Overcoming Adversity by Richard J Donaldson

What is “adversity”? The dictionary defines it as “hard times or misfortune”; OR “A difficult or unpleasant situation.” From my personal experience, I would define it as: “A thought process that takes place in a person’s mind, when they encounter a situation that makes them feel as if “life” has thrown an obstacle in their path, that is or will be difficult to handle.” This can be the result of something physical (an injury), mental (a stressful situation), or emotional (A broken �). Some people falter under the pressure of an adverse situation; while others have the will power to continue planting one foot in front of the other to get through it.I have come to the conclusion that adversity only exists if the person experiencing it, accepts it as a potential hinderance in their ability to overcome the scenario they’re facing. If they don’t acknowledge it, and instead just continue pushing forward, they’ll eventually realize that they can make it through anything life puts in their path… Regardless of how “difficult or unpleasant” it may seem!All my life, I’ve had to deal with adversity in one form or another…Starting when I was very young; I dealt with a difficult and unpleasant situation in the form of physical & mental abuse at the hands of my parents; most often from my mother.One of the first incidents I can remember in my life, occurred when I was 3 years old…(NOTE: I KNOW I WAS AROUND 3 BECAUSE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THINGS BUT NOT OLD ENOUGH TO START SCHOOL YET.)One night my mother had a few friends come over and made it clear that she didn’t want my sister and I hovering around while she was entertaining. In a “rare moment of niceness”, mother decided to make us some hot-chocolate to keep us sufficed and out of the way for the time being. (NOTE: MY MOTHER WASN’T EXACTLY KNOWN FOR BEING “NICE”, SO GESTURES OF KINDNESS WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN, THEREFORE EASY TO REMEMBER.)This was the very early 80’s before microwaves so she had to boil the water on the stove to make the hot-chocolate for us. She FILLED two adult-sized glass mugs (the kind with a handle that beer would be served in), mixed in the cocoa, and gave them to my sister and I.CAUTION: THIS IS WHEN THAT “MOMENT OF NICENESS TAKES A DRASTIC TURN…Now that I think back, and I’m able to analyze the situation… I guess my mother didnt realize that glass beer mugs weren’t designed to hold hot liquid because transfers through the glass. Needless to say, the glass burned my �, causing me to spill a small amount on “her” carpet.My mother responded to what was clearly an accident, with a swift slap across my face. This of course caused me to spill ALL of the hot-chocolate. Enraged from the mess ‘she’ caused me to make, she followed through with a barrage of slaps & hits to my head and face, along with screaming & yelling. Luckily, “someone” jumped up to pull her off of me, which only seemed to infuriate her more. (I guess she became angrier with me for ‘making’ her hit me so many times.)So… In a final gesture of rage, she picked up the empty glass I had dropped, and threw it at the back of my feet, hitting me hard enough to break the glass. (I believe it might’ve hit the floor and the back of my feet simultaneously; but either way it hit me and broke.) So now, not only was there a puddle of hot-cocoa, there was also broken glass and blood from my foot streaming into the carpet.I clearly remember that “someone” who had pulled her off of me , telling her that I needed to be taken to the hospital because the cut on my foot was pretty bad. She refused to take me anywhere and put bandaids over it instead. This is what i had to deal with at the age of 3.It wasn’t until I was 25 years old, having a conversation with my biological father, that I found out that HE was that “someone” who had pulled her off of me. Hearing that revelation came with mixed feelings… Actually… I was really fucking with him because I quickly realized he could have done more to prevent what happened. Furthermore, it shined a light on the fact that he abandoned me and left me with her, even though he could clearly see what type of mother she was turning out to be.38 years later… I still have the scar on the back of my right foot, along with the vivid memories of how it got there.When I initially wrote this, I couldn’t help but notice how much my hands were shaking. That just goes to show… Whether good or bad, the effects of a memory can last a lifetime.7-8 years later… I distinctly remember another incident when one morning, I was sent off to school with my mother’s handsprings imprinted into both sides of my face. This was the result of being held down on my knees by the front of my shirt and being slapped repeatedly for what felt like 10 minutes. The so-called reason for this… I was told that “I hadn’t been in the bathroom long enough to have brushed my teeth thoroughly”, so my mother assumed that I wad lying to her about whether or not I had brushed at all. The fact of the matter is… I was telling the truth and had brushed my teeth; but I seriously doubt that’s what was on her mind that morning. Even waaay back then, I had enough sense to know that she was on some early morning bullsh*t, and just wanted to humiliate and inflict pain upon me for whatever reason she could fathom in her head.After the conclusion of the morning torment, I took the 15 minute walk to school with tears in my eyes and the frosty air blowing on my swollen face. Because it was also the middle of winter, (in Michigan) the cold weather made the handprints a lot more noticeable by the time I arrived at school.As I sat there in class that morning, my teacher Mrs. Rumph, noticed that something was wrong with me, so she asked if I was ok. I must’ve been in a trance or something, because even though heard her talking to me, my brain and my mouth were not in sync enough for me to speak. So, when I failed respond two or three times, she got up from her desk and walk towards me to confront me. This drew the attention of the whole class; so now I had 29 sets of eyes staring at me to see what my problem was, and the teacher only a few steps away. When she got close enough, a look of horror came over her face as she touched my cheek to examine what she was seeing. When she realized that her eyes weren’t deceiving her, and she was able to feel what she was looking at, all she could say was “Oh my God” as her fingers traced the welts on my face. This incident occurred when I was in the 6th grade. For the 11 years of my life up to this point, I had been hit, beat, screamed at, belittled, and humiliated so often, and for so many different reasons, I had to become