Tyler Perry’s Fatal Childhood

by Minority Fortune

Tyler Perry may be experiencing great success now, but he certainly suffered a lot when he was younger. If you don’t know, he’s an African American tyler-perryplaywright, film director, actor, screenwriter, and film producer. Just last year in 2008, he earned $75 million off his accomplishments. We’ll be sure to do a spotlight on him later. While he had made parts of his misfortune public, no one knew the extent of the tragedies until now. CNN reports that Tyler Perry sent out a message on his board detailing painful moments of his past. While tragic, it goes to show what all this great man went through to get to the top. If his story doesn’t show you that anyone can experience success, then nothing will.

His message:

A Message from Tyler Perry – We’re all PRECIOUS in His sight

Hi there.

I know I’ve been a little quiet lately but I’ve been in silent reflection,
quiet meditation, and prayer. Turning 40 is such a blessing. Especially
because as I child I always thought I would die before I grew up.

If life begins at 40, then I owe the little boy that I was my life. Case
in point, not long ago, I was brought a film to watch to see what I
thought of it. It’s called PRECIOUS, based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire.
I sat at home watching this movie not knowing what to expect. After the
movie was over, I sat there for a long time just thinking about what I had
just witnessed. I watched all the things that Precious, a 16-year-old girl
in the film, went through. I watched her mother be unusually cruel to her
and I realized at that moment that a large part of my childhood had just
played out before my eyes. It hit me so hard, I sat there in tears
realizing that somehow, by the grace of God, I made it through. My tears
were tears of joy, being thankful that I made it.

Believe me when I tell you, PRECIOUS is a powerful film. After seeing it,
I had to be involved. I didn’t write it or direct it, nor am I making any
money from it. Oprah and I both are giving any proceeds we would make to
charity. I just wanted to get as many people to see it as I can. It gave
me so much hope after watching it. For everyone who has been a Precious,
male or female, this movie will make you so glad you made it through.

It took me through some raw emotions and brought me to some things and
places in my life that I needed to deal with but had long forgotten. It
brought back memories so strong that I can smell and taste them. Like,
when I was very young, my mother decided to leave my father…she had had
enough of his insanity. She loaded me and my two sisters up in an old
Cadillac that he had bought for her, and drove to California. When he
realized she was gone, he called the police and reported the car stolen,
as it was in his name. My mother was arrested and my two sisters and I
were put in the cell with her. He and my uncle drove from Louisiana to
California to get us. We spent several days in jail waiting for him. He
bailed her out and couldn’t wait to get her into the car. He got into the
back seat with us and beat her black and blue from California to
Louisiana, as me and my sisters watched. Even though I was only two or
three, I know that this had to have some effect on me.

I’m tired of holding this in. I don’t know what to do with it anymore, so,
I’ve decided to give some of it away…

Memories at 40: Not long ago, I was asked to speak at an engagement. I
walked in and I was told that they had assigned a person to take care of
me while I was there. She walked up to me, all of 5’2” of her, and asked
if I needed anything. I looked at her and started to sweat. It took me
back thirty-something years to her apartment. I couldn’t have been more
than 10 years old when I went over to play with her son and Matchbox cars.
She opened the door in skimpy lingerie. There was a man sitting on the
couch, smoking. She told me that her son was in the bedroom. I was there
playing with him about 20 minutes when I heard the man arguing with her.
He said he was leaving and slammed the door. She came into the bedroom and
told me that I had to go home. She told her son to take a bath and she
locked him in the bathroom. I was at the front door trying to get out,
when she came in and laid on the sofa and asked me if I wanted the key. I
told her I had to go home as it was getting dark. She put the key inside
of herself and told me to come get it, pulling me on top of her.

Memories at 40: “What the f*#K are you reading books for?! That’s bull*#*T!”

“You F*#*ing jackass! You got book sense but you ain’t got no mothaf*#*en
common sense! You ain’t sh*t and ain’t never gonna be sh*t!” I heard this
every day of my childhood. As my father would beat and belittle me, he
played all kinds of mind games with me. He knew I loved cookies as a kid,
most kids do. So he would buy them and put them on top of the fridge and
when I would eat them he would beat me mercilessly.

