Life Altering

The past couple months have been life altering for my wife and I. I have a son from a previous relationship that lived with his mother. She, (my child’s mother) was going on 5 years of continuous sobriety – as far as I am able to verify. She was a heavy IV cocaine user and would occasionally shoot up heroin to control the cocaine come-down. I wrote about her in my memoir.
She is now dead.
Another person added to the never ending list of addiction related deaths. Another, so close to home. A family torn apart. A daughter gone forever. A mother gone forever. A son, forever without his mom.
My wife and I have made all the necessary adjustments and changes to be the permanent care takers and parents for my son. The transition has been going really well considering what the poor boy has been through.
I quit my full time job and will be a stay-at-home dad for the near future. I want to build a stable bond with my boy. He has had so much change and disarray in his life that he needs a great deal of consistency and care from a stable and sober role model.
My wife has been completely amazing and flexible through this life direction whiplash. I have so much to learn from her generosity, love, and her unshakable companionship. She never ceases to amaze me.
My son’s chances of becoming dependant on drugs and/or alcohol are very high. Both parents’ were drug/alcohol users which covers the gene side of addiction and he comes from a single mother household, now a deceased mother, and already has an ACE (adverse childhood experience) score that is higher than his age. Individuals with an ACE score of 5 or more are 7 to 10 times more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. That covers the environment and statistical side of things.
He has a huge mountain to climb and many obstacles in his path. We will do everything we can to get him through this with only minor bumps and bruises. It will take a lot of work and a lot more luck. Of course I am not a determinist, so I know everything I mentioned does not determine his life outcome, however, for us NOT to look at these things would be cowardly, and very dilatory parenting.
I will try to post another update on things within the week. I know I haven’t been consistent with my posts but things are beginning to mellow out here at home. More to come soon.
Any thoughts or comments in general would be great. 🙂


I saw my heroin dealer this weekend

On Saturday my wife and I went to the city to attend a reptile expo. The expo was at the state park which is also the same area of the city I used to roam around while I was homeless. My old heroin dealer would ride his pedal bike, meeting up with us desperate and wayward users who had no access to a vehicle. I didn’t think much about the correlation between the location of the expo and my past drug excursions, but I did think about it briefly, prior to going. I didn’t put a lot of concern on this because my employer is in the same city as where I was homeless and I have built new and sober memories at these areas now. Also, I didn’t want to ruin our day by navelgazing.

The area of the expo is an area I haven’t been to since I was using and when we were driving through the area, I began talking with my wife about how I was feeling uneasy and had a sick feeling in my gut. It was raining quite hard and transients were walking up and down the rough and graffiti littered streets. Right after we started talking about my emotional state, I seen a man on a bike pedaling towards our vehicle. We was not stopped- we were heading north on the narrow neighborhood street and the cycler was riding south on the sidewalk. As soon as I seen the man on the bicycle, I knew it was my heroin dealer.

I told my wife who it was. I didn’t feel like it was something I wanted to keep to myself. To someone who has never been addicted to heroin, maybe this situation seems kind of inconsequential but for me, it was a pretty scary situation. I am very glad my wife was with me. I am glad she is willing to listen to my issues and fears without much warning.

I know that if that would have happened earlier in my sobriety, I would have slammed on the brakes, bought heroin, and got high. The sickening feeling I had did pass, but it did shake me up for a few hours. Addiction continually baffles me in its unrelenting patience and power. It’s not something to play around with. I go months without so much as a thought about heroin then BOOM! there it is. This is a rushed post because I am at work. I wanted to get this down in writing before the raw feelings of the situation disappeared. Thanks for reading.

Laughter – Not always the best medicine!

I often hear laughter coming from individuals while they are mentioning traumatic past experiences. Whether they are talking about how they were abused as a child or how they used to shoot up drugs into inconspicuous places. A short giggle here, or a wry laugh that ends their sentence. A sentence that is not at all funny or laughable and often times my experience of the conversation is a visceral response that is raw and painful.

I do understand the laughter and where it comes from. I used to do it as well. I now believe that laughing at traumatic things in our past is harmful to us and it is also a dishonest response. I should clarify one point before going on. I am not against humor or comedic responses to life. I am actually quite the joker when it comes to laughing about life’s many situations.

