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. 🙂

 

Drugs and Tampons

I had experienced a very short, yet rather disturbing dream last week. It woke me in the middle of the night so I knew I needed to remember the dream. I replayed each deranged and confusing scene in my mind until I knew I would remember it the next day. Because of the strange and disturbing nature of my dream, I wanted my therapist to help me unravel its hidden metaphorical meaning. Here is the dream, and the conclusion we came to.

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The Dream:

I was in my parents basement. I used to live in this part of their home when I was young. It isn’t the damp, unfinished type of basement. The floors are carpeted, walls painted and there are small, half windows towards the top of the ceilings. This particular room looked identical in the dream as it does in real life. The only comparable difference with the room in my dream was this lonely mini-refrigerator against one of the walls. There was nothing else in the room except for this plugged-in appliance.

As I started to walk towards the mini-fridge, I noticed I was not alone. I was being trailed by an old friend of mine that I used to do drugs with, before my addiction took a firm hold. In real life, this friend had gotten sober but later died from an aggressive type of brain cancer.

As we approached the fridge, I told him “don’t worry, I have one for you.” I was assuming he was asking me for drugs or I at least thought he was wanting drugs.

I knelt down on a knee and opened the door on the mini-fridge. I reached in the fridge and pulled out a neatly wrapped tampon. I handed my friend the tampon. He then carefully peeled the wrapping off the tampon but there was no tampon in the wrapper. It was a syringe. He pulled the plunger back on the needle until the black rubber grommet came out of the clear cylinder. “POP!”

He then put the plunger into his mouth like it was a thermometer, or a sucker stick.

This was the end of the dream…

Breakdown:

Possible meanings:

Parents’ basement – Unresolved issues; deep, dark secrets.

Old friend (now deceased) – A quality of the friend that stands out most in myself. Not necessarily about the friend himself.

Tampon – A tampon is a solution to a problem.

Taking something out of a fridge – Is a continuation of a situation(s).

Syringe – Influence/drugs.

Syringe in the mouth – Drugs as a solution.

Analysis:

My friend putting a tampon/syringe into his mouth in my parents’ basement represents either a latent or former desire to turn to drugs as a solution to my childhood/familial issues. The issues remain, therefore the desire remains. It suggests that if the unresolved issues remain unresolved, I may be at risk of relapse. This dream may have been a warning from my subconscious brain.

Disclaimer:

Dream analysis is not science. It’s not proof of anything. It could be complete nonsense. I am fully aware of this. However, I have found this extremely helpful and absolutely mind blowing. I also believe there is utility in analyzing the complex and complicated world that is our subconscious mind.

Have any of you analyzed one of your dreams?

Thank you all for taking the time to read about my strange tampon dream. 🙂

 

thera-Peas’

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I have been seeing a therapist the last four weeks. We’ve been discussing why I have so many issues with food. Because food is the fuel that keeps us alive, this was the first issue I needed to address with him. For the majority of my life, I have been the type of person who sees food as a hassle – a waste of valuable time – a pain in my ass. I have never enjoyed the action of eating food. Very seldom have I been “excited” to sit down and eat a meal. Many times I would go most the day before realising I had not eaten anything. When my dad passed away in 2013, my issue with food became worse.

Being an addict, I often wonder if being addicted to food would be a nice change of scenery. I find that thought so far out of the realm of possibility though. Maybe not. Who knows.

My unconscious is holding the key to unlock my food issue and I am going to find it. My therapist has helped me understand some important factors that contribute to this. As a child, the majority of memories I have about food were quite terrifying to me. Weather it was the notion that I must clean off my plate before getting up from the dinner table or being forced to eat something I knew I would dislike – as a youngster, these were scary situations for me. Do my foul early memories of food contribute to today’s eating habits? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s all very interesting and I will eventually understand it more in the future.

Oh, and I chose the title because I can’t stand the taste of cooked peas. Nasty squishy bastards.

With my food issue typically being backwards from the typical food issues, does anyone else find eating to be such a burden or am I alone on this one? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

What is love

  
If the true definition of love is “our involuntary response to virtue if we are virtuous” I will strive every day to actually mean the words when I say “I love you

Love is having difficult conversations that provoke anxiety and fear. 

