A Cry for Help


This blog post is in memory of all the lives lost to mass shootings and the families who are dealing with the devastating aftermath.

I pray for the healing to begin and that this heartfelt blog expresses my desire appropriately to bring inner peace to the world.

In the world we are living in, we are witnessing eighteen year old boys legally acquiring assault rifles and killing innocent people destroying their lives and taking countless victims with them. They are senseless, horrific and inexcusable crimes.

Gun violence and mass shootings are a complex and challenging issue that needs to be addressed immediately before more senseless crimes are committed.

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to every family member who has lost someone they love because of these despicable acts. My heart grieves deeply feeling the cavernous sense of pain and hurt in our world. There is a feeling of collective heaviness. I wish I had all the answers and I could wave a magic wand and end every one of these tragedies.

What I can speak to is how I felt when I was in that 14–18 year old time period and what the possibility I could have seen for myself as another option than turning my suppressed feelings and emotions into self-abusive behavior.

A Confusing Time

As I reflect back on my life, I recall what a pivotal time it was between the ages of 14–18 years old. That most confusing time of puberty when my body started to change, the hormones started to rage and the interest in girls was piqued.

I didn’t know what to do with all of that chaotic mess that was going on in my mind and body. I didn’t get the message at home that it was safe to talk about any of these confusing feelings. 

I felt all alone dealing with the ravages of acne, body odor from all of the hormonal chemistry changes I was going through and how to express my newfound sexual desires.

So what did I do? I stuffed it. I put the confusing feelings, the feeling of isolation, and the raging hormones into my virtual backpack of anger, sadness and fear trying to suppress all of the internal turmoil going on within. It was wreaking havoc so I had to numb it.

It turned into heavy drinking to the point of blackouts and inner rage that was turned inward and expressed usually as punching walls, closets and doors. That felt good until it didn’t.

A Cry for Help

How does a teen-ager who is lost, confused and hurting reach out for help when none is offered from a place of love and compassion? I certainly didn’t have the maturity at that age to say I am hurting and feeling alone and isolated.

I went through my sophomore year in high school looking down at my shoes, embarrassed to make eye contact with anyone because in my perception I looked like a monster because my face was riveted with acne. The only time I could be “normal” was when I went to football practice and had my helmet on. I could get some rage out on the field, but that wasn’t enough.

I see now that my heaving drinking and self-abusive behavior was a deep cry for help. I had one coach pull me aside and confront me about hanging out with the wrong crowd and my drinking, but it didn’t come from a place of compassion, it came from a place of making me feel condemned and ashamed.

Someone Please See My Pain

What I really desired was someone to see me. To see my heart and sense I was deeply hurting. To have a caring adult put their arm around me and say it’s going to be OK. I am here for you. You can tell me anything and I will never judge you or heap shame on you. Let’s walk down this path together.

Someone to tell me that there is another option. You don’t have to hurt yourself anymore. There are healthy ways to deal with all of your emotions that are all bottled up. Your acne doesn’t define you, your heart does. Your raging hormones are normal. Let’s talk about a healthy way to express that and what that means when it comes to the opposite sex.

Starving for a Male Role Model

I was starving for a male role model, I just didn’t know it at the time. Someone to open up to and share everything I was feeling. To know it was safe to express all of my hurt inside and maybe even cry.

I never purposely hurt anyone, but I know I did. Most of my rage was turned inward on myself.

Teen-age suicide is rampant and so are mass-shootings by these lost souls. Resorting to violence is horrific and is inexcusable. How much pain, delusion and suffering must one be under if they resort to killing themselves or innocent victims?

How many red flags were put up as cries for help that went unnoticed? Ultimately it’s the person who pulled the trigger that is responsible for their actions, but I can’t help but think that these mass shootings can be stopped once we stop fighting amongst each other and get to the heart of the matter. Fighting violence with violence is never the answer. It never has been and it never will be.

Love, Compassion and Wisdom

I don’t know the stories of these eighteen year old boys, but I know mine. I wonder what my life would have been like if someone lovingly and compassionately had expressed concern for me and saw how much pain I was in? What if someone would have seen through the false bravado and shown me what it means to be vulnerable. What if I would have had a relationship with a man who would have taught me what it means to have inner power and strength and deal with my personal challenges in a healthy way?

I would have liked to think I would have reached out for help at that young age, but it’s hard enough to reach out for help as a grown man.

The possibility that I see now is that I can make a difference in one boy’s life or one adult man’s life as I see through the lens of love. That every man is a beloved son of God, they just don’t know it because no one really told them what that means.

To truly see their goodness instead of their poor choices. To see their divine nature that is covered up with pain. To put my arm around them and simply say, I see you. I see you are hurting. I am here for you without judgment and condemnation. Let’s talk openly and look at some healthier options for you that won’t lead you to your own destruction or the destruction of others.

Here is a poem I recently wrote.

I See Your Pain

Son, take my hand.

I see your pain.

I know you feel all alone, that is an illusion.

You are never alone.

I am here with an outstretched hand.

In the good times and the bad.

I see your goodness even when you don’t.

You aren’t your pain.

It will pass.

Your pain can be used for good instead of evil.

You get to choose.

The world can seem dark and confusing.

Don’t believe the lies.

You aren’t broken.

Reach out your hand and I will be there.

It is your choice.

Don’t suffer in isolation.

Your power is within.

Meet me there.

I will show you love.

I will show you compassion.

I will show you hope.

Don’t despair.

Take a chance on yourself.

We will work through your pain together.

I see you.

You are good.

Troy Ismir

Spiritual Warrior

Inner Transformation Coach




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