my grandsons while they all work. I may be battling depression but they are the best remedy for it. I never give in and curl up in the closet rocking back and forth, but when I do start feeling down I stay very busy caring for the THREE STOOGES a few days a week. Trust me, they keep my world Balanced and Happy.

I thank our creator for allowing me to make up for all the wrong things I did in my life by letting me prove myself that I am worthy to have the family that I am blessed to be given. I will always be there for my girls and their family because that’s what I taught them for so many years ever since they started talking….Family First!

So as I walked down my Princess who turned into a Queen when they exchanged their vows, I only had one thing on my mind. I just looked t my Queen of 32 years and just thanked her for keeping me after so many times I was a disappointment to her in the past. It is because of her love for me is why I got to walk  Daddy’s Little Girls down the aisle in the first place.

 

 

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I Made A Promise

After getting really sick in Jan of this year and it was almost lights out for me, I made a promise to my Queen that I would never sleep on the couch again just because I was too lazy to get up to go to bed in the middle of the night at times when I woke up….. I can understand why it bothered her for long.

When you been married for as long as we have, we supposed to be sharing the same bed where we sleep not because we should or it’s the right thing to do, but because we want to. Face it, that is the last place we end up in at the end of the evening after spending hours at work and after taking care of family.

Our bed should not be taken advantage of like so many do. It’s a sacred place to embrace each other and to exchange our  good nights with a whisper of I love you to each other before we turn off the light.  Also, should one of us never wake up the following morning, we have passed away in our sleep lying next to the only True Love of our Lives.

So many take advantage of going to bed like it’s a routine every night…not me anymore. I made a Promise to my Queen early this year, and this is one Promise I will not break to her……why…….Because Promises are not meant to  be broken.

Fear Or Not To Fear

What I learned throughout my life is how to control my fears, and trust me, I have a few of them. Lets start off with one that might be a common fear most of us share…Lightning! That’s right…that bright electrical freaky force of nature zipping across the sky during those hot summer thunder storms.

I was told it was God taking pictures of us when someone was doing something bad. From this storm that was brewing, I guess there was lots of people doing lots of bad things this particular summer Saturday. I was about eleven years old sitting in the kitchen eating cold cuts as we usually do on Saturdays, when I noticed looking through the window that the sun was fading and getting darker out.

I remember thinking to myself that it was too early for the sun to say his good nights but continued to eat my sandwich while still looking out the window behind my foster father from my seat. Just when I was about to take a drink from my glass, it started to rain and rain hard.

All the windows were open in the house because we didn’t have air conditioners, just fans. So my foster father got up to close the window behind him, while my other foster-brother and sisters went up stairs to close the windows in their bedrooms.

From where I was sitting, I just looked at them all  running around in a panic like chickens with their heads cut off, rushing to close all the windows throughout the house. To be honest the only thing missing was the theme song to The Benny Hill Show playing in the background.

Through the eyes and mind of a eleven year old… it was comical. It started to thunder which by the way, which I was also told that was the angels bowling with God and Jesus, followed by those bright flashes. Well, as I was watching everyone closing the windows I started approaching  the back kitchen window when a loud CRACK and BOOM blasted right outside the window.

 I jumped from the kitchen into the hallway in one leap that I landed on my ass. I got so scared I actually wet myself. Even my mother was startled and jumped back from the window. The dogs couldn’t run fast enough out of the kitchen and jumped over me while I was still laying on the floor in the hallway to run into the living room.

That was it…from that moment on I was scared of lightning. Throughout my adult life I dreaded thunderstorms, until about ten years ago. That’s right, I was about forty-two years old when I felt it was time to tackle my fear of lightning head on.

Now, all I needed was a good storm to brew so I could take my gloves off in defiance and go at it round for round…and I did just that…from the safety of my front door. Ok, so I wasn’t ready to stand in my driveway like a gladiator ready for battle.

