The World is a Scary Place

I fear for you my boy
You’re not like the others
Do you know who I am?
Are you mindful?
My words are unlikely to resonate
Your development stagnates
So called experts label
Autism, Level 2, unable
To recognize human emotions
To understand kindness and devotion
I wonder if my sins
Have swept up with the wind
Strong gusts have brought us
To the shore of Autumn’s end


Solitary Senses

A new town
Without a friend in sight
A new home
Without a lamp to light
A new phone
Without a text to write

An old store
With rusty hinges on the door
An old rug
With aging hardwood floors
An old mirror
With vanity I adore

A new friend
Without a pot to piss in
A new car
Without the missing VIN
A new narrative
Without the proper pen

An old gun
With engravings degraded
An old lover
With feelings jaded
An old memory
With time has faded

Indian Springs

We sit on metal stools
Surrounded by nameless fools
Sipping aromatic libations
Discussing the big picture
Of God, of man, of purpose
Two Christians and an Agnostic
Delving into scripture

I don’t wish to fear God
I want to be inspired by him
We share personal stories
Perspective makes us cringe
We order another on a whim

What makes you happy?
Money is immaterial
In the grand scheme of things
Family, friends, and spiritual affiliation
Plays harmonious and soulful strings

Tales of darkness ties
The bonds of human suffering
Do you believe in nothing?
There are no lies
When honest men cry

The Stigma of Terminating my Paternal Rights

Originally posted to The Good Men Project

The date was November 4, 2014. It was an Election Day Tuesday. I groggily maneuvered my legs onto the hardwood floor and meandered towards the bathroom to get ready for work. My two-month-old son and my girlfriend were in the other bedroom. We had been sleeping in separate rooms since the end of her first trimester. The tension between us was palpable. My girlfriend’s mother had been staying with us to help with the baby and with her daughter’s transition back to work.

I entered the bedroom to check on my son and girlfriend. I peeked into the bassinet and saw a big smile. He was very active; his arms and legs would flail wide in the morning. I glanced toward my girlfriend who was curled up on the bed in the fetal position. She looked pale and exhausted. I asked if she was feeling well and she said that she was having pelvic pain and that she was going to stay home. I kissed her on the cheek and asked if I could do anything. She replied that she needed to rest. I nodded in empathy and went back to the bassinet to pick up my son and hold him for a few minutes before heading to work.

My girlfriend abruptly sprung up from the bed to her feet when I picked him up and said that I wasn’t supporting his head properly. Her mother, alerted by her daughter’s vocal distress, rushed into the bedroom from the kitchen and flanked my back left. I turned toward my girlfriend, showing my middle and index finger firmly supporting the center of my son’s head. She started to ease, claiming that she did not see my fingers supporting him from her angle. Her mother returned to the kitchen. I said goodbye to my girlfriend, grabbed my lunch, and went to work.

I returned home at 3:47 pm to find an empty driveway and an empty home. I received legal papers from a Sheriff’s Deputy a short time later and a forwarded text from my Aunt indicating that my girlfriend had taken our son and had left the state. She was heading home. We were not married and had no custody arrangement, therefore she was well within the law to cross state lines.

The next year-and-a-half was torment. I filed for child support almost immediately upon confirmation of DNA paternity. I was confident that infidelity wasn’t an issue, but I had to be sure. I spent thousands of dollars on an attorney that was young and inundated with litigation. We had no custody agreement and summoning her back to my son’s birth state was nearly impossible. I was fighting a losing battle in a system designed to destroy the father physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I was drinking heavily and making bad decision to numb the pain.

I reached an epiphany in the Spring of 2016: I would never see my son unless I moved halfway across the county to be with him. A plan was needed, so I buckled down. I informed my ex vial email that I had made my decision to move out to the Midwest upon securing gainful employment. I didn’t expect her to reply and she didn’t, but I didn’t care. I moved in with my mom to save money. I applied for approximately 110 jobs total and I found the right one that placed me an hour away from my son. I embarked on my journey in December of 2016 and sent my ex another email, informing her that I had relocated to the area and wanted to talk about our son. She responded a week later asking me if I could meet her at a local coffee shop. I agreed.

I was served with legal papers again, with time with a No Contact order. My head drooped in sadness and disappointment. I was tired and I wanted the madness to stop.

Over the next six months, I witnessed profound changes in our lives. We talked about the past because it was the only way we could heal. She told me she left because of my anger and resentment and was afraid I would harm her. For the first time, my ears were receptive as I put things into perspective. I told her I wished events would have unfolded differently, but that I understood her reasoning. I apologized and asked for forgiveness. She said she would try. There was no malice in our voices. I needed Father Time, healing conversations, and an unwavering commitment to my son’s best interest to reach peace.

My son was diagnosed with autism. At first, I was in denial, but after reviewing medical records and spending more time with my son I accepted it. It did not change how I felt about him.

I witnessed how hard my son’s mother worked to give him a good life. She married a man that loves her and my son. He was with her when my son first received his autism diagnosis. They work together as a team to take my son to therapies and appointments. Together they provide a stable and loving home environment that every child desperately needs.

