By Riedewaan* (name changed to protect identity)
I cried when I was born, the evidence shows why.
At the end of 9 tedious years in prison, I woke up every morning
And I realized, I hated myself and the life I was living.
An unpleasant odor followed me whichever way I turned.
The smell of a deep set wound in the deepest recesses of my heart.
Because it was unattended to for years, too many to count.
I believe it was an injured part of my being,
And all I that I knew was an incurable heart beat
Pacing at a dying rate each and every day.
And I, was walking around wounded.
Leaving behind the scent of an easy pain
Yet threatening and sinister enough,
To fend off whoever wanted a piece of me.
During my upbringing, I experienced immense difficulties at home.
My primary habitation that should have provided the comfort, security and tranquility of a living home,
Was the very place I was most unhappy, lonely and restless.
I was delighted to put the blame on my parents
For the unstable environment that I found myself in.
The nonexistence of my father was too hard to bear.
My father never left me.
He just never had time for me, or any word of encouragement.
Not receiving any blessing or expression of praise was far worse than not receiving any substance of necessity.
I remember as a boy wanting my father to die and feeling immense guilt for having such a desire.
He spent his entire life making himself the center of attention.
Thus, we might reason that I am who I am today, not just because of my own actions but because of the void left by him.
I acknowledge that it hurts.
And I choose to extend forgiveness to my father.
I am probably indebted as well anyway.
But how many of us can truly point a finger to our fathers.
For he too lacked in his father, what I longed for in him.
As one of the walking wounded, I was trotting along with this target; Bulls eye on my back
Constantly on high alert, my rivals fixated on me
As if from a shooting range.
If this fatal wound to the very core of my soul wasn’t enough to kill me any quicker,
I had to find a way to end it myself.
And what better solution I had than playing in the face of danger.
Like playing cops and robbers.
And sad to say, toy guns, were not going to do.
Not only was I a robber of wealth and riches,
But robbing people of their lives and peacefulness.
A menace to society.
Sending boys my own age far too early to their graves was the bravado of my gang culture.
Another one bites the dust, with no hope beyond the grave.
The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.
And giving back a man’s heart is the hardest mission on earth.
Because he first has to admit that he lost himself.
For me, it took longer than most.
I believe if we want to establish character, we need to set boundaries.
I contend that it teaches us to be strong within the confines of our reality.
These wounds can cripple one for life.
If he refuses to seek aid, becoming vulnerable and letting one’s guard down isn’t easy.
But if we are able to release ourselves from these walls we erected,
We need to let go and let God.
It is scary to think about the potential life changing decisions we make every day.
We remember very little about the past and we know absolutely nothing about the future.
But we are called to accept that which we cannot change.
In the road to discovering myself, I was able to identify, no matter how deep the wound to one’s soul, words that will lighten one’s soul are more precious than any jewels.
And living a life without meaning is madness.
And to put meaning into one’s life is the torture of restlessness and mad desire.
It’s a home longing to live, so that which is broken is made whole again.
In truth it determines not my destination but my life.
What you are journeying towards, is freedom, healing, and authenticity.
Are you still walking around wounded?
I believe that when you hold a candle to light another one’s path
You brighten your own.