2019 Kia Sorento LX Review

Photo from Google Images

Showing off isn’t what I’ll be doing with this review. I’ll be telling you why you should skip Kia Motors all together.

Everywhere you go nowadays, you’ll see a Kia vehicle on the road. They’re more popular than I believe they’ve ever been and I’m scratching my head wondering why that is.

I owned this vehicle for about 4,000 miles before trading it in. It’s the worst 4,000 miles I’ve ever used a vehicle. They are worth around 22k and I got this one for 15k with 4% APR.

I still remember the day that it all happened and it was all out of the blue. No check engine lights, no warning that this nightmare was about to unfold, and in the months that followed I’ve never hated a manufacturer more than Kia Motors.

I got home from work and my wife wanted to go and get some food from the store. I said yeah, wallets in the car, get whatever you need. She goes to crank it and nothing. Windows won’t roll up, radio won’t turn on, heated seats don’t warm your butt anymore, nothing.

So, I start troubleshooting online. All signs pointed to a faulty wiring harness at 77k miles. I bought the vehicle at 73k miles. So, I called the insurance company and they towed it to the nearest dealership for diagnostics. Cha-Ching that’ll be $100. Oh wait, did I forget to tell you I called the dealership beforehand and they told me to look at the wiring harness from underneath the vehicle? What about this skid plate? Just take it off and check the wiring. Ok, a couple bolts and it’s dropped. I don’t see anything damaged. I’ll leave it off for them like they told me so they don’t have to do the same thing I just did. Right? Wrong. That voided the warranty. Thanks Kia dealership.

So, it gets towed to the dealership. They try telling me it’s spark plugs, that it needed an oil change, that it needed new rotors and brake pads. No, it does not. You think I didn’t check all that before I left the dealership when I bought a used vehicle? Try again.

They call me a week later saying that rodents had chewed through the wiring harness. Ok, that makes sense. From what I’ve been told from multiple dealerships and people familiar with working on Kia vehicles, this does happen because of the coating they use on the wiring. Instead of petroleum coated wires, they’re coated with corn starch and that attracts rodents. I contact insurance and they get a claims adjuster out there, because this repair will cost $4,000 dollars give or take. They said there’s no proof that a rodent chewed through these wires.

I took it to a local shop and he told me after a few days the computer is fried and the wiring harness that connects to the fuse box is bad. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had that problem and I’ve owned around 40 vehicles in my 32 years, both new and used. He swapped out the computer and wiring harness in about 7 days and I drove it right to the dealership and they bought it outright and paid off my loan.

Never again.

Advertisement

Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Drowning?

Google Images

I’ve been feeling like I’ve been drowning for almost a year now and there’s a cement block tied to my leg. I do my damndest to tread water, but no matter what I do, I keep getting pulled down further and further. My lungs burn, my muscles ache and my mind is telling me to just give up. You’ll never make it out alive.

For the last 7 months I’ve had a bilateral knee injury. I can barely walk up the stairs without pain and I can’t get my legs to straighten out, unless I’m in bed. I stay upstairs in my room most of the time, because I can’t keep going up and down the stairs. I can’t enjoy things that I used to be able to do like paintball, working on vehicles, or doing things with friends.

I’ve stopped doing things that I enjoy or that I want to do. I started Hope For Therapy months ago, and built a website. Before this post, it’s been since January since I’ve done a blog post, and I haven’t done a podcast since January 26th even though I had multiple different episodes already laid out. The only thing that I want to do currently is watch movies/shows and lay in bed. Anything else is simply forced.

It’s not just my knee pain either that’s making me feel this way. Soaring gas prices, inflation, taxes on everything that we do, elected politicians, veteran suicide rates, current housing market and events around the world. For most Americans, it’s impossible to get ahead and homelessness is just one missed paycheck away.

It also feels like people around me are just tolerating my existence and that I’m only as useful as what I do for them. I’ve had people this year ghost me as if I meant nothing to them, and as men we’re taught to not have feelings but the truth is that it fucking hurts. It makes it hard to trust people, and it’s difficult to want new relationships with anyone because it’s easier than having to go through that again.

