Picture of Me (Paperback)
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"Picture of Me" is a book of poems written during a tumultuous season in the writer's adolescence. These poems remind readers that though life wears you down sometimes, there is always hope to be found.
About the Author
Thomas was born and raised in suburban Massachusetts with his father, stay at home mother, and three sisters. He was raised Catholic, attending a private Catholic School in his early childhood years.
When he was 11 years old, his parents separated for the last time, opting to divorce after 16+ years of a very stormy marriage. His father, an admitted alcoholic, having relapsed and still active at that time, was left at the childhood home which was in foreclosure. Thomas moved to a new town with his mother and three sisters. He then started to attend a local public school in the 6th grade, where he felt lost and disconnected from the rest of the kids. Public schooling is vastly different from private Catholic schooling, which resulted in a couple of extremely lonely years. Having no friends during this time, his mother was the lighthouse in an ocean of pain left by the separation, divorce, and relocation.
When he was 13 years old, his mother died instantly in a car crash on her way to her graduate program where she was completing her studies to become a nurse. Her sudden death resulted in his estranged father reentering his life as sole caretaker. At this point, his father had stopped drinking once again but was only a few months sober, and trying to get his life in order.
Being in a place of pain and confusion, Thomas turned to drugs and alcohol at the age of 14.
Going to St John's High School (a renowned school) was his mother's dream for him and just five months after her sudden death he began attending that school but struggled a great deal adjusting to still yet another change in schools (with very stringent rules and policies as a parochial school) and/or friends…bolstering his use of drugs and alcohol in order to cope. After completing just one year he left that school, and returned to the local public high school. Pain, confusion, and disarray in his life escalated substantially - particularly since drugs and alcohol had now entered the picture.
When he was 15, he accidentally overdosed on an excessive amount of alcohol, as a result of using cocaine which he was introduced to at a party. When paramedics arrived, his heart had stopped and one lung had collapsed, leaving him on the brink of death. After which, he had slipped into a comatose state for 3 days. Upon recovery and returning home from the hospital, he was mandated to appear before a judge due to this incidence. The judge then ordered that he attend a drug/alcohol rehabilitation program, which he completed and returned home.
A year later, after tearing up the neighborhood and causing considerable damage to property in a display of displaced anger with a few friends, he once again appeared before a judge who was considering remanding him over to the state, removing him from his father's custody. In a plea to maintain custody, his father then agreed to get him help and placed in a program for troubled teens where he stayed for several months, which is where he found poetry through various fellow teenagers in that drug abuse facility. There was one very special counselor there that was able to "break through" the huge wall of armor that he had formed about himself. He started to write voraciously from that point on. Stuck in his own head and feeling that he can't relate to the world around him in a true sense, he never went anywhere without a pen and notebook.
Throughout much of his teen years, he was in and out of various treatment facilities and halfway houses for behavioral issues, much of which involved drug and alcohol abuse. Due to a strained relationship with his father, he became homeless on a couple of occasions as a runaway. One stint ended up across the country in San Francisco where he was sucked into a methamphetamine world.
Later, an arrest involving driving a stolen car with a suspended license along with drugs found on his person, lead to several months in jail. This proved to be an "opportunity" to learn some very important lessons through yet another special counselor that he encountered through a program that he opted to go through while incarcerated.
His writings reveal the enormous struggle with the immense "dark" times that he experienced through his tumultuous teen years.
Thomas is now living in Oregon with his wife of over 20 years and 4 children.