People Are Not Things

I stood between my father and my mother. He was seething, she was screaming and I was terrified.

My father towered over everyone. If, by chance, you happened to be taller than him, then he would still be louder than you. I never saw anyone stand up to him until I did it myself. At 14, he could still wipe me off the face of the earth with one flick of his pinkie. So when he clenched his fist to strike my mother, I don’t know where I got the audacity to say “If you touch her, I’ll kill you.”

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Dear Parents…

Thank you for everything.

Sincerely.

Thank you for everything you provided that we took for granted. Now that we are having to pay for the roofs over our heads, we realise that it was a privilege to live under yours’. Not a right.

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Put Down Your Weapons

We attract what we put out.

I am not talking about the faith we put in the idea that good things happen to those who wish. No, I am talking about the message we communicate to the world around us. To our relationships. To the people who seem to continuously hurt us.

I am talking about our boundaries.

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Be Gentle On Yourself

Please give yourself a break. Please forgive yourself.

The first step, no matter what has happened, is to be at peace with the truth that we are all trying our best in a world that no one has figured out. No one came in with all the answers.

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The Last Lap

I lost a foster mother, a father and a dear aunt in the space of a year. I begun putting myself back together the day I moved into the apartment I now call home. It became my safe house. It gave me refuge at a time when I was falling apart. It represented much more than four walls. It was a sanctuary for starting again, piece by piece. A small space that taught me to appreciate the things I need. A gift to a wife who had never left my side. The first streak of light that gives you hope of a brighter day. The dawn that followed the darkest night of my life.

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A Father’s Son

My father lives in my memories now. They’re spread out in the peaks and valleys of moments we had together. Some memories stick around longer than others. Like the one where I walk into his room and he immediately goes from frowning at his window to opening up a big childish grin. Exactly like the one I used to give him when I was a child and he came back from work. Our roles were now reversed because when you spend most of your days alone, there is no higher peak than watching your likeness walk through the door. So the day I walked into his room and found him lifeless, what hurt the most was that he died alone. That this time there was no one to keep him company after a long lonely day. 

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It’s All Your Fault

I’ve had someone to cuddle with for 5 years now. I can’t think of anything else I have been committed to for 5 years that doesn’t involve wearing a uniform. There’s nothing more intentional than choosing to be yelled at for peeing on the bathroom floor every single day of your life. It’s been one hell of a ride, with sometimes the emphasis being on the hell. So far I have made enough mistakes to lose her more than once, but for some reason she stuck around and my life is better because of that. 

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A BROTHER’S LETTER

When you finally read this, you’ll be back home and 3 months will have passed since the day you decided to check yourself back into rehab. There’s so much that often goes unsaid between us, but a lot needed to be said on that day and I should not have let you go without hearing these words. I should have stopped the car.

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A Roundtable

We didn’t choose to be here. We opened our eyes one day and found a rule book written for us by our parents and the society around us. The rule book is a description of the path we’re meant to follow and the goals we are supposed to chase. In the beginning you don’t have much of a choice; your identity is defined by the world you are born into. For most of your childhood that identity will be protected by the very people who wrote your rule book. You only know what the world around you exposes you to. You’ll live safely under the roof they built until one day you’re kicked out to go build your own home. Your own life. You can keep the rule book to use as a blueprint, but from this point onwards your actions and their consequences belong to you and you only.

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