REMEMBERING HELL, PRAYING FOR HEAVEN

REMEMBERING HELL, PRAYING FOR HEAVEN

I met Daniel years ago. He was a broken soul. But he had the brightest smile I had ever seen. He reminded me of me. We were both so damaged, so lost. But the odd thing about Daniel is he had a crazy sense of humor. He could make me laugh so hard, I’d beg him to stop talking. I always wondered how the boy with sadness in his eyes that mirrored mine so effortlessly could find the joke in everything. I on the other hand, with all of my sadness could smile and laugh at the silliest things. I still do; someone once said, “I love how even nature amuses you, Abrams. I hope you never lose that.” I guess that was one reason Daniel and I loved each other’s company so much. He cracked the jokes and I laughed like a crazy person.

We became best friends and talked about everything. We would talk endlessly on the phone until we could meet up and talk again. We were both young and talked about our daily “Why am I like this” battles. I never express my emotions a lot but I am a great listener, so I always played the ears to his pain, gave advice, and just generally tried to impress on him that he wasn’t alone. I fought my battles all on my own. Those battles you know so well, the ones that made growing up almost torture. The ones you prayed against, cried about, begged, wailed, pleaded and hoped an omnipotent one was listening so he could change you.

We remember the battles of feeling different since you can remember, being bullied because everyone can somehow see that something is wrong with you…even before you realize it yourself. Going home and pretending like nothing is wrong. Being told by family, peers that you act wrong, talk wrong, walk wrong, sit wrong, sing wrong. Being told that you are wrong. Then waking up and realizing you have unexpected feelings for the same sex. And you suspect deep down that it’s wrong. Every other boy is writing love poems to girls and girls are fighting for the attention of boys. In movies, the guy always meets the girl and the girl always wins his heart. But it’s different for you. Why? What god could you have possibly offended? I remember my pillows never saw a dry night.

I was coming to grips with being different. I was slowly embracing it. It became easier to understand that there is nothing I can do to change my attractions. But it doesn’t come easy to everyone, I quickly learned.

One day, I didn’t get any call from Daniel. That was weird. He was becoming my own personal alarm system. But he’d gone MIA, and remained so for far too long. I called. No answers. Something was wrong. I began to debate heading to his house, but my manners had to calm me down. I could just wait it out for a while. The next day, I called and heard a female voice on the other end.

“Hello?”

“Oh, hi, can I talk to Daniel?”

*silence*

“Hello?”

And then, the silence from the other end was broken by quiet sobbing. At this point, I turned my phone to stare at the Caller ID, convinced that I had dialed a wrong number. But it was Daniel’s contact on my screen. I returned to the conversation. “Uh, hello?”

“He’s dead. I’m his sister.”

The world shifted. It had to have done just that because I just then felt light headed.

“What? Wait, it is Daniel I want to speak to. Is this a wrong number? I mean, I talked to Daniel the day before yesterday.”

“He did it sometime before yesterday…I don’t know…” she said brokenly.

“Did what?” I yelled.

She was still sobbing as she choked out, “Daniel killed himself… He killed himself…”

And she hung up, leaving me in the blackness she’d just dumped me into.

These days, I still think about what Daniel must have been thinking towards the end, what his parents might have said, what TV program inspired him, what he could have read – a blog update, an article? Some condemnation from a loved one? What?! I ask myself. What pushes a person to that sort of end?

People think the hardest thing a GLBT person goes through is coming out. Yes! It’s an absolute horror and it is HARD. Some people go through life without a single soul knowing how they truly feel. But the true hardship, the true pain is coming out to yourself. Telling yourself: “I’m gay.” Anyone that accepts their fate knows those words do not come easy. They are the pain before the numbness, the tears before the morning shrug. But most people don’t have the strength to embrace who they are. How can they? When the world will never understand. So many take the easy road, take their lives or refuse to even accept. Maybe marry that girl and no one will notice. But the awful part is you will. You’ll see that guy that catches your fancy and then add two innocents and then some more into your never ending struggle just so people can accept you. Just so you can accept yourself.

I used to pray that one day, I’d wake up and be fixed, that I would change. Now I pray that one day, I’d wake up and the whole world will finally see it. They’d finally see that nothing is wrong with me. And most importantly, WE will finally realize it, that nothing is wrong with US. And then maybe, just maybe, there’d be no more Daniels, the ones who lack the will, perseverance or courage to go on.

Written by Abrams T.

