Humans of Saskatoon: Chris Moyah
- Moe Morin | August 12, 2015
Moe Morin is a freelance writer and photographer and the co-founder of Humans of Saskatoon. She photographs and interviews people and tells their stories on her highly popular Facebook page. She caught up to Chris Moyah and interviewed him for Eagle Feather News. Chris came to self realization through Str8-Up and has set out to walk and raise awareness about domestic abuse. Here are his unedited words.
A major eye-opener and a pivotal moment in my life happened last year when I was introduced to Str8-Up. The very moment that really changed my life, opened my eyes and made me want something different for myself. I was in a relationship with this girl and I was her first boyfriend. I brought a lot of issues that I was carrying from my past into the relationship, so I was very violent and controlling. I was very sick.
She looked past everything, and remained hopeful. I continued to manipulate and harm her, and put her through so much crap. She started getting tired of it, the manipulation, the alienation and grew tired of me. Finally, the last time we were together was in December 2013. I had a jealous thought, and I started to choke this girl. Her family found out, and the police were called, I took off and they caught me.
I remember thinking and feeling, "what just happened?" - it was like it was nothing to me. I felt heartless, and I was sick of myself. It didn't kick in for a week, I was thinking about it for a whole week till finally I thought, "Oh my god, I'm a bad guy, I need help."
We kept emailing one another, and I emailed daily but her responses were lengthy in-between. I started to experience and putting myself through the hurt and pain I carried. I started to feel what I was doing to myself, and I wanted to get of that, and it was at that very moment I wanted to change. I knew I was losing her, and our baby wasn't even born yet. I didn't know I was hurting our child either, and I was uneducated about pregnancy.
By March, I wanted to see her again, and it was hard for her to trust me. We were in a cycle of abuse, I made promises, and I would come back and hurt her. It grew worse. For about a month or so, every waking moment of every day, I woke up with thoughts of suicide tormenting me. "I lost her, and I'm never going to see her again, life is worthless." I wanted to end my life.
I ended up walking around, seeking help in Saskatoon, looking for Elder's, leaving my card and number. Nobody was contacting me, so I asked the Creator, "why aren't I getting the help I need." So I cursed the Creator, "why? why?" I was getting angry at myself, my life, blaming and kept thinking about all the hardship I went through. I kept thinking, "Is my life worth it?"
I came across Core Neighbourhood, and about to walk by and met a gentlemen by the name of John Sugar. I started talking to him about needing help because I overheard them talking about a sweat ceremony. So I asked, "I want to come. I need help. I need a sweat ceremony." He said I was welcome to come but didn't have room for me.
He introduced me to Stacey Swampy who was a Str8-UP member which I didn't know. We ended up driving to Indian Hill in Whitecap, and I started to pour out what was happening to me. I started to tie my childhood into that, the violence, the abandonment issues, the abuse, the neglect, and I cried. Stacey asked me if I had ever been in a gang, and I told him yes. He told me about Str8-UP, and 10,000 Little Steps to Healing.
I eventually attended a presentation with Father Andre. Everything went in one ear and out the other until Father Andre spoke about the female. I started to cry, and I started to realize I wasn't a good father. I realized I was abusing my spouse and child which opened my eyes. I've been committed to Str8-UP ever since, and now I've been trying to give back what I've taken from women all of my life.
Related story: Humans of Saskatoon: Jennifer Campeau