My New YouTube Channel Mike’s Kitchen Stories will debut on January 2017.  Not only will I be sharing stories off my blog,  but from the actual locations where I grew up throughout my childhood.  That includes the projects on the Westside in New York City where I lived in poverty as a little boy, to the very orphanage home called St. Michael’s, where I was placed at the age of 5/6 years old.

I will also tell stories right from the very foster home where I became a victim of Child Abuse by the hands of my foster father that lasted over seven years.  So much has happened to me throughout my teen years that I yet to talk about, including living homeless from sixteen years old till becoming a husband and father at the young age of twenty-one.

The stories I will be talking about are all true and can never be disputed.  Although there are members of that foster family who like to believe my stories are false, had yet prove that they never happened. It isn’t my intentions to cause any more personal family conflicts within their own family, like it has when I first started my blog back in 2014, but I really don’t care anymore.

But lets put it out there once and for all.  It’s not like anyone of them gave a shit or show any concern when I left that house at sixteen nor asked how I was doing when I was gone.  I’m fine with that. I will admit, it bothered me for many years, but I got over it once I started releasing the poison that lived inside me most my adult life when I started sharing my stories three years ago through my blog.

I will not only be just reliving my shitty broken childhood all over again, but my the life I live o day and the many struggles my wife and I went through before our lives changed forever back in 1993 when I became a Police Officer. It will be a combination of my personal diary with a touch of reality show combined. 

My daughter’s and their friends all say we should place a camera of  just during our holiday dinners at the table alone, not to mention, the constant banter (not to be confused with bickering),  between my wife and I. Lets be real here. The shows that are on today are not truly reality but scripted with drama to keep its viewers glued to the boob tube. 

How many times have you watched a reality show that a moment is so ridiculous that even you  have said…”That was Planned”.  My channel will be real as real can get. Nothing will be planned when filming starts.  My family and I are Looking forward for January 2017….I hope you are as well. Happy Holiday from my Family to Yours!

I’m Back

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It has been eight months since I last posted anything on my blog.  So much has been going on, I don’t even know where to start…but Ill give it a shot. I changed therapists since last year. She was helping me in the beginning, but as the  years passed, I felt I was visiting my Aunt or my Grandmother every two weeks chatting about everything else in life, but the issues that matter to me most.

My fucked up childhood, my life after retirement from law enforcement, Depression, P.T.S.D., and most of all, the nightmares that continue to wait for me as soon as I fall asleep.  The monster not only hides in my closet and from under my bed,  but there waiting for me to close my eyes…just like Freddy Kruger from the Horror movie series Nightmare on Elm Street. 

My therapist is a sweet woman, but she no longer had any impact on me  like she did the first couple of years. It was time for change…So I decided once again to find a shrink that can at least explain to me why is it,  that a 54 yr. old man like myself,  a father, husband,  grandfather and ex city cop, still having the same nightmares like I did when I left the foster home back when I was 16 years old?

Been seeing him for over a year now, and I still don’t have a fkn clue, excuse my language, why I’m still have those same dreams after being prescribe meds to keep the monster out of my dreams at least…To be honest, I don’t think he has any frigging clues  what’s going inside my head either.  But, (there’s always a but),  at least he’s  trying  to  knock on the door to that deep dark void inside my head. 

I hear the knocking, not like I’m deaf or anything…but  for some reason, either I’m too lazy to open the door, or, maybe,  just maybe,  I  don’t want to open the door fearing what might be waiting for me on the other side.  Either way,  I have many stories to tell. If you think I shared everything about myself since I started this blog, you’re in for a surprise. So put your helmets on and tighten your seatbelts boys and girls….

 

                                                                                  I’m Back,

 

 

Bullying and Teen Suicide.

This topic is so important that I needed to copy and paste on my blog.  A message to any pre-teens / teenager that are reading this. If you or anyone you know is a victim of bullying in and outside of school, please tell your parents, siblings, teachers or even your friends. You may be saving someone life…maybe your own.

There is a strong link between bullying and suicide, as suggested by recent bullying-related suicides in the US and other countries. Parents, teachers, and students learn the dangers of bullying and help students who may be at risk of committing suicide.

In recent years, a series of bullying-related suicides in the US and across the globe have drawn attention to the connection between bullying and suicide.  Though too many adults still see bullying as “just part of being a kid,” it is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects for victims, including suicide. Many people may not realize that there is also a link between being a bully and committing suicide.

The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming:

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.

  • Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University

  • A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying

  • 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above

  • According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying

Bully-related suicide can be connected to any type of bullying, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyberbullying, and sexting, or circulating suggestive or nude photos or messages about a person.

Some schools or regions have more serious problems with bullying and suicide related to bullying. This may be due to an excessive problem with bullying at the school. It could also be related to the tendency of students who are exposed to suicide to consider suicide themselves.

Some of the warning signs of suicide can include:

  • Showing signs of depression, like ongoing sadness, withdrawal from others, losing interest in favorite activities, or trouble sleeping or eating

  • Talking about or showing an interest in death or dying

  • Engaging in dangerous or harmful activities, including reckless behavior, substance abuse, or self injury

  • Giving away favorite possessions and saying goodbye to people

  • Saying or expressing that they can’t handle things anymore

  • Making comments that things would be better without them

If a person is displaying these symptoms, talk to them about your concerns and get them help right away, such as from a counselor, doctor, or at the emergency room.

In some cases, it may not be obvious that a teen is thinking about suicide, such as when the suicide seems to be triggered by a particularly bad episode of bullying. In several cases where bullying victims killed themselves, bullies had told the teen that he or she should kill him or herself or that the world would be better without them. Others who hear these types of statements should be quick to stop them and explain to the victim that the bully is wrong.

Other ways to help people who may be considering suicide include:

  • Take all talk or threats of suicide seriously. Don’t tell the person they are wrong or that they have a lot to live for. Instead, get them immediate medical help.

  • Keep weapons and medications away from anyone who is at risk for suicide. Get these items out of the house or at least securely locked up.

  • Parents should encourage their teens to talk about bullying that takes place. It may be embarrassing for kids to admit they are the victims of bullying, and most kids don’t want to admit they have been involved in bullying. Tell victims that it’s not their fault that they are being bullied and show them love and support. Get them professional help if the bullying is serious.

  • It is a good idea for parents to insist on being included in their children’s friends on social networking sites so they can see if someone has posted mean messages about them online. Text messages may be more difficult to know about, so parents should try to keep open communications with their children about bullying.

  • Parents who see a serious bullying problem should talk to school authorities about it, and perhaps arrange a meeting with the bully’s parents. More states are implementing laws against bullying, and recent lawsuits against schools and criminal charges against bullies show that there are legal avenues to take to deal with bullies. If school authorities don’t help with an ongoing bullying problem, local police or attorneys may be able to.

People who are thinking about suicide should talk to someone right away or go to an emergency room. They can also call a free suicide hotline, such as 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Friends and relatives of suicide victims also need to find someone to talk to as they grieve, especially if they are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts themselves.

Sources:

WebMD, Depression Guide, “Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide” [online] Nemours, KidsHealth, “Helping Kids Deal with Bullies” [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Prevention, “Youth Suicide” [online] Yale University, Office of Public Affairs, “Bullying-Suicide Link Explored in New Study by Researchers at Yale” [online] Matt Dickinson, The Independent, “Research finds bullying link to child suicides” [online] Michael Inbar, MSNBC Today, “Sexting bullying cited in teen’s suicide” [online] Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, Health, “Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying: Parents Sue School for Son’s Death” [online] Erik Eckholm and Katie Zezima, The New York Times, “6 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide” [online]

Color Blind (Part 1 of 2)

I’ve been a city cop (Police Officer) for over 20 years and I can’t tell you how many times I pulled out my weapon on the bad guys. I lost count just during my rookie year alone working at the Port Authority Bus Terminal next to Time Square in New York City back in 1994 thru 1996.

Back then, no one was robbing anyone over camera phones, smart phones, cell phones or iPhones…but the homeless and thieves did try to break into Pay Phones as often as they can. Guess you can say they turned them into the first ATM machines, just for them of course.

The crime back then were mixed from shootings in the area, guns, drugs, car jacking’s, sidewalk hustling games, drunks, homeless, prostitution inside the men’s restrooms and the empty stair wells inside the terminal. Pimps were forever trying to pick up runaways from the Grey Hound Bus waiting area, and I can’t even tell you how many times we answered shoplifting calls from the surrounding stores.

The list is long but I want to make a point with the story. The first year alone I was attacked by hustler harassing the tourist by drawing pictures of them for free, at least that’s what he told them at first. He would do a fast sketch and then convinced them to pay whatever they thought it was worth.

Now some would pay a couple of dollars while others would just smile and walk away…and he would follow them throughout the station till they paid. This went on for a while till one day I received the call  on my radio that their was an aggressive pan handler harassing the passengers in the Grey hound bus waiting area inside the Bus Terminal.

