The more pain – the more respect, right? I mean that’s what I thought and have been thinking is true for the longest.

Growing up I didn’t receive a lot of respect from others. Many of you may know this already as I mentioned this before in a previous blog post (or maybe more than one blog post, but whatever).

I don’t know what I did for others to not like me growing up, but they didn’t. Maybe they didn’t like the Cuban cologne I wore back in middle school or maybe it was my glasses or maybe it was how I spoke. Maybe it was because I wasn’t “hard” like everyone else.

Yeah, I think that’s what it was. I’m not as rough and tough as all the other guys in this world. I’m not the Alpha male type. More the type to stand back and assess the situation before I react. So because of that I was labeled either two things – soft or gay.

I know I like women, so I guess I’m just soft then.

But anyways, not trying to replay my past and all the pain I went through as I mentioned that before already. What I do want to mention though is that out of all that happened in my past, I still carry that with me.

I remember feeling back then and even still to this day that I will never be accepted because I don’t come from the hood like “all the other black kids” do.

Because I didn’t know their struggle, I couldn’t relate and therefore wouldn’t be accepted.

That’s bologne!

I guess living a couple of blocks down the street from the hood didn’t count to them.

Black kids from the hood didn’t want to hear you talk all proper with correct English. Telling them you went to private school would be like me admitting I was an undercover cop. I kept that hush hush.

So, since I can’t force myself to go back in time to tell God to make me more “hard” and from the hood, I embrace suffering. As much as I complain how bad it is and how much I hate it, I hold on to it. Because I believe, in my head, that the more suffering I endure, the more respect I will get from others.

When they see what God has put me through! Best believe I will earn some R E S P E C T!!

The respect I have been craving since my childhood.

That’s what those kids wanted back then and still to this day. To see that you’ve been through “the struggle.”

“Well HEY Tyrone, Malik and Jamal, guess what – I have been put through the struggle. God has put me through A LOT of struggle as a matter of fact!”

But wait a minute – they won’t see any of my struggles because it’s been more internal than external.

Dang it!

“What do I do now, God?” Does this mean my hood card won’t be validated anymore? All this for nothing!

Either way, today was my breaking point. Coming home to my dog tearing up the basement after only a few short hours of leaving her alone was the last straw. I’m just tired of holding on to the struggle.

With my girlfriend out of my life, it’s just me now. And the battle is rough when your family is on the other end of the United States and you no longer have a partner by your side. Yes Jesus is nice, but it’s just not the same.

I can’t do this alone.

“Let me loose God. Heck, let your own self loose Ibsaa. This desire for respect by enduring as much suffering as you can withstand is not worth it. Let it go and if others don’t respect you, so be it. They missed out on getting to know one really Great guy!”

I will try to keep reminding myself of that, but let’s see how well that goes.

But yeah – I’m done. It’s not worth feeling this bad, this often to receive respect from others. Respect me as the jokey, playful, goofy but respectful man God made me to be. If I’m soft, I’m soft. I’ll take the nickname Charmin, that’s fine. As long as I’m “Ultra Tough Charmin” – haha, just playing.

If I grew up in a neighborhood where white people go out early for morning runs, so be it. That’s me and I’m happy with that.

“God please help. I’m done. I’m just done. Tired of trying to endure as much suffering as possible to hopefully earn respect from other blacks who view me as soft. Let them call me soft God. Please just be my rock when and/or if those days come. I need you Lord. Thank you. Thank you also for putting this on my mind and heart to express on this blog. In Jesus name, Amen.”