If someone came by with a boat and offered me a pistol, I wouldn’t take it, because I’m not suicidal. I don’t want to die. But the times where I give up and let the water consume me, I’m living in some very dark moments. My mind is yelling at me that things will never get better, you’ll continue to fail and no one cares.

If you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to reach out. There’s not much that I can’t understand or haven’t been through.

Mental Health Connection’s New Podcast

Hanna, a virtual educator from Missouri, discusses mental health in education from her point of view.

Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify!

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6UBlEX9VZRQlZr3uKAk1XR?si=822K9VwMQo-SzOiT7pRTIw

“Pick A Random Photo From Your Phone And Write About It”

Photo of me in OCPs while reading a book.

I remember feeling peaceful when I took this photo and sent it to my wife. I was reading a book and smoking a cigarette. I usually don’t smoke anymore, but when you’re out in the field, it’s always nice to have a cigarette now and again.

We had been out in the field for two weeks, from November 6th – November 21. This photo was taken on day five.

My three-year-old son asked me on day two if I was in jail, and I told him, no buddy, dad’s in the field for work. He then asked me if I still loved him because I was always gone for work, which struck a nerve in my heart.

I also knew that my grandpa could pass at any moment of heart failure, and this field problem took away one last chance to go hunting together. He passed away on Nov. 26th.

I’d been reading as much as I could to take my mind off of everything that I had going on. I love to read. I always have to force myself to slow down and take in each word. I’m always in high gear, and reading slows me down. After each chapter, I take time to reflect on the characters and everything that’s happened so far. If I couldn’t remember what I had read because I didn’t slow myself down enough, I’d go back and reread it.

I am hoping everyone has a great holiday season.

Mental Health Network’s Podcast

Tonight I’ve recorded and published Mental Health Network’s first podcast and I’m really excited for the future of the podcast and for the listeners as well. Please send me your wins, your experiences, your mental health goals, anything you need advice on, I want to hear it all.

I’ve dealt with mental health issues for the past 17 years, and I haven’t always had a network of people I could talk to. I’m hoping to change that for others that don’t have a community that they can reach out to.

You can listen to it here: https://open.spotify.com/show/36elFBkW7fQgCkbTMpFTJl

Through this link you can send me a voice message: https://anchor.fm/mentalhealthnetwork/message

Join Our Discord Server Here: https://discord.gg/uEsNmgAF

If you’re uncomfortable with a voice message, email me at: mentalhealthnetworkpodcast@gmail.com

If you’re interested in being a guest on the show, please email me.



15 Facts About Me And Why I Started My Blog

So, let’s start with why I started this blog. I love writing as I feel it gives me the chance to be able to share my experiences and connect with people. I’ve had several experiences so far and if I can help just one person, that’s all I care about.

There are also experiences I haven’t had and I’m talking to different people about writing their own stories that I will share so that more people have the opportunity to read them, connect, and feel that they are not alone. With depression and traumatic experiences, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone, but I’m here to tell you that is not the case.

If you were thinking that this was going to be a list like:

1. I like cookies
2. I enjoy milk
3. I like dogs

You were wrong. I would never waste your time with a post like that.

Fact One: I have a history of mental illness and have used drugs and alcohol to try and combat these problems since the age of 14. I’ve learned that in doing so, not only am I making it worse, but I’m also creating bigger problems down the road. Self-medicating is not the route to take to mask the pain that you are feeling.

I am now 31.

Fact Two: I could have been arrested for selling marijuana, I picked up four ounces from my connect, and one of the vacuum-sealed bags had torn, leaving the car to smell like the inside of a dispensary. When I realized what had happened, I increased my speed to 70 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. On this road, I’ve seen maybe six cops in my entire 15 years there, so thinking nothing of it, I pushed the gas pedal down a little more challenging. As I crested the hill, there was a State Trooper, and he had me in his sights. I knew I would get pulled over, and I pulled to the side of the road with my four-way hazard lights on with four ounces, bags, and a scale in the car. It was now in fate’s hands. I was dead to rights, and I knew it. I remembered this old trick about turning on the heater to push all the smell to the back of the car, and since I was never arrested for these infractions against society, it’s safe to say that it worked.