My mother was out one night, as she loved to play bingo, and my father
came home…mad at the world. He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He
got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me
until the skin was coming off my back. To this day, I don’t know what
would make a person do something like that to a child. But thank God that
in my mind, I left. I didn’t feel it anymore, just like in PRECIOUS. How
this girl would leave in her mind. I learned to use my gift, as it was my
imagination that let me escape. After he was done with his rant he passed
out. Since my aunt lived two doors down, I ran to her. She saw me and was
horrified. She loaded her 357 and went to kill him. Holding a gun to his
head, her husband came and stopped her.

Memories at 40: I got a call not long ago from a friend. He told me that a
man that I knew from church when I was a kid had died and he didn’t have
any insurance. His family was trying to reach out to me to see if I would
pay for his funeral. I quickly said no, but I wish I would have said yes.
There is something so powerful to me in burying the man that molested me.
I wish I would have dug the grave myself.

Memories at 40: I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had a crush on a little
girl across the street. She would come over to my house and we’d play. She
was about 12 or 13. One day she stopped coming and when I asked her why,
she told me that my father was touching her. I didn’t believe her, so I
talked her into staying one night. We were both asleep — she was in one
bed and I was in another. I opened my eyes to see my father trying to
touch her and her pushing him away. I moved in my bed trying to make him
think I was waking up. He looked over at me and left out of the room. Not
long after that, he beat me mercilessly for something again. Another mind
game set up, so I told my mother what he had done. The blood drained from
her face. We left that day. We were at my Aunt’s house and he came there
about 1am. Not long after that we were back at home. Nothing would compare
to the random, drunken, violent beatings I would receive from then until I
was 19.

Memories at 40: We would spend the summers in the country, with my
father’s adoptive mother. As a kid I was always sick. I had asthma and he
hated it. He hated that I wasn’t strong and viral like him. He hated that
I couldn’t be in the sawdust, pollen and the raw lumber like him. He hated
that I liked to read and write and draw. He hated that me and my middle
sister were darker-skinned than him. He didn’t think he could make a dark
baby. He just hated everything about me I guess. Anyway, I had to go to
the doctor every Tuesday to get shots to control my allergies. When his
mother found out she said, “Ain’t nothing wrong with that damn boy…he
just got germs on him. Stop wasting all that money.” When my mother left
to visit some friends I heard what sounded like water running in a tub but
it was sporadic. She came and got me out of the living room leaving my
Matchbox cars on the floor. She said she was going to kill these germs on
me once and for all. She gave me a bath in ammonia.

Grateful at 40: I was asked recently how I made it through all of this,
(half has not even been told) and my answer to that is…I know for a fact
that there is a GOD. When my father would say or do those things to me, I
would hear this voice inside of me say, “That’s not true” or, “Don’t
believe that” or, “You’re going to make it through this”. I didn’t know at
the time what “it” was, but today I surely have no doubt that “it” was
GOD. That voice always gave me comfort. It allowed me to hold on. It kept
me from being strung out on drugs, from dying when I wanted to commit
suicide. It kept me from being a gang banger or drug dealer. Worse than
all of those things put together, it kept me from being him. It brought
angels to comfort me after every foul, harsh word or every welt on my legs
or back. GOD, only GOD.

To know that the little boy that I was went through all that — he went
through and made it. Then me, as a man…I have to take on the
responsibility of forgiving all of those people. I owe it to that little
boy that I was and, more than that, I owe it to the man that I am. Think
about it, as a child we have no recourse. We have nowhere to go. We have
to endure it. But as adults, we have choices. I choose to forgive with all
my might. Forgiveness has been my weapon of choice. It has helped to free
me.

If you’re having a hard time getting over something in your life, maybe
you can try forgiveness too. It’s not easy, but it does bring forth
healing. I know that there are a lot of people out there with stories far
worse than mine but you, too, can make it. To those of you who have,
welcome to life. I celebrate you. We’re all PRECIOUS in His sight.

TP

*Image courtesy of TVOne Blogs.
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