My name is Dan Olson, I am 32 years old and I am from Erie PA. I was born in an environment that seemed to be intent on killing me it seems yet I somehow managed to do the opposite. My mother was an an alcoholic and I was a victim of extreme child abuse and neglect. My mother was imprisoned when I was 8 years old and I became a ward of the State. My childhood was spent in foster care, multiple juvenile detention centers, and running the streets. At the age of 18 I would be convicted of committing burglaries while homeless on the streets. While committing these crimes I had no idea that I impregnated a 16 year old girl from the neighborhood. By time I found out I was going to be a father I had already made mistakes that would land me in prison. Driven by a desire to ensure my child did not suffer the same abuse and neglect as me I turned myself into the police and took full responsibility for my actions. I naively believed the system would respect this gesture of goodwill and maturity. Instead the county was happen to be given such and open and shut case and I was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in Prison followed by 10 years State Supervised Special Probation of which I am still serving. I refused to allow such a steep sentence to diminish my resolve to become a pillar of strength for my child. During my incarceration I worked on my physical and mental strength and did all I could to better myself. In hindsight some of the habits picked up in prison have been more detrimental to my growth and I am still working through them I became very untrusting of others and after many trips tho "The Hole" I became even more suicidal and depressed, another issue I have lived with all my life, having first attempting to kill myself at the age of 12. Upon my release from prison I was committed to being a father and enjoyed 20 months of freedom. On my birthday mistakes were made that led to me being involved with a DUI. For the typical civilian a DUI is not usually such a huge deal, or at least not terribly difficult to move past and grow from. In my case I ended up being violated and my 20 months revoked. I also went back to Prison for 19 months. I was once again separated from my child and left alone to deal with all the anger of my childhood and repeated cycle of incarceration. After my 19 months in Prison I got back to work at finding a job and supporting my son. I found a job in a Foundry and as many know, this was very labor intensive. Then in 2008 the country went into a recession and I was laid off work. I immediately noticed that convicted felons have a rougher time finding work. I was facing the same issue as I did in 1999, homelessness and a lack of options. A friend was thinking of going back to college and I started bouncing the idea around to others. I was told more often than not, that it was a waste of time for a Felon to pursue college and that lit a fire under my bum. I did all the research and applied on my own. I was accepted and rather than committing crime I survived off of my school loans. At the age of 28 I lived in a college dorm to avoid being homeless. It hurt my pride tremendously but I had a vision. I gravitated towards psychology and instantly fell in love with it. A year later Occupy came to America and having read ad busters for a Psychology of Communication project I had my figure on the pulse before it started. I began to learn and organize and helped set up protests in my city. I would walk around campus with a Guy Fawkes myself and I pictured myself as a revolutionary. They say fake it til you make it and in many ways that's what I felt I was doing. I pretended to be smart, I pretended to be strong nad fearless...and eventually I became those things. I made a twitter called PsychoANONysis and I connected with people around the world. I have been fighting by myself for so long, I was recently assaulted and tazed by police after offering no violent resistance. I am deeply involved with Yoga and Zazen meditation. I am unemployed and my city will not offer me gainful employment due to my record which is now 14 years old. It is my hope that TED will open doors for me and allow my story to be told. It is my belief that I am the story of resiliency and positive thinking that is talked about so often, yet the professionals in my City seem content to keep me outside of the circle...for now. It is growing apparent that I am not going anywhere and if anything my intelligence and tactics are improving. Thank you very much for reading this and please reach out, I desire understanding acceptance and a place at the table helping to work on all the diverse issues facing humanity at this time.
Psychology, Philosophy, Buddhism, Spirituality, Sustainable Living , Earth Ship Biotecture, Civil Rights, Physics, Astronomy, Yoga.
I believe in the idea of Earthship Biotecture, I believe these homes can be built to create homes that work for humanity rather than the other way around. I believe the natural setting of these homes would work excellent paired with drug treatment and detox methods.
See what I am passionate about! I also do not mind talking about and spreading the story of my own personal transformation and Epic Quest to break the cycle of violence and alcoholism I was born into.
I'm not sure anyone knows what I am good at..as I feel I have been pushed out of society
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