There is the saying by Carol Burnett about “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” I agree with this to a degree but there is a fundamental piece missing from this particular meme. If the tragedy has not been dealt with- through self-knowledge, therapy or other means of self work, the tragedy is comedic only because the issue is still raw and too painful to deal with. Because the individual has not worked through the trauma of the past, they must giggle or laugh as a defense mechanism to cover over the true emotion under the laughter.

The laughter is also an invitation to the listener to join along in the conversation as a tale of laughable past times. Of course if the listener joins in with returning laughter, the trauma will continue to destroy and manipulate the host. I didn’t realize how selfish it is to laugh about my own unprocessed trauma. Telling others about your past traumas with laughter causes the listener to feel the emotions for you. The feelings you are covering over are being felt by the person you are talking to. If they are not feeling your hidden emotions, they are non-empathetic and you are wasting time talking to that person anyway. Maybe that is what you want. If you just want someone to join along with your misplaced laughter, that’s fine too but I can not join along with that kind of empty relationship blather.

I’m not saying that laughing at your own trauma is contemptible or horrible or anything like that. Like I mentioned above, I understand it and I used to do it myself. All I am saying is I think it is a very important topic that we should evaluate honestly and objectively. Nothing in recovery is more important than being honest with yourself. If you notice someone giggle or laugh at something traumatic or horrific, pay attention to how you both deal with that situation. Challenge yourself to talk about the laughter in the discussion and you may be amazed at how advantageous and open your conversations can become.

Laughter is not always the best medicine.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on this topic. 🙂

The War on Drugs is the War on People

Stop the war...

Stop the war…

With the Keynesian ideas of Richard Nixon at the helm, his monumental stepping-stones of complete disaster were sure to steer his barge into yet another ship-sinking iceberg. Many remember Nixon because of the Watergate Hotel Scandal but that infraction was microscopic compared to his many abominable and treasonous misdeeds. The War on Drugs was his most atrocious and pitiful achievement.

The War on Drugs was initially implemented for only one reason. Nixon’s first term in office, he knew that an admission of defeat against the North Vietnamese Guerrillas’ would not be a positive mark up for his administration. The war of attrition military mission was a complete disaster for the US. Commands were not being followed, armed soldiers were refusing to obey orders, and some soldiers’ were using drugs. The entire mission fell apart.

Nixon knew he had to find an excuse that caused the war of attrition to fail. The administration with the help of social media manufactured the perfect scapegoat… DRUGS!

With no ability to cross-examine the inanimate objects, the administrations plan was a complete success. In June of 1971, Nixon announced “America’s public enemy number one in the [US] is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” This was the creation of “The war on drugs.”

If you look closely at his statement, he told us exactly what he was planning to do. The drugs were not the problem as you can read from his statement. The problem was drug abuse. Who abuses drugs? That’s right! People do. “In order to fight this enemy…” he stated, “it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive.” So new criminal laws were enacted as well as massive amounts of tax payer money to wage a war against people who were using drugs.

This supposed “war of drugs” has cost American’s between 1 trillion and 2.5 trillion tax dollars fighting people who use and sell drugs.

The war on drugs has done the complete opposite of its intended goals:

In a 10 year span, opiate use has increased by 34.5%, cocaine use has increased by 27% and marijuana has increased by 8.5%.

If the war on drugs was effective, shouldn’t we be spending less and less money and shouldn’t drug use be falling? It is quite obvious the war on drugs is completely ineffective.

Why is buying and selling drugs so violent and dangerous? Well, because it is illegal. If drugs were decriminalized, drug addicts wouldn’t have to steal, rob, and kill to supply their habits. The 2 plus trillion we have spent locking up millions of people could actually go to help these people instead of ruining their lives.

Jails and prisons only make drug offenders worse off. They find new drug dealers, they may be violently raped and they waste away their life, year after year as their family at home slowly corrodes. Once they have a criminal record, they can only chose a job from the very bottom depths of the barrel. Many commit suicide because they can’t find their way out of the vicious circle of addiction. I have stood on that edge before. It is cold and lonely.

The way we treat addicts in this country is a disgrace. The vast majority of addicts/alcoholics are the way they are because of adverse childhood experiences. Someone buying drugs from another person is a free exchange of goods. There is no aggression. No violence. Both parties are happy with the trade- so why the hell are we locking them up? We should be helping them, not hurting them. Ultimately, it’s not their fault. America has more prisoners than Stalin’s Archipelago. 80% of prisoners in the US are drug offenders. I hope we are not proud.

