If only the walls of my room had a voice, they would attest to the hours of tears I’ve shed behind closed doors.

If only my voicemail said the truth, it would tell you that I don’t mean to ignore you; I simply don’t have the emotional energy to talk.

If only the ambulance that just passed my house would come to me instead, and fill the deep void within me.

If only my medicine chest could talk, it would tell you how many medications I’ve tried.

If only my emotional wounds presented physically, I would be acknowledged and cared for so much more.

If only my pillow could speak, it would tell of the countless times I’ve soaked it with my bitter tears.

If only my legs could speak, they would explain how much effort it takes to drag my body out into the world each and every morning.

But they don’t talk. They can’t. They have no voice and I struggle alone. Yes, I have a small support system, but when the pain becomes too much to bear, I need more than that.

If you look at me, you will see a clean-cut father and husband. A business owner. A happy-looking guy. But right beneath the very thin facade I put on each morning lies so much pain inflicted on me over years of sexual and emotional abuse. If you look into my eyes, you will see suffering. I see it when I look in the mirror. I feel it in my soul. I feel it in my legs when I need to drag myself out the door each morning.

I feel like I’m walking a tightrope. The balancing pole in my hands is my wife and children who motivate me to cross the abyss below. They are the only reason I take that walk every day.

Some days the winds are calm and I cross relatively easily. Yet there are days—and sometimes weeks—when the winds blow unceasingly in all directions, trying mercilessly to knock me down. On those days, I hold on to my balancing pole for dear life and use all my strength to stay on that thin tightrope.

The painful contrast between myself and a true tightrope walker is that he has crowds cheering him on. He knows that when he gets to the finish line, he’ll be a star. He will feel so accomplished and awesome. Yet in my case, there is no cheering. No crowds. No clapping from far down below. This makes my world so much darker; so much more lonely and painful.

I can’t look down because it pains me to see the absence of the crowds. It makes me feel too alone. I can’t look straight ahead, because it seems too daunting to cross the entire length of the rope. I’m forced to look upwards, to G‑d in heaven. I’m way above the ground and I’m closer to G‑d.

So looking up, I call out to Him and ask Him to help me along my journey. I ask Him to give me the strength and resilience that it takes to walk this tightrope every day again. I beg Him to light up my world. I plead with Him to show me His love and care. I ask Him to shower me with love, just like I shower my own children with love. I’ve endured so much trauma and abuse in my life, yet I have never let go of G‑d. I ask Him to please, in turn, never let go of me.