This article is about how my “Stupid” story became a business called Too Stupid To Fail and how I use it to help people find success by removing artificial barriers in their lives and eliminating negative internal dialogue. I would like to ask that you try not to feel bad for me as you read it as I have truly embraced every phase of my life, and I am grateful to have lived every moment of it because it has created me to be the person I am today. Every single one of us can define success our own way, through our own lenses, and, as I evaluate my life at my age and at my position in life, I consider myself to be very successful. Because of that, I have to share how I not only survived my past, but thrived in spite of it. That somewhere along the way, mostly because other people telling me I have a story to share, I learned that the events of my life can literally dramatically improve the lives of other people and help them thrive as well. So, welcome to my story. Welcome to my testimony of how I am Too Stupid To Fail.
I was born in September 1966 to an alcoholic father and chronically depressed mother. They divorced when I was two years old. My mother married another alcoholic shortly after divorcing my father. My stepfather, Frank Murphy, adopted my siblings and me when I was around 8 years old. So, my last name was Murphy for 10 years which served me well when I was in high school because everyone thought I was a pissed-off Irishman, and I believe that kept me out of a lot of fights. I smoked my first cigarette when I was 8. I also started smoking every day when I was 11, which is also when I smoked weed for the first time.
I got permission to smoke and got drunk for the first time when I was 13. When I was in eighth grade a friend of mine, Mark, used to steal rum from his parent’s liquor cabinet, and we would drink it in the back of the school bus on our way to school in the morning. I guess I wasn’t overly concerned about getting in trouble because we never stayed in one place for very long. It seemed like I went to a new school every year. I lived in 14 different houses and went to 11 different schools. When I was 11 years old, we moved to Forestville, CT. Little did I know that I would have a lifelong connection to Forestville and that my family, the way I knew it, would not survive it.
I remember my stepfather used to get drunk and pass out at either the liquor store parking lot at the A&P strip mall, our driveway at the house or at the end of Leon Rd. at the stop sign—just sitting there passed out cold. My friends and I saw him there and were like, “Murf, ain’t that your dad?”
I said, “Yeah, let’s go to Peck Park and get high.” On the other hand, my mother was in the house sitting at the table playing solitaire and crying a lot. When my stepfather finally did come into the house, he would go straight into the bedroom and sleep it off until the next day. They divorced when I was about 12. My stepfather wasn’t the only one leaving the family that year. My brother dropped out of school at the age of 16, joined the Marine Corps, and left the house at 17. It was about this same time my two sisters were running away from home all the time.
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