(Info/stats cited from)

Subsidized Forgiveness Aids Evil

How many times have you heard the phrase “you must forgive?” It continues on; stating that if you don’t forgive someone of their continuous and horrible misdeeds, you somehow give that person all of your power. You MUST FORGIVE to be relieved of such heavy and tenacious burdens! “Be the better person and forgive! forgive forgive!”

I too once believed in this extremely ridiculous moral proposition.

If you have this same view, believing that forgiveness is always the proper thing to do, please read on with an open heart and an open mind. I understand the deep religious and cultural adhesiveness this topic emits but there must come a point in time where rationality must overturn certain nonreciprocal forgiveness situations.

Forgiveness is a lot like love and trust in the way that it cannot be willed. Forgiveness, love and trust have to be earned for them to be truly validated. Because you cannot just will forgiveness, the person who has done the wrongs, must prove they are truly sorry for what they did. Forgiving someone who has not shown any empathy, change of behavior, or a genuine apology is only lowering the standards of your relationships and the standards for yourself. It also allows abuse in your relationships to continue. When we start to hold people accountable for their abuses against us, we will start to see some real change.

As a heroin addict, I have done and said some egregious and appalling things to others. Would I ever expect those people to just forgive me without a single change of behavior or a massive gift basket full of apologies?

Subsidizing the anti-empathy of others- or “giving them the benefit of the doubt” just means that the relationship is toxic and now that you have allowed it to continue. It will only get worse. We all know that when people get free shit, they become dependent on that free shit and they will continue to accept the hand-outs. Stop giving free hand-outs! Have more respect for yourself and for your relationships!

Relationships can make or break someone like me. I am a heroin addict and I now have a small family of my own that needs me to stay sober. My wife moved here from 8,000 miles away. She left everything she knew to come to America and start a family with me. If I relapsed, she would be completely devastated. This means I better pay real close attention to what kind of people I allow into my life. My personal relationships must be with people who have self knowledge, trust, and empathy for others. These are not qualities I used to look for in friends or even my own family.

If someone in my life does something intentionally horrible that can in any way cause major issues in my life, I will simply “unfriend” that person. Not just through Facebook either. They will no longer be in my life. Life is too short to allow toxicity to overpower my life’s greatness and beauty. I want people in my life who love, protect, accept truth, honesty and virtue.

I do forgive others but it must be earned. Ignorance is no excuse because if you have empathy, you cannot use ignorance as an excuse. If you don’t have empathy then well, you will not be in my life. Everyone deserves a shot a proving they are truly sorry for whatever it is that they did but pay close attention to what that person does from that point forward. If they don’t show any empathy during the process or if they continue hurting you, don’t forgive them and move on with your life. They do not hold power over you. That is a ridiculous belief that allows evil to continue. There are many others out there who willing to raise the bar for a much healthier and meaningful relationship.

This is a shorter than normal blog post but this topic has been on my mind for over a week and it was starting to tear through my prefrontal cortex and leak out of my ear holes. Please feel free to comment some of your own thoughts on this topic. I am quite interested in what you guys think about forgiveness.

Some other great addiction blogs are:

I tried uploading a picture many times but my computer says no way! I will try it again tomorrow. 🙂

Don’t Spank Addiction Into Your Children!

Why are the most important and the most devastating topics either lied about, shied away from, manipulated, or just completely ignored on social media? Not only is it true for social media, these topics are ignored everywhere. Including television, radio, film, our daily interactions and even amongst our closest relationships. The topics I am talking about affect all of us in one way or another but yet we do whatever is needed to keep such influential arguments sequestered.

-If I say I believe in God, the collective society would allow me to continue my speech. However, if I state that I am a strong atheist, the majority would boo me, shun my ungodly disbelief and throw large, juicy tomatoes at my face.

-If I try to convince a mother to stop disciplining her children because spanking children has been linked to drug abuse, the lowering of IQ, and sociopathic behaviors. I would get told to mind my own business while catching another vine ripened mater to the head.

-If I claim that 9/11 was an inside job, I get met with hostility, indifference and categorized as a “conspiracy theorist”.