Love is standing tall in your convictions of truth and reason despite the waves of opposition. 

Love is asking questions of curiousity even if it makes you uncomfortable. 

Love is accepting that you were wrong in the past. 

Love is accepting another persons emotional experience with openness and honesty. 

Love is taking responsibility for all your actions. 

Love is allowing another to have inconvenient needs. 

Love is doing whatever it takes to become a better, more virtuous human being. 

“Ill” Legal immigration; or what I like to call “moving”

This post is not my typical genre but it does have a direct and lasting affect in my life – so I will talk about it. 

It doesn’t affect me in the typical, mainstream-political-race-bating-American exceptionalism-xenophobic-vote buying-potential terrorist kind of way. No – it’s much more subtle. And by subtle, I mean not at all. 

When my wife moved to America (from Finland) in 2012 to be with the coolest guy ever, we chose the non traditional form of “immigration”. I think it was called following the law? Something like that. Anyway, the hoops that we had to jump through were oblong and smaller than a cheerio. They were literally that small. Squeezing through them was extremely difficult. Actually jumping through it was impossible. 

The dump trucks that delivered the paper work arrived months behind schedule and they just dumped them all in one big pile on our front lawn leaving large gaping tire tracks into the sunken grass. The wind had picked up and the papers scattered through the breeze like a massive blast from a confetti gun. Then came the rain…

My terrible metaphor is rediculous, but it does describe how government bureaucracies function. When competition is not allowed, there is no need to focus on customer satisfaction. 

When I hear about massive swarms of 3rd world illegal immigrants getting direct access to the government tit, I am astonished. I distinctly recall having to sign papers stating that I alone, was responsible for 100% support of my wife and she MAY NEVER take even a single slice of moldy government cheese and if she was not able to be fully supported by me, she would be on a plane back to her country of origin. Oh, and she is restricted from working in America for the first two years because…we say so. 

I’m not saying I wanted or needed any of the governments stolen money to support my wife but the double standard made an involuntary but audible dry heave sound from deep within me. 

The process to legally move my wife here was not only extremely expensive, it was also unnesassarily complicated. The language on each document was in Sanskrit and wing dings. Because I failed in those two language courses, we had a hell of a time answering what should’ve been simple, basic questions. 

The constant mistakes made by the receivers of our paper piles were simply idiotic. These people do this for a living and they were the dictionary definition of incompetent. When we finally received my wife’s first Green card – which took years to acquire, they put the wrong last name on it which meant we couldn’t acquire a matching social security card which meant no traveling back home for my wife. We complained to them about the typo And they respond with “you must pay $450.00 for a new green card.” Isn’t that lovely! After some internet searches, I quickly noticed we were not an exception to the rule. This was a problem for many applicants. 

One mistake I can understand. But it’s now 2016 and we are still waiting for her properly named Green card. We received a letter yesterday stating they wanted more proof that we are actually married. Seriously? Would a sex tape suffice? Or how about one of your little workers come down, set up some cameras in our home and make a reality TV show about how married we are because we have proven it beyond any other measure possible. 

The incentives to do the right thing are backwards in many aspects of our governing bodies. I don’t have a pull to break the law by any means but many people do. There are a lot of people who have zero moral lines or boundaries and they will do whatever they can get away with. This is even more true for people coming from the third world. 

Let’s make a deal!

  
Anyone up for trading a free download of my book, A Walk in His Shoes in exchange for a review?  I can send it through Amazon to any email address and I will pay the $2.99 ebook cost. 

I am also looking for anyone willing to link my book to one of their blog posts in exchange for either my ebook download or I can link you (book, website, blog etc) in one of my posts. 

Hope you all had a great NewYears without the  regrettable hangover! My NewYears was fun filled with…..sleep. I had a hard time even staying up late enough. That’s how it should be, right? It was nice just watching movies with my wife, knowing I’d wake without any regrets or embarrassment. 

Here’s to a great 2016!!

