My Life Story

“I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1978. I was a very happy boy growing up with two loving parents. I was especially tight with my dad. He was a caring and loving dad who never forced me to do anything. He always knew I would make the right decisions on my own. I lived in New York for eight years and then in New Jersey for another eight years. I loved growing up in New Jersey, it was a small town, I was very popular. I never bothered with drugs, I was into sports. I smoked weed when I was 16 years old for eight years pretty steadily. I also experimented with other drugs but never did them regularly. Like cocaine, ecstasy, and acid a couple of times.

When I was 17, I lost my father in a drunk driving accident. I was devastated when my dad died. My father was my idol and he loved his kids. I was actually supposed to be in the car with him that morning but my uncle called me the night before to drive with him to work, so I am sure I have guilt of not being able to stop him from driving that day, because if I went with my father I would have held him up for ten minutes, because I would always make him late.

Its been 13 years since my dad passed and I feel a lot better, of course I still miss him, but ever since my son was born I felt like a load was lifted off my shoulders, plus I kind of think my dad was reborn into my son and he will always be in my heart. Also everybody in my family and friends say that I am the spitting image of my father, that makes me feel really good and I think my brother resents me for that because he is more like my mother.

At 20 or 21 years old I started having back problems. Turned out to be a herniated disk at L5 S1 discectomy. That was very unpleasant because for two years after surgery I was bed ridden pretty much. I couldn’t work and I was in constant pain 24 hours a day, I was scared because the told me a lot of bad news. I didn’t know who to believe, the arthritis specialist told me I have spondolitis and the Doctor that did the surgery on me said that I had the back on an 80 year old man. I ignored the Dr.’s and went for the New York Yankees single “A” baseball team for try outs. Its always been my dream to play for them and my dream came through for two years. I was the happiest guy alive smiling from ear to ear, my coaches always said they wished some players had my heart and determination. I bleed baseball especially white and navy blue pinstripes, its been like that my whole life. I used to have my own field of dreams in my backyard, my friends would always tease me and call me “benny the Jet Rodriguez” from that movie called The Sandlot.

Anyways, when I turned 29 years old the best thing in my life happened, I became a dad to the best little boy in the whole world, I love my son so much and its so hard to be an addict and try to be a dad to him. I hate that this disease has taken over my life. It stops me from being the dad I should be, when I am in pain I cant hold my son to comfort him, it breaks my heart. I have to do something about that because nothing is going to stop me from being a great dad. Now that I am level headed and off the drugs my mind is back to being a responsible parent instead of worrying about how am I going to get my next pill so I don’t get sick. I miss my son so much and my new baby girl Guliana, I haven’t even held her yet, she is definitely daddy’s little girl, she looks just like me, I am proud of myself for having two healthy great kids. I am the luckiest man in the world and I know that. Now I just have to step up and be the best dad I can be. I have always set high expectations for myself, I guess is the competitive spirit in me, plus I know already that my little girl is a fighter like me, she is my little miracle at 32 weeks old.

I have to continue my education and get a steady job so I can support my family, I know I can do it too, I just have to roll with the punches in life. I realize there is always going to be ups and downs in life, I just have to know how to deal with them.”

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