I instead, opt to stay indoors in a safe distance from those lightning bolts that were flashing above the heavens. I guessed I wasn’t ready yet to take on my fear of lightning. But I made a promise to myself that the next thunderstorm I will be ready sooner or later…just didn’t think it was going to be sooner.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Let me ask you all a couple of questions. When life isn’t going as plan, or your dreams never came true, who did you blame… your parents… the childhood life you had or never had? Did you blame your teachers you had during your school years?

Did you find yourself blaming everyone else for all your mistakes and bad decisions you made throughout your life and decided to throw in the towel and give up on your future? Well, there is a simple answer to all these questions.

All you have to do is approach the nearest mirror in your house, stand in front of it and look at the reflection staring back at you….that person is YOU! There is no secret how to succeed in life. There is no magic wand to wave over yourselves.

There is no amount of praying or wishing that you can do to live a Successful Life. You have to Want to Succeed and not Like to Succeed. Anyone can like to do a lot of things, but wanting is another story. Because when you want something, you have to make it happen.

The only way to make it happen is work for it…it’s that simple. Anyone who’s been following my blog know how hard my  life was. How my childhood living in a foster home wasn’t much of a childhood to say the least.

Being homeless and living place to place out of an old grey suitcase from the age of sex-teen till I became a young husband and father at the age of only twenty-one to two beautiful girls. I jumped from job to job and lived a reckless life because I was making bad decisions and choices throughout my twenties.

But one thing I never did…ever…was blame anyone else for my mistakes but myself. I never used my background not to succeed in life…I LEARNED from it. I knew what I had to do something to change my life before I ended up losing my life as well as losing my young family.

Looking at my wife and children, I knew there wasn’t much of a future for any of us if I continued to be so irresponsible with my decision-making. I also came to a conclusion that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself for the childhood I never had.

I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and rid of the poison called self-pity. I needed to stop listening to the voice inside my head of my foster father who convinced me while growing up, that I was going to be a nobody in life. So one day, I looked in my mirror, I mean I really looked in the mirror and I didn’t like for one bit what was staring back at me.

I needed to get my act together and there was no time to lose. The first thing I had to do was stay out of trouble, stick with one job to support my family and work part-time at night for extra income and started taking all Police exams throughout the state of New York.

I picked up right where I left off when I’ve taken  my first written exam to be a New York City Police Officer at the age of nine-teen. At  thirty-one years old, On October 29th,1993, I was excepted in the Police Academy for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The life I lived in the past was just that…the past. I was now living for the future as well as the future for my family. I made it happened because I never gave up. I never blamed anyone for all the bad decisions and mistakes I made in the past but myself. I never used my background not to succeed in Life.

I wasn’t weak, I wasn’t a quitter and I sure as hell wasn’t going to throw in the towel in my ring of life and give up. I battled with life and lost many rounds but never the fight. My name is Michael Ashton and I made my childhood dream come true…….and so can you!

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

What I am about to share with you will not only be disturbing but graphic in detail. So please think this over before you choose to read. I feel it’s my responsibility to tell you all a very dark  secret only shared to my wife and my therapist.

It is a topic that is very rare discussed among family and friends and most of all our co workers….an epidemic so powerful it spreads from our service men and women returning from war, past and present, as well as our Police Officers nation wide who serve on the front line keeping their communities safe from lawlessness.

If you believe it just ends there…it doesn’t. You can also find it happening to our children who are bullied in school one too many times, or to the average person struggling through life feeling so helpless that they give up on life all together…..and they commit Suicide.

I am sure we may know someone who had killed themselves or attempted to do so, and they may seem like a happy-go-lucky guy or girl. It’s always the ones you least suspect…and I am no exception. I was separated from my family after 9-11-2001 for three years.

I will not get into the details about why, because I will have to sit down with my wife to discuss if she’s willing to let me share our painful story, but for now, I will just share this one to you all. I was living in an apartment in a nice tree-lined neighborhood about 40 minutes north where I live today, when I was going through some very dark moments of depression.

