Tag Archives: My Rattled Cage

Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: “X”


Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

So today, I was all set to write about the horrible epidemic of XENOPHOBIA that has overtaken the United States of America in recent years. But then I said to myself, “Gregory, it is Friday so let’s post something fun and positive.”  So, here you go:

I want to be playing my Xylophone in some exotic XANADU location such as those pictured below!!!!




That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!



Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Wonder


Blogging from A to Z April 2018


Throughout your life have you ever wondered why you are who you, or why you have become the person you are with all of your faults and  all of your assets?

So, if I ever took the time to write my autobiography, it would be a tear jerker, a thriller and definitely a roller coaster of emotions. But before I can ever do that, I have to make some clear statements/inquisitions regarding my lifelong wonders.

To begin with, I am very well aware that I was a mistake. My mother was taking the pill when I was conceived in December 1965. My father was in the United States Navy at the time and I suppose he and mother did what most Navy couples do while the seaman is on leave. I wonder why it took me until the age of 3 1/2 to 4 to learn how to walk and even talk? My parents, grandparents and sisters say that I would just sit and grunt or cry if I wanted something up to a specific age.

I wonder why throughout my childhood, it seemed that my parents never wanted me around. I spent an awful lot of my childhood at one specific house locked in my bedroom – which really was a half room off of the garage. I remember distinctly that the cockroaches would come in from the garage and crawl all over the rom and sometimes on me. To this day it is my husband’s job to deal with roaches and any type of critter that gets in the house. I wonder why I never lived a true childhood? What I will say about my childhood is that I never had to guess whether my sisters Lori and Cindy loved their baby brother.

I wonder why at the age of six, I knew that I was different because when I looked at my uncle’s Hustler or other magazines that portrayed both men and women, I never looked at the women. I was so enthralled and excited even at that young age to be looking at a naked man’s body. I wonder why it took me so long to stop wetting my bed or even crapping in my bed? Was it for attention, I only received bad attention and my parents would make me go to school smelling like piss and shit.

I wonder why when I was in grade school, I would steal other people’s lunches and lie about – knowing the punishment at home would be to eat five or six jalapeno peppers and then being locked in my room. When I was in middle school I would steal from the little convenience store because I was always hungry. Ironically, when I was 22 years old I worked at that same convenience store as a Circle K and was accused by my manager of stealing while he was on District Manager ordered vacation. When that happened, I decided to show him how it was done and embezzled over 10K dollars in cash, money orders and merchandise in the period of two days. Mind you, I turned myself in on election day 1988 when George H. W. Bush was elected president. And was sentenced to 18 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. I ended up doing almost two years – but I digress.

I wonder why at the age of 12, while my parents were going through a bitter divorce, again neither one of them wanted me. Mind you, yes, I was a troubled child and pre-teen, who wouldn’t be considering the lack of love and positive attention that was not received. I wonder why during the divorce proceedings the judge determined that it would be best if I were placed an institution for troubled and mentally challenged children. On September 13th 1979, after having spent the better part of a year in multiple group homes, I arrived at The Devereaux Foundation in Victoria, Texas. By the way, this was the day before my 13th birthday on September 14th. I asked if I would be able to talk to my mother on my birthday and I was told no. No calls or visits for the first 90 days. I guarantee this 12-year-old threw the biggest hissy fit to the point that my father who dropped me off with my current case manager insisted that my mother be able to call me on my birthday.

I wonder while at Devereaux, why I was allowed to what at the origination of it was a molestation of me by a boy who was two years older than me. His name was Randy Maggard and I still remember the day he told me that he wanted to plug me. I didn’t know what he meant but I was to find out. I will say that Randy and I had what I would a very consensual sexual relationship for almost three years until I left Devereaux in October 1982. Mind you, I was only supposed to be there for a year and yet my father felt compelled to pay the $2K a month to keep me there. In 1982 I went home to my mother and my sister Cindy.  

