Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts....

OK it has been a while since last I wrote, but I felt compelled after the Penn State scandal....First we are making a big deal over someone like Joe Paterno when there are 8 (maybe more) victims that had something taken from them that can never be returned....Joe Pa is not a "god" as people are making him out to be....he is an old-school football coach who used his power and ego to hide something horrific....now I don't know how much Joe knew or didn't know....but even the little I heard from him....HE FAILED AS A HUMAN BEING....he should have went to the authorities....he said he would have acted differently in hindsight....SCREW hindsight Joe, it is easy now to say that when everyone knows....you preached to these kids about being good people and to do the right thing....and what did you do....NOTHING....again....YOU FAILED those victims and countless others....you hired a monster and then you found out about this monster and you swept his crimes under the rug to save yourself and your precious reputation.....what about those victims and their LIVES....Believe me I know Joe didn't do the anything "legally wrong", but he has a moral obligation as an administrator to report these crimes....guilty as the MONSTER....Joe Pa plain and simple you are not the man you said and believe you were and worst of all you are not the man we all thought you were....

As for McQueary......there really is nothing to say....you saw it and did nothing to stop it....you are as guilty as the MONSTER....

Athletic Director and VP of Business....guilty as the MONSTER.....

Now on to the MONSTER....the definition of a monster is some one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character....also the dictionary states a monster is something or a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty ....I think this word doesn't properly describe who we are dealing with, but for the sake of argument let's just say he is a monster....He is the lowest form of life....he is a predator....he took something from children that can never be given back....he stole their innocence and now it is gone for good....to never return....he took their trust and mangled it.....he took their childhood and made them grow up against their will way to soon....he gave them problems for the rest of their life that they didn't deserve....for his own gratification.....and worst of all he did it over and over and over again....

How did this MONSTER slip through the cracks....how was he able to work for Penn State.....how was he able to still be around Penn State.....how was he able to deliver a keynote commencement speech at Penn State....what could that graduating class possibly learn from this MONSTER....

I am sick to my stomach writing this....because I know first hand what it feels like to have my innocence taken.....my childhood taken.....to be abused by someone you trusted....I know what these victims are going through and what they will go through and my heard hurts for them.....

To the victims....stay strong....get help and believe me it will get better and you will survive....to everyone else who reads this it is time to end this....not prevent it....IT IS TIME TO SPEAK UP AND END THIS...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Petrified....

The definition of Petrified -- so frightened as to be unable to move; stunned or paralyzed with terror; "petrified with fear"; "he was petrified by the eerie sound"; "too numb with freight"

I never knew what this word meant. I lived it everyday of my life, but I never truly knew what it meant until I read the definition. Then it hit me this WAS the only emotion I was really comfortable with. I mean truly comfortable. It was always there, always with me. It was always there, always lurking around a corner, in the shadows, under the covers, in the form of people and worst of all in trust. I wish I learned to trust at an early age, I really wish I did. I wish it came easy. I wish it was like breathing, you just do it without thinking about it. As children we were never taught this. Maybe I expected too much. My parents never taught us our prayers, never taught us to brush our teeth, never studied with us, how could I expect them to teach us how to feel safe and secure. I was asking way too much from too people that just didn't have the tools. Being PETRIFIED was much easier for them to teach us. It was easy for them. Rule by fear. Rule by intimidation. Rule by guilt. These were the lessons we learned. I say now I didn't have the "foundation" and I didn't. I did the best I could with what I had. The sad part is it wasn't good enough for Me or My loved ones.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Milk, Duct Tape and an Open Flame….

I know I haven’t written in a while, but this weekend I got together with some family members and it trudged up some old memories. When I think about this title I am puzzled that someone with whom is entrusted to raise and care for children could come up with such tortures and heinous acts. I know that there are laws and severe consequence for people that torture prisoners of war, but are children to be treated like prisoners of war?