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28 Comments

  1. Mandy
    March 11, 07:02 Reply

    I wonder too what pushes a person to a suicidal end. I wonder how abject a person can get, how utterly bereft of hope you can get, to pick death over life. People say those who commit suicide are cowards. I think they’re brave. To make that decision that ends the only thing you’ve ever known, and go thru with it… The mind must really be fucked up for you to get to that level.

    • Max 2.1
      March 11, 08:57 Reply

      You’re right, I don’t think they’re actually cowards. Note: I’m not advocating/supporting suicide oh, but I think they take the power away from the society by ending things on their own terms.

  2. Rudeboysammy
    March 11, 07:48 Reply

    It only takes one to accept oneself, but our past and loved ones never accepts us. I feel so afraid I may lose my mother’s love if she finds out I’m gay. Yes, I’m her only child and son. Will she survive? How can my family understand my sexuality? Few years ago I felt taking my life just like “Daniel”. But I gotta understand it’s only foolishness and stupidity, I’m a man so I gotta fight for my own self. I ain’t running anymore to lose it all. I’m sure you don’t wanna be the next Daniel?

    • Max 2.1
      March 11, 09:04 Reply

      “I’m a man so I gotta fight for my own self”

      *sigh*

    • omis
      March 11, 18:53 Reply

      I have been through it all. At least most of it and I do not reaaly care so muxh what other will think but what still keeps me in check is that I am my Mothers one and only. Am all she has. No husband nor other children. Judge all you want but if I live in denial and marry a woman because of her its sooworth it. The woman went through so much for me. That beign said, no one deserves to die. I can relate with the piece and comments on so many levels cos uve been there. One song that keep dropping in my mind when I think of all that has happened to me is Mervin Sapp’s Here I am. Am still standing. ….. im alive. …. I survived.

  3. papasmurf262
    March 11, 08:33 Reply

    “But the true hardship, the true pain is coming out to yourself. Telling yourself: “I’m gay.” Anyone that accepts their fate knows those words do not come easy. They are the pain before the numbness, the tears before the morning shrug.”
    Believe me I know what that feels like. I tried to kill myself several times when I was younger. Swallowed a handful if expired drugs at one time… Injected myself with drugs & syringe for cows (dad is a vet so I found those easy).
    I’m an only son so guess what was running through my mind at the time. I WAS ONLY NINE FOR GOD’S SAKE! What does a 9year old know about the world?
    Yet as many times as I tried, I lived, didn’t collapse, didn’t fall sick… I SURVIVED!
    So now I just fight my battles ONE DAY AT A TIME!
    Hang in there dear one, & I promise you, it’ll get better… You’ll get stronger.

    • Cho
      March 11, 21:31 Reply

      Sorry Bro… just be yourself! Everyone can go to hell.

  4. Max 2.1
    March 11, 08:51 Reply

    “So many take the easy road, take their lives or refuse to even accept. Maybe marry that girl and no one will notice.”

    Quite a riveting and harrowing piece…

  5. z
    March 11, 09:12 Reply

    Good article

  6. grass
    March 11, 10:17 Reply

    i think its even better for the manly ones,cos u get too control what people think.Unlike us,just 4 walking steps and everyone is looking at you and whispering, some even laugh out openly ,imagine living with this every single day if ones life? knowing you will be laughed at and seen as a disgusting person. So anyone that wants too end the constant “shame” by committing suicide,i won’t blame them,many have considered it anyway. The worst thing that ever happened too me is being born Nigeria. I’ll leave as soon as i can.its horrible, i remember once,couldn’t get a straight bus from mile 2 to ogudu,had to stop at oshodi,and some market boys started shouting “see as that one they shake yansh,u dey fuck man” ..that has to be the scariest day of my life.

  7. jay-kay
    March 11, 10:52 Reply

    Nothing! Nothing and I mean Nothing will ever make me commit suicide. Jesus!.

  8. Candy Man
    March 11, 11:01 Reply

    After reading that really weird conversation, I’m convinced a change is near for Nigeria. Ummm you walk like that and they mock you? lol. they’re street urchins, you are educated and probably have a job. Ignore!

    I doubt anything would push me to end my life on my own.

  9. Mitch
    March 11, 11:08 Reply

    Suicide: that welcome friend of depressed souls. One-time, she was my friend. Then I realized, ending my life would be giving society more ammo to push others like me to ending it too. And I don’t want that! I deserve to live, love and be happy just like everyone else. That’s all I need to keep fighting!