immune or numb to it. I’m sure those of you who can truly understand, or even relate to what I was going through,… You will also understand that being numb to something like this, doesn’t mean it’s not having a lasting effect on you.After that incident, I literally prayed to be taken away from my parents and sent to foster care. Unfortunately, my prayers weren’t answered. As dramatic as these incidents were, I overcame them and the many scenarios like it that lasted until I was 13. It was then that I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to be hit by anyone anymore; especially my mother. One day, as she attempted to hit me with something, I stood my ground and held onto the object that she had swung at me. She screamed and yelled for me to “let it go.” When she realized I wasn’t going to just back down this time, she resorted to insulting me instead and told me to “get the f*** out of her face.”NOTE: A QUOTE FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS “THINK & GROW RICH” BY NAPOLEON HILL… “UNFAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES DURING CHILDHOOD: “AS THE TWIG IS BENT, SO SHALL THE TREE GROW.” MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE CRIMINAL TENDENCIES ACQUIRE THEM AS A RESULT OF A BAD ENVIRONMENT WITH IMPROPER ASSOCIATES OR ROLE MODELS DURING CHILDHOOD.Years of physical and mental abuse at home, transitioned directly into another phase of bullsh*t in middle school. It was there that I was bullied and teased for everything from my height and small size, to my haircut and lack of sufficient wardrobe. This is when my circumstances begin to really influence my decisions in a negative way.NOTE: THERE WAS NOBODY “BEATING ME UP AND TAKING MY LUNCH MONEY”… OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. HOWEVER, CONSTANTLY BEING RIDICULED FOR THINGS I HAD NO CONTROL OVER WAS AS TORTUOUS AS GETTING BEAT UP EVERYDAY WOULD’VE BEEN.At this point, I was well aware of the fact that my parents couldn’t afford or simply weren’t going to buy what I need it as a teenager. My solution to this problem… I began shoplifting in order to support myself. This was my way of “figuring things out” in order to “overcome adversity.” This is also when my journey to prison begin.My journey to prison is the title of the first book I will publish, which is GUARANTEED to be a page turner and a best seller. Walking you step by step through this story of my life, I explained how everything I experienced throughout my adolescent years, sparked the mindset that produced the worst decision I ever made… A decision which inevitably sent me to prison with a 19 year sentence.June 6th 2013, I received a 228 month term of imprisonment for low-level, non-violent drug offense. My sentence gave a new meaning to the phrase “unjust punishment”.Going through the federal court system and serving time in federal prison is a story in itself and provided me with enough memorable experiences for “3000 Days In” which is the unofficial title of my second book. This book explains the details of what I went through in court… How I ended up in the most violent Federal prison in California even though I’m a non-violent offender with no violence on my record… How I learned Federal law to fight for my freedom so I could get out earlier than initially projected… And the many untold details that our society should be aware of in regards to what goes on inside the Federal Bureau of Prisons.Despite the harness of the environments I’ve been in, I have put my best effort into using my time wisely, in order to make sure I get something positive out of this negative situation. -Aprendi a hablar, escribir, y leer Espanol tambien fluentemente… ( I’ve learned to speak, read, and write Spanish almost fluently.)- I’ve studied several aspects of the financial markets such as Day-Trading of Stocks, Commodities, Options, Foreign and Cryptocurrency.- I’ve studied Business Management inside & out.- I’ve been working out / exercising religiously to keep my mind and body in good shape.- And… I’ve spent a significant amount of time redeveloping myself so I’ll leave this situation and immediately be on the path to being the best man, father, husband, and business man I can be.After serving more than 8 very difficult years, in some of the worst places in the prison system, I am happy to be able to say that I am scheduled to be released soon. I was actually supposed to be out two years ago… But unfortunately, the federal court system is well known for performing extravagant tricks at the last minute in order to deny aprisoner’s release. But this time… THEY CAN’T STOP ME!Considering everything I’ve gone through, you might assume that the most difficult times are behind me. However, knowing what I know of my own situation, I’m here to explain why that assumption is far from the truth. One of the most difficult aspects of my time in prison, is being gone for almost a decade and walking out of here knowing I have nothing to go home to. Technically I don’t even have a “home” to go to so I’ll be staying at a halfway house until I save enough money to get my own place. What makes this scenario even worse is going home in the middle of this pandemic. I literally have nothing left out there… Not even an old pair of shoes, a pair of pants or a shirt to wear. The only belongings I have are there few items I’ll be leaving prison with. That’s the sad reality of my situation.However, I am not discouraged by this because one thing I do have is determination, which will be combined with my goals and definitive plans to succeed. I’ve achieved success before as a legitimate businessman and as a Personal Trainer… There’s no doubt I will achieve success again. All my life, I’ve been adamant about doing things on my own and rarely asking anyone for help. Though that mentality became an important part of myself development it worked against me at times when I could have used a little bit of help instead of choosing to make a bad decision. At this phase of my life, I now understand the importance of doing things differently… The right way. Taking the “easy way out” is no longer an option for me. Furthermore, I’m not exactly in a position where I can allow my pride to interfere with my desire to get my life where I want it to be. For once in my life, I would really appreciate having an advantage; even if that means swallowing my pride and asking for help. For someone as ambitious and motivated as I am, receiving a little bit of assistance would make a big difference in my ability to get my life all the way on track. It would also prevent me from struggling unnecessarily, at a time when every move I make will be absolutely critical in determining the immediate outcome of my future.