If you are interested in any kind of collaboration, you can contact me different ways or comment below. 🙂

Thanks all!

Twitter: @DustinLJohn

Facebook: Dustin John -Facebook

Book website: A Walk in His Shoes

My book is finally finished!

 


I wanted to write a quick post about what has been going on over the past few months. I haven’t been consistent in posting on my blog….consistent or non-existent? Either way I haven’t posted here in a long while. Here’s what has been going on in my life-

I have stayed sober. Sobriety, or rather, the urge to use drugs has not been a problem. Of course I think about it from time to time still but there hasn’t been an emotional or psychological mind or body reaction to my thoughts. They have all been more of a “look-back” at the past. No stomach-turning roller coaster drops of drug induced fantasies. Nothing like that.

My wife and I have grown a passion and love for reptiles. We have acquired a lot of beautiful ball pythons over the past 6 months and if someone had told me that snakes each have their own personality, I would have told them they are insane. Sure enough, snakes are pure awesomeness. Some are cuddlers while others like to pretend they are a rock. “You can’t see me! I am a rock!” Some people don’t consider “being a rock” as having a personality but I have met people with far less statuesque ability. I don’t want to make this a blog about our pets so I’ll end this with a picture of our snake named Wanda.


Shifting gears a bit, I found myself hesitating on completing my memoir. My father and I started the book almost 9 years ago. We had countless meetings together trying to flesh out each other’s work, coordinating his chapter with mine; which we wrote in separate homes at seperate times by discussing important talking points. It was a large amount of work but at least we were in it together. After my father passed away I felt extremely lost. I felt lost because I knew I would never be able to talk to my father but I also felt lost with the book project. It was so close to completion. I did have our editor’s help and my family members, but it still made me feel empty and alone. The project seemed to lose its meaning in a way. I felt we had built a special bond during his last years here. Maybe realizing that my dad did all that work to never get to see it completed made me feel that pain. I don’t know exactly why it became so difficult to finish. We had so many great discussions about what it would be like to have seen the book completely done, bound, and in our hand.

I finally finished the book. Despite what my false self was yelling in my ear. I knew it was mostly lies and fear. I can’t blame the fear. After all, My memoir don’t paint me as a shining moral hero. I titled the book – A Walk in His Shoes.  It released on Amazon and Kindle on December 3.

I will write a more thorough post this weekend detailing more of what has been going on. If anyone is still interested in reading my memoir, you can get it as a hardcopy or as an ebook. If you are wanting to read it but don’t have the funds to purchase the book, let me know and we can work out a trade. Thanks everyone!

Hard copy—>  CLICK HERE!

Ebook——-> CLICK HERE!

A Walk in His Shoes

Facebook page—> CLICK HERE!

On the Facebook page, I am giving a free signed copy of the book away on the most recent Facebook post. If you are interested in winning a signed copy of the book, click the Facebook link above. Thanks everyone!


			

Drug Dreams and Buck teeth Unicorns

photo courtesy of creepypasta.wikia.com

photo courtesy of creepypasta.wikia.com

Last night I had a nightmare. My neck and chest was soaking wet and beads of sweat were running down my forehead. My upper body was ice-cold from being outside the blanket and the sheets underneath me were damp and cold. I woke in a panic, trying to make sense of what was going on. Trying to figure out where I was. I was in my own bed of course but 45 seconds prior I was shooting up heroin with my wife in my drug dealers shabby basement apartment. Paraphernalia strewn all over the bedroom- used syringes covering the top of his rickety nightstand. A puke-green ragged blanket masquerading as a curtain but failing miserably as the sun ripped through the massive hole in the middle. Their were no lightbulbs in the ceiling fixture but that didn’t seem unusual in a place like that. The hole in the blanket allowed the sun to shine a perfect beam of light into the room that lit up a small statue of a unicorn that had huge buck teeth. Like the donkey from Shrek, only not a donkey. The statue was out-of-place and I remember looking at it going “what the f#$k? Why does my drug dealer have a buck tooth unicorn?”

My wife didn’t notice the unicorn but I could tell she was disgusted at all the paraphernalia scattered about. I wanted to get her out of there but when I turned around to walk out, the door had turned into a wall.