-If I voice the truth about the immorality of war, I am considered a disgraced adversary of our military and labeled “un-American”.

-If I make a claim that legalizing all drugs will only help society’s problem with addiction, I would be mocked by many for such a crazy and irresponsible ideal.

If you look at these different scenarios, you can see they all have one thing in common. The “correct” answer’s to these question’s are not at all based or driven from facts; they are all based on a collective acceptance. This tells us that we are full of shit if we say that we don’t care what others think about us. That is just simply not true. If we did not care what society thought about our beliefs, then we would tell the truth much more often. We could cure ourselves from this sick ailment called collectivism. Because of our need for acceptance as a collective society, we are continually forced to lie. I have found that facts do not alter people’s core beliefs- acceptance to this main-stream collective does. We live in a world where our reality is not driven by facts, but by a fake delusion of lies and deceit.


I was raised in the belief that America is the greatest country in the world and that I should be proud of my culture and my flag. I think it is safe to say that the individuals on the opposite side of the world were raised to believe in similar ideas about their country and their flag. I do believe America is a wonderful place to live and has some of the most beautiful and majestic places in all the globe. However I do know that I was born in America by accidental circumstances and because of that, myself and the place I was born is no better than someone who was accidentally born on the opposite end of the Pacific Ocean. My country, my culture, my religion and my society were all accidental circumstances and I did not have a say in any of them. If I would have been born to Iraqi parents, I would most likely be a Muslim who spoke Arabic. I am a human being, and so are they. A line on a map cannot possibly be the guide of virtue or reason that separates good people from the bad. It is an imaginary line and it only exists on a map. Why have we allowed imaginary lines to guide us on who is virtuous and who is not? If I have struck a nerve, please tell me your thoughts. If you do, please be respectful about your argument.

You may be asking what this has to do with my usual posts about drugs and addiction. Well, the studies show that 7 out of 10 American parents are still spanking their children for disciplinary reasons. The majority of parents are not ashamed to admit it. Why? Because it is accepted in our culture. Our society is using the outdated and severely destructive “save the rod, spoil the child” precept. I couldn’t count how many Facebook posts I have read stating “When I was kid, I got my butt whooped when I was out of line! Maybe if more kids would get a swift kick in the ass they would learn respect!” This is just complete and utter nonsense. Even though it may seem that a child needs some form of aggressive discipline to “keep them in line” or because they won’t “behave themselves”, this actually does much more harm than good. The only good it does is make us feel power over another human being. That all too familiar hierarchy we have been so accustomed to. That is, at least by my standards, not a good thing.

Spanking has proven to cause a decrease in IQ, abnormalities in brain function, aggressive behavior later on in life, violence, criminal behavior, mental illness including addiction and severe cases of physical abuse have led to psychopathic personalities. Despite popular belief, children don’t get spanked because they act out, they act out because they are being spanked.

doll-340355We need to address this horrific flaw in our society. We continue to hide behind the evil curtain called “discipline”. Our society protects women who are in abusive relationships. Women have the choice to be in the relationship and we still feel it is only right to protect them. Would we accept our women being hit “just when they deserved it?” Of course not! How ludicrous does that sound? So why do we allow it for our precious children?! Our children are completely helpless in this matter. Why are we spanking our helpless and innocent children?! They are in a one-sided contract with us as parents. Our children did not ask to be put into the relationship. They did not choose their parents. If they are abused they cannot leave. They are economically dependent on us. The environment we build for our children is what will shape them as an adult. We need to stop teaching violence to our children. When we hit or spank our kids we are teaching them violence. Imagine a world that is violence free. Imagine all that can be accomplished by not teaching violence to the next generation of youngsters.

Instead of inflicting a “negative” on your child (spanking, yelling, time-out’s, grounding) take away a “positive” from them instead (reading after supper, cuddling on their favorite bean-bag chair, favorite treat). The importance of negotiation with our children is paramount for their proper growth into adulthood. We don’t need to always act like a house dictator. That only teaches them to tell their friends how big of an ass hole their parents are and they learn to rebel against it. That is why there is such a huge issue with bullies in the public school system. When you get angry with your child for telling you the truth, you have just taught your child that they need to lie to you from now on. This world of hierarchies is crumbling from underneath us. Believing that we need to have power over others will be the power that destroys us all. Lets end the violence. Lets stop spanking our children and allow them to reap the benefits of a violence-free, drug-free, truly peaceful world.