One night, my life that I once believed had control over, began to unravel faster than I could handle. Now during that time, I was going through therapy and on anti depression medication without my job knowing as well as family and friends…I was on this trip alone, well…I thought I was.

It was in the summer of 2004 when I decided to end my life. After going through deep crying spells throughout the day, I couldn’t even go to work that evening so I called out. I just laid on my couch in such a daze and mentally exhausted that I decided to end it all.

With no thought of thinking about those I was about to hurt and destroy their lives, I walked over to a picture of my daughters hanging by the T.V. set in the living room and grabbed it off the wall…grabbed my gun off the end table by the couch and went straight into the bathroom.

I then climbed into the tub and laid down clinging onto the pictures of my daughters while crying so hard, begging my girls to forgive me. I never even thought about writing a suicide note because what I did was so spontaneous the thought didn’t even cross my mind.

I remember thinking that I should put on the water faucet above my head so when I shot myself, the blood would just drain and not leave such a mess when I would be discovered. Strange that I was putting so much thought now that I was laying in the tub and not when I was on the couch looking at the picture of my girls.

Anyway, I position myself into a fetus position on my right side with the gun tightly gripped in my right hand with the picture tucked under my arm as well, and strategically put the gun in my mouth  as I reached with my left hand to turn on the water.

My hand was on it for a few seconds when I let out a scream so loud, I thought for sure my neighbors heard me and tossed the gun out of the tub. I laid there for minutes that seemed more like hours just crying.

I then climbed out of the tub and what little strength I had left from exhaustion, I reach for my cell phone and called someone to save my life. That person rushed over to my apartment and found me laying on the couch and held me all night and never left my side…It was my Queen who saved my Life.

The point I am trying to make with this story is depression does not discriminate, nor does suicide, if that makes sense at all. No matter how much we seem hopeless, there is someone out there ready to save your life. You just have to have the courage to reach out to them.

No one can force you to live…you have to want to live…and when you do that, you will be on the road to recovery. Sylvester Stallone once said in an interview with Barbara Walters back in the 80’s and said this to her…Dying is easy, but Living is hard………So true.

Break Out The Umbrella.

I applied to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Dept. back in Jan of 1992 when I was thirty years old. To get on this department, you had a better chance of getting hit by lightning twice in the same spot while standing on-line outside the men’s room at Yankee Stadium…trust me on this one. It was the hardest law enforcement agency to get on but that didn’t stop me from taking the test.

I had to fight for everything I did in life, so why believe becoming a Police Officer was going to be any different?  I fought for ten years  since the age of 21 to have N.Y.P.D. over turn their decision to except me because of my background and now I was going through the same thing with the Port Authority. Like I said…nothing ever came easy in my life.

Since being on my own at sixteen, I had a many addresses and jobs, so I got turned down for un-steady residence, employment and by the time I was twenty-one, my driver’s license had reached maximum points and had many suspensions and was now considered a persistent violator as well…did I mention I was arrested seven times and considered scoff law for $250 unpaid parking tickets?

After my hearing with N.Y.P.D. review board to explain my background to them, I received noticed about two weeks later that they voted to over turn their original decision and I was to be sworn in August 30th in their Police Academy and needed to update some personal information. During this time, I was told my investigator from the P.A.P.D. that it looked real good getting in the next class scheduled for November 1st so I needed to make a decision.

I contacted my investigator from N.Y.P.D. and her that I was turning down the job I fought for ten years to get on and  become a Port Authority Police Officer instead. She even asked me to think about it because once they closed my case there was no turning back. I assured her that was my  final decision and thanked her for sticking by me to the end and left her office. I should have been ready what was about to follow next…but I wasn’t. Break out the umbrella because when it rains in my life…..it pours.

 

I Didn’t Hear No Bell

As I was standing at the back of the ferry contemplating ending my life and just jump into the frigid water as we near the NYC side, I thought about something that not only changed my mind, but made me think twice what I was about to do. I come to realized that no one was really going to miss me. Sure I may have some friends from the neighborhood that will and a couple of ex girlfriends, but nothing short of a joint would cure that  and I would then become a faded memory and life would just go on for all who knew me.

