Police shut off the lights and 15 minutes later spotted Freddie running outside. Then he jumped through the dining room window, falling to the floor. One officer opened fire. There's no indication Freddie — or anyone else — was wounded. Freddie was arrested.

Diane also was arrested on drug charges after police returned with a warrant and found cocaine and cash stowed in a safe. Freddie, who pleaded guilty of drug possession and aggravated assault, got five years of probation. Diane, found guilty on drug charges, received a year of probation.

The couple eventually divorced. By the mid-1990s, Diane moved to Georgia with Marshall's sister. Freddie moved his boys to Florida.

"He was trying to get his kids in a better atmosphere," Crawley said, before ticking off some examples. "Where you don't have (one relative) showing you how to drink moonshine, you ain't got (another relative) showing you how to hustle beer and you ain't got (another) telling you how to carry razors in your mouth. That's the type of family we're talking about."

'Boundaries protect, walls isolate'

Marshall is driving to his barber when I ask about borderline personality disorder.

Research shows that childhood trauma — such as witnessing violence and unstable family relationships — is a common cause. To be diagnosed, the American Psychiatric Association requires individuals to exhibit at least five of nine behavior criteria related to emotional disorders. They include unstable relationships, mood swings, feeling empty and difficulty controlling anger.

Marshall isn't interested in disclosing which criteria he met, but he says his illness manifested itself in Denver during his third season. He began losing trust in the people closest to him, such as his father. Why? Marshall won't give details.

"That's not productive to the healing processes for my father and (my) relationship," he says. "And that's more important than a good story and people understanding me."

Marshall's success forced him into new, unexpected roles with his family. In just a few years he went from a lightly recruited high school player to the University of Central Florida to a multimillionaire. While in Denver, he took in his half-brother on his father's side and a cousin, putting them in school and setting curfews. He paid for heat and water for his sister and her three children. He fielded daily demands from family and friends. No one, he says, offered advice.

As he dealt with new pressures, he also was immersed in a chaotic relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Rasheedah Watley, which he believes also contributed to his illness.

The two met in junior high school, when Marshall lived in Georgia, and dated on and off through college. Once he was in the NFL, the relationship was marked by physical battles and arrests. During a 2009 trial when Marshall faced two misdemeanor battery charges — a jury found him not guilty — Watley testified that she bit and hit Marshall. Watley, whose civil suit against Marshall was dismissed in May, declined to comment.

Marshall came off as a barbarian filled with anger. But he also remembers depression, isolation — wearing a hoodie at gas stations to avoid being noticed. "I used to go a whole week without leaving my house. I used to think it was normal," he says.

According to Marshall and court records, he has seen therapists over the years. Last year, with the help of the NFL, Marshall entered McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. He was diagnosed and treated over three months. There are no medications solely for his illness, and he says he doesn't take any for it.

"Today I get angry at the same things, but it's how it affects me. It's how I deal with it, how I cope with it," he says one day while driving. "And it's not just anger. It's sadness. When I get sad, when I get lonely, when I get happy — it's all emotions."

Psychotherapy taught him skills to deal with his illness. He underwent dialectical behavioral therapy, including a process called radical acceptance — accepting situations without criticism and learning how to cope. Marshall listed the people in his life, how he knew them and why. He said he now shuts off relationships he believes are unhealthy for him.

"You want to create boundaries and not walls; boundaries protect, walls isolate," he says.

He didn't want to name anyone but did say he decided always to take care of his mother, no questions asked. He is not as explicit about his father. It's more complicated.

In 2007, Marshall told police in Florida that after he turned down Freddie's request for money, his dad broke his car window with a beer bottle, got into his own car and tried to run over his son. While police were on the scene, records show, his dad said several times he'd ruin his son's NFL career.

To this day, Marshall's family still pulls on him, still seeks favors. One day, Marshall is sprawled out in his home theater, digesting a Jimmy John's sandwich, when his phone rings.