One of the most important facts that I believe shapes my view of the world is that I have a high functioning case of the Aspergers spectrum of autism. It went undiagnosed until quite recently in my life, and I am now 35.
In 1978 I was born prematurely with Hyaline Membrane Disease (now commonly called respiratory distress syndrome). I went without oxygen to my brain for an indeterminate amount of time. I also had fluid on my brain that had to be constantly drained. The first three months of my life was spent in an incubator, not held or hugged by humans. The reason for this plastic isolation bubble was to save my life. I can’t help but wonder now, if it is what so deeply damaged my ability to understand my own human emotions properly.
My autism went undiagnosed for most of my life, because at that time when I was born, the understanding of the medical condition was quite minimal. I always knew that I was different from most of the kids in school. While other kids were on the playground or at lunch, I could be found in the library reading about physics, engine specs on World War II aircraft, and the Vietnam War. I was fascinated with how and why the world worked. I was able to get perfect grades in class without trying and I was constantly admonished for being the class clown, talking too much, and staring out the classroom window. I was placed in academically gifted classes around the fifth grade and was beginning to excel. Of course that all came to an abrupt end when I was sent to a forced child labor camp in Florida after fifth grade.
I recently realized one thing that will change my writing dramatically. I now understand that I do not need to censor my thoughts from the pages, as they give the reader a deeper insight into the person who is writing the book. Also, I followed a thought from a historical writer when I edited my first book, Aloha Joe in Hawaii. That thought was to use as simple a word as possible for any given sentence. I quite like using eloquent words when they naturally arise in my mind. I believe that I will allow myself this pleasure in the following pages as I have now entered a state of Sophrosyne, and can’t stop writing.
This time I will give you more than a synopsis of the scenarios. As per reader requests from my first book, my thoughts will be included, instead of just my version of the resulting reality. Of course along the way I am going to tell you stories that I can’t tell my kids, yet. Seriously, if you know my kids, please don’t give them a copy of this book until they are at least 18 years old. I want them to still think that I have all the answers for awhile longer.
I’m not proud of everything you will read here. However these stories are the truest versions of some of the more dramatic events of my life that I can recollect at this time. These are events I do not feel comfortable sharing with my two young sons just yet. They are compiled into this book, Stories I Can’t Tell My Kids—Yet. Some of these stories will make you laugh, and some of them will make you cry. Just know that I am not making up stories to toy with your emotions.
Our lives are often more bizarre than fiction. Writing these events down is simply my way of letting them go. I am learning to dissipate the anger and negative energy associated with the past, and have entered a new state of bliss in my life that can only be described as transformative.
The following is the Table of Contents
for my second book
"Stories I Can't Tell My Kids Yet"
01. The Benefits of Traumatic Brain Injury and Dissociative Amnesia
02. I was Raped and Physically Abused in a Forced Child Labor Camp
03. Cold Running Water Stops Bleeding
04. Horses, Cattle, and B-O-L-O-G-N-A
05. Muay Thai Kickboxing and The Karate Kid
06. Meeting My Blood Family at Age 15
07. Racial Integration in North Carolina
08. The Discovery Channel and a Circular Saw
09. In a King’s Court
10. Peanuts and Beer Equals Coyote Ugly
11. Bacon Saved My Life
12. Hot Wax and Hookers
13. A Marine Committed Suicide and How We Can Help Stop This Trend
14. My Mental Breakdown
15. I Survived Being Run Over by a Car
16. Medical Marijuana — What’s the Big Deal?
17. Green Fairy Knocking
18. Rescuing and Rehabilitating Tortured Dogs
19. You Can Take the Four Felonies or We Can Fight— Either is Fine with me
20. I Guess I’m Not Actually Superman
21. I am a California State Fishing Record Holder and World Fishing Network Ambassador
22. I Survived the Road to Hāna
23. A Retired Marine, a Thug, a Locksmith, and a Police Officer Walk Into a Condo
24. Craigslist, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Dating, and Why That’s a Bad Combination
25. Communal Living Can Be an Explosive Situation
26. The Green Flash
27. I Saved Two Kids From Drowning and Almost Died