*Pain is the single most prevalent human attribute that this writer can think of. We would like for it to be love, and some of us fear that it is hate, but pain has struck us all at one time or another. For Norwood Young that pain has ruled his mannerisms for so long that he didn’t even know he was in pain.
Our Lee Bailey recently sat down and chatted with the former lead singer of R&B group Pieces of a Dream and Hollywood socialite about his book and initially we thought this was going to be another book about betterment and so forth. We heard it all before, or so we thought.
With “Getting Back to My Me” Norwood talks about how and why people should get back to being themselves, and the things that got them off track in the first place.
“What that (title) means is getting back to the crux of happiness,” he explained. “Sometimes we tend to lose ourselves in what life does. We find ourselves, in life, in a place of not being happy and not knowing why we’re not happy and what I’ve learned through my years of experience is that not being happy is due to not being ones ‘me’. So, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and a lot of growing up and found my me.
“I wrote the book because I desired to share with the world the fact that we can all find our me,” he continued. “We find ourselves caught up in sadness, depression, insomnia and a lot of that is due to losing our me. Now sometimes our me is passion, sometimes it’s talent.”
Finding or getting back to ones ‘me’ sounds great. I once aspired to a better Magic Johnson than Magic Johnson himself, left-handed with a better jumpshot and arguably better looking, but that dreamed was smothered in its crib. I just wasn’t as good, or good-looking, as my ‘me’ told me I was. How does one know when finding ones ‘me’ leads us through a minefield of disappointments?
“First of all, I’ve been immensely blessed and I don’t think a man who is blessed should keep from the world how he has been blessed,” said Young. “I came to the point of finding my happiness, based upon finding my ‘me’ and outside of people being nosey. So, I felt it necessary to find my ‘me’ and show other people what my ‘me’ is.”
My ‘me’ is my music; my passion is singing, in addition to writing. I had done that since I was 15 years-old, I was even on ‘Star Search.’ At 16 years-old I had my own record deal. My life was going as my ‘me’ would have expected it to. I moved to Los Angeles and moved into this house and got caught up in a lot of things that my me would not have wanted me to and 5 years went by and I realized my life hadn’t moved. I seemingly had everything that people want; the great cars, the great clothes, the great associates, but I was miserable. I had to stop myself and take a self break and reassess why I had done things that I had done and what I had found was masking pain from rape and sexual molestation from the age of 7.”
The dark secret that too many African Americans ignorantly believed doesn’t happen to black people has been rearing its demonic head a lot in the media as of late. The sheer stupidity of that assumption has protected child molesters within the black community for decades. Young tells Mr. Bailey that its side-effects were fueling his destructive behavior.
“I was on a path to self-destruction and I buried it for a number of years until I watched an episode of Oprah,” said Young. “It was in my early 20s and they were discussing child molestation and rape and it became so relative to me because up to that point I had blacked it out. At this point I started acting out because I had no one there to turn to. I was in this big house living the life and I started hearing voices in my head. It was the voice of the molester and I would here him call me pretty boy and saying things to me he would when he was perpetrating the act.”
The human psyche is an amazing thing and when it is destroyed the effects are noticeable to everyone but the victim.
“In my sick mind I said ‘If I change my nose, get chin implants and change my exterior I will no longer hear that voice.’ And it worked, but in the interim all my friends and the blogs were talking about the freak that I had become. But that didn’t bother me because I was no longer hearing those voices. I didn’t care about anybody questioning my exterior, but what I did care about was people questioning my spirit. According to the blogs I was demonic and I was this manufactured monster. That made me search my soul and ask why would anyone say that about me.
People were talking about him like his name was dirt. Don’t believe us? Google his name and you will find that more than half the hits are lowdown, dirty, we gotta box right now, disrespectful. Personally, somebody would have gotten punched in the mouth, Uncle Lee concurs.
