I have had quite a few lows in my life. While I was relatively safe from life’s harshest cruelties, I am not without my own scars. I spent the first 39 years on this rock unsure of what love even was, now I am overflowing with it and I couldn’t be happier, or more afraid.
I won’t dig into the deepest recesses of my past, there’s some things I will take to my grave. What I can share is a lifetime of abuse, bullying, self loathing and no self esteem brought on by the people around me who were supposed to keep me safe from those things. I have been witness to sexual assaults of my sisters. I have been in fist fights where my very life was at stake knife in hand ready to die. I have been homeless more than once. I dropped out of high school, twice, kicked out of college, evicted and homeless days before Thanksgiving, on food stamps, unemployed much of my life and I have been involved in or with criminals for most of my youth.
When I was younger I practiced dark magic. A form of necromancy where I sought out evil spirits not for clairvoyance but to send demons to bring cruelty to those who tormented me. I let those demons consume me. I went into a dark place in my younger days. I was darker than the internet pirate who traded files illegally on the dark web. I was involved in a ring of criminal activity. I knew an individual caught up in an illegal child sex ring, a police officer who was father to a girl I dated once upon a time.
I have seen my share of dead bodies before entering the journalist field. Some were crimes I was witness to, others were on the side of the road or the one time I heard the gun shots of a man shot five times in the back of the head in the parking lot where I worked. Then I went into journalism and dead bodies became a regular sight I had to learn to work next to.
I have seen the worst humanity has to offer. I had a friend kill himself because he was sexually abused and couldn’t face it alone when his girlfriend dumped him. He was only 16. His abuser was my very uncle who tried to abuse me as well. I, don’t talk about that part of my life. It’s not something I share.
I was engaged to a woman who went insane, literally and was committed as a result. The first love of my life torn asunder and locked away, I was told to forget about her and move on. So I did. I have been beaten up for being gay, trans, too Christian, not Christian enough, and supposedly for being lazy more than once. I had to steal my dads car at 18 to get my driver license because we had been fighting and I refused to take lessons from him.
I have former friends rotting in prison as we speak. Others rotting in hell where they belong. Others who would gladly send me there if they were ever to find me. I made a lot of enemies in my youth. I had friends who dealt drugs, stolen merchandise, pirate dvds, child porn and every other vice you can think of. Some of those things I knew about, others I learnt when cops raided their homes. None of that absolves me of who I consorted with, whom I associated with and what I looked the other way to protect myself from. I was afraid for my life these were people who carried guns and not legally so.
The first time I fired a hand gun it was in training for a drug raid. We were preparing to go after a punk who owed us so little money it was not worth the armory we carried to scare him into paying. But I was present for the shake down, armed and ready to defend my “homies” to the death. Shit like that went down all to often. I avoided most of it by playing naïve but I knew what was going on. I was questioned by police more times than I’d ever care to remember.
I didn’t live as sheltered a life as my parents tried to provide. I stayed optimistic despite all the dark things I was around. I had friends who drank so much I thought they would die any day of alcohol poisoning, until the ones who did just that prompted the worst reaction from me, I became the very drunk I always hated I would become. My drinking days are far from over but it no longer rules my life.
Drugs. I never did but know many who bought, sold and carried guns to push theirs onto others. I knew one who killed three and is now out of prison having served his time. Don’t think for a second I was a saint. I was a monster. I lived a hellish life. I am tired, beat down and finally able to put some of my past where it belongs as I venture forth into my new life. I have lived the harsh life, seen cruelty, and come fact-to-face with death to the point we’re on a first name basis. Don’t ever doubt the shit I went through. I am not optimistic because I have faith in a fairy tale. I am optimistic because I survived all the shit this life has thrown at me, might as well keep fighting.