My upbringing was hindered by victimization and trauma. The two most important people in my life at the time met my need for safety and love. With disrespect and neglect. I wasn’t seen nor was I heard I lacked proper education and became distant from everyone. Love for me was a very hateful word. I did not trust it. It became very clear to me that if you loved me then you were going to hurt me. So growing up into a teenager, assuming that I was already a man. I would hurt you before you had the ability to hurt me. I was very depressed and with a lot of anger issues that I stormed through my childhood, reaching to others for acceptance and their approval.
Filling my need of protection and a family, I started to make very bad choices which led me to gangbanging, doing drugs, and disrespecting the community that I was in. I was a very insecure and immature child. My anger which led to rage was the fuel that drove my impulsive and reckless behavior. I got lost in trying to fit in that I did callous acts of violence with zero regards of remorse. I despise that person that I once was today. Because today I do not live in that path. Today I have taken complete responsibility and I am accountable for all of my past choices that led to traumatizing and victimizing so many human beings. I am accountable for the thinking and behavior that led to me taking an innocent life from her family. And also for trying to take an innocent young man’s life. I drove a spear through their family’s heart. A terrible choice that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I am currently doing a life term for my choices. A sentence that I know deserves a much deeper punishment. For years I threw my life away in prison. My insecurity and the need to be accepted was still hindering my growth. I was still that scared little boy. But not today.
Because today I am someone who loves himself, someone who cares and has empathy, and through empathy I have developed compassion. I no longer hinder my walk. I prosper with ways that lift my character into a light that shows love and understanding. I live my amends in a good way, by living a life of accountability, integrity, sobriety, and by not making poor choices that I once did. Which in return allows me to continue to be an asset to life rather than hinder it. My name is Cesar Nava, and I stand before you a man that will give you the shirt off his back. Not because I can withstand the cold, But because it’s the least I can do to pay things forward.