I was so upset and angry at myself because I knew it had to be mostly my fault that my wife was now using too. She has never even smoked weed so the fact that she was shooting heroin all the sudden meant that I had persuaded her at some point. Why would I do something so vile? I thought. This must be a bad dream.

Seeing us that way was so vile and disgusting. In a way, I am glad I had that dream. That will never be an option for us in reality and the thought of it makes me nauseous. I wanted to share my dream before I forgot what happened. Thanks for reading.

My Trip To the West Coast

♠Dustin and Maiju’s Road Trip♠

Our trip to Sin City and California was absolutely fabulous. This post will be mostly visual due to a failing ability to redact some of the photographs. It’ll be more of a picture book than a blog post. 🙂 Some of you may prefer pictures to my snarky and opinionated posts.

On our first day, we (my wife and me) drove from Utah to Las Vegas. We got a room at the Caesars Palace. As most of you may know, this picture is in the Forum Shops at the Hotel.

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This next picture is of our bathroom. The main reason I am posting a picture of the bathroom we had is because there was no bathroom door separating the bathroom from the rest of the room. I found this very odd. It did however, take my marriage to a new level. Rushing into the bathroom when I had to fart was no longer an option.

Beautiful bathroom but they forgot to install a door.

Not gonna lie, the mirror in the bathtub was great, but I would’ve traded it for a bathroom door.

The view outside our window. Not the greatest picture but this was the first time I had seen the new attraction “The Linq”. It is the mega ferris wheel in the background. Each sphere/cart is like a small bar/dance floor. How crazy! And of course the dreamy Donny Osmond plastered all over the adjacent casino wall. I was a bit disappointed at the swamp cooler and duct-work view until I saw Mr. Osmond. That brought it back up to par. :-/ Have any of you ridden on The Linq?

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On our 2nd day, we drove from Las Vegas to California. These pictures are taken on “The Strip” of course.

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Buffalo Bills Hotel and Casino off I-15. Has any of my followers stayed at Buffalo Bill’s or rode the roller coaster? I’ve heard the coaster is pretty rough. The traffic was stop-n-go for almost 2 hours in this picture. Luckily I had good audio books and the brilliant mind of my wife to keep me from going ballistic on careless and inconsiderate drivers.

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This was at a gas station about 150 miles away from anything resembling life. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to fill’er up! Gas prices back home ——> $2.20/gal

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This was an old abandoned motel. It was creepy so we stopped and got a closer look. Would you stay one night here if you got paid $100? How much money would it take for you to stay a night at the old Royal Hawaiian?

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We don’t have palm trees in Utah and they are my favorite tree. This street was right by our hotel in California. Not to be confused with Hotel California. Had we went there, we couldn’t have left…so they say. And no, that is not a UFO in the sky. That is a dead bug on my windshield. 😉

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DISNEYLAND – DAY 1

This was Maiju’s first time at Disneyland. That’s us standing under the sign. The lines were long but they moved rather quickly. She woke me up before the sun came up. I think she was excited. 😀

Here is a short clip of us walking through Disneyland. She pays the price when she walks ahead of me. 🙂 https://youtu.be/rkuoRYCBh7I

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Space Mountain

Space Mountain

HERE IS A VIDEO LINK OF ME AND MAIJU RIDING THE TRAIN ROLLER COASTER AT DISNEYLAND

https://youtu.be/Hkaq-SYL_lU

ADVENTURELAND – DAY 2

I gotta say, the new Cars Land section of the park is phenomenal. They did a great job recreating Radiator Springs. We spent a lot of time in Cars Land. The only down side was Adventureland only had two places to eat an actual meal. Cotton candy, churro’s and ice cream is tempting to eat all day but a hot meal is always a good thing to throw in there at some point.

