Before I was born, my parents wanted a girl. I was born a male. This created great disappointment in my parents. By the time I was four, I pushed Mom away. She was the first one I pushed to arms' length.
At six, I disliked home so much I attempted to run away. This was the last time I tried to be myself.
I had a bed-wetting problem. For punishment, Dad would tie me up and beat me for half to three-quarters of an hour. Mom could not find a good patch of skin from mid-back to my knees to put on a bandage, it was so torn. Pain became a minor inconvenience, a complaint of the body to be ignored. He would deny me food for three to four days at a time, nearly every week.
I had to sleep in a straw bale in winter with the dog to keep me warm.
Dad would pee on my pajamas and tie them around my neck and make me sleep in the bathtub. He would continuously call us junk and call me "Pig" or "Runt" to insult me. He would also say I would never amount to anything. I believed it. What a lie.
I hated Dad and just wanted to die, but couldn't. I prayed for death.
I learned to hide and not to talk so I would not get into trouble. Trouble meant beatings. I would steal food just to survive.
In order to deal with the pain, I started smoking cigarettes at 14. At 18, I started to use drugs and alcohol. I started living just to stay high. I became like a snowball rolling down a hill. It seemed to hide pain. What a fake way to solve a problem.
I had a 12-gauge shotgun in my vehicle to kill Dad if I ever saw him. God stopped me. The drugs and alcohol spiraled out of control. The marijuana turned to cocaine and crystal meth.
My habits kept me from feeling and thinking. Drugs became my friend and shield. This is a seriously twisted rationale. I was trying to kill myself—I hated life so much. Food became unimportant; my weight dropped to about 120 pounds. Churches and family could not help. I kept them at arms' length because I could not trust a human being. They always hurt me and their help would just make the habit worse. I would blackout and keep partying. I was dying, and I knew it. That's all I wanted. Life was a fog. The streets were my home.
One day I prayed with my whole heart. I was desperately trying to reach my "Dad in heaven"—the only Dad I ever wanted to know. "Please take away the very thought of the temptation, or I will not stop, and I will die," I prayed. I meant this with my whole being. I never wanted anything more in my entire life. I was as low as I could go. I was dying, and something in me did not want to die. That was my Father's love.
It happened. God has a far greater plan than I did.
I had to forgive myself. I thought it was my mistake that caused me all the trouble. God showed me the lie. Then He helped me forgive Dad and Mom too. His love shone through the fog. He wrapped me in His arms and said, "I love you, My son."
The pain does not compare to His love. Every day without the drugs is a good day. It is what I call the gift of life. Now I can have emotions without feeling bad. Now I say, "Thank You, Dad—I thank You for Your gift."
Now, looking back, I am glad God stepped in and helped me. I am thankful for the help I found in others who are still my support group. It is love. God gave us this gift for the hurting hearts among us. Please reach out—there is help for the hurting. Don't forget—life after reaching out is great. Love is very important—reach out for it, please. You will find real freedom. You need this.