So… To the generous people of the world; I am humbly pleading for your help and I’m not asking for a handout. I just need a helping hand to pull me up and provide a stepping stone towards achieving success once and for all.

The money I’m asking for will be used for the following:

1. I will rent and furnish a decent place to stay so I can remain Corona free in my own space…

2. I will finance a vehicle…

3.I will build my credit…

4. I will publish/print/market my books…

5. I will purchase basic necessities such as cell phone, computer, clothing ETC…

6. I will get my teeth fixed to repair the horrible dentistry I received in prison…

7. I will get surgery on my shoulder for a rotator injury which the BOP has taken four years to fix…

8. I will attend school for training in financial market trading so I can be a Stockbroker or Day-trading specialist…

9. I will start my business as a Day-trader whereI will also teach others how to trade…

10. I will buy my daughter a nice gift for her 21st birthday to show her how sorry I am for missing eight of the most important years of her life.

The money that will be left over will be used to build a secure financial foundation for myself, my daughter, the wife I’m searching for, and the kids I don’t have yet.

Anyone who donates $50 or more will receive both of my books when they are ready to be shipped. I will do my absolute best to show society that some people really can get their life together after prison. I thank you for your donations.

Every dollar will be greatly appreciated!

If you would like to contact me directly, I enjoy writing and communication so please write me at the following address:

Richard DonaldsonRegister #16787-040FCI Forrest City MediumP.O. Box 3000Forrest City, AR 72336

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