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The Struggles Of My Life

*This one is a long one, and is a summary of my struggles in life. Part poem, part story, all true. I am currently dealing with a relationship ending after 14 years together, and none of this compares to my current struggles and pain.

I am not ashamed of who I am, I have nothing to hide,
I am an open book, so let me give you some insight.
Often I look back over my life, thinking about my past,
previously I lived by rules both loose and fast.
As a child, my father wasn't really ever there,
it was tough, but it also taught me that life isn't fair.
In his absence I looked up to older boys in the neighborhood,
being young and stupid, never doing much good.
At only twelve, me and two friends accidentally derailed a train,
playing with the switch, the train reversed, unable to switch it back again.
Six cars flipped on their side, twisting metal and steel full of grain,
we all ran home as white as a ghost, then tried to lie when the cops came.
My mom would have been on the hook, estimated damage a quarter million,
but the track switch had no lock, and it was accessible to children.
From this point on, I was labeled as a bad kid,
known as a troublemaker, no matter what I did.
This made my childhood increasingly harder,
in part, acting out because I really missed my father.
A few months later, me and those same friends burglarized a house,
stupid kids, we took video games, and every Playboy that we found.
Cops once again questioning us, my buddies were in deep,
sent off to a juvenile detention center for years, not just weeks.
Still just a teen at this point, my life had become very hard,
anything that would happen around town, I was on everyone's radar.
Moved from my old school, now attending a school in the city,
only knew a few people, old friends from elementary.
My reputation had followed me, or preceded me I should say,
kids saying, 'he's the one that robbed a house', on my very first day.
Some saw me as a little bad@ss, others saw me as a target,
the older bullies saw a bulls-eye and they wanted to pound on it.
The problem was that the target was on my back,
and that of my buddy; Jordan, one of my best friends from my past.
Constantly followed home from school, larger kids threatening us with beatings,
we were thrown around a lot, until we were bruised and bleeding.
It's hard to protect yourself, when you are thirteen and under five feet tall,
our attempts were not effective, not even the slightest at all.
By this time, my life had become daily torture, it was vicious,
teasing, beatings, at one time even being knocked unconscious.
One kid picked me up by the throat, choked me and threw me down a flight of stairs,
I woke up at the bottom to find all my peers, locked in wide-eyed stares.
This was around the time I found my mother's pearl handled pistol,
loaded with the clip, I stuck it in my backpack and took it to school.
I was tired of the bullying and it was going to stop,
whether those dang bullies wanted to, or not.
Thankfully though, one of my friends had a big mouth, blabbing about,
telling someone who told a teacher, then the whole school found out.
They never did anything to address the bullying,
but now I am in trouble, and for those bullies...nothing.
So, I told them it was for my science fair project, and I didn't know any better,
expelled and sent back to my old school, but at least it wasn't a detention center.
With the friends I previously hung out with, still stuck in lockup,
I chilled out and got into sports to burn all that energy and anger up.
A track superstar, with all the first place ribbons to prove it,
I finally found something that helps, and so I continued to do it.
Those days were tough, and then we moved down to Texas,
now at the next stage of my teenage repentance.
Mom and dad divorced shortly after we moved down south,
fighting all the time, they just couldn't figure it out.
This was a real struggle, so hard on teen,
too young to leave, too old to not know what it means.
Shortly after, I was old enough to get my own car,
now I could leave and go anywhere I wanted, near or far.
Sometimes I would just drive, shifting through the gears,
sorting out my issues, the exhaust all that I could hear.
My life improved and there were no real struggles to remain,
changing who I was, no longer staying the same.
I didn't really get into any trouble, well...not with the law,
unless you count speeding tickets, I have plenty of those y'all.
My fastest one is a trophy, a show of excessive power,
clocked going 151 in a zone that was only 65 miles per hour.  
Yes, I was considered reckless, but no longer a budding criminal,
I did not want to go to jail, my preference was now simple.
My dad taught me cars, and I will always be thankful for that,
I fix them up, make them handle and go real fast.
This kept me out of trouble, and started to bring me the chicks,
pretty friggin' awesome, until it also got my butt kicked.
Whistled at a girl in school, a friend wrapped in pants of tight leather,
her thug boyfriend found out, grabbed a few friends, then they jumped me together.
I still have scar tissue in my right ear from where they stomped on my head,
'mess with my girl again, you will regret it', they threatened to shoot me dead.
This is when I found out that no girl is safe,
crazy ex's, boyfriends, all kinds of stuff that can get in the way.
Even the friends, they can still get you in trouble,
one girls ex punched me for hanging out, then she shot at him double.
That's right, two bullets from her pistol, straight out the chamber,
she was a county girl, it was impressive, we'll call her country gangster.
This turned me on to going to strip clubs, girls there want the attention,
just realize what you are paying for, not expecting their actual affection.
But this can still get you, it definitely grabbed ahold of me,
making good money, nothing to spend it on, going 5 nights per week.
No more major issues, but several crazy girlfriends, one certified stalker,
I was enjoying my life, playing the game, seeing what I could conquer.
Several years passed, and I got a dog that saved me & was my best friend,
his name was Dojah, and he was the best, by my side until the very end.
By this time, I had met the love of my life, she was everything I ever wanted,
life was great, we were in love, it was like my wish had been granted.
A few year later came a call, my aunt telling me my grandfather had passed,
she was exhausted and dealt with enough, asking me to notify my dad.
This was so difficult, I have never had to do anything like this before,
I sat outside on the steps, trying to figure out how to handle this chore.
When I called him to tell him, he seemed indifferent,
not really any emotion, he seemed unfazed by it.
This made it harder, when I realized my dad didn't seem to care,
now it was clear, why we hadn't really talked in years.
At this point in my life, that was my hardest task,
even harder than the fake daughter from my past.
Yes, there was a girl who told me I had a kid,
trusted her, took her in, gave them both a place to live.
Turned out later, via court order,
that she wasn't even mine, 99.9% not the father.
Sure, that was hard, I even lost a few friends,
but nothing like what I dealt with next.
The next painful event that really affected my life,
was after 14 years, when my best friend died.
Dojah was my best buddy, the only one that was always there.
Me and my love, we vacationed with him, taking him everywhere.
He went kayaking, camping, biking, and on trails,
our 150 lb. adventure buddy with paws and a tail.
When he passed, my heart was ripped from my chest,
that was very tough on me, and I did not handle it the best.
Emotional for weeks, I had to take off a few days to stay home,
he was my best friend, the greatest dog ever, and I needed time to mourn.
That was my last major struggle, it really was very hard,
now I have him in a box on my shelf, and always in my heart.
My girlfriend was instrumental in helping me get through the pain,
she was there by my side, and she loved him just the same.
Without her help and support, I would not have made it through,
now I face my biggest struggle yet, and I don't know what to do.
The love of my life, my greatest friend, someone I love so deeply,
is no longer my support, because she decided to leave me.
Fourteen years together, almost a picture perfect time,
now she is gone, and I still don't understand why...
Thrust into the most difficult moments of my life,
still yet to see how, or if I will survive...

Original Work by: Shawn A.

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The Struggles Of My Life