Media mogul Tyler Perry was honored this week by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and during the ceremony, he told his peers and fans that he wants his star to live as an emblem for hope.
“For anyone whose dreams may be on life support, I want you to walk passed this star in particular and know that I’ve been there,” Perry said in his speech.
And for anyone who knows a little bit about the 50-year-old’s epic rise from poverty to penthouse, his story is nothing short of incredible. In a recent cover interview for People, the father of one recounts his childhood as an abused child and explains how he finally forgave his father.
“Holding on was hurting me more than him,” he explained.
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His traumatizing household gave birth to the creativity that would later shape his empire.
“I could escape and be somewhere else,” he said of his imagination. Escapism ended up being his saving grace as he dealt with being physically beat by his mother’s husband and molested by family members.
“It was rape,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on or the far-reaching effects of it. I just moved through it,” and lived through the mantra, “Boys don’t cry, shut up and move on.”
But his mothers love and his belief in God kept him steady through adversity.
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“If I wouldn’t have had that, I don’t know where I’d be. That was our North Star, the Bible, faith, church,” he explained. His faith helped him process the abuse he received at the hands of his father.
“[It took] a tremendous amount of prayer,” Perry said. “But the biggest thing that helped me understand it is that me holding on to what I was holding on to wasn’t hurting him…but it was killing me.”
“I’m telling you, the shift and forgiveness in me left me raw because it was a weight inside,” he said. “Once I let it go, I literally felt lighter inside.”
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This story was originally published on MadameNoire.com.