Many people have been coming forward to express condolences to Ellen Show staple Stephen “tWitch” Boss. The charismatic dancer-turned-DJ was a bright addition to the show and spread a great deal of joy during his time in the spotlight. His passing has shed a massive spotlight on mental health, with several celebrities coming forward about their own struggles. Tyler Perry has joined the list.
Tyler Perry has had a tough life by any standards. Coming from very poor and humble beginnings, Perry struggled as a child with a father who often abused and mistreated him. He found out later in life that the man who raised him was not his biological father, which is why he would often be cruel to a young Perry. The women in his life did not make it much better, with him confessing to his grandmother bathing him in ammonia once to help heal him from a cold because his father was annoyed by him being sick. Perry has admitted that his father’s abuse was so severe that he even considered taking his own life as a child.
Tyler Perry revealed after the film Precious released that his childhood also contained instances of being violated at an early age. Tyler says that he was touched by a friend’s mother when he was 10. This happened again later on, this time involving three men. Perry was terrified to find out that his father had done the same thing to a friend of his. Eventually, he tried to find healing in acting after hearing someone on the Oprah Show discuss how that had helped them. This led him to become an actor and screenwriter.
Pursuing his dream was also a struggle for Perry, who was homeless on and off for years, living in his car and surviving off a box of cookies a week while he tried to make it as a playwright. The hard work took over ten years to pay off, with him going from an unknown playwriter at 22 to a megastar at 37. Now Perry is one of the biggest producers in the world and commands a powerful media empire.
The passing of tWitch reminded Perry of his struggles, and he took to his social media with a message for everyone who may feel like they do not have the strength to continue. Perry opened up about several attempts to end his own life, especially around the time he was being abused. “It was so dark I didn’t think it would get any better,” he recalled. “I had endured so much pain […] I thought the only thing that would make it better was to take my life.” Perry reveals, however, “had any of those attempts happened, I would’ve missed the best part of my life.”
He goes on to express that he is the happiest he’s ever been and is glad his “attempts” did not work. He concludes his video asking people to reach out for help and said he would be giving them a resource to call.