For anyone that is hurting, it will get better

Photo by Adam Jicha

I remember feeling so alone when I was in my teens. The feelings of being surrounded by people that could not have cared less about me engulfed me every day. I felt locked in by thoughts of inadequacy and inferiority amid the isolation that abuse causes. I could not find my way out. It was like being in a fun-house where you keep seeing your image in a mirror thinking that this was the way out, only to hit another wall of glass.

No one could save me. My sexuality had engulfed my whole life. Back then, everything was sex…except it was with boys instead of girls. Trying to fit in was useless but that didn’t stop me from trying. Having a quick wit came out as sarcasm. Friendships were challenging.

Thanks to my uncle who molested me at age six, and my three back-to-back abusers who took what little self-esteem I had, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of anger mixed with sadness and self-doubt. Nothing made sense emotionally. No guidance counselor could help me. I was another lost black soul that no one outside of my family really cared about.

Although I never shed real tears about this, I noticed that every day I would gain the walk of someone that had no self-esteem making myself a prime target for neighborhood and schoolyard bullies.

I am saying all of this to let you know that I understand all too well how you feel. I am talking to the person that feels so alone that you think that the only way out may be to end your life as you know it.

I felt that way once.

Since my father was not there, there was no one to teach me how to be a man. I knew in my heart of hearts that he didn’t want me, and nothing hurt worse than that at the time. There was no one to guide me and the one person that should have been there was off living his best life with another woman and her three daughters. I met them and I saw firsthand how well protected they were.

And yet through all that, I survived. I came out on the other side of the fire. I grew up after making more than my fair share of mistakes. I became a man that is confident in himself and in everything I do. I longed to be effective in making a difference in the world. I do not know what that looks like or even if I am doing it at this very moment.

You are not alone…it just feels that way. I survived the very worst. You may be living through something much worse than me. Maybe the worst has already passed and now you are left grieving who you would have been; stuck with being the broken person that you are right now.

You need to know that you are not broken. There is a better “you” out there. You have to find him/her. You may feel like there is nothing left to live for. Please understand that there is so much more to life than just pain. You will find that one person who believes enough in you to love you past whatever painful past that has been held in place for you.

If you are in pain, I am here to let you know that it will not last forever. It just feels that way. You will survive this. You will live through this and thrive. You will grow to be a wonderful person…it just does not feel that way right now.

Life will not be all puppy dogs and kittens. Life will and can be down-right grimy and nasty. You may experience the very worst that humanity has to offer. And you may not realize this yet, but you are a fighter. You will survive what was taken from you. You are not to blame for anything that someone else has done.

You will be okay.

It will be okay.

Life has the uncanny ability of working itself out. Believe me when I say that as an abuse survivor, I can attest to this fact.

I do not know what compelled me to write this piece. I can only think that somewhere out there, someone is hurting and hopefully this is the message that they needed to hear. And if that person happens to be you, I want to let you know that it is going to be okay. It will get better.

~ J.L. Whitehead

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7273

Text – START to 88788

RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network) – 800-656-HOPE (4673)




Written by Jerome

J. L. Whitehead has been writing professionally since 1989, initially beginning his career as a contributing freelance columnist for “PGN, Incorporated” located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After writing for the publication for a year, he published his first chap book of poetry entitled “Universal Words” while enjoying various speaking engagements and poetry exhibitions.
His works includes being a major contributing writer to a book of poetry and prose for African American men entitled “A Warm December” in 1989.
In 2002, he became a contributing writer and editor for an online magazine entitled “Never2Funky”.
He has been a journalist for a national web site entitled “The Examiner” as well as contributing to CNN’s iReport. These online publications are web sites dedicated to reporting local and national area news and events. He conducts interviews with local area authors and writes unbiased reviews of their work. He also composes commentaries on topics that pertain to the social issues relevant of the day.
He has also founded his own publication company that goes by the name, Four Brothers Publications. He has released his first full length novel entitled Bruthas and has also written the manuscript for his first play based on the characters of his novel. In 2013, Bruthas, The Final Chapter was released as the second installment of this family crime drama. Both publications are currently available at www.fourbrotherspublications.com and Amazon.
Awards:
The Princeton Literary Review Silver Standard of Literary Excellence for “Bruthas” published August 2011 by Four Brothers Publications

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