  10. Delle
    March 11, 15:40 Reply

    This left me teary-eyed. I can relate to this story on so many levels, not that I’ve had any friend who committed suicide, but that feeling of dejection, that fear of looking up from your thighs and seeing no one around you, no one to hold or give you succour, just cos you’re something you didn’t choose. It’s hard, not just being gay, but being conspicuously so. So sorry about Daniel but no matter what happens, no matter the precarious situation one is going through, suicide is never the answer. Too bad you weren’t there to talk him out or at least, take the rope or knife out of his hands when he was about executing the act. This was a nice read, Abrams and all you have to do is recognise the fact that you are fabulous and no matter what happens, no matter what it is you’re facing (I’ve been there before), you are better than what people make you out to be. Believe it, think it, feel it and be it.
    Xoxo.

  11. Law
    March 11, 16:32 Reply

    I cried while reading this…. This post is dedicated to all those who gave in to d struggle…. Especially my bossom friend Ozone (may 2012)…. Then Ayo (june 2014) and Cyril (Sep 2015)….. Miss yall..

  12. BRYANNNN
    March 11, 20:38 Reply

    The key to ending this whole charade is “ACCEPTANCE”……..Mine came during my 3rd yr in the Uni…..it is the best decision ive eva taken, i just had to, coz i was left with no choice…
    The medical sch i went to, is a small clannish community where everybody knew each oda. The only reasonable fun we had was with our lips, as gossip and hearsay were the order of the day…we read only big medical books, and did less of clubbing, not becoz we do not want to, but for the fact that spare parts dealers and dia ibotic girlfriends/mistresses colonized the only decent one around….we had an I.T.K board where unseen happenings are aired…My gay story came like a flash, i had earlier lost an emotional control on some guy dat gave me mixed feelings..( i indeed flirted with disaster)…News was everywhere, i had given an enormously boring environment a sizzling topic to grapple on….Girls gossiped and i wud see dem point at me, to show dia frds who d “said” gay guy waz…..I wudnt pass without a group of boiz throwing hissy fit at me…some reeled out waspish remarks, rebuking me and my sexuality…..My tough skin was imported direct from a skinned Tanzanian crocodile.I wud cry out and wail in pains, ryt there in my room, i questioned God, i was confused and burned in anguish…..It was a terrible experience, a day neva passes with someone throwing a gay tantrum at me…it was hell…but dat night, amidst my cries, a voice deep down aevised me, it said……What if you approached this with confidence?? what if you put the past behind you and acted as though nothing happened? what if you stopped thinking everybody hated you? what if its just grave state of paranoia? I quickly thought abt them, resolved neva to flinch at the stories, d looks, d talks…. I literarily avoided gatherings, i became largely Agarophobic. I was just an army of me, recluse and happy….It wasn’t intentional but i kinda mingled only with the Rich,cute, fashionable, girls& guyz then, is it a rule of the thumb??? epidemiology has it that poverty spreads alongside homophobia, these guyz gave me life, invited me to big shows, gave me warm reception, praised my capabilities……….The poor homophobes saw they wia just loosing out hating on me….( My fame then mostly was due to my academic performance)……I was friends with those all party/ flexing/ clubbing kinda guyz….but i just got my magical switch ( from a night party freak to a dedicated and very studious student in the morning)……I was like a bridge connecting the two phase of ppl..We all out of sch and sometimes my facebook inbox comes with some of them ( haters) telling me how much they wanted me but cudnt…

  13. Khaleesi
    March 11, 21:00 Reply

    Wow! What a poignant beautiful tale! Its a tough battle that never quite seems ro go away, but you have no choice but to be strong and to keep being the best you can be …

  14. Nefretiti
    March 12, 01:32 Reply

    I cried @ the story , but more @ the comments cos I felt their pains and its just sad that we had 2 go thru so much pain and we had nothing 2 do with it.
    But plssssss never nuture the thought of suicide , u r WAY to important and God loves u !!!!! Some people might not agree with this , but its the truth , let God b the judge of how terrible u are, live ur life and never loose ur connection with him becos more than condemnation he radiates love .
    Many times I just see my life and everything I have been thru and most times its not a bed of roses , but something gives me the will 2 move on and that’s that God loves me more than I love myself and even b4 the world was formed he had a plan 4 u whether GAY or STRAIGHT.
    When u feel rejected or different , remember u were given this life cause u r strong enof 2 live it . U r stronger than most people and different isn’t bad its just different. Accept who u are and love urself , cos God loves u irregardless of u sexuality.I am Gay , a lover of God and a man who has so much to live for#loveurself

  15. […] reading the post ‘Remembering Hell, Praying For Heaven’, about a gay guy who took his own life, I have not been the same. I especially felt distraught […]

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