The Greatest Love of All by TK
I have PTSD. I had some horrid things done to me as a tyke and it left me compartmentalized, I’ve used the word fragmented. I never wanted to accept that there was anything wrong with me. My father told me I was perfect and he was the face of God to a battered and broken child; I believed him. I never got the closure I needed from my mother; she committed suicide. She is the only woman I ever needed to love me and I don’t think she did. I had the greatest father ever, his murder snatched away my protection, my shield, and almost my identity.
I am not telling you this for you go say or feel, “Oh, poor TK.” Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, I am good. I suffer from panic attacks when it gets too hectic and I still have nightmares. I also have triggers that cause flashbacks. I have the best support system that I’ve had since my father’s murder and I realize that as perfect as I am, I am also flawed. I strive for perfection in everything I do it’s hard being me.
In the black community, we don’t talk about the beatings or the scars that it leaves. I personally defended Adrian Peterson because I didn’t see what he did as abuse. Being beaten and locked in a pitch black closest for countless hours with a mouse on a trap but not dead at the age of 3 was abuse. Adrian Peterson simply disciplined his son. I have never beat my son and I suspect I never will, but who am I to tell someone what to do with their child. I was never beaten by my father although I watched him inflict some ass whippings on my brothers. I suppose my father thought I had been punished enough for this life and possibly the next.
People need to know it’s okay to accept that you’re not like everyone else and that there is NOTHING wrong with that. There is no shame in needing help. If you’re a diabetic, you are going to see an endocrinologist aren’t you? It doesn’t mean you have to take mind bending drugs either. (Although, I would suggest hypnosis seeing yourself at age 3 is like tripping on LSD, or so I’ve heard). See, I just made a mental health joke and it was funny. It’s something we have to deal with. Our children see more death and destruction than we could’ve EVER imagined in a Godzilla movie from our youth, and it’s real.
We have to stop saying “We got beat worse than that and we’re fine.” It is no longer acceptable. I am an abuse survivor but it has left me scarred physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was removed and allowed to flourish. Yet, I didn’t want this, to be labeled with a mental illness. I was worried about the stigma attached to it, until my friend Wallick said, “Worrying about stigmas or judgements of some other asshole with problems of their own is a great way to create suffering. Not necessary. Think about it.” Think I did and decided that none of you can make me happy or sad. That is my choice, and I have suffered enough for eons to come.
If I hadn’t told you this, you’d never know it. I’ve lived all over the world, I speak 3 languages, the lowest grade I received was a 89.5 (and it almost crushed my spirit because I used to equate my GPA as my self worth.) I have been educated at the finest learning institutions and corporate VP for a fortune 500 company and I own my own business. I can play almost any instrument by ear and I can do calculus in my head. I don’t tell you these things to brag, but to show that I could accomplish all of that whilst I was a broken person and hid it from the ENTIRE world. For those who know me and are going “wow, I had no clue,” don’t feel bad, I didn’t want you to know. To my ex wife, this is a shitty way for you to find out but it is what it is.
What I do want you to do is look at the children around you. I had signs, unexplained injuries, lying because I feared what the truth would bring. I didn’t expect an angel to appear in the form a DYFS worker to take me from my mentally ill mother. I am not Brandon Marshall, I’m not trying to be the poster boy for mental illness. I want people to be better, and that starts at home. Had it not been for my father I would surely have taken my own life by age 10. Because even though I had been removed from the danger, I was still afraid.
No child should live in fear. We see and want to help people overseas, we as a race must understand that we have to take care of one another and be better people as a whole. No one is getting out of here alive, the least you can do is get along while you’re here. If by “coming out” I save one kid or even an adult that is struggling then I have served my purpose. Miranda, I couldn’t have done this without you and Wallick. I promise you that home will always be a safe haven for you and our children. Wallick, you’re just the best. To my son, I am not perfect but I promise you with my life, that no harm will come to you.
In closing, the children are the future. What are we teaching them, what are we showing them? The road we have them on in the United States, they are being set up for failure. In the black community, you’re fitting for mere survival and it is that critical. We have more dead and imprisoned black men than anywhere else on the planet earth. That cannot continue, or do you even care?
To my father, I know you are here and I know that you love me and that you still support me and although I cannot physically hug you know that I remember EVERY one you gave me. I love you more than anyone or anything I have ever encountered, save my children. Don’t spoil them too much, Miranda, Maritza, Alex, and Maria will have nothing to do once they arrive here. “I love Dad.”
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”