Damaged Merchandise is a book about hope and dreams. Even those lost in an alcoholic or drug induce haze have dreams. They were just lost or "damaged" due to the abuse. With sobriety, came the knowledge that I needed to live in the real world. Still, with reality it was OK to dream. And with reality, I achieved goals, which I hoped would make my dreams come true! Damaged Merchandise is the story of dreams coming true, while living in the real world.
Told through stories and poems, Damaged Merchandise: Poems and Stories of an Alcoholic Addict, is my story. A story of destruction and damage, which 12 years later, I'm still trying to correct. At times, the poems leave the reader wondering "what if?" and that's OK, because the final chapter, in my life has yet to be written.
From homelessness, to ODing, failed suicides, running and hiding (both from myself and the law), its all here. From drug dealing, to stealing, to hitch-hiking the USA, the reader enters a world, where few go and fewer survive!
Damaged Merchandise is now available as audio book. Click here for more information on this project and to order yours today.
The beginning of Chapter 2 entitled Abuse...
wasn't to long ago in our history, that abuse was easy to define.
Someone who was physically beaten was indeed abused. But, it did
not involve children. Some kids needed to be beaten, to help
"straighten them out." Spouses were an OK target to physically punish,
as the law did little to help them, believing the couple was married
and it was a private matter. As years went by, our understanding of abuse changed. Children did not have to be a target for their parents. Spouses were also protected.
From the story Rational Desolation...
I hate the day and I pray for the night. I hope it comes soon. I
don't want to fight. People don't bother me, my parents don't scare me, my brothers and my friends don't know me.... more of this story on page 77
Have you ever been to a larger size city and walked through their busy main streets? You'll look into the windows and see merchandise,
you've never seen before. You'll stop into a little cafe and try some
"home cooking." You'll watch the people walk by on the
sidewalks, the cars behind them, racing in both directions. Then reality
sets in, ever so slowly, a dirty man, with torn clothes, has
his hand out, begging for money. Some look away, others feel pity,
while still others are angry. I know, because I seen all these feelings
when I was homeless. I heard stories from the Bible, and was told to
"get a job!" I was harassed, kicked and spit upon. It didn't bother me, just please, give me your loose change. I grew up in a proud home (with what the outside saw) that had strong values.
But they didn't see inside the closed doors, it was quite
dysfunctional. It was from this craziness, that I survived. I survived homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, divorces, numerous court cases and jail. That craziness made me who I am. That craziness
gave me a life, it gave me an excuse. For most of my adult life, my
childhood ruled me.
Marriages failed because of my parents.
It was their fault I lost jobs. On and on, it went. As long as it was
their fault, I did not have to accept responsibility for my actions.
That was until my drinking could not be avoided. In court rooms, they
didn't want to hear about "poor Dave." They would not let me
push my responsibility on someone else. Looking at many years in the
penal system, the fear of God set in, and I realized this
was my last chance. Some would say, I quit to avoid jail. They are
correct. But that fear has kept me sober for over nine years. I still
remember my last drunk, my first day in court, and my first counseling
session. I was defeated, scared, and totally hopeless. If I didn't
go to court, there is little doubt in my mind, that I would be dead.
Either someone would have killed me, I would have killed myself,
or alcoholism would have done me in. While alcoholism, helped me
survive many trials, it should be stated that, all these trials
I created! Sobriety, brought new challenges. Most people call this -
life! Pay bills, accept responsibility and try to rebuild burnt bridges.
Sobriety gave me strength and courage to move forward. I am so
thankful, that my wife, Betty did not have to go through breast cancer alone. If I was drinking, I wouldn't have been there for her, physically - maybe, spiritually - no way.
What's been said about Damaged Merchandise
From PublishAmerica Executive Director, Miranda Prather, said that Harm's book "is a well written and crafted work of contemporary poetry. Mr. Harm is a promising talent in his field."
Tom Osborne, US Congressman from Nebraska and their former football coach wrote, "Your book sounds quite interesting. I commend
you on your willingness and courage to share details of your situation
with others. I also appreciate your efforts to help people
understand the ramifications of substance addiction. Like you, I am
deeply concerned about the alcohol problem facing the United
States, particularly underage drinking among our young children. It is
devastating that in many cases it takes the loss of life for some to recognize the severity of the problems associated with alcohol abuse. As a society, we can no longer have a complacent attitude towards underage drinking if we want to stop the increased risk of harm that lasts well beyond our youth's adolescent
years. As parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors, we owe it to
our youth and the communities in which we live to
tackle these problems before they worsen."
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