Fact Three: I once stole a car when I was in the 9th grade with two of my friends at the time. Adam’s parents were out of town, and Jacob (names have been changed to protect the guilty) had the bright idea of stealing Adam’s parent’s 90’s model Jeep Cherokee. We were drinking beer and smoking cigarettes and thought it would be a fun time, and it was. We were 15 at the time, always looking for trouble. What teenager isn’t? We did all the measurements of where the vehicle was located in the garage and took notes on how the car was positioned so Adam’s parents wouldn’t be any the wiser. We took that Jeep down the road at 90 MPH, drinking and smoking the whole ride.

Adam’s dad was a teenager once too. We never saw the bobby pin he’d put on the back bumper. Busted.

Fact Four: I used to live in Loveland, CO. I was ten years old when we moved to MN and I can still remember everything about that house, 21 years later. When you walked in through the garage, there was the laundry room and straight ahead was the small bathroom with a toilet, sink and small shower. Through the mud room you’d walk into the kitchen and pass a sliding screen door on your right hand side. Pass that through another door was the living room to the left with a big glass window where you could see the Rocky Mountains. Down the hall to the right of that same door, you’d head towards the three bedrooms and mine was the first on the right hand side. I remember my bunk bed and my desk.

Fact Five: I thought MN was my grandpa’s junkyard when I was growing up. I love my Grandpa Merl and have so many great memories of him. Sadly he passed away in 2010 and could never meet his grandkids. He was a Marine, a businessman, a husband, patient, understanding, caring, and an overall wonderful man. I remember when we were fueling up the truck, this guy was mad at my grandpa for some reason, and he punched him in the face, and I was in the passenger seat. My grandpa never fought back, and I believe it was because I was there, and he wanted to set the right example. On his death bed, he asked me if he’d done right by me, even though I hadn’t done right by him. I think he knew it, too and just never said anything. I was just a stupid teenager and was being greedy and would randomly steal money out of his wallet or his desk. I don’t remember him ever raising his voice out of anger, either. I still have his memorial flag and his photo of him in the Marines on my wall. My biggest regret is not spending more time with him before he passed. I chose not to deal with the pain of losing him by pretending it wasn’t happening. RIP Grandpa.

Fact Six: My first long-term relationship was 2 years when I was 17 years old and ended when I was 19. She was talking about marriage like girls do and we decided to end it, although it had been a long time coming. I remember telling my friend Chris that I was feeling like breaking up with her about 6 months before we actually did. The problem that we had is we never had a chance to actually miss each other. We were 15 minutes apart and spent 5-6 days a week with each other. For a while, it was great. No long-distance relationship to try and do, could hang out basically whenever we wanted and didn’t have to spend a lot of gas to see each other. One thing I always remember really enjoying was the fact she was a year older than I was, so when I wanted cigarettes or scratch off tickets, I would just ask my girlfriend. When I wanted alcohol, she was in college and there was an unlimited supply. She’s an amazing woman and now married with children of her own. I still dream about her sometimes, but I think it’s because there wasn’t any real closure and she was my first real relationship. I’d dated other girls before her, but they never lasted as long as we did.

Fact Seven: My best friend had muscular dystrophy and died October 6th, 2016. He lived much longer than the doctors had ever thought possible and I’m glad I was able to call him my friend. We didn’t have a whole lot in common, but being guys that didn’t really matter. We both loved a few of the same shows, played video games and got really drunk a time or two together. His favorite show was Breaking Bad and now I watch it every year in his memory. I was his PCA in college when I was 19 through MN State and The American Red Cross. What hurt the most about his death, wasn’t the fact that he died. Everyone that knew Chris always knew that it was going to happen and that each day was a blessing. He moved away to be in a better care facility and with my work schedule I wasn’t able to visit him most everyday like I had for years. After a few months, I’d finally been able to get off work for the weekend to be able to see him. I was going to head up Friday after work, he’d died at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday. RIP Chris.

Fact Eight: I’ve been in the army since January 2020 and I’ve done so many things that I didn’t think were possible. My first two mile run was 22:45 seconds. That’s way above the infantry standard and I’ve gotten that all the way down to 14:30. I’ve walked 23 miles in one day, I’ve done 12 mile rucks with 35 pounds, I’ve conquered obstables and brought myself to a level I’ve never thought possible. It’s also helped a lot with my anxiety as they put us on the spot with recalling information. I’ve been able to deal with my anxiety at a higher level than ever before. I usually get to nervous and forget everything that I know when put on the spot and now I’m able to recall the information more clearly and recite it. Although sometimes, it’s not in the most confident voice. I was called in just the other day to recite the Soldier’s Creed and even though we recite it every morning during formation, my voice was shaky and lacked confidence. I am leagues ahead of where I was even at the beginning of this year and am continuing to work on myself and my anxiety.