Cars Land

Cars Land – Flo’s Cafe (they have delicious breakfast)


Maiju :)

Maiju in front of Radiator Springs souvenir shop. “Come to the geek side…we have pi”  🙂

REAL-TO-LIFE LIGHTING MCQUEEN & TOWMATER

Lightning McQueen and Tow-Mater are full-size vehicles complete with animated facial movements and voices. They are actually giant remote controls operated by a remote control that is worn around the neck of the operator. I know what I want for Christmas! (hint hint)

Von Lightning Mc-Q

Von Lightning Mc-Q


Tow-Mater!

Tow-Mater the lady-killer

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Radiator Springs Racer’s race car attraction is one of the most expensive theme park rides in the world. It cost over $200,000,000 (200 million) to build. When it first opened in 2012, the wait to go on the ride was 6+ hours. We rode it twice and waited about an hour, to an hour and a half each time. Well worth the wait. By far the best ride there.

Radiator Springs Racer's

Radiator Springs Racer’s

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TO GO FOR A RIDE ON RADIATOR SPRINGS RACERS,

CLICK HERE—> https://youtu.be/HgE7B01XD4M

My wife thinks I may have been on the coaster in this picture. It’s hard to tell so lets say that I am.

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HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS – DAY 3

I turned 36 or 37 on this day. I always forget how old I am. I think I’m getting old too fast. The time just keeps flying by. Anyway, the day was a bit cooler than the previous days. I thought it was going to rain but it never did. Maiju had enough of the jarring rides and so did my neck. We spent most the day walking around the park and enjoying the views.

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The worlds largest 3-D motion simulator where King Kong rips T-Rex’s jaw in half. Dinosaur spit literally hit me in my eyeball.

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One of the original “JAWS” filming locations.

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WhoVille

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The Jurassic Park ride was the only ride my wife was looking forward to going on. It was closed for renovations. That was a bummer. Guess we have to go back now. Shucks.

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CRYSTAL COVE – BEACHCOMBER RESTAURANT – DAY 4

I was informed of this place by a fellow blogger so my wife and I put in a reservation. This place is absolutely beautiful. The next few pictures are all taken here.

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HOLLYWOOD BLVD – DAY 5

We walked down Hollywood Blvd, took pictures, ate, and went to the Museum of Death for the first time. This place is absolutely nuts. For anything gruesome, dead, jack-the-ripper, murderish, morbid, death cults of the past… this is the place. They have actual memorabilia/weapons from the most well-known serial killers. Way cool but EXTREMELY CREEPY! It costs $15/person and its an unguided tour. No photography allowed- that is probably best for all of us. 🙂

The Museum of Death

The Museum of Death

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Capitol Records Building

Capitol Records Building

DAY 6 – BACK TO LAS VEGAS

This was somewhere between California and Nevada. Southbound traffic was a lot lighter. My road rage was at a fairly reasonable level.

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Back in Sin City. I have always loved the bright flashing lights of a moon lit Vegas. Here is the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Hotel and Casino. If any of my followers have eaten at this restaurant, how was it? Is it worth it? We have never been inside. I am interested to know what you thought. It’s a beautiful tower- no doubt on that.

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I KEELYOU!! – BALLYS

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When we finally settled into Vegas, we stayed at Treasure Island. We both agreed that Treasure Island was a far better place to stay compared to Caesar’s Palace. The bed was far more comfortable, the room was nicer, the bathroom had a door, the view was better and the in-room dining was the best $60 I’ve ever spent. It was heaven. I was hesitant to spend the extra money for room service food but it was by far a memory that will last me forever. It was just fantastic to sit on the bed with my wife, relax, chat and eat impressively good food.

You can tell by how much fun I was having in the dork-fest reflection pic below. What little you can see past my reflection, was the view of Vegas from our window. I always request our room as high up as possible because I go wild-crazy over silly things like that. I think we was on the 27th floor or somewhere close to that.

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This street performer was floating in mid-air right in front of us. I was so fascinated with this ability, I had to google how she was doing it. Isn’t it just awesome?!

This was so mind blowing for a street performance, I had to throw down some cash for her ability to float in mid-air.

This was so mind-blowing for a street performance, I had to throw down some cash. The ability to float in mid-air!

Here’s one more angle just because it’s that cool!

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HOMEWARD BOUND – DAY 7

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Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for following. 🙂