Not only that, but after all the shit I went through growing up in the projects, the orphanage home and that abusive foster home that denied me of a decent childhood, and lets not forget the group home, I soon realized that I still had some fight in me left. I didn’t want to die, at least not that way. It just never occurred to me, but that very moment defined the person that I was about to become for the rest of my life.

We all have a little Rocky Balboa in us in a way. He was lucky to have Mick in his corner throughout all his fights to guide him to his ultimate goal of becoming a Heavy Weight Champion of the World. Even when the odds stacked against him to ever hold that title against a ruthless opponent as Apollo Creed, there was Mick at his corner never giving up on The Italian Stallion, and that night there was a new reigning champion crowned named Rocky Balboa.

I was always alone throughout all my fights growing up. There were no Mick like figures in my corner. All my battles were fought alone and this one wasn’t going to be any different. I had plans, and giving up on life wasn’t one of them. As the Staten Island ferry docked on the New York City side, the passengers all got off but I stayed on and took the next trip back to Staten Island.

I fought another fight and won on my own, and on top of that, I needed to figure out a way to get my ass back on the right path in life and play it smart from then on, because I had my childhood dream waiting for me to fulfill…and I didn’t hear no bell.

 

Just a Thought

You can cry, scream, complain, point fingers, get all depressed, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for all the bad choices you made in life. But the reflection of the person you see in the mirror, is the only person who can CHANGE all that…..just a thought.

catlion

 

Just A Thought…

I couldn’t live two life times to tell all my stories on this blog, and I am trying to save most of them for the book that I am planning to write sometime this year. Besides my nightmare of a childhood for those eight plus years in that foster home, I have many other stories after that life. Like living in a group home for about eight months before being asked if I wanted to return back to the original foster home.

I also have many stories to share my experiences being homeless for four years till twenty-one, the age when I became a husband in 1983 and a father the following year. During the eighties, I became so irresponsible, it’s almost humiliating to even think about them. I can’t count how many jobs I held, and how many times I left my young wife home alone caring for our two little girls, while I went out to bars and clubs with my friends.

We may have been in our early twenties, but I was not ready to be, not only a husband, but a father as well. I had no business being married at such a young age. There should be a law that no one can get married til the age of  twenty-five, and I would have been the poster child for that.

But my life totally changed at the age of thirty-one, after ten years fighting to become a New York City Police Officer, turned out another Police dept. hired me instead…The Port Authority of  New York and New Jersey. But as always, that wasn’t going to be easy either, and I have one hell of a story how that all came to be.

I also have stories to share of my experiences on 9-11, where not only we lost the most Police Officers in law enforcement history, but how I lost a dear friend and partner when the North Tower fell on him and all those trying to save as many lived as they can. Back in the spring of 2002, I been diagnosed with P T S D { Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome} and suffering through Survivors Guilt even to this day.

So I will just cut to the chase here…I been battling Depression for the last thirteen years and continue therapy every other week…yep…this head is definitely broken, but at least I’m aware and not in denial anymore. I truly believe had I not turn down the over time to work, the count of our “Brave Police Officers” who died that day would have 38 and not 37.

One day, I will share my pain with you my days at ground zero that changed not only my life, but I will share how I almost destroyed my marriage, and broke the hearts of the three most important people in my life…my wife and two daughters. In time, I will share my three years being separated following 9-11, and will tell how someone saved my life from ending it all.

The reason that I am doing this blog and sharing my life to all of you is not for sympathy towards me, but hoping something  good comes out of this when this blog has run its course. If I can just reach out to the ones who are too scared or ashamed of their painful childhood, maybe, just maybe, I can change their lives for the better and help them over come their childhood demons and take back control of their Destiny and still become Successful in Life….I am living proof of that!!!!

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