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The Scorched Life Policy

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by SkullGuy, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    I wanted to share a little bit about how I came to be here in BHW and the events that lead up to my current relative success. I say relative because this journey is still in progress and things are getting really good finally but I expect they will get even better as long as I keep grinding and keep a sense of humility that I used to completely lack.

    1991 I had just gotten out of The US Navy. I was working part-time as a private investigator for a firm that my brother had worked for as well. Only he was the Director of Investigations. We both had law enforcement backgrounds. We both liked the idea of being in law enforcement we just did not like anything about the career itself. Private investigations seemed like a perfect mix for both of us.

    As I said it was 1991, my brother and I used to hang out and get drunk together quite a bit. We would also hit the titty bars and in general party like crazy people.

    My brother had gotten a DUI at one point and the firm he was working for wanted to demote him to just a full-time regular investigator. I didn’t give a shit about this firm and only worked part time so I quit in order to stand in solidarity with my drunken sibling.

    About a week later we met my cousin at a local Brown Derby to discuss some business dealings. My cousin was a repo man and skip tracer. Not just any repo man but the best in Northeast Ohio and possibly the best on the east coast. He was shady as fuck, though. So we had two semi-shady cats and a full blown shady mother fucker sitting in a Brown Derby discussing business. The very next day we started a company together. We would do mainly skip tracing, vehicle recovery and use my brother’s business contacts to try and get some PI and background check work.

    Fast forward a few years and these shady mother fuckers made their first million dollars. My brother thrived under the business conditions and the corporate type entity we had become. My cousin and I who were probably more alike than my brother and I, hated the entire button up tie wearing horseshit extravaganza. Eventually, my cousin departed ways. His drinking had become worse and he was just plain dangerous in the field and with the bank account. I stuck with the company. It was my brother and I again! He brought in some crazy Puerto Rican dude who was some kind of in-law of his. He had a good business sense about him but was a shady mother fucker as well. All of us would go out and get fucked up. I always seemed to be the one getting into the most trouble, though. I had gotten DUIs, spent time in jails and was ordered to multiple rehabs but it was all just part of the game to me.

    This is the time where we started making that money! Cash money baby! We had fucking arrived! Every bar in Cleveland knew us. Every stripper adored us. Every bouncer hated us because they knew there was not much they could do against us. We usually had an entourage with us. Some of the employees from our company, some of my shady fucking biker associates and whoever else could make themselves useful or at least ingratiate themselves toward us. If you were with us though you were having a goddamned good time. The booze flowed and then the drugs started for me. I was going through $600 worth of blow in a night sometimes.

    I would outlast everyone! These pussies didn’t know what real partying was! I found myself getting into more trouble. I also found out there was a limit to the amount of horseshit my business partners would put up with. I got fired probably half a dozen times. I would clean up just enough, humble myself and come back to work. They would only ever make me a background investigator or field investigator because they didn’t trust me fully. That was probably a wise decision.

    (to be continued) It's hard writing this stuff from the standpoint that there are a lot of negative emotions attached to these events. So I will write a bit more tomorrow! Stay tuned.
     
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  2. RuthSam

    RuthSam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good story.. waiting for the next part :)
     
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  3. umerjutt00

    umerjutt00 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Damn that story is good. Waiting for the next part :)
     
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  4. Aesteroth

    Aesteroth Junior Member

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    Is this a movie script?
     
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  5. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    No, this is my honest to goodness life.
     
  6. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Cool life you have there OP, I enjoyed the read. Very "Wolf of Wall Street-esque".
     
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  7. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    it sounds cool so far but my drinking and drug use progresses to a point that only serves to humiliate my entire family and myself. You'll see more tomorrow.
     
  8. JTrussles

    JTrussles Junior Member

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    What is it with you former G.I. types and the rampant drug use/general loose cannon shit?
    A long time ago I may have believed it was something in regards to the trauma related to your former employment, or that it was because those career choices are generally reserved for the less stable among us.

    Now I'm inclined to believe it's a combination clusterfuck of the previous authority you were able to safely rebel against now being gone. It's a luxury to have a system to keep you in check, while having total peer support for indulging your every desire whenever you get the chance. It's like being brothers under a parent, and all the psychological benefits that come from that.

    Without that system you keep your meaningless rebellion against authority going, while indulging your every desire without the limits that previously kept it functioning. Deep down you truly yearned for someone to come and stop you, to return you to a kind of collective where your indulgence is secondary to a communal goal. You loved working together for this reason, it's just too bad the authority was the criminal justice system, and your shady compatriots were unable to understand or fulfill the role required of them.

