I think the real challenges in life do not begin until you are old enough to make choices on your own without parental or some other kind of guidance. I believe we create our own world, even though we do not want to accept that fact sometimes. At 13, I experienced what it felt like to become part of a broken home. A lot of my friend's parents had gotten divorced but I never really thought that would happen in my house....but it did. After this, normalcy and discipline seem to kind of be out the window. My father was gone without a trace and stopped coming around. We lived with my mother. My mother tried to keep up with all of us but it was not easy. After the divorce she had to work more so was not around to monitor the mischief we all began to cause.
I learned to take my aggressions out doing high school wrestling. This seemed like a good release for a little while. Later, I became interested in playing music and joined a band. This lead to very bad choices on my behalf. I started smoking, drinking, doing drugs, and all those other things that you see bands do. This lead to me quitting wrestling, which in the end, meant me quitting high school. I believe wrestling was the only thing that kept me there for as long as I stayed. For the next few years, the band did really well around town and we "thought" we were having a blast. Anywhere we went around our area someone always knew who we (the band) were. We never had any trouble getting girls. It was almost like being a celebrity. I repeat the word "almost."
I realized at 16 I wanted to get out on my own. I really don't know why I was in such a hurry thinking back on it. With my mother working all the time, I was alone except for other family in and out of the house. I started to take some part time jobs and worked on music as well. The band actually made some demo mini albums, got on the local radio, and played some shows out of town. We thought we had made it and were going to hit the big time, until something happened. My world, especially, was about to change like never before.
I had taken a job in a cotton mill third shift and worked part time on another job on second shift. I was working about 75 hours per week. I was doing this just to save money so getting out on my own would not be so tight financially. One night I went into work at the cotton mill and was exhausted between the 2 jobs and keeping up on playing music. I was working on my machine and heard some cotton getting snagged up. I went like always to go unclog the machine. When I grabbed the cotton it would not break and two of the rollers came down and crushed my arms. The rollers were spinning at 90 rpm and came down on my arms with 200 pounds of pressure. I don't even remember the ambulance ride because the pain was so excruciating. I had severe burns on both of my arms. Not to be graphic, but the rollers were spinning so fast, it melted my sleeves into the skin on my arms. I still don't understand to this day but my left arm did not get near the injury of my right. I somehow did not break a bone but killed my motor nerves in my right arm. Now how was I going to play music like this? And yes, that was actually the main thing I was worried about.
Tomorrow I will go on to tell you how things turned out. Thanks for reading!