Fact Nine: I was a virgin until I was 20 years old and the night that it happened, I still didn’t understand what all the hype was about. Some people have told me they think I’m lying about that number, but I’ve never been able to make that make sense to me. Why would I go with such a high number? Wouldn’t I say something like 12 or 13 or something along those lines? It doesn’t happen right away for everyone, so don’t feel like you’re weird because it hasn’t happened yet. It’ll happen when it’s meant to happen.

Fact Ten: Have you ever been shot at by a nail gun by a drunk guy at work? Not that much fun when he’s actually trying to hit you. I had bummed a few cigarettes from him as I couldn’t just buy them on my own at 14 and he didn’t remember telling me that I could. It was pressured by air and would have really hurt if he’d actually been successful in hitting me. My grandpa had walked in and absolutely berated him for his actions.

Fact Eleven: I was at a party selling weed, because that’s what I used to do during winters after road construction, and this absolutely beautiful woman walks in. My heart and stomach dropped to the floor. She was short, gorgeous, blue eyes, blond hair and looked amazing. She was there for another guy at the time, but she sure didn’t care about him after that night. I remember her sitting on the couch at the house I was at and I would look over at her, and she’d look at me and we’d both look away. This went on for hours. I had social anxiety and was only there to supplement my low income. Then she says “Are we going to look at each other all night, or are you going to come talk to me?” So, we talked for hours like no one else was around. I got her number and we hung out for a few days and then I officially asked her to be my girlfriend. I’m pretty sure I loved her the moment I saw her, but I held onto that thought for at least a little while. I was over the moon for this girl. We had so much in common, and loved hanging out with each other, but also gave each other some space. Fast forward a few months, and we ended up breaking up. I cried. I’d still leave her favorite root beer and snacks in her car for work, which she loved. She kept it unlocked just for me.

She ended up at a party and went home with this guy. His brother and him pinned her down and raped her repeatedly. She called me and told me and I rushed over there to her side. She cried uncontrollably, and I held her as tight as I could. I told her how I blamed myself for putting her in that situation, which of course, she told me it wasn’t my fault. I still feel like it’s my fault years later.

Fact Twelve: We met through a mutual friend and I thought she was cute, smart, short (short girl love) and funny. I was working road construction at the time and was basically supporting my best friend at the time who didn’t have any money. He was couch jumping or lived in his truck. I’m not quite sure what she saw in him, maybe he was a “bad boy.” I would schedule tattoo appointments before I’d get back home off the road and would have to pay for his too. I’d even gotten her a couple. They ended up breaking up a few months later and she’d wanted to try things with me. I told her I wasn’t interested after she’d chosen him and not me. I wasn’t going to be her rebound. I guess feelings got in the way of my logic however when she asked for money for gas, clothes and food. I sent her $500 and found out later that she’d never used it on what she had told me. She’d fallen into the use of methanphetamine from a party she’d gone to and was injecting.

Dodged a bullet there!

Fact Thirteen: It all started with my friend calling me and asking if I “wanted to get my hands dirty.” I said of course. I was thinking more along the lines of working on his car, like we’d done many times before. He tells me he’s going to come grab me from my parents, which was odd because I could have driven there. Plus didn’t he need help with his car? Apparently not. He picks me up and he informs me that his brother’s car had been stolen, he knew where it was, and we were going to go get it back. He then hands me a brand new .45 and tells me to put it in the small of my back. So we head over to where the car is at and he gets out of the car first, as I follow his lead. A guy comes out of the house and asks “Who are you and what are you doing here?” My friend, keeping his composure tells him that he knows his brother’s car is here and that we are getting it back. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but you’re going to regret this!” That sounded enough like a threat to me. I pull out the .45 from behind my back and point it at him. “I suggest you show us where the car is at and don’t fuck around. I will shoot you if I have to.” He instantly turns white and says “I didn’t mean anything by it, you’ll find it behind the garage. I just needed some diapers and food for my kids.” We left without further incident. We did not work on his car at all.