Growing up was always an adventure in emotions and lessons learned. If my child attempts to walk across the street without looking both ways I get down on my knees look him/her in the eye and explain the dangers of just running into the street. Now my “step-father” had other ways of teaching me “life lessons”.

Lesson #1: I LOVE milk always have, always will! When I was a kid I drank milk all the time with every meal. The problem was if I drank all the milk and my “father” (I put this word in parenthesis because he doesn’t deserve to be called a father, but it help move the story along) needed milk well that is where my lesson was to be taught. My “father” would come in ask if I drank all the milk, when I said yes he would put the gallon down on the table and go to the store. He would return with one roll of duct tape and proceed to tape the milk gallon with the duct tape. This would obviously make the empty gallon of milk a reputable weapon. When finished I would have to stand in the room with my arms at my sides (always with arms at sides and straight as an arrow) and he would proceed to beat me with the duct-taped milk gallon. He would always strategically hit below neck and upper arm area to hide any bruises. This became quite the ritual, because as a young kid it took a little while for it to sink in that I shouldn’t drink all the milk. You could imagine getting older and living with various people and there was always milk containers with just enough milk left in them. It drove people nuts, but that was my lesson.

Lesson #2: I LIKE ice cream, not love but I do enjoy a nice bowl of plain chocolate ice cream with little ice chips in it. As a side note I love to chew my ice cream, but that story is for another time. Well, the same thing would take place I would eat ice cream, finish what was left. My “father” would come in for some ice cream and it would be gone and the lesson would begin. This time he didn’t bother to put himself out by getting in the car and spending his money on duct tape. He simply marched me into the kitchen turned on the stove and held my hand over the fire until I got the lesson. I can still picture the bad fake brick wall in the kitchen, the hamster habitrail on top of the refrigerator, the layer of grease on the stove and range top. I would try and focus on something in the room and train my mind to focus so hard on that one thing that I couldn’t feel the pain. If I did focus enough and not cry the lesson would be over quicker. For years I never ate ice cream because of this. I’ve learned to get over it and there are some days when a nice bowl of plain chocolate ice cream with little ice chips in it is a great way to end a day.

These lessons stayed with me for a long time. I struggled with them. I struggled with the fact that this was how I was taught to discipline. Is the right way? Is this the way I should discipline my kids? I struggled with the obvious of trying to finish the milk and ice cream and not leave any. I know this sounds weird and crazy believe me I do. But to me it was an innate fear of not finishing those two things. It drove people crazy and you know what it drove me crazy. I knew no one was going to beat me or burn me, but I still did it. Well, I’m happy to say that I love being the one that finishes the milk and ice cream and instead of getting in the car to go buy duct tape I’ve learned to get in the car and go buy more….

TWTTIN

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oprah Inspires A Tough Subject To Talk About....

OK this week has been a little strange....First I watched Oprah (yes I watch Oprah...matter of fact I enjoy Oprah very much and who knows someday maybe I will be on Oprah).... and the topic was child sexual abuse and child pornography....I have been struggling with whether to talk about this topic or not....and then on top of seeing it on Oprah I read a couple of articles involving sexual abuse towards children....the first one was about a lady who drugged and raped an eight year old....then a man who was caught with videos of himself having sex with a 10 month old (and his girlfriend videotaped him) and then a woman who was a prostitute and she turned tricks while her 7-year old son was watching her....well I believe in signs and I believe this was the universe telling me "ok let's talk about it"....I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED....there it is I said it....it has been hard and I have only told a handful of people, but now I guess much more will know....it was humiliating, it was shameful, it hurt and yeah it was confusing....It happened to me by two, maybe three (I was very young hard to remember) different family members and I will spare everyone the details for now....but it was hard growing up with this "BURDEN"....that was given to me and believe me I didn't ask for it....I struggled with the obvious questions to myself....why me....what did I do wrong....was it my fault....but the big one I struggled with was....Is this how people who are suppose to love you express their love for you?....for the longest time I thought if these important people in my life treated me like this then nobody could love me....how could these people who supposedly loved me and where there to protect me treat me like this....they are suppose to love me and obviously they don't so nobody will love me....it was hard and believe me a very long road to get me to where I am today....but I can finally say I FEEL love....honest to goodness heartfelt, unconditional love and the even more important I learned how to give that love back and that is what I treasure the most....I learned to trust people and trust myself and I think that was the most important thing taken from me...like I said it was a long, hard road, but I am glad I finally go there....

