In the middle of the show, the host read the news because of which he decided to reveal the truth about himself: “Now I will admit to you why every picture of me from my childhood was carefully cut and why I refuse to talk about my life”?
“I was sitting in the studio waiting for the ad-block to pass, when I read the news that shook me – it sounded like it was about me”!
Steven Romo, a popular American presenter, shocked the public recently when he decided to share his, as he said, “the best-kept secret in life”. That secret shook America, but also the rest of the world, and he decided to tell the Huffington Post the whole truth, which reads as follows:
“I was sitting in the TV studio waiting at the end of the ad blocker to continue with the news. I was flipping through new headlines in my overpriced suit, not paying attention to anything in particular, when the notification popped up. Latest news: Nampa couple arrested, their children were taken away because of the appalling conditions in the house. ” I straightened up in my chair and I was drenched in sweat – I felt like I was caught in some kind of lie. The news further brought details about the house flooded with cockroaches, the horrible conditions in which the children grew up, and the incredible misery. I forwarded the link to my sister with the comment: “This is like a story about us”.
Now I’m going to tell you that story I never told anyone.
When I was a child, I went to school with a backpack from which cockroaches were growing. Dog feces were on my clothes regularly. The kids laughed at me, and I thought I was terribly smart when I told them a lie like that my parents are actually very rich, but that they want to hide it. I also lied about volunteering at an animal shelter and that’s why I’m dirty and stinky. That’s how I explained cockroaches. I also told lies that the excrement on me is false because I am participating in a study that deals with peer violence, so we examine the reactions of peers. I thought I had deceived someone with these transparent lies.
The truth was that my father was an ordinary worker whose salary was not enough to pay our electricity bill. However, he was not to blame for our misery – it was his mother’s fault. My mother had a terrible childhood. In nine years, she has gone through sexual violence since she never recovered. She spent her days eating sweets and sleeping, in a deep depression. In addition, she gathered a real herd of a chihuahua – we had eight of them, they barked forever, their food was all over the house, and cockroaches ate it. In the end, the cockroaches took over our house – they even stopped running away from the light. It seemed as if we were the intruders in the house, not them. Chihuahuas defecated everywhere in the house.
My family was full of secrets. Nobody knew how we lived. Nobody knew who we were exactly? We carried all that burden alone. If someone knocked on the door, we would all bury ourselves in the place until the visitor left. Outside the house, we hid how we live, although no one ever explicitly told us that we had to hide it. It was simply taken for granted.
When I was growing up, I never lied about my childhood. I just never talked about him. I did not tell my colleagues from the faculty how I stole deodorants and soaps from the shop. I didn’t mention that it was completely normal for me to remove cockroaches from my plate when I sat down to eat. Those secrets I kept ate me all my life.
It all went through my head in that short ad-block.
Then the countdown began – we return to the program. A colleague noticed that I was lost and asked me if I was okay. I managed to gather myself, I calmly read the news, and continued with the show. None of the viewers would suspect what was going through my head. Only when the news broadcast was over, and I returned to the office, the cockroaches emerge again.
I glanced at the inbox. There was an email that I didn’t answer – it was a producer who was looking for our childhood pictures. She wanted to make a montage in which all of us leaders would find ourselves as children. It was supposed to be a video on the occasion of the beginning of school. However, I never sent those pictures. I have very rarely shown anyone my childhood pictures because it is hard to cut out all the creepy details from the background. It takes a long time to remove everything that testifies to how I grew up.
Even pictures that seem more or less acceptable reveal the horrors of my childhood. Each seems to be full of amber dust. My sister and I called it “beetle dust”, which was our version of “fairy dust”. This powder is left by cockroaches when they shed a layer of skin.
I was especially amused by the producer’s remark that the pictures we published on our social networks are also possible. I only have one acceptable picture from kindergarten. The funny thing is that I look like a happy and satisfied child on it, and I know exactly what happened before and after that photo.
However, it is even funnier that in a way I was a happy child – because children are just like that, somehow programmed to find joy in everything.
Salvation from my childhood, I found in books and series. I fell in love with storytelling because that was the only way I could escape my story. Telling stories is the opposite of keeping secrets. So I decided to do something different this time on my Twitter. I keep uploading our news, but I never comment on it. This time, I posted the news about neglected children who grew up in similar conditions as me and wrote: “We write about many terrible things, but this one affected me personally. This house is too similar to the house where my brothers and sisters grew up and I just wish these children were never determined by their parents’ mistakes. “Since I am followed by a large number of people, this story resonated, which I could have expected.
I received a number of questions. Everyone wanted to know how my parents allowed us to live that way. I was thinking about whether to share the story of my mother, who died at the age of 43 and before that she tried to quell the consequences of the trauma with food, sleep, and medicine. My mom will never be able to apologize to anyone. He will not be able to explain his actions. My father has already apologized. He said he regretted it, I decided that was enough and that there was no need to do more justice.
I forgave my parents.
Because of them, today I am grateful for things that are trifles to many – clean socks, deodorant, regular meals. It is my experience that makes me a good journalist because I can connect with people.
I always hid my origin, because I thought that people would see me as “damaged” and less valuable. However, the truth is that we are all damaged in some way. We have all experienced both suffering and joy – to varying degrees, but we have all experienced something that hurts us and something that makes us happy. Only when we talk about it with others can we truly connect.
I hope you liked the life story of Steven Romeo?
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