Fact Fourteen: I found my sister cut up one night when hanging out with my friends when I was 18. We were playing video games throughout the day and night and drinking Mountain Dew and other energy drinks. One Mountain Dew. I had one mountain dew left and wanted to give it to my sister. I went to her room and knocked on the door and heard her crying. I didn’t know what was going on, but if she wouldn’t have had clothes on, I would have just blocked that out of my memory. She’s had a history of mental illness so it wasn’t an unjustified action to just open her door when I felt something was wrong. I’m glad I didn’t have to block anything like that out, but what I saw was much worse. She was cut up everywhere on her body, and I mean everywhere. Her neck, hands, arms, legs, thighs, and feet. There was so much blood everywhere. I ran upstairs to get my parents and after I told them, I passed out. Now my mom was tending to me as my dad was downstairs with my sister. He called an ambulance and she got the help she needed. I found out a few days later she’d been high on something called K2. I’ve messed with drugs before plenty, but I’ve never touched synthetic weed as I’ve heard to many horror stories about it.

Fact Fifteen: I had paracarditis when I was 19 and it was not exactly a fun experience. I never really went to the doctor for anything but I finally cracked and told my parents I needed to go. For that past few weeks, I was sleeping all the time. Out of a 24 hour day, I was asleep for probably 14-16 hours. I was Chris’s PCA at the time and with him in college and just walking through the halls to his next class, I’d have to sit down sometimes. A typical day with paracarditis went like this: wake up, shower, get in the van, sleep, go to class, sleep, repeat until end of day, sleep on the way home, and then take naps the rest of the day for hours until I went to bed that night. One night, I could just feel my heart, which isn’t normal. It was painful and I knew something was wrong and told my parents. After going to the doctors office, he told me I had paracarditis, which is a sack of fluid around my heart. I took some medications and got better.

If you’d like me to expand on any of these with a further post, let me know in the comments which one you’d like.

Judging Those Who Use Mental Health Services

Photo From Google Images

Many people judge those who use mental health services. They assume that individuals are weak, lazy or crazy. These judgements can be hurtful and make it difficult for people to share their struggles with others. In this blog post we will explore the judgement of those who use mental health services as well as how you can stop the judgement from happening in your life!

Mental health services are used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. These services can be very helpful in restoring someone’s mental wellbeing. However, many people judge those who use these services.

Judgement is often based on ignorance and misunderstanding about mental health conditions. People may not understand why someone would need to see a therapist or take medication for their mental health condition. This lack of understanding can lead to judgement and stigma towards those who use mental health services.

The judgement of those who use mental health services can be very hurtful. It can make it difficult for people to share their struggles with others. In some cases, it can even lead to people avoiding treatment altogether. This can be very dangerous and may worsen the person’s mental health condition.

If you are judgemental towards those who use mental health services, it is important to stop and think about why you are judging them. Are you judging them because you don’t understand their condition? Are you judging them because they don’t fit into your idea of what a mentally healthy person looks like?

It is also important to remember that everyone’s experience with mental health is different. Just because someone uses mental health services doesn’t mean that they are weak. Mental health conditions are real and should be treated with the same respect as any other medical condition.

If you want to stop being judgemental towards those who use mental health services, there are a few things you can do. First, educate yourself about mental health conditions. Learn about the different types of treatments available and how they can help people recover. Second, try not to stereotype mentally healthy people. Just because someone uses mental health services doesn’t mean that they are automatically different from you. Finally, be supportive of those who use mental health services. Let them know that you care about them and are there to support them in their journey to recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, please reach out for help! Mental Health America has a variety of resources available that can connect you with the help you need. You are not alone!

“Have You Ever Had A Mental Breakdown?” Story 1 of 3.

Picture From Google Images

I’ve been asked a lot of questions since I’ve started my blogging journey, and “Have you ever had an emotional breakdown?” has been one I’ve been asked numerous times. This post is one part of a three-part series, so grab some popcorn.

The short answer; yes I have. I’ve had multiple breakdowns where the stress and emotions have become to much. I will explain each one in three separate posts.

