Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chapter One : What's the Stats ?

Chapter One 
"What's the Stats?"

Welcome to the first chapter in The Lost Boys series. Let's dive right into the good stuff.Statistics. What are the effects on American Society for growing up as a man without a father in this country? In Lost Boys there will be no reference to a man's race or political affiliation as that has no bearing on growing up without a father. In fact for myself politics and race were the last things on my mind growing up without a dad. 

What I am going to do is start of with just one statistic and then drill down on that providing my personal opinion on the stat plus any anecdotal experience I might have had with that subject. There are so many stats and I will try to keep the information simple and easy to read as this is a blog and not a scientific piece. I want to relate and reach out to men not push them away with long boring paragraphs. Warning. I will swear and write in a common man's style as well . I am not trying to impress anyone with this stuff. I am hoping to help another like myself not feel so alone . I am 55 years old and have acquired some of this knowledge  too late but I am also a believer  of "it is never too late" So lets get the ugly stuff started so we can learn and build hope. 

Substance Abuse

– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.
– There is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.
Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households. "  
                                                                                                                                           Source The Fatherless Generation

Why is it so high for us? This is one of the stats that hit home for me. I am two years and two months sober from alcohol right now as I write this. Alcohol was like a miracle for me as a young fatherless man. It was the gateway into society for me. It gave me courage to speak to more people especially women, it made me feel like I fit in and most of all it was an escape from the dawning reality that I was not like the rest of the boys. I had horrible words swirling in my head like "illegitimate" and the dreaded "bastard" . When I drank all those things faded and I became almost like a superman. I didn't want to face the reality of what my life was going to be like.I was strong and young yet I was alone. I wasn't wanted by my father and the pain was and is unbearable. The drinking lead me to other things like drugs and risky sexual behavior. I drank from the age of around 15 until I was 49. That is 34 years too long. The alcohol abuse took a toll on my life especially in the psychological side. I feel it held me back . It created a sort of Never Never Land where I could go and never grow up or accept responsibility. I look back now and feel a fool for wasting so much time partying. I realize now as a sober and rapidly maturing adult man , that I could have used that time to better myself . The problem is I didn't know any better. No one was there to guide me. My mother was simple , undereducated and not up to the task of guiding a man into his destiny.

Now 34 years later I am healing from the damage that alcohol abuse has caused my family and myself. I am part of those statistics. Are you ?

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