I was born in Medford, Oregon on November 30, 1972. My mom liked bad boys and met my dad in Juvenile Hall. He was so bad that she changed our names and moved to Oxnard.
She then met a Vietnam veteran named Lawrence Claudy. He was a fascinating man and raised me until I was about 8 years old. We hunted, fished, and he taught me to defend myself. At age 13, I moved out and got a job as a carpet layer and floor installer for William Arellanes, a former Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player.
In 1999 at age 27, I had my first daughter Mikayla. Thirteen months later, my second daughter Ashley was born. Their mom and I split up in August of 2001. After this, I joined the service during peacetime to support my daughters.
In 2004 I received an honorable discharge. I came back to the states, but I began acting like I was 3 years old again — having temper tantrums, freaking out, and self-medicating. I lost my family and everything due to my problems and addictions.
In 2006 I called the VA and was referred to New Directions, but I wanted an easier and softer program.
I tried several other programs but nothing seemed to work.
In 2011 I got into a fight with someone and I was court ordered to a program. I finally went to New Directions where I got a sponsor and got myself together. Now, after 13 years, I have my children, my license, I am off probation and off my medications.
I have New Directions to thank for putting my life back on track.