    Am I close?
     
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  9. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Very interesting and you tell it well also :)

    This is my favourite line. Looking forward to the next part.
     
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  10. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    You might be close. It's great thought experiment and maybe you hit the nail on the head. I hung out with some bad cats and maybe I was just really looking for community or family to be a part of. We loved each other like brothers so that was part of the whole experience. I don't really know though for sure.
     
  11. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    Ok so I left off and I basically had become an incredible wreck.

    I wanted to backup for a minute and tell you how we were able to achieve most of our success. The internet, of course!
    I had, for one reason or another, become the official/unofficial computer guy. I had setup our very first network using a software called Lantastic! If you remember Lantastic then you are as old as fuck!
    Being private investigators we used a lot of BBSs and had a lot of electronic record sources that generally weren't available to John Q. Citizen.
    I remember using AOL 1.0 which didn't even have a proper graphic interface. It was more of a text based BBS along the lines of compuserve.
    But soon AOL 2.0 came out with internet access. Using a 14k modem I built our very first pseudo website which in reality was just a page on AOL.
    I was the first in our company to recognize the potential of the internet in our business, especially because we were an information based company.
    So I bought a domain for 75 bucks, which is what they cost at the time, and started building a website. My brother thought the internet was a fad and that it would go the way of the CB radio.
    I studied seo and ranking techniques, found some online classes and we were on our way to internet glory! It was very easy then. Especially because there wasn't a lot of competition. We ranked right away for some very good keywords. We started bringing in corporate clients by the truckload along with their money. We grew and had to get bigger offices, all of this was very exciting and very dangerous for someone with an addictive personality and very little self-control.

    So enough of the flashback. We were at the point where I was fully engulfed in my addictions of sex, booze, and illicit drugs. I took to smoking crack which was way better than snorting powder. I remember the first time I had done it. I was leary because it seemed really low rent and I was, of course, a high class drug addict. That first blast hit my brain like a freight train. I was goddamned invincible! I wasn't invincible for very long, though. The law of diminishing returns did not disappoint and it was all I could do to stay high enough to even feel halfway normal. My drinking and drug use were out of control. Finally, I lost any and all good faith I had among my business associates. I went to work for my cousin skip tracing people who had absconded with various items belonging to banks. I held it together for awhile because I had no choice. I needed to drink and use drugs and in order to do so I needed an income.

    To put this in perspective for some of you. While this may sound like a Hollywood movie script, let's not forget the alternate story line. I had a wife and friends and relatives that cared about me. I hurt them badly. I caused them untold amounts of grief and embarrassment. My reminiscing somewhat about the wild times we had at the height of our success also had an extremely dark side. I was not a healthy person, not by a long shot. There were real people involved here with real emotions and I did my damnedest to destroy them. Not intentionally, but whatever my intentions were, became moot at some point. The reality was, I was a complete wreck of a human being and for whatever reason, people still cared for me and tried to help me even though I probably fucked them over multiple times.

    Ok, I thought could do more but I am getting a bit anxious dragging all this stuff out. So I will take a break here and be back soon with another installment. Thanks for the feedback so far. I really enjoy some of the comments.
     
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  12. Motherdex

    Motherdex Regular Member

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    Following! Thanks for sharing... I can relate to some of the lifestyle.. my husband was an 1% MC member so we ran with that biker crowd for awhile. The lifestyle itself is very addicting. Looking forward to more when you are up to it!
     
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  13. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    Thanks, Mother! Yeah it can get addicting in more ways than one. I think the lifestyle is the hardest thing to leave because you just have this romantic notion that everything is going to stay that way or you can recapture those old times. It can't be done.
     
  14. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    Now I think I have made it plainly and painfully clear how messed up I was. You may think, wow the end is near for this asshole. Unfortunately, I had no such luck, I carried on in an alcohol and drug induced haze for years to come. The company that I helped to start had become even more successful. My brother took some pity on me and in doing so probably extended my horrible addiction by years. I received a monthly stipend. I would pay my rent and I had a car, although I had no drivers license. I also had multiple cars repossessed from me which is rather ironic considering we were in that line of work for a period of time. My cousin whom I had worked for, for a couple of years started hitting the bottle even harder than before. He eventually lost everything. So I became a hanger on at the company. I just wanted money for booze and drugs. My wish was granted. I separated from my wife. I rented a very dirty and sleazy motel room down in the hood. It was extremely depressing and scary. Most of my biker friends abandoned me. Really how bad of a drunk do you have to be when outlaw bikers don't want to hang out with you because you are too crazy? Pretty fucking bad is my guess!

