Getting older is a scary yet beautiful part of life. As the days go by, my frequent weeks of solidarity in Orlando helps me truly understand my life. This past week has been a very pivotal time. 7 years ago to the day I was in a behavioral hospital. I was suicidal and needed professional guidance to help me reset my mind and future.
7 years ago I did not fully know myself or my history. I was a young man fresh off of being a boy handling a lot of new responsibilities at once. At the time I was engaged and had the weight of marriage on my shoulders, on top of that I was trying to balance my personal family life at home in Miami. These were emotions that I was never taught how to cope with. This was pressure that I wasn't prepared for no matter how far I excelled academically. Emotionally, I was very immature and naive. I didn't grow up in a home with a healthy marriage. I grew up in a home with parents that had equivalent love and concern for me but I didn't witness a healthy relationship. So when I got into a relationship I repeated both of my parent's qualities but most importantly I repeated their flaws.
My arrogance and inability to listen at the time cost me more than I could handle. I was stunned because I was lost. I didn't know who I was. The fear of myself led me wanting to just leave Earth the way it was. My mom's scream on the phone was my biggest wake up call.
God works in mysterious ways. During my relationship, I did not use my voice as much as I needed to. I didn't express my feelings and I always had a wall up when it came to my life. All of that silence built up in me and caused me to lash out at my loved ones mainly my mom and significant other. 7 years ago I was insecure and controlling. As a mama's boy I was attached to the unconditional attention that only a mother can give a child. I didn't connect the dots until later in life when the heartbreak evolved into more patience and understanding.
My parents separated at the end of my senior year of high school right before I went to college. However this was something that was brewing my entire life. It's almost as if there was an agreement that they stayed together solely so I could witness two parents in the same household. When I went to college everything changed. This is a common thing for most college students. Your whole life changes not just because you are in college but because you are away from your parents. But for me the big change was the dynamic between my parents. Granted I was all the way in Orlando and was living my best life. I was on my own and doing my thing.
However the dynamic between my parents had an underlying effect to my whole psyche. I never witnessed my parents reconcile and resolve their issues. There was always tension and distance. I had a general feeling that they loved each other or had love for each other but the tension was always there. It was always a heavy feeling. This heavy feeling was buried inside of me and revealed itself the deeper I got in my relationship. I had my mom's extreme firmness and hardhead with my dad's distance and secretive DNA. I was too much to be around because I was unpredictable. I could be charming and romantic one minute then I could be cold and distant. Part of my influence was my mother's words and the other part was led by my father's actions.
I was loving to the core but the closer you got to me, like the layers of an onion, the harder it began to be stay near me. 7 years ago I was fighting a lot of demons. And not just my demons because I genuinely came from a pure soul. However, no matter how pure your soul, the curses embedded in your DNA will always appear until you acknowledge them.
7 years ago I was a college student that was always focused when I needed to be. On the flip side, I was a college student that fully enjoyed the party life. I come from a very rigorous academic background. To go with that I was also involved in competitive sports my entire life. So all day was school and sports, no partying, no late nights. Just school, homework, practice, games, repeat for my entire life until college.
I made sure to enjoy the moments while I could because I knew when the real world hit, it was going to HIT!
7 years ago I was in a behavioral hospital and while I was in there I told myself that I wanted to speak to my uncle about mental health. He was my uncle but our relationship felt like a big brother little brother bond. My mom was his sister but she was also another mother figure. Before I was born, my mom would treat my uncle like he was her son. When I was born her undivided attention shifted to me. This happened at a pivotal time in my uncle's life. A time when a child can turn to the streets if the lack of love isn't there or dramatically altered. I wanted to have these conversations with my uncle 7 years ago.
5 years ago my uncle did what I tried to do 2 years earlier. I was once again stunned and heartbroken. I never got to have those conversations with him. I never got to tell him how the behavioral hospital saved me from myself and changed my life. I wanted to tell him about the feeling of finding yourself. I wanted to know more about him and how he felt in this world. I wanted to know his perspective on life as an adult.
The past 7 years, my life has been filled with trauma. I moved to Miami in 2016 because I was suicidal and was coming back home to focus on myself and my family. Little did I know that I would lose so many loved ones back to back to back to back. I went to UCF as a young man with a promising future. I wanted to make my family and city proud. I came back home and loss my uncle, then my grandma, then my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers, then lost my aunt, then another uncle.
Despite all of the pain and losses, God has kept me here. I am stronger than ever and the feeling of completion continues to roam in my head. 7 years after moving back to Miami I am back in Orlando as a new man. As a mature, patient and understanding man. I first came to Orlando as a boy learning how to survive on his own. I am now a man with a lot more wisdom and direction. I understand my purpose in life and love myself. I am at peace with my past shortcomings and mistakes. I have forgiven myself of the hurt that I have caused others and see life from a new perspective.
My 30s is all about continued patience and elevation...