I walked down the steps into the waiting area where I saw the person fitting the description by the news stand in the middle of the waiting room. Not to be noticed, I lowered the volume of my two-way radio not to scare him off and observed him for several minutes.

At first, he looked harmless sitting on a folding chair drawing. But then he gets up and started walking around till he found his pray and do his thing. I watched him approach a woman and started drawing while standing in front of her. I could see she was nervous and that was enough for me to approach him and escort him out of the Bus Terminal.

First there is a sign that clearly states No Trespassing and that you must have a valid bus ticket to be waiting inside or must be waiting for a passenger to get off any busses that arrives. So, I made it very clear for him not to return and to go outside and draw.

He packed up his stuff , folded up his chair, smiled and told me to have a nice day and left like a gentlemen. All was good…or at least that what I thought. Because with in the hour he returned, and this time he had no intentions of leaving …he had other plans….I just didn’t know I was going to be part of it…

 

Unfinshed Stories

I have been asked by many that there a  few stories that I never got to share the ending. There is a reason for that and I will explain why. I have many stories to tell, but I can’t tell them all because I am working on a book that will be from this very blog I am sharing with you. So I guess you can say that it’s a good way to sell books at the cost of leaving you all hanging with the ones I shared through my blog.

Right now, so much has been going on in my life these last 4 weeks that I have put so much on hold right now. We had my retirement dinner from the force, my daughter’s bridal shower, and now her wedding coming up on the 21st of this month and also dealing with a family crisis that hit us all unexpectedly.

My Beautiful 13 years young god-daughter (and niece) had a brain tumor removed last month, and further test revealed it was already in stage four. I had no idea what that meant when my wife told me, so I was just happy that it was removed. When I found out what stage four meant I was devastated…. I don’t need to share my emotions any further on this one.

My niece  and her twin sister are on my mind every single day, one could only imagine what her parents must be going through. She is now going through chemo and radiation to rid this unwanted guest once and for all. She is surrounded by so much love from us all that it can fill every ocean and lakes on this planet.

Her dad is truly the rock of  his family with his strong wife beside him. Her twin sister is taking this hard and she is struggling in her own way how to deal with this. But she can be sure that she is not alone and we all are dealing it together as a family. I never had a true family in my life.

The last time my brothers and sisters lived together as one was back in 1967….and look how that turned out. I am very grateful to be part of my wife’s family more than anyone knows. I spent more than half my life with them. To be accurate…it has been 32 years with them all. They truly made up for the family I never had growing up…and I love them all so very much for that.

A Message to All Followers

I will be jumping around with some stories and will give a heads up when I do….like now. I will be going back and forth, but not in a way not to confuse anyone. I started writing about how I got on the Police force and will follow-up with that one in the near future. I will go back in time on a few occasions when I met my wife of 32 years and share the coolest Love Story anyone has ever read.

I have received countless messages  from so many readers who opened up to me sharing their most personal stories never told to anyone as well…some not even to their spouses. I hope to help as many as I can through my stories on my blog. Feel free to LIKE my Facebook page Mike’s Kitchen Stories where I post many pictures including some very cool Inspirational and Motivational banners as well.

Let me enter your lives and prove to you that no matter how bad our childhood may have been or our lives are today, we can conquer those monsters from our past and the ones who still hide underneath our beds, by excepting the pasts we can not change. If we all chose not to use our background, or make excuses by blaming others not to succeed in our lives…we will finally get the chance to raise our hands in our Ring of Life and become Victorious!

 

Share Your Version

To those who read my blog religiously and posting pictures of a LION with the word LIAR underneath on their Facebook page, I say this to you. If you believe all my stories I share about my experience living in the foster home for those eight years are not true, than please share with all my followers your version. I promise to APPROVE every one of your comments if you agree to my only request. Post your real name for all to see, including your relations with me and the connection you have with the foster home. If not, than I suggest you stop following my life and get on with yours. This blog was not meant for you or any of your family members. This blog was for all those who lived the life I did and never escaped the past of their childhood. My blog is to prove to all of them, no matter how bad life was or may still be, they can still overcome and triumph without using their background not to Succeed in Life…for I am living proof of that. I am a Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend to many and lived out my Childhood Dream of becoming a Police Officer for over 20 years. I have a Beautiful  Home with  a Wonderful  Family and Friends who Love me Unconditionally regardless of my past. Not bad for someone who was told many times as a child growing up that I would amount to nothing in life.

