- Posted January 20, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
My Letter to the Wounded
My Letter to the Wounded
*reposting with the newly added section re: sparks, as I think it answers a lot of the private messages I am receiving.*
To the person who is hopefully reading this at just the right moment:
I started the process of being taken from my birth mom at 3 months old. She had substance issues and mental health issues but she loved me as much as any normal mother ever could. She did everything right, but there was one last thing she couldn't change, her sexuality. I lost a loving mother for a reason no one would call fair.
I was placed in abusive situations, one after the other. I was burned, used in child pornography, drowned and sauced, nearly killed, heavily medicated, assaulted sexually, physically, and emotionally all before I was 6 years old.
Oh yea... Did I mention I am autistic?
I was finally adopted by a family worth having, but while the dad loved me... The mom not so much. I was sent away more often than I was home. Institution after institution... Placement after placement.
Attachment disorder? Yea... PTSD... Ya think?
I thought many times, it would be better if I could just stop... If my life would just end... I hated my life, hated myself, and I believed it would never get better.
I didn't talk until very late, I suppose that makes sense because honestly... What I had experienced isn't something anyone wants to talk about.
I wouldn't let anyone touch me. I hid from Harry Kimmel when he first met me. I was damn near feral.
At 16, my last adoption was terminated. I was alone again, and back in the system. I was back in hell, living with abusive and violent peers that were in treatment instead of jail. I became bad for a while.
I hurt people, manipulated them, used them... Anything to control my environment. It didn't work out well for me.
I somehow stayed positive things would get better through it all. After all, every time I was about to completely give up... A light would erupt in my path.
Harry, spanking his shoe instead of me.
Mike, throwing me behind him to protect me from the nest of copperheads I disturbed and almost stepped in.
Jeff McIntosh, always cheerful and stable
Joanie L Melody, who taught me how to love again, without doing a single thing...just existing.
The line of sparks that kept the ember of my heart alive kept showing up in surprising ways, just when I was about to give up.
My wife was the final spark, that began a blaze that hasn't dimmed even when we have struggled. She is the rock, the foundation of my faith in others and the reason I still fight for others.
As an adult that old pain still haunts me from time to time. My wife has to comfort me when the nightmares rear their heads, interrupting my sleep.
As an adult... I have so much love in my life. A wife who would walk through fire to keep me safe. Two amazing little boys who are letting me enjoy a childhood I was denied, a father who is one of the greatest men I have ever known, two mothers, many sisters and brothers, cousins...
I have a hearth, a home, I have more love than I could ever have imagined and if I had given up and let life win... If I had just lain down and surrendered... I never would have gotten to see this, live this, enjoy this.
I don't have to wait until I die to find Heaven. Heaven is in my wife's eyes. It's in the laughter resounding across the house from my little boys, it's in the example my father set, it's knowing my mother fought like a lion to protect me and keep me safe, it's knowing that for all the love, laughter and joy I was denied for so long... I have it now tenfold.
Do not surrender. Do not meekly lay down. Do not bring an end to your story before you get to live the best part.
My name is Marcus Morris, I am a 34 year old autistic father and husband and I promise you that if I can survive, you can too. I promise it can and will get better. If you can't believe in god... I couldn't for a long time.. Believe in this... You have it within you to change the circumstance of others. You can't save yourself, but each and every time you reach out to someone else, each time you throw out a lifeline to someone else... You draw yourself up and towards a better life as well.
Never stop fighting, and never give up on changing the world.
I am getting private messages asking me how I found the strength to keep going, because after reading the snippets of my life I shared in the letter they don't think they could have.
I have been trying to think of a way to respond that doesn't sound trite or contrived...
It was the sparks. Every time life got so bad I wanted to give up and just stop... A spark of true humanity would pop up.
It didn't happen on demand, and it didn't happen just because I was unhappy. In fact, sometimes it happened once I was already on a downward spiral of self pity and self destruction.
Eventually, I learned to look forward to those sparks. Before they happened I was already drawing energy and strength from them because I believed to my very core that all I had to do was hold on... Fight just a little longer... The spark would happen. I had faith.
A lot of people turn to a specific religion at the darkest moments in life. I never could. I ask to many questions. What I always had faith in was this... Good exists. For every evil, hurtful, terrible person who hurt me, there had to be good to balance them.
I learned to love by mirroring how people force themselves to hate. I learned to trust by defying a sense of self preservation.
I found God in the tiny sparks of true humanity that lit my path at the darkest possible moments. I never lost my belief those sparks existed, though on occasion I did admit to myself.. They are to far between, much to few...
I decided to dedicate my life into becoming that same god sent spark for others.
I never know when something I say or do might be a pivotal moment in someone else's life, so I try to live every moment as if it IS that moment when a spark is most needed by someone I don't know and will never meet directly.
Marcus Shane Morris