I always grew up in fear. My biological father, he was chemically dependent. From a young age, I felt that. There would be times that I would go up to my dad and he would just run because he was so paranoid. He would think people were out to get him. His son that was six or seven years old, he would run from when I would see him. I came up with my dad and had my sister. You know just dealing with my dad was so stressful for her. You know what I mean? He would steal the Christmas presents and she was just paying the bills. She was struggling. I got scared. I got yelled at. I would take off running on foot. I didn’t know where I was going but anywhere was better than where I was and I knew that. I was just running and running but didn’t know why. I was just scared.
I was in the sixth grade and this is where things got kind of rough. Being in Port Richmond I was judged. I was picked on. That’s when I started fighting and I grew up fighting from there. I remember there would be times that I would be in school and kids would just be starting fights with me for no reason. I got to the point where I was like, I’m not running from no one anymore. If you’re going to cause me pain I’m going to cause you pain. I didn’t know it, but I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t feel welcomed in that house.
So from there, they got out of there because financially they couldn’t pay rent so they got kicked out and moved to Frankfurt. Then things really got rough for me. I hadn’t caught a break yet in life. Thirteen was the first age that I touched a drug. I was at White Hall Skate Park. A kid that I was with, he was there. He was like; “Man, you always seem stressed out and down. Why don’t you smoke some weed?” So I did and I was free. I didn’t feel the need to run away physically anymore. I could just run away to a blunt. Then we moved up to Buck’s county at the age of fourteen. Then it was just like a complete culture shock. We moved up there and people from the jump were like judging me. I fell right into the group of kids that took drugs.
At the age of fourteen, I got into a fight, kind of like an argument with my stepfather. I think I punched a hole in the wall and I got locked up for that in Bucks County. As soon as I got in I was rebelling. I wasn’t listening. At that point, I really had this strong hatred toward God and Jesus Christ. They literally had done nothing for my life and I had not caught a break yet. The worse experience for me honestly is not being able to run away from anything. I went to a place. I went to a rehab. I ran. I went to a group home and I ran. I went to a boot camp called Northwestern.
They broke his bones. They were slamming and punching him in the face. I was just so rebellious I would be fighting the drill sergeant. So, I was fighting and I was running. I never really made a friend anywhere. I was always alone by myself. From there I went to a place called Adele Fie. Adele Fie Village, it’s like a twenty-three and one for kids. It looks like state prison for kids. At that point I was just like; I want to go home. This is rough. I really can’t mentally handle this. I humbled myself for once in my life and followed directions and I got out of there. I came home. I was all excited to go home. I got home and things were a mess, a complete mess. Then I was like; “God, why can’t I catch a break? When is God going to look out for me?”
The resentment that was in my heart kind of equaled hatred but I went to a place called Glen Mills. I will say that place changed my life. I’m very grateful for Glenn Mills. I had all these good things going for me while I was there. I played baseball. I played football. I wrestled. That was like a normal high school experience even though I was locked up. There they gave me a scholarship to a college out in Florida for music. I messed it up. I went back out and there was a guy walking off the block and he wasn’t a worker. He said he had what he had for fifteen and it was worth twenty. So I drove to a desolate area and I made sure that there was no one that could find me. I made sure that if I was going to freak out that nobody would find me. I was lowered into my seat, lowered so I could lean my head back and feel the euphoric rush of drugs. I went out. I overdosed just like that. I don’t even remember it happening. I went out but some way, somehow the cops found me. I have no clue how they found me. I truly give that to God. He spared my life. I remember I was seizing out in the back of the ambulance. I was screaming out for God and Jesus. I was convulsing out of my mind and I was just like; “God, Jesus help me!” I was screaming at the top of my lungs and shaking. I was so cold. The EMT’s were smacking me and saying; “Shut up! You did this. You’re a junkie.” I was screaming out to God; “Help me! Just help me!”
I went to a rehab. I was in a room. I asked around the whole rehab; “Is there any Christians here? Is there anyone here that follows Christ?” They were all like; “No.” The next day we got a new dude. They moved him in my room and he was a Christian. He actually finished school to be a pastor. He has his pastoral degree or something like that. So, it’s crazy. He was preaching me the word and I thought; this makes sense.
He’s been in my life this whole time I just never received Him. I never went to God with my problems. I ran from God. I’m just really grateful. I’m so grateful for what God’s been doing for me, for my family and for the people He has put in my life. You know, growing up I can’t honestly say that I caught a break until now. God has been that break that I needed. I finally caught that break. I am not defined by what has happened to me or what I have done anymore. I’m not. It’s not who I am. I am a child of God. I said this to God; “I forgive everyone in my life that has ever done me pain. All the resentments, I ask you, God, to take them away from me. Fill my heart with your love and fill my mind with your presence.” I can relate it to that euphoric high. That overwhelming sensation of just being at peace, my mind just goes silent and I feel the presence of God. There is nothing more beautiful than that in this world. There is no high that can replace that.