 

My Blog My Message

I was going to end this chapter of my life living in the foster home that not only ruined my childhood, but my teens as well. But, after reading a couple of comments left by someone posing as a social worker from New York City, I decided to continue this chapter for a another couple of weeks…So I say only this to all my readers. I am going to come off  very angry and heartless at times, so if  you choose not to read my last few stories, that is just fine with me. Because what I am about to write is meant for the ones who lived in that house. But make no mistake, I am going to end this nightmare of a chapter with a bang. So put on your seat belts and crash helmets….this is going to hurt!

 

My Queen, My Love, My Wife.

The reason for not writing any new stories on my blog was because I was hospitalized for 9 days due to a severe kidney infection and ended  up in the Critical Care Unit/Intensive Care Unit (CCU/ICU) from Septic Shock. That’s when the infection (bacteria) entered the blood stream and cause my body to react violently by shaking so hard my bones felt like they where going to break.

This lasted for almost 10 minutes straight and in front of my Queen. If not treated immediately, there was a 25 to 50 percent chance of not surviving through this infection had it enter my heart. But I was truly lucky to have a “RAPID RESPONSE TEAM” of Highly Trained Nurses as well as my Doctor giving instructions over the phone, worked effortlessly and  prevented me from getting sicker then I already was.

After being given the strongest  antibiotics to flush the bacteria out of my blood, I started feeling better within hours. I was kept under observation for the next 5 days in the CCU till I was stable enough to be removed to an isolation room for safety purposes till I was discharged this past Monday.

I will only say this. The moment I was going through this traumatic experience my second day in the hospital, through all the chaos surrounding me, I did ask a nurse if I was dying. I didn’t get a response at first, but finally told after I asked the second time that I wasn’t going to die. Even though it was a relief to hear those words, the only thought in my mind was this.

“If”‘ I was going to die, all I wanted was to see my Beautiful wife’s face for the very last time. I knew she was out in the hallway alone and scared…I needed to see her… I needed to hear her voice. I needed to tell her not only how much  I truly loved her but to let her know what she meant to me throughout our 32 years together.

If this was going to be my time to depart, then I had to look into the eye’s of the woman who loved me for the man I was and the man I turned out to be. I had to let her know that she is the very foundation that holds our family together and not me…it was never me.  I had to thank her for loving me, for she is my Queen, My Love, My Wife who I LOVE more than Life it’s self.

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AM I NOT MERCIFUL?

I put a lot of thought doing this blog…maybe too much thought. I went through many sleepless nights thinking of  every possible scenarios in my head of the consequences should I decided to share my most darkest secrets growing up as a foster child as well as my life there after, for the world to see.

I thought about my younger brother Timmy and how he would feel. I always wondered if he ever sat down with his two children, and shared with them his experience growing up in a foster home and what he had seen as a young child  inside the very home that was supposed to save us from a life living in an orphanage.

I wondered if he would keep the secrets to himself, and spare his children the painful memories of the abuse he had witnessed upon his brother, by the hands of the man we called Dad. I also thought about the members of that foster family who have families of their own, and wondered had they ever told their children about the foster-brother they once had. 

Well, I didn’t have to beat myself over the head on that one, because I know they had no choice as their children gotten older and saw me a few times  at functions that could never have been avoided. I was not only considered the black sheep of that family, but I knew of the lies that were told about me to their friends for many years, and to be honest, I never gave a shit either way.

So, it was pretty obvious that I was going to be doing this blog and not really care much of what they would think or if they ever told their children about me and what their grand  father had done…because if they didn’t, they do now. Shame on them for not telling their adult children in their late twenties, the TRUTH what happened my years living with them as their foster-brother.

I know they got a heads up from either a very close friend or a family member that I posted a blog sharing not only my time living with her family, but my life before and after them as well. This is not an easy thing to do I can tell you that. To lay it all out there for all to see makes you feel not only vulnerable but naked as well.

I posted a story recently about how I was punished and forced to stand in the corner of the kitchen naked with just a towel to look like a diaper when everyone else was eating breakfast…..that’s exactly how I feel doing this blog. But, I am not going to hold back from telling my stories or to submit to anyone’s feelings just because the overwhelming guilt they now feel.

I am sure they never had a second thought about me and the life I lived the day I walked out of that house for the last time back on that snowy day in December of 78. So, there is no reason on earth why I should give a damn what they feel now. I lived a life that most teens my age would have committed suicide before the reached their 18th Birthday.