“There was this one incident where this one blogger said that if his young son was near me, he would tell him to cover his eyes because I was definitely dark and demonic. So, I looked in the mirror, stared at myself and started to weep for quite some time because I saw exactly what this person was seeing. Not that I’m demonic and dark but what I had done to myself came from a demonic and dark place. That was the first spec of me getting back to being my me. Afterwards I began to seek reconstructive surgery. As some people know, reconstructive surgeons are experts who put faces back together that are damaged due to trauma and accidents. We began the process of rebuilding my face. We removed implants and cut cartalidge out of my nose to rebuild my face so I could go back to what God gave me.”
Reverse reconstructive surgery? That’s deeper than Atlantis, but if it helps someone truly heal from a decades old emotional gash then … go for it!
“I also started to get back to my me in terms of the people that I was around. I was abusing a lot of drugs, I went to jail, I was under house arrest, I went to rehab. All of those things happened because I had lost my me. Part of losing my me was covering up with plastic surgery, covering up with drugs, covering it up with insincere people. Because of that I cut all of those so called friends out of my life to get back to being my me. I’m singing again, I’m back recording again, I’ve written this book. I’m on another journey and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. It’s fun now because now I embrace all the things I deserve based on who I am and who I was meant to be as opposed to the pretence. I’ve always wanted finer things, but now it comes from a different place and it’s appreciated from a different place.”
For Norwood Young, also known as the “King of Hancock Park,” finding his ‘me’ wasn’t something that happened overnight. He told EURweb.com that his mission was mapped out and extremely specific.
“When I began the journey of finding my me I was so specific I even created a list of the things that I needed to change. And one of those things were my friends or associates. I actually had a party in the spirit of my book. I had a ‘re-barbeque.’ That’s what it said on the invitation. All of my friends, some of them I used to get high with, I invited them to let them know I was on a new journey and that I was by no means judging. I had no right too. I wanted everybody to live their best life but for me there were certain things I had to change. So, if you see me leaving the party its not because I’m not having a good time, it’s nothing personal. For me, when everybody’s high or drunk I’m just not there anymore. I had this party explaining this and I will say I lost sixty percent of those people. But now what I have attracted are like minds. A lot of those friends still get high, still get drunk, but they respect me and they value our friendship on different levels. The environment is great and nobody is stealing from me anymore. I would have parties and crystal would be missing, toilet paper would be missing. Just the most ridiculous things.”
Stealing a brother’s TP? Not at all cool. But we’re happy to inform you that all the Charmin is safe and sound these days. But Norwood Young still has other things he needs to straighten out … Karrine “Superhead” Seffans, for one. He says she said some very foul things about him in her memoirs.
“Had Karrine been truthful in her depiction of me and our relationship in her book there would be nothing else I can say,” he explained. “But to be betrayed and for my character to be demeaned the way it was in her book I couldn’t be quiet. Because one of the things about getting back to being my me is being completely honest. I had thousands of people asking me why I didn’t fight back, I couldn’t do it until it was time. I had to do it in an environment, via my book, where I could tell my truths. There were so many things I could have talked about that just weren’t necessary. Since her book I’ve never confronted her. I was only a friend to her and for her to do what she did to me was unacceptable. If people say something that is not true then you fight that but there’s nothing that I’ve said in my book that wasn’t true.”
Despite all of the negatives that are highlighted and in “Finding My Me” the singer turned author tells us he has found his ‘me’ and his new mission.
“Because of my transparency regarding rape and molestation, as timing would have it, we’re hearing more and more about people being raped and molested on a major level. Like Tyler Perry. People are speaking out,” he explained. “Right now I want to be the person that is approachable that you can talk to about this. Right now California State Assemblyman Isadore Hall and I are looking to create a resolution that will not only give our children but abuse victim’s a voice. First of all, the statute of limitations doesn’t run out, ever, on abuse. Part of closure for a lot of victims is being able to comeback at whatever point in their lives and seek to prosecute the perpetrator. That’s what this bill is designed to do. It will provide a anonymous hotline for victims, it will provide psychiatric care for free for those victims and all of this stems from the book. I had no idea that I would one day be possibly going to Washington to try to pass the Norwood bill.”
“Getting back to My Me” by Norwood Young is now on sale at Amazon.com and other book stores. He’s also recorded a single under that that title as well. You can see the video for song immediately below. Norwood also says the album “Getting back to My Me” is slated for release in February.