    I had resigned myself to die in that room. I would go to the gas station across the street every morning and buy a half gallon of vodka and a 12 pack of beer. It would all be gone by late evening and I would usually blackout, waking the next morning in an extreme panic wondering what I did or said and how was I going to get through the day, this fucking time.

    That routine went on for months

    One day there was a knock on the door. I was flipping the fuck out just because any interaction with any human being on any level would cause me extreme panic. I decided to fight the urge to jump off the balcony and make a run for it. I answered the door and it was an old acquaintance. Actually, he was way more than an acquaintance. Him and I were tight at one point. He was like a brother to me. He was also a big old drunk and drug addict and probably one of the only people I knew that could keep up with me when it came to drinking and drugs. The dude had cleaned up his act though and offered to help me if I wanted it. I went to an AA meeting with him the next day. It was ok. I don't remember much about it except that my friend took me and I knew he was one of the few people that had my best interest at heart. I decided at some point shortly after that, that I wanted to live.

    The rest of this part of the story involves me calling some number I found on the internet. I was on a plane with the week bound for Florida and a rehab facility.

    That call was the best I ever made.

    Taking a break for now. Will be back hopefully to wrap this long ass thing up
     
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  15. avilux

    avilux Power Member

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    Huh, that's crazy. Love it though! I was on a bit of a little spiritual journey last night and watching one of Koi Fresco's videos made something click for me. The dude's a successful hippie on YouTube with a large following, but just a few years ago was sitting in jail after a DUI. He said one of his biggest lessons, his life changing one was that the older guys in jail made him realize that he could've been in there place given the right circumstances. It was a small difference. These tiny little cracks separate us all.

    I don't believe I have an addictive personality for the most part, as I'm able to handle it pretty well, but when I was younger there were periods of time where I was close. I mean when you hand a 15 year old thousands of dollars and some days even up to $500 with the hopes of more coming in no time, you party hard. I think the thing that hurt most was realizing that illegal money was easier to come by than even YouTube. I turned so lazy that I didn't want to work unless it paid a couple hundred dollars for a few minutes of work. I'd have months where at 16 I'd spend thousands on just getting stoned and buying the latest materialistic italian designer goods. If only I kept going further.. who knows.

    PI and Repo though.. interesting ways of making it.
     
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  16. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    The repo stuff and even the PI stuff didn't pay that great. Conducting shit loads of background checks is where we made the bulk of our money from.
    We had Xerox, EDS, Sherwin Williams and a ton of other big clients that used us.
     
  17. avilux

    avilux Power Member

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    Oh now I gotcha. Yeah I had an old roommate who worked in that industry exactly now that I remember, and she said the company must've been raking in serious dough. Since most companies need to do it anyways, and it can be a little consuming they send it to another place. Excited to hear more
     
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  18. Ca$haksepeare

    Ca$haksepeare Newbie

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  19. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    To continue.

    I had made the call to a rehab facility in Florida. They said they would fly me down there and that sounded great to me. Go to Florida on someone else's dime? Hell yeah! Sign me up!
    Florida was really good for me. I made some really good friends and got sober there.

    I came back up from Florida in the Fall of 2011. My wife needed an operation and she needed me there to take care of her after they did the surgery. This would be the first time back together since we split up more than 6 months before.

    I'm happy to say her surgery went well and we are still together 5 years later.

    After I came up from Florida I started working for the company again. I was just there as a background check investigator. Some of the folks that I used to work with didn't appreciate me being there. That's understandable but it does make it difficult to get anything done when people really want nothing to do with you. That's completely on me, though.
    My brother who was also sober at this point allowed me a lot of leeway with work hours and sick time etc. The years and years of drinking took it's toll on me.

    I would go days with without sleep. I would get lost driving up to the store which is only a quarter mile away. My brain stopped functioning properly which was the most upsetting to me because it was the only thing I had ever used to make money.

    I'm still missing maybe a little over an entire decade of memories and experiences. I'm pretty sure they weren't my proudest moments so it might not be such a bad thing that they are gone.

