“Comfortable Chains” #abuse #selfawareness

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere“- Voltaire

Who among us doesn’t at least for a moment think the fool Voltaire speaks of, is someone other than ourselves?

We all have chains don’t we?

Chains come in many forms, pride, hatred, greed, spite, envy, These seem obvious as they exude evil.

But what are the “revered” chains Voltaire spoke of?

May I propose they are the shackles of codependency, and physical and/or emotional abuse? Why don’t victims break free of these bindings?

Unfortunately, victims can be so beaten down that sadly this abuse provides a warped sense of security. Knowing that they (the chains) are if nothing else, always there.

Be safe and take care of yourself first so, you can care for others.


“The Grappler” By Raymond Roy #poem

The Grappler By Raymond Roy

Wrestling practice in a bus garage, where the only heat was from your breath and sweat.

To our adversaries, they ain’t seen nothing yet……….

Represented was every weight. Corn-fed Unlimited,

slender 101,

and in the middle, 168……

Up at 530 to run the bleachers,

Our Coach was Ross

aka one of the Algebra teachers……

No Friday night lights, no roaring crowds, no booming bands.

Immediate family were our biggest fans…….

Not to forget our Guardian Angels so secret in disguise,

They loyally dressed up our lockers, and brought plenty a surprise……

Back of the bus, spit in a cup.

Gotta make the weight, or you would wrestle up…….

First round of three you shook the hands of an opponent of equal weight,

Whistle blows, butterflies gone, training will tell your fate……..

Take down for two, escape for one

A pin and points, will matter none……

Quarter Nelson, cross face, or a fireman’s carry,

countering the cradle never reach back and be wary………

Your challenger’s breathing is all that you can hear,

and instructions from the ref, through your head adorned gear…….

The small frys are quick, juvenile looking at their best.

The middle weights, are intense, confidently pounding fist on chest……

Like charging bull or loco train, the heavyweights would grapple on the mat.

Raw power in slow motion, like a slothy acrobat……..

While defeat brought deep heartache and victory yielded bliss

Pinning meant a gold pin, and a mat maids innocent kiss.


By no means was I superstar wrestler. Record was 50-50 at best. One of my most cherished items is a peer based inspirational trophy I received my Junior year. It sits on my desk in front of me, as a daily reminder of my roots and my first experience of being part of something greater than myself.

This poem is dedicated to all wrestlers but especially to my coaches, teammates and those that supported us back at Lynden High School. Go Lions!

LHS Class of ’81

Indeed I Do by Raymond Roy

Indeed I Do By Raymond Roy

A deed that is done is more than simply an action,For once completed, no retraction.

In the deeds I do, I cannot regret. No future worry, no time to fret.

For it is one life I am given, I pray I do not waste, aspirations toward deeds, that feed egos, arrogance, and the two faced.

To others deeds I should make no mind, of passing judgement, be they evil, malicious or unkind.

At times, my views may seem etched in stone, but they are mine, and I alone, avow my deeds, indeed I do,

Yes indeed I DO, in the deeds, I do.



Without Self-discipline, Success is Impossible. Period!

To paraphrase MLK jr. “There is no shame in being a street sweeper, embrace who you are and be the best street sweeper in the world”. funny but thinking back, I remember hearing  my Dad giving my sister  similar advice but being  my Dad, it was more like, I don’t care if you are a hooker, just be the best damn hooker out there. He loved to shock at times to make his points. We knew it was his way of showing he was loved us and supported whatever we chose to be, just work hard at it.

I used to accompany my Dad as a little guy into stores watching him pull cons on mostly clueless cashiers with a short change con. I’d watch him read people, he would size them up and sometimes call off whatever had thought about putting into play. He was a survivor. he had 3 young kids, a monkey on his back, a criminal record, this is how he survived. How WE survived. No doubt my dad had a sense of right and wrong as I got the belt when i got caught in 3rd grade stealing some candy and smoking. The message was clear, this was HIS life, he didnt want it to be mine.

Just before he passed away, it was strange but he was very attimant that I was to get baptized. in hind sight it was almost as if he had a checklist. He arranged for me to meet with the Catholic priest  twice a week to study Catholic Doctrine. much of “the rules” didnt make sense to me but to please my Dad, I went through the motions.

After My dad’s funeral I returned home to Washington State, stumbling around as a 16 year old, in kind of a fog, not talking to anyone about my loss since I didnt know how to. Not surpisingly you see families with multiple generations of Cops, Lawyers, brick layers, etc…naturally young men are impressionable but also encouraged by your elders to due better than the previous generation. at this point in my life I found myself with the lofty goal of staying out of jail.

To quote, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, “Without Self-discipline, success is Impossible. Period!”

Always the pesky little brother, I followed my older brother to try out for the High School wrestling team. He was naturally strong and quick while I was a prepubecent skinny 4′ 11″ 84lbs small fry. Even at the 101lb weight class, i gave up almost 20 pounds. I loved being around Danny and wrestling gave us bro time together riding home after practice.

Our Coach was former LA Rams NFL lineman named Ross Boice. always light hearted and encouraging, Ross put us through our paces and though not winning allot of team matches, Ross was honest, personable and respected. After each match Ross would methodically go through each weight class and provide honest feedback on what was good and what needed work. Win or lose, I would come away with a sense of worth from this man I respected so much.

Ross had an old baby blue dodge pickup with “three on the tree” gear shift and spots of rust throughout. He would pick me up at 530am before school so I could run stairs or work out on the universal weight machine. at the time I had now idea this was former NFL player, and Washington State football hall of famer. We called him Ross.

I found Ross to be the polar opposite of my Stepdad(later TBKA my Dad). Tony was an intimidating man with dark curly hair over 6 ft and a big Serpico mustache. he wasn’t a man of many words and  didnt say many things twice. at that age I couldv’e easliy descibed him as moody or always grumpy but of course this was coming from a self serving teenager who hadn’t taken the time to see a man who had taken in 3 kids that were not of his own, worked shift work and if he called in sick, it was because he physically could not get out of bed.

As kids we all experienced Tony’s criticism or quick to trigger temper. But I also saw a man who could fix things. I cant remember a time when anybody came to repair anything at our house, cars, appliances, carpentry, Tony was the TexMex McGivor.

Although Polar opposites, each of these men taught me discipline in their own way, perhaps in their own language. Ross with his gentle guidance and encouraging words, and Tony by the actions of his work ethnic infallible ability to learn by doing. At the time I spoke Ross’s language as was my nature at the time. Understanding  Tony’s dialect would take a few more years. regardless, they had removed the chains of the limiting idea that sucess was simply to not go to jail….They gave me enough Self Confidence,  the Self Discipline that I  thought I could become a US Marine…

Next up..Boot camp