There are many sources that are easily accessible for helping parents raise their children without violence and the effects of violence. I am not claiming to have all the right answers. I do know that if there is one thing everyone as a collective society should agree on, it should be that we need to stop spanking our children.



Your Children and Addiction (Part 2)



Continued from

If you have not read the first part of this post, it may not make as much sense. Please click the link above to read Part 1.

A word from Kris John (my mother)
This is the first in a series of attachments from a parent, to Dustin’s blog to help parents, grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, whoever wants to know and see what might be going on in their child’s life. This is one smart guy we have raised. I don’t know where he has learned all of these devious tricks to get himself heroin every day.

It makes sense to use your senses! (use your best judgment)

A word from my mother: “I don’t know why we didn’t see the sign’s? I don’t know if we were just too busy with life to notice that our youngest son was swirling down into a hurricane that was sucking the life breath from him. He was losing weight, he was gone away from home a lot, he says he is with his friends…but we were very busy with our own lives, just trying to survive…to pay our bills, to keep a roof over our heads, to keep food on the table. Why didn’t we see the signs before it were almost too late?”

The closer your relationship is with your child, the better. If you aren’t giving your children hugs and kisses; embracing them often, how do you know if they smell of alcohol or marijuana? Hug them often. Pay attention to their smell. Smell their clothing and their bedrooms for strange odors. I’m not recommending you run around the house like a hound dog trying to find a strange scent. Well, I guess you can if no one is home but you don’t need to walk on all fours. If you do want to be on all fours, maybe have your children read this post instead.

mC07g0qMy father was always awkward with hugging me and my siblings. I wish he would have hugged me more. He passed away before I asked him why it was so weird for him to hug his children. I know without a doubt he loved each one of us, but something deep down bothered my father when embracing others. Hugs were rare and quickly given when done. My last opportunity I had to embrace my father was last October. As my father laid on his death-bed, the evening before he passed away, I still felt the awkward vibe between us when I leaned over the bed to embrace him.

If you are paying close enough attention, you will pick up different vibes from your children. Listen for any changes in their long-term happiness or over-all mood. You know your kid better than anyone so you know when you hear something that doesn’t sound right. Only you will know if your child is just having a bad day or if something more sinister is going on. Staying involved and listening closely to what they talk about is very important. If you are hearing them talk about a different set friends that are unfamiliar to the family, be concerned. When I wanted to go do drugs with one of my addict friends, I would lie about who I was going with. If you catch your child lying about who they have been with, obviously be concerned. It doesn’t necessarily mean drugs, but they are lying for some reason. If your bond with your child/children is weak or disconnected, there is no way for you to know what is going on in your children’s life. Also, a disconnection or an unhealthy bond may be the cause of your child’s need for outside comfort and contentment.

Many times I would go into the bathroom (when I lived with my parents) and do drugs. I was in the bathroom way too often. My father noticed this and questioned me about it. I lied and said I wasn’t doing drugs. If they are using the bathroom or isolating in their bedroom more than usual, be concerned. Strange noises coming from their room Ex. lighter flicker, excessive sniffing, odd banging or tapping sounds; any noises that are out of the ordinary. If your gut tells you something is up, it probably is!

It is difficult to draw the line between being a caring, loving, nosy parent and flat-out invading your child’s privacy. It is my belief that children should indeed have their own privacy. I also believe that line shouldn’t be crossed. A child’s personal diary or journal should not be carelessly flipped through but I do believe in carefully checking all 27 pockets of their pants before throwing them into the washer.

mq2BfeoMany times I would put drugs and drug paraphernalia in the pockets of my clothing; especially the tiny little 5th pocket sewn into the larger front pocket of my jeans. My parents found many left-over treasures in my dirty laundry. If you find something of this nature in your children’s clothing, hopefully it doesn’t mean they are farther along in their addiction. In the beginning stage of my addiction, I was accurate. I was precise. I was careful. I never left any evidence. As time wore on, my addiction began trumping my accuracy measures and I started becoming sloppy and careless. My order became disorder. That is when my parents started finding my misplaced trinkets.