I wonder why at the age sixteen I continued to feel unwanted other than by my sisters. I started high school and I began that first job at McDonalds. I wonder why one night when I came home from work I learned that my mother had pawned the only possession that I had bought with earned money at Devereaux, my stereo. It was bad enough I had to sleep in the living room and then at one point because I wanted privacy, I slept in the bathroom. I wonder why at the age sixteen I became almost professional at shoplifting, clothes, books, cigarettes, meats – anything I fit into my clothes – was a target. I wonder why my mother encouraged me and often made requests of what she wanted me to shoplift. I wonder why I also became a pretty good check passer for a time. But both of these came to a quick halt after a couple of arrests.

This is just a taste of my earlier years. What I do not wonder about anymore is why me? Why did I have to become infected with HIV/AIDS on New Year’s Eve 1995 going into 1996? I know longer wonder why I am the child in our family who has been hit so hard with the addiction/alcoholism gene that runs on both sides of the family I believe. I no longer wonder why I am so beat down sometimes because of my bipolar affectation disorder and depression. I no longer wonder why I absolutely continue to sabotage myself every time something good is happening for me. Ok, that last one was a lie – I will never stop wondering  why that continues in my life.

Why do I no longer wonder about the above? Because I am unapologetic for being me because GOD does not make mistakes. I am who I am and yes, I am created in his image, only with flaws which makes me a continuous work in progress!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!






Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Thankful


Blogging from A to Z April 2018

So, to be cliché, I am very thankful that God woke me up this morning sober and clean. I am thankful for my husband Cruz and our seven four-legged babies Missy, Crissy, Little Bitty, Zailey, Sadie, Stitchy and Tippy. I am thankful for my father and stepmother and for Cruz’s mother. I am thankful for my sisters Lori and Cindy, their husbands Nicky and Doug; my nieces and their partners Rachel and Bryan, Britney, and Cassie and Ricky, Ashley and David, Tasha and Bubba and of course my great nieces and nephews Madi, Skyler, Hailey, Sophia, Bryson, Kyle and Colton, Nathen and Kaden.

But to be un-cliché, I am thankful that I have THRIVING not just SURVIVING with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years. I am thankful that I am able to be rigorously honest about my alcoholism and addiction to cocaine of which I am a daily work in progress in recovery. I am thankful that I am clinically diagnosed with depression and bipolar affectation disorder. I am also thankful that as I get younger and prettier (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) that my body is falling apart and that other surgeries could be in my future. Why am I thankful for all of this? Because it gives me a voice and plenty of writing material.

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!




#SoCS April 21/18 & Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Spoke


                                  #SoCS April 21/18 & Blogging from A to Z April 2018


How often have you been listening to a song and you feel that you are being spoken to? Better yet how often have you been at a church service and during the sermon you feel as though God himself has come down and spoke to you?

I remember on December 31, 2011 my sisters and I were in Lamar, Missouri for the funeral of our Uncle Kenny, the youngest of our Grandma Wanda’s three children and the second that she had had to bury. Our mother was the first in May 1998. During the service the preacher was not performing a normal funeral, it was more like a lecture to my cousins and although I did not realize it at the time – I also was being spoke to. I wish I could say that it did some good. Unfortunately I was in  the beginnings of a new addiction to cocaine and very much so in my alcoholism – unbeknownst to my sisters and grandma.

My favorite times though are when I am attending either a face to face or online meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. So many times I am listening to others sharing their own experience strength and hope and it seems they have just plopped themselves in front of me, speaking directly to me and reminding me that I am worth it and that it does continue to get better.

Yet, the greatest feeling is not knowing who I have spoke to and given my experience , strength and hope to in those same meetings when I share. My inner voices often say they spoke to me long before I picked up a drink or did a line and told me not to and that I just did not listen. Imagine that, me not listening when I am being spoken to!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!


Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Orthopedic


Blogging from A to Z April 2018

I have written previously about having surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff and my displaced bicep tendon in my dominant shoulder, my right shoulder. This surgery took place just about ten weeks ago on January 23rd, 2018. Since that time I am surprising myself at how well and rapidly my healing and rehabilitation is happening. This Wednesday I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon Dr. John R. Green III with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio Medical Arts and Research Center.