TWTTIN

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Answer To Life Found In The Movies?....

So this last week has been a weird one...first I finally write this blog about my "experiences", then I take the time to market and get the word out there...then people start reading and commenting. It has all been a little surreal, but very exhilarating. I've been waiting for this my whole life to get these ideas out and share. So to say the least I am a little scared, but also very relieved and happy.

OK, OK so I watched two movies this week an they both land on opposite ends of the spectrum, but the ironic part is they both helped me get through this week. On Saturday I watched the Academy Award Winning movie The Departed...great movie by Martin Scorsese...for those of you who don't know the movie it is about the Irish mob in South Boston and how the cops put a "plant" in mob and the mob put a "plant" in the cops. The movie stars Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and the star of the movie Jack Nicholson. In the beginning montage Jack Nicholson is talking and setting up the movie and at one part he says, "I don't want to be a product of my enviroment. I want my enviroment to be a product of me." When I heard this I stopped and thought about it. Now my interpretation is a lot different than his, but I lived with this my whole life. I DID NOT WANT TO BE A PRODUCT OF MY ENVIROMENT. My enviroment was horrible and I was determined to break those chains. I lived with stereotypes and whispers behind my back, I was labeled the "abused kid" and I hated it. In my house I was referred to as ASSHOLE. That was my name (honestly that was my name). These instances were because of my enviroment and I was growing up to be a product of my enviroment. I didn't want that kind of life so I changed my life and I got rid of the name, I got rid of the moniker and I got rid of that enviroment. Now I want my enviroment to be a product of me. I try to look at each and everyday as a blessing. I try not to look at each day as is this day that I cease to exist. I try to bring joy and happiness to people around me. I try to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. You know what my enviroment is now a product of ME and I like it like that. Thanks Martin and Jack.

The second movie I saw was Slumdog Millionaire. Great movie, tough to watch, but a good human story. It is about a love story about boy who grows up poor in the slums of India and tries to stay true to himself, his beliefs and reconnect with his true love. He goes on a game show and he is close to winning the million dollar prize, but they suspect him of being a cheat so they torture him and make him walk through every question they asked him on the show and through his life experiences he shows how he knows the answer. This kid suffered, but the one thing he was looking for, his true love, and his beliefs he stuck to. At the beginning of the movie -- they ask why and they give 4 answers (just like in the game show) and at the end the right of the movie they show the answer and the answer is D. -- Because it is WRITTEN. It was his destiny to go through these hardships and come out on the other side better than he was. Why Because it is written. Well, I have struggled with the Why question my whole life. I have struggled with what was I suppose to do with all of this. I have struggled with what now. Well at the end of that movie when that answer came up I said maybe, just maybe somewhere in the cosmic universe it was WRITTEN for me like this. Maybe all of that "stuff" lead me to where I am today because it was WRITTEN for me. Maybe what I was suppose to learn was just "I didn't want to be a product of my enviroment, but I wanted my enviroment to be a product of me." Wow was it that simple? I don't know, but what I do know after watching those two completely different movies I feel a whole lot better today.

TWTTIN

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sports....

Sports has always taken care of me. It was always the one constant in my life. I always played sports, it was my haven, it took care of me. I played sports that I wasn’t good at and I worked really hard and got better. But at home I was always an asshole. It never got any better. No matter how much I tried – behavior, good grades it never got better. In sports there was a progression , you worked hard you got better.