I actually attempted in a pathetic way by throwing myself down a long flight of stairs…get this…in a hospital. After visiting a friend who was in a coma from a car accident I was sick of my life and as well as homeless with no place to go, and decided to do a Peter Pan right off the top of the steps as I was coming down from the second floor.

I was totally air-borne hoping that I would have broken my neck on the way down when I hit the pavement. Instead, I was just banged up and ended up in a Psychiatric  Ward when they found a suicide note in my jacket pocket…I was 17. Well, the only good thing that came out of that embarrassing attempt is that I had a place to stay before I decided to just walk out of that nut house two weeks later.

My point is this. I never lived a perfect life. I never had a good life. I never had anyone in my life for guidance. I never had anyone to turn too when I was spiraling out of control. I was alone and damaged goods….I was a broken. Nothing I did was going to change the fact that I didn’t have a place called home, and no one to love or care for…I was alone at 17 years old.

So alone that I made a desperate phone call  from my girl friend’s house and begged my mother to take me back and  promised  if they did they wouldn’t regret it. I don’t think I ever cried so hard the way I did, but I could her husband in the background whispering, and I knew he had his head against the phone listening to my plea.

By the sound of her voice, I could hear her crying herself, then silence. What seemed like maybe she was going to say yes, instead she said this….”I’m sorry Michael but we can’t”,  with that being said she hung up. So I end this story with one last thing.

I was considerate enough to wait till after Christmas to share my stories of the beatings and abuse I received by my foster-father. I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday…including the very ones who lived in that house. I made it very clear back in early December of 2013, that those stories would not be told till after this New Year…….Am I not Merciful?

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My Message

The picture you see represents how I feel when my INTEGRITY has been challenged by a member of that foster family behind closed doors and on Facebook. I guessed they thought the secrets inside that house died when I left at the age of 16….they thought wrong! If living in denial makes them sleep better at night…then sleep well, for I have many more stories to share before this over. But let me be very clear here. I will not let anyone stop me from telling my stories regardless who they are and how they feel. Not like any of them ever asked me  how was I doing when I was out in the world on my own. They saw me many times  in the neighborhood and I was lucky I even got a wave, and now I am supposed to give a shit how any of them supposed to feel? Maybe they should have given their GROWN CHILDREN a heads up when I warned back in November of 2013 that starting Jan of 2014 I was going to share my stories…so shame on them when they decided not too. I was Merciful to them all for many years hiding the family secret. Well, as far as I’m concern, that’s their problem and not mine. This is  My Life and My Past, and I chosen to share them through my blog for one purpose, and one purpose only. To help those overcome the very FEAR I once experienced growing up in that foster home. I lived a hard life and never complained about it even to this day, regardless of my past. I never used my background not to “Succeed in Life”,  for I am living proof that anyone can overcome ADVERSITY if  they choose not to “Surrender to Fear”. I am a HUSBAND, a FATHER, and GRANDFATHER of  four and lived out my ”CHILDHOOD DREAM” of  becoming a POLICE OFFICER  for twenty years. My name is Michael Ashton, and I was a victim of Child  Abuse by the hands of my foster-father for seven years till the age of sixteen…. and ALL my stories are TRUE!

 

Purpose in Life

Before I continue, I just wanted to share my thoughts and explain why I am laying it all out there for the world to see. I could just go on with my life and continue to share it with my therapist until I run out of stories. I could also write a book which my wife has told me to do for years and really put it all out there.

But I choose to do it through a blog, hoping to reach out to the many orphans and foster children out there who share similar stories and let them know that we don’t ever have to use our backgrounds, no matter how bad and tragic they may be, not to Succeed in Life. 

I am also hoping my stories reach those who were abused and neglected, and let them know they don’t have to  surrender to the Demons of their Childhood  that wait for them in their dreams any more, even as an adult. We don’t have to submit to our fears of becoming failures in our lives any longer.

We can make a difference by sharing our stories to those who feel abandoned  forgotten, and to let them know they are not alone. There are many out there who feel hopeless no matter what they do in life, and excepted that hopelessness because that’s all they know.

I also know that many had giving up and committed suicide because they couldn’t cope with their demons from their past. I could have giving up plenty of times myself, but chosen not to. I knew, I wasn’t meant to just live a life and then fade away with no legacy to leave behind.

I believe we all have a purpose, and we need to recognize what it is and then act on it. It’s never to late to learn from our past and become something much more meaningful than we ever dreamed of. I believe what my Purpose in Life is, and I am not going to waste one moment of it either…because I am doing it now.

 

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