I remember one day when my truck had broken down, it stalled as I started going through the green light. So, I pulled onto the shoulder and called my girlfriend at the time. After that, I lit a cigarette and called my supervisor. She was on her way to come to get me, but I had to wait for 30 TikToks until she got there. Which back then, before joining the army, was a long time. She picked me up and I was on my way to the job site. During work, I set up my friend and girlfriend to drop off my car.

Work was stressful but putting up cell phone towers and replacing radios, antennas, running cable, making everything look good for our customers, will do that. If you’re looking for an amazing career, look into becoming a Telecommunications Technician. Results may vary, but I was making $2,000 net/week. Caffeine and nicotine addiction are required tools of the trade.

I was headed home after a long day and I swear this deer was suicidal. Bambi came across the road afterward and after witnessing her mom die, I’m positive she was pretty traumatized. I never even saw her until I hit her. She came diagonally across the road and into the car while I was going 55 mph. She knocked out my headlight, damaged the hood, and landed on the windshield while almost shattering it. I put my four ways on and pulled to the side. I got out and lost it, kicking the fender, punching the driver’s side mirror off (which wasn’t damaged at all by the deer), and smashing the hood like I was auditioning for the Hulk.

Once I regained my composure, I saw that vehicles were coming down the opposite lane and I didn’t want them wrecking their cars. Being a prior flagger in a road construction crew, my instincts had taken over and I had no problem letting them know that there was a hazard in the way while I called 911. I spoke to a dispatcher and let them know of the incident. I remember apologizing because it wasn’t an emergency but felt that it was necessary to get this deer out of the road.

The responding officer thanked me for slowing down the opposing lane and pulled the deer off the road. In hindsight, I should have done that, but at the time I didn’t even think of it.

When my girlfriend and friend pulled up, I wanted to see just how close my windshield was to caving in on me, before I left. It felt like I pushed about as hard as putting your hand on someone’s back to let them know you’re behind them, without having to speak. If you’ve never done that before, it’s not a lot of pressure. It’s more of “I’m here,” don’t step backwards into me. Glass went everywhere inside the car, and if she would have been on it for a second longer, I would have had a deer in my lap.

My friend and my tow truck hauled the car away, while I rode with my girlfriend back to my house. I needed a few cigarettes and a beer after that day.

Why Don’t I Think About Eating?

Google Images

As I reflect on the past I’ve noticed a trend; I don’t think about eating unless it’s structured. In some form or another, for me, it needs to be “lunchtime” for it to click in my brain that “hey, I do that! I eat food.” Why does that sound insane? It’s not like I keep some crazy schedule that I’m busy 24/7. I don’t do drugs at all that would hinder my desire for food.

I Googled “Why don’t I think about food?” tonight and the results I received were less than helpful. “Always Thinking About Food?” pops up as one example. “Hungry And Don’t Want Food” is seen in the search results which also isn’t the case.

It’s not just me that suffers because I don’t remember that my three dogs and cat eat food too unless I see their food dish or water. A bag of dog food the wife brings home from Wal-Mart also reminds me that the animals eat as well.

In basic training, they structured breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which helped tremendously. I ate all three meals with no problems. I enjoy eating bacon, steak, pizza, boneless wings, burgers, ham, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and different foods like that. Especially if they’re wrapped in bacon. I also have that reminder in my stomach when I get hungry that sets off the alarms in my brain saying, “Hey dumbass you need to eat.”

Possible reasons as to why this is happening that I can think of:

-Stress
-Anxiety
-Depression
-Caffiene
-Nicotine
-Not enough rest

If you relate and know what’s going on, that would be very helpful if you leave me a comment. I shouldn’t have to set alarms for a basic human need but it’s something that I need to do.

“You Did The World A Favor Tonight Son”

From Google Images

This story starts in 2008 when I was hanging out with my best friend, at the time, and his cousin. We were your typical teenagers and tried to find as much trouble as we could. We met up at the local strip club and were drinking before we went in, as strip clubs in MN at the time didn’t serve alcohol, much less to minors. His cousin was a bit older and after thirteen years, his age has eluded my mind. I know he was over 21, as he had provided the alcohol that night. We smoked cigarettes and laughed and had a good time.