They say seeing is believing. In the case where my parents found my paraphernalia, my first response was “oh that isn’t mine. I was holding for a friend so he wouldn’t get into trouble.” Give me a break right? Regardless if they say it is not theirs, they are in possession of a huge problem; it is now in your home so you are now an accomplice to this problem. No good will come of this if you brush it under the rug. You now know that your child is having issues as well as direct contact with drugs. If this is the case, it can’t be blown off as a “don’t let it happen again.” At this point, it would probably be best to consult a local counselor or a similar professional. Hopefully you haven’t found any paraphernalia yet. If this is the case, keep your eyes open to the possibility.  

A word from my mother: “Little pieces of burnt tin foil all over the place, a whole roll of aluminum foil in his car, boxes of baking soda in his room? Now why did he have baking soda in his room? Probably brushing his teeth with it, yes that’s what it was. But, aluminum foil, what was the purpose?

Like I said previously, if you don’t think your child is at risk of addiction, you are being quite irresponsible and ignorant as a parent. Being open to any possibility can only enhance a more positive outcome as well as prepare you for any problems your children may have. The statement “hope for the best, expect the worst” is the best guideline you can follow where addiction is so ubiquitous.

Watch your children’s eating habits. Watch for drastic sudden changes in what they eat, how much or how less they eat or if they often skip entire meals. All drugs effect normal eating habits but each drug may have a different affect. In general, coke, meth, speed (uppers) will suppress appetite. Opiate based drugs and alcohol can raise or lower food intake and marijuana will usually raise food intake. Everyone is different and depending how long they have used a certain drug will change any of these amounts. Again, this is a very broad and general description. Changes in eating habits do not always mean drugs. It could be depression, eating disorders etc. This is why being aware of your children’s normal eating habits is so important.

Intuition (6th sense)-
mgDxSo8You can’t use your sense of taste very effectively unless you find a baggie of white powder and your kid says it is only baking soda. What you can use is your 6th sense! It is a real thing. It isn’t some magical ability only given to a young boy who can see dead people. We all have it. Your 6th sense is your ability to know when something is not as it seems. The feeling you have when 2 plus 2 doesn’t equal to 4. It’s that deep pit in your stomach that pulls you when you feel your being misguided. It’s the intuition of your soul. That hunch you have about something not being quite right. Someone tells you a lie and you feel it. That is your natural ability to be guided in a helpful and loving direction. Me personally, I think that is a little bit of real magic. My father got so good using his that eventually; all he had to do was take a quick glance at me and BOOM! I was busted. He knew I was high again and had relapsed. And I knew right away when he knew. He didn’t even have to say it out loud. I could see the pain and disappointment on his face. You have intuition so use it!

If you fail to catch your child’s drug problem in the early stages, you may find yourself asking much more difficult questions. Because I was able to convince, manipulate and connive my way around the truth; mixed with my parent’s belief that their son would never do something so terrible, my addiction wasn’t really dealt with in the early stages. My mom had this to say:

He is not paying his bills, and he is getting payday loans and they are calling the house looking for him. He has opened several checking accounts, and writing lots of checks, with no money in the accounts…the banks are calling our house looking for him, but he is never home. The mailbox is full of bills for him, but he does not respond to them. He has lost another job, because he has failed to go in again, called in sick, again.”

If your son or daughter begins a career as a heavy drug user/drinker, realize that they will steal from you. Here is what my mother said at one point during my addiction:

Am I going crazy? Things are missing…where is my X-Box? Looking for the Camcorder, I must have misplaced it. Several DVD’s are missing. Maybe I put them someplace else too.”

As you can imagine, she (my mother) desperately wanted to believe it wasn’t me who stole their belongings. That somehow she had just misplaced the items. I wish I could say it wasn’t me. I didn’t just do it once either. I continually stole their belongings so I could supply my ever-growing heroin addiction. As soon as my parent’s got their things out of the pawn shop, I would steal them again.

We should have jumped on the signs, but we didn’t know they were the first signs of a full-blown Heroin addiction.” A statement from my mother.

As you can see, there are many things that you can do to help your children before it becomes too late. As I have been writing this blog, I have noticed that this topic could probably continue forever. I think it is important to at least cover all of the major points. Because it is so long of a post and it contains so much information, I will do a part 3 in the coming weeks. I hope this has been helpful so far. 🙂