    In the next installment, my brother sells the business and I freak the fuck out. I will be back soon
     
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  20. SkullGuy

    SkullGuy Regular Member

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    Cut to the company and I am working there. Just as a peon background investigator. I no longer wield the power over people I once did. No more grocery bags filled with cash to go to the titty bar. Just me, sitting there on the phone like a dozen other people. I had mentioned it was somewhat difficult dealing with people and getting things done because there were some people who thought I was only kept on because my brother owns the company. That's most likely true but I also had some skills that were useful when needed. I also did keep our website ranked at the top of the serps for about 12 years. That made us millions. But, when I use a little humility I can see why some people might have a problem with me.

    I remained at the company and continued to do my job. I wasn't makin' that cheddar but I was really okay with that. My brother, on the other hand, was starting to reap the whirlwind that he had been creating for a few years. He had quit drinking for the most part but had another addiction, women. I won't get into what a fucking mess that is but suffice to say it puts the company in a precarious situation, money wise.

    So in somewhat of a panic my brother talks to some investors without my knowledge. That's fine, any stock or investment or goodwill I had with the company was long gone. The problem comes when he decides to only tell me a week ahead of time that I will most likely be out of work. Well, that was bit shocking and fucking frightening annnd enraging. I had never felt so much anger since giving up drugs and alcohol. It was sort of a chicken shit move, but it was what it was and I knew we would get past it somehow.

    At this point I'm trying to get a resume together and find another job. I looked pretty good, on paper at least. The problem was my outdated experience. I knew old school SEO techniques and cheats. Nothing I really knew would be able to be applied today. Yeah I mean the very basics are the same but it's not like I could go to American Greetings and just pull a 100K a year job. That was actually a scenario I was offered not too long ago. I decided to stick with myself and my business.

    So in order to get something going, I met with my brother who was willing to invest a bit and we would be partners 50/50. The first thing we did was go back to our roots. We started another investigations company. But, this time it was going to be mainly consumer driven and most of our services would be automated information services.
    I hated doing this, I did not want to do it but I figured we could make a quick buck because I could setup the website and learn as I go.
    I learned it is no longer 2002 and that selling shit online is a mother. I already kind of knew that though. I also knew my heart wasn't in this thing and if that remained the case, it would fail.
    I went to learning everything I could about IM and modern SEO and I was already a lurker on BHW.

    One day I came across a ring that I wanted to buy. Remember, some of my background was with bikers and that culture so I wanted this stainless steel "biker ring". It just appealed to me. The freekin thing was 80 bucks! I thought that's maybe 10 cents worth of steel and the thing was mold pressed and plated in chrome. It's a $1.50 to produce product! So I figured China would be the source of these things and I was right. I took a little bit of money bought some of these rings opened up a web store on Shopify and decide to try some facebook ads. I made a page for the company on Facebook. It freekin grew like wildfire! Bikers love crude inappropriate humor and I started posting funny memes and I would throw on a ring to tease them with. I was selling some rings and jewelry here and there. I knew I could ramp that up though.

    Out of the blue a guy contacts me via messenger and asks if we want our logo on a racecar for The Daytona Firecracker 250. So I'm thinking it's going to be a tiny little logo no one would see or the guy is going to want $75,000. Neither one was the case. He liked our logo, he was self-sponsored and was looking to just put a name on the car in hopes that we would remain and actually sponsor his car.

    So we are this brand new company, one where I was just trying to sell a couple stainless steel rings and we are going to be put on the map because some weird guy liked our logo. Stranger shit has happened but I couldn't tell you where.

    It's months until the race and things are going well we fly out to Utah to meet our new NASCAR partner guy. We go 4 wheeling out in Mojab and had a good time. We pitched in like 5K to get the car wrapped and that was about it.

    A few weeks later we lost our original driver to a bigger team and more money. Our driver was really fucking good and because of his racing history that would have drawn a lot of attention to him and our car.

    Ok so, we get another driver,and just shit really goes downhill from there.

    Our new driver's claim to fame was stealing his competition's parts truck and trying to sabotage him.
    Plus he was fat! A fat NASCAR driver? Please! I mean I am not a twig but I also don't drive a godamned nascar.

    Then we find out attendance at the Daytona event was going to be about 30% of what it normally was.
    We had hundreds and hundreds of t-shirts printed,,,,,, fuck

    So the big day comes, the race is delayed and the big fat race car driver came in dead fucking last. What a dick, he just wanted points for finishing.

    Our car was never seen by anyone, on TV anyhow. It was a coool car too man. Dodge Charger which I have a hard-on for.

    Ok so that went to shit rather quickly.

    --- I'm taking another break folks, sorry this is so long. It's the only way to I know how to tell it though.
     
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