I remember the phone I had at the time with the QWERTY keyboard below the screen. Although recording wasn’t allowed, that didn’t stop us teenagers from trying. I remember the bouncers taking my phone and they almost didn’t give it back. I had to promise not to do it again and showed them I deleted the video.

We were all around a table and a stripper walks us to my friend and starts a conversation. She starts with how cute he is, and how muscly he looks. They kept talking and of course, my friend had fallen for the stripper’s tactics: they had everything in common! The same kind of dog, the same phone, were interested in all of the same things. She played him and he fell for all of it. I had never been to a strip club before, but I knew what she really wanted. Although my friend believed differently, I highly suspect she was interested in bringing more money home, and that she had all of those things in common with every guy she talked to.

After all, that’s what she was there to do.

After the strip club, I remember riding in his white boat of a sedan back through Minnesota’s cold winter night. The snow was coming down heavily and we were drinking the few beers we had left. I remember seeing an older gentleman out in the cold, walking the road and trying to hitch a ride. My friend, who wasn’t that bright, suggested that we pull over and let him hitch a ride. His cousin and I objected to the idea and my friend kept driving. “What if he tries to steal our beer?” his cousin asked. “Or worse, I added. He’s out here in the cold all by himself, what if he’s armed with something?” We pulled into a gas station so we get more alcohol, fuel, and cigarettes.

My friend drove to his cousin’s house where I met his girlfriend. When you walked in, the kitchen was to the right and the dining room was a part of it, to the left. He set the beer on the kitchen table and greeted his girlfriend. She started in on him as soon as he opened his mouth. “Where were you?” She snapped. “We went to the bar and were playing pool.” She already knew he was lying. “No you were not, your drunk ass sent me a text that was meant for your cousin saying “We’re in the parking lot, come out. You still get a lap dance?” We were sitting on the couch in the living room for about 20 minutes and I heard “don’t you dare fucking touch me!” So I asked my friend, what’s that about? He told me that he beats her sometimes and that he just stays out of it. I’m sitting there with a beer in my hand thinking, how could you know this happens and not do anything?

Then I heard it, a loud slam followed by her screaming. “What was that!” I asked, demanding a response. “He probably threw her into the fridge again by her hair.” That was unacceptable. I put my beer down and walked into the kitchen as fast as I could. Then I saw it, he grabbed her hair again and threw her into the fridge.

I’m pretty sure I saw red after that because I was now a force to be reckoned with. Although his cousin stood roughly 6’2” and weighed about 200 pounds and I am 5’9” and weighed 145 pounds, I wasn’t going to let my disadvantage get in the way of stopping him.

I put both my arms beneath his armpits and wrapped my hands around his neck and brought him to his knees before slamming his face into the kitchen floor. He was dazed and I started punching him in the back of the head and anywhere I could land a shot. His girlfriend picked up the phone and dialed 911 and although I didn’t hear any of the conversations my friend did and filled me in later. “Hello, 911 my boyfriend was hitting me, and I need police and an ambulance. My friend jumped in between us to save me, and I think he might take it too far. Please send someone right away.”

He came to his senses and got on his back, but I was all over him. He tried deflecting my punches and he did, at times. I stood up and looked at his blood-covered face and said, “You better never hit a woman again!” Then I sent a kick straight to his ribs.

There must have been a unit that was fairly close because within minutes they were at the house. When the cop entered, he saw me standing over him and quickly removed me from my position. The other officer looked at his cousin and then started talking with the girlfriend. She was in tears as she was talking, but her point was clear. She had just been beaten and this wasn’t the first time. I had intervened and stopped the abuse from happening any longer and she was afraid that I was going to end up killing him.

After the two police officers got our statements, he walked over to my friend’s cousin and asked if he wanted to press charges against me. As he was trying to talk, the officer interrupted him and said, “I don’t care what your answer is. You were beaten for hitting a woman and you got what you deserved.” Then added, “I wish more of my domestic violence calls ended this way.”

The second officer detains him while the first one walked towards me. “Were you drinking tonight son?” He asked. “Yes sir, we had gone to the strip club and I’ve had a few beers tonight,” I said nervously, not knowing whether it was going to be an issue or not. “Well, I’m going to leave that out of the report and write it up that you stopped a woman beater tonight. You did the world a favor tonight son.”