Hey, I am Ituha and this is My World.
I grew up in Bronx New York. My mother raised me after my father abandoned my family when I was 3 years old. I seemed to always get in trouble and I had real real anger issues. I was always in the principleís office for fighting. I always seemed to be searching for that father figure.
When I was 8 yrs old a half-brother of mine moved in. Finally an older man that I can look up to. Unfortunately, he broke that trust and took it upon himself to molest me. This just increased my anger and my depression started to set in. But I held onto the hope that I would one day meet my real father.
When I was twelve years old, my mother received a phone call that my father had passed away. He had contracted HIV and died. It was hard to grasp how he had abandoned his family to pursue a gay lifestyle. This was a pivotal point in my life. I had no dreams and no hope. I became desensitized and totally detached from everything around me. My anger turned to rage and I wanted to escape.
I began to drink and smoke marijuana everyday. Everyday. My drug uses increased and began to snort cocaine. By the age of 15 I was strung out on heroine. In order to support my addictions I begin doing robberies. At first it was petty crimes, stealing chains and snatching womenís purses. The robberies took on a high of their own, I began to play with guns and rob cab drivers, stores and there was one robbery in particular that changed my life.
When I was 16 years old, me and these two guys came up with this scheme to rob this store. When we entered the store, my friend Caesar reached for the shotgun, but it got stuck in his belt buckle. The store owner recognized what was going on and he pulled out a pistol himself. I seen it and I ran. Caesar tried to run, but was shot in the back. I ran to a payphone and called the paramedics, but it was too late. Caesar was dead. I was apprehended two days later.
So here is am 16 years old headed to Rikers Island. I am charged with armed robbery in the first degree. While in jail, I focused more on reading about other criminals and crimes, because I wanted to become a better criminal.
When I was released, they sent me back to my neighborhood. It was not long before I got back into the same lifestyle, doing the same thing, hanging with the same people. And the violence continued to escalate in my life.
A year later I was back in jail with another armed robbery charge and they sentenced me for 3 years. This time I began to reflect on my life. I wanted something different. I didnít want to end up like my friends down the street. So, I began to study different religions and out of everything that I read, the Bible rang true to me. Even though I understood that Jesus offered the better life, I thought I was the worst of the worst and could not be forgiven.
I was released from prison and this time I felt that I needed a geographical change. I had family out in Kalamazoo, Michigan, so that is where I moved. The first month there I met my wife, Tiffany. Me and her partied for about eight months and than she informed me that she was pregnant.
I didnít know how to process this. How could I be a father when I never had one? I was fearful. I had no idea what to do. I feared that in some way I would poison this child. From the time my wife was pregnant till my son was 2 years old, I attempted two times to take my own life. The second attempt landed me in the E.R and I was in a coma for 3 days. But no matter how hard I tried to end it, God did not think it was time.
Tiffany and I were attending church during all of this chaos. Even though I understood what the bible was saying, I didnít feel worthy of his love or forgiveness.
My drug addiction was full blown. My addiction to crack cocaine was full blown. I was in and out of rehabs. My family was in turmoil. Tiffany had had enough and decided we needed to separate. This left me homeless and on the streets. I did not see my family for 8 months.
I eventually got arrested for possession of crack cocaine. While in jail, I began to process my life. And I started to see that the road I was headed down was not working. I needed to change. So I hit my knees and decided to change my life when I got out of jail.
I saw my wife Tiffany for the first time in months and we decided to work on our marriage. I headed back into treatment, but this time around I had a real hunger for God. Although I was on the right path, I still struggled with bout of depression and withdrawls from the drugs.
I ended up in a crisis center where they began to monitor me really closely. My wife had called a youth pastor to come and visit me. He laid hands on me, and I felt in that moment something leave my body.
From that day on, I have no desire to use drugs. My goal in life is to show people were God has brought me from. I am hoping that everyone can see that they are worth his gift.
Looking back on my life, God has saved me from many things. I have lived in a gang lifestyle in New York and I have not had any gunshot wounds, stab wounds, or even any broken bones. I survived some of the worst prisons in America. He did not allow my life to stop.
God has transformed me. I hope that God has spoken through me today and that anyone who is hearing this can see how powerful God truly is. He is the only reason why I am alive today. He has taken all the bad in my life and making it for good. He is my father, which now allows me to be daddy to my son.