Jess's Story

I went to a luncheon the other day where the speaker emphasized that telling your story is imperative. And there was a simple way to do that; The Pixar Storytelling Formula. So here is the Pixar formula outline of my life’s story. To keep perspective I wrote it in the third person, I beg your indulgence Please let me know if you want to know more! I will be filling in the blanks as time allows and will prioritize the sections based on your feedback. Everyone tells me my life should be a movie. I don't know about that, not really one I want to watch, but hey I’ve already seen it ;)

What do you think? Thanks! Jess Jessop

Once Upon a time … There was a good Mormon Boy from Utah who was forced to join the Navy

Every day …. He was a Boy Scout, he tried to always do his best, over achieve and be a righteous person. Everything went really great when he first went aboard ship, the USS Lockwood DE 1064.

One Day … He decided he was being ordered to do something that violated his ethics. He said no. It was not a legal order; he didn’t follow it but ...

Because of that … He became the #1 target of the institutionally empowered bullies, the Chief’s, inspiring extreme hazing including threats of gang rape and being thrown overboard at night to die ….

Because of that …. Many, many small and big, even life threatening and life altering things like attempted gang rape, would be done to him. Essentially, he was tortured with extreme sanctioned hazing for over a year.

Until finally … After exhausting all avenues of escape, he attempted suicide. He was then physically, verbally and emotionally abused for a couple of months more in the process of being kicked out of the Navy.

Because of that …. Six months later he had his first PTSD Event and ended life as he knew it.

He lost his pregnant wife, home, family and Church; was excommunicated and shunned. He became homeless and depressed. He was Mentally Ill, but it would be 10 years before VA Delayed Stress Outreach help.

Because of that …. He was stressing out and starting to lose control of his anger. A childhood friend, who was in the Navy with him, insisted he smoke Marijuana. It worked. It also made him an Outlaw with a even more serious secret. For many years he would have been arrested and put in jail if this one came out.

Because of that …. He was able to manage his anger, PTSD and Depression allowing him to be a very productive foot soldier in the Computer Revolution and a Seeker of Enlightenment.

Because of that …. He discovered he had a real talent for solving problems; and creating software products was all about finding and solving big problems. He also discovered he was really good at computer and software engineering which made him in high demand; his LinkedIn profile is extensive.

But … hiding his Mental Illness required he rearrange the deckchairs. A period of depression meant it was time for a new job, new City and maybe wife. Usually every 12-18 months. No one could know. It was a career ending secret he had to keep.

“Being in the closet about my mental illness and medication was the only way to be employed. The computer business was perfect for that, when I needed to move on it usually came with a raise and a better job.

And only a minor penalty for being a Pot Head. Everyone knew, there was a lot of wink, nod and denigrating jokes for my medication. But that beats piss tests and being fired everyday!”

Until finally … The bubble burst of 2001 ended all of that and resulted in many years stuck in depression and poverty.

Because of that …. He raised his sons, David and Thomas, on an old Hippy Bus on the side of the road and became a Homeless Advocate.

Because of that …. He found his way to recovery through humility, being of service and gratitude. He had a great therapist and many great teachers, Tony Robbins most of all.

Until finally … In full Recover and doing Great! He founded Lemons2, wrote FOVC, made awesome, supportive friends, is helping people with Mental Illness come out of the Closet and is having a Fabulous Happily Ever After.

The End

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.