A couple of months ago I requested that my son’s mother meet me at a coffee shop to come up with an agreement. We had previously undergone legal mediation, yet we were both dissatisfied with the tentative agreement. She showed up.

I informed her that I wanted to move forward with adoption, something I new both her and her husband wanted to do since the beginning. I told her that I did not want to drag all of our families through years of court litigation and that I wanted what was in my son’s best interest. It was the hardest decision I have made in my life. The right decisions are oftentimes the hardest ones.

Every Sunday morning I am welcomed into the home of the woman I used to hold in great contempt. I greet her husband and flash my son a smile. We discuss his therapies and how he is surpassing all expectations. We talk about our week and I spend the morning with my son. I help him with counting, sorting, and hand-eye coordination. We read books, play with trains, and play in their backyard. The awkwardness we all experienced in the beginning has nearly subsided.

I acknowledge that once the adoption is finalized that she could prohibit me from seeing my son, but I don’t think it will happen. However, if she does, it is on her to live with. I have made peace with my decision. I also realized that I will not be financially responsible for my son, but I will help out anyway.

Parenting involves sacrifice and terminating rights is mine. My decision required soul searching, perspective, acceptance, healing, and love. We all unfairly judge each other based upon individual perceptions of a situation. I will be judged for my decision and I’m okay with that, but I refrain from judging others as best I can.

We are never fully capable of walking in another person’s shoes.

A Monumental Calculation: Engineering Our Division

A Monumental Calculation: Engineering Our Division


Please excuse my tin foil hat. Is it on too tight?

In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, VA and Durham, NC I cannot help but withdraw from the pervasive and lopsided traditional media conversation and accompanying social media tirades. I have an opinion on the matter of removing confederate statues as most people do, but I will refrain from delving into that subject. North Carolina is/was my home state and I witnessed the perpetual and often self-segregated racial division during my youth.  I never understood the desire to hate a human being on the basis of their skin color or culture, even though my rural upbringing (family and social ties) to an outsider would allude that I have a bitter and condescending racist outlook as an adult. I have never had that mentality.

I condemn violence in all of its forms, from murder to vandalism. I acknowledge that murder is more extreme than vandalism, but such designation does not void the umbrella of categorization. White nationalist/Neo-Nazi and Anti-fascist groups are very similar in respect to what they represent: extremes on far ends of the sociopolitical spectrum. Their respective underpinnings conveniently clash with one another, exploding in a blood-red pattern of virtuous, ideological  self-truths. The sort of far-right and far-left ideological extremism we are witnessing today is arguably a response to the hardships that modern society has inflicted on the disenfranchised. They do not represent the majority of our citizenry. However, this marketed campaign of extremism propagates the “us verses them” mentality that is biologically ingrained into the human psyche. We will eventually be asked to choose a side, if we haven’t already.

It is by design. Yes, you may now consider me a conspiracy theorist.

“Defeat Them in Detail: The Divide and Conquer Strategy. Look at the parts and determine how to control the individual parts, create dissension and leverage it.” – Robert Greene

There are very powerful economic, social, and political interests at play with the stage set for potential civil war. Someone always benefits from civil strife, and not necessarily the aggressors waging conflict. I consider the real aggressors to be the war-mongers and the elites that play political chess behind the scenes and collude with one another to incite racial division among the masses. They do not want harmony, because it is bad for business. We have been socially engineered to be afraid of people that are different from us and to believe the lie that “if you are not with us, you are against us.” Our traditional media sources are complicit, because these organizations are owned by the same shadowy usurpers that will do anything to protect their Queen. Social media posts are brimming with hateful, divisive, and unintelligible renditions of recent events. What can be done to rectify our current situation?

Disconnect yourself from the conversation and go talk to your neighbor or perform a kind act for a stranger in need. Volunteer for your local Food Bank, youth, or civic group. Help rebuild a home that was damaged by a violent storm. Have an engaged and civil conversation over political issues with your polar opposite, while respecting differences of opinions and appreciating the viewpoints of another human being. This is how we win this war.

We will continue to be the pawns if we succumb to divide and conquer tactics; to be sacrificed by those that proclaim themselves morally and intellectually superior. It is a game and I think we are all due for a reset.

The game was designed and is controlled by these powerful interests. It is time for us to design a new one.

First Breaths (September 7, 2014)

I never knew I could love someone so much
Until we held hands and I felt your delicate touch
You entered this world crying, kicking, and screaming
I cried with you. You sent my heart beaming

I shouted with great pride ” I am your daddy!”
I smiled at you and gazed into your eyes madly
So beautiful and precious, an angel in disguise
Life started making sense and I started to realize

You are my happy thoughts, my spiritual guide
You lift me up high when this world makes me cry
Let all living creatures know you are my joy
I am your daddy and you are my sweet boy

I made you a promise on the day you were born
That I would be there for you through turbulent storms
I will protect you from the evil in this world
My love for you is endless and unfurled

It is a learning process to be a good father to you
So far I’ve learned a lot, and changed a diaper or two
There is still a long way for both of us to go
Yet I am most excited to watch us both grow

You will teach me things I never knew before
Like how to appreciate what this life is for
I will teach you how to be a good man
How to use your integrity to make a stand

This world can be what you make of it my son
Do not let the bad times make you want to run