John R Trey Green     UTHSCMARC

I truly believe that Dr. Green will be so proud and happy with the progress that I have made and my incredible progress with my range of motion. I am able to move my right arm/ shoulder all the way up in the air, I can swing it to and fro and have done quite a bit of physical therapy by way of my edging of four yards with my Ryobi battery operated trimmer. The back and forth motion has been so therapeutic. I also am able to bend my arm and reach almost all the way up past the middle of my back. I also am able to grasp, pick up and carry items that are no more than 10 pounds. So yes, I am very pleased with my progress.

My concern now is that my left hip has gotten so bad and the pain is constant and at an 8 – 10 on the pain scale. My normal orthopedic doctor Brad Hall once again gave me a steroidal injection on 3/27/18 and ordered X-Rays of both hips as they are both giving me issues. By the way the injection did not even last for two weeks. Dr. Hall told me to have Dr. Green review the x-rays so that we can determine if there is a possible surgical procedure to correct whatever the issue is with my left hip. All I know is that I am tired of being in constant pain and as a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict, there are days that I just want it to end forever – no matter how that may be. I am still clean and sober, but boy do I need relief.

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!




Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Narcissistic


Blogging from A to Z April 2018

So here is the deal, I am a pretty narcissistic individual. I know that I am an excellent cook; I am a pretty damn good husband to my Cruzer; I am definitely a better son to my mother in law than her own children; and I know that I am the best DADA to my seven four legged babies Missy, Crissy, Little Bitty, Zailey, Sadie, Stitchy and Tippy; I also know that I am one of the best lectors at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in San Antonio and a pretty darn good singer in the 8 AM choir.


That being said, I have nothing on the current occupant of The White House Donald J. Trump. Please look up narcissistic in the Merriam Webster Dictionary and you will find the following:



SORRY, NOT SORRY!!!! That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!




This post is part of The Daily Write!


I have found over the years that every time I am in a bad space because of my character defects, manic bipolar episodes or even when I have been deep into myself and my alcoholism and addiction, it is best to DISRUPT and rock the boat to bring me back into focus.

Some of the best moments in life over the years has been when I am working on something, whether it is writing, doing yard therapy or doing projects in the house – is when our four legged babies decide it is time to DISRUPT their dada and make him play with them. There is nothing greater than the unconditional love that our kids give us and I am blessed for the many times everyday that they DISRUPT me.


That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!

Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Kaleidoscope


Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge 


The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines KALEIDOSCOPE  as:

 1 : an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns.

2 : something resembling a kaleidoscope: such as
a : a variegated changing pattern or scene
b : a succession of changing phases or actionsc : a diverse collection

I love this word because for me, in my life of over 51 years I have been a kaleidoscope and have b in many kaleidoscopic settings. I remember when I was younger and my grandmothers or parents would buy me those toy kaleidoscopes. I loved looking through the hole and seeing the many beautiful patterns of colors. Ever interchanging making new patterns. Often times those kaleidoscopes were a reprieve from the things going on in my childhood. That is for a different post or multiple posts in general.

When I was younger, long before I ever started drinking or using any other type of drug, I used to do things that I knew were wrong because I thrived for attention. Good or bad, it didn’t matter. I was actually a pretty good shop lifter and check passer in my late teens. These activities wound up landing me in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. I spent time on some of the worst units within the system, and lived with such a kaleidoscope of individuals of every race and mental persuasion. I never once had issues, not because I was a gay man, but because I knew how to respect myself and others while making sure I was never taken advantage of.

I have worked in many different fields over the years, fast food, retail, higher education, call centers. Think about in every one of those jobs, again there was such a diverse kaleidoscope of individuals that I worked with and constituents that I served.

As I have gotten older and have been loved by my husband of 17 years, Cruz, I have learned that I have facets of a kaleidoscope in my life. As some who is clinically diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder, depression that often can be deep and of that huge elephant that I am so proud to be honest and open about my struggles with and current recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction. This is where my life is something resembling a a kaleidoscope because of the succession of changing phases and scenes.

I am proud to be the kaleidoscope that I am because I know that my Higher Power whom I choose to call God does not make mistakes. My God thinks that I am a most perfect and beautiful ever-changing kaleidoscope that is a continuous work in progress.

That’s what’s in my “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by.