Memorize stats, baseball cards, I could look at a picture and tell you what stadium it was (is). I know and emulated the batting stances of every player that played for the 1976-1979 Yankees. The only time I cried was when Thurman Munson died, sad sports movies and the thrill of victory. I never cried when I got beat.

I was never the superstar, but I was in the game. I was alive. I wasn’t first, but I was never last. I relied on myself and found my niche. When I was on a team, I was on a team. Whether it was a street team, a rec. baseball team or the 13-year old Babe Ruth Championship team, a team to me meant family, and I took over. I wanted to be the head of that family I wanted to and was the leader. This is were I excelled.. whatever I lacked in skills I made up in determination. I also love the finality of the game. At the end of the game you were either a winner or loser. You knew your fate. You didn’t have to wait to see if you got kicked out, or hit you know right then in there your fate. You won or you lost.

I am a competitive person who doesn’t like to lose. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve lost a lot, but when I can control it, I don’t like to lose. This clashed sometimes at home. I looked at it like a game---me against him. He would hit me I wouldn’t budge, flinch or protect myself I wouldn’t even cry. He wasn’t going to beat me I was going to win. Now later on life I know that probably wasn’t the smartest thing. Maybe, just maybe if I cried, or protected myself it would have been over quickly.

In sports you give respect you get respect. It was different in my “life” you gave respect---you got nothing. Now again don’t get me wrong I played hard and hard every time. I wasn’t, or still ain’t quiet when I play. I struggled with that for along time. I couldn’t play to have a good time unless I was winning and playing GREAT no matter what I was playing. People would tell me it doesn’t matter if you win or lose as long as you are having fun. I DONT BELEIVE THAT!!!! I LOST ALOT AT HOME AND I CAN TELL YOU I DIDNT HAVE ANY FUN!!!! There is no fun in losing. I’ve been known to get into it a couple of time on the field of battle. Never fist fights, but many, many verbal jousts and a couple of times very close to a fist fight. Now I believe sports was and still is my anger outlet. In the heat of the game it was me against them and that was it. I was going to win no matter what and nobody was stopping me. I believed that on the field you’re a team, a family. This was my family ---- my team -----and to me it was a battle to win.

Why Me....

I look back on it now and growing up pretty much sucked. Sure there were some good times, when my cousins would come down to visit, or we would have garage parties at my grandmother’s, but for the most part I don’t know how I grew up. I had no guidance, no support, and no direction. The foundation of my life was built just like I learned how to swim. I got thrown off the deck and was told to swim or drown. Now my parents did a lot to put up the fa├žade. We were the modern day version of the Brady Bunch. The perfect blended family. I remember my father saying"There are no steps in this house." I might have believed him if he didn't throw me down those steps. We were sent to a good school and we had a roof over our heads and clothes on our back, but believe me when I tell you that is where the comparisons stopped.

Why are some people picked to carry burdens and some are not? I think at one point in time everyone asks themselves this question. Why did I get that ticket? Why does all bad shit happen to me? Why doesn’t anything go right for me? Why does God hate me so much? What did I ever do wrong to deserve this? Do you really think you did something so wrong that you deserve to get something done back to you? Does that make it right? I guess in my thinking it did.

I know I’ve asked myself a thousand times, WHY ME? Why me God? What did I do to deserve this? Do you hate me that much? God what did I do wrong to have you treat me like this? I laugh sometimes now because I think I really believed God came down here and made those people abuse me. I guess that was the answer I was looking for. I needed that for some reason it made perfect sense to me. I must have been bad somewhere some how to have all this shit happen to me. You know, why not me am I so much better than someone else that I can’t be abused. Shame on me for being so arrogant.

Only recently have I been asking myself why God put me through this, but in a different context. Not the self- loathing, Oh God why me pity, sympathy way. I’m starting look at it like God you put me though this for a reason. What is the reason? Why am I still alive? To tell you the truth I never thought I would make it this far. He has to have a bigger, better plan for me. I have to be here for a reason.