Breaking the Shackles of Shelter


By herself, the small girl sat

Within her home, the place

Of shelter, safety, security.

She never wanted to leave the comfort

Of its cozy, closed-in walls.

She had everything she needed there:

Family, food, entertainment.

It was her world, her life, something that she wanted to stay within


She was content, complacent, calm—

Reveling in familiarity.

But unfortunately, this idyllic existence would not last




As the girl grew into a teenager, she began to slowly realize

That her home was not so much a perfect place

As she first thought.

She discovered that some people close to her in her home

Had fatal flaws:

They clung, controlled, harassed, harangued,

Desiring to mold her into a perfect person

Who made no mistakes and followed their instructions


She grew in many areas, but her growth was still yet stunted—

She was not allowed the independence that she secretly desired.

The Controlling Ones misunderstood her,

Taking no time to truly listen to her,

 And treated her like a child;

So that she had no choice

But to act like a child

And forfeit her full independence.

Thus the cozy home that the girl so loved

Began to close in upon her

Until it suffocated,


Closed in




Until she felt


Yet she enjoyed the security her home provided,

So she tolerated her suffocation.



Then one day, an earth-shaking event transpired.

After eighteen years of living with her family,

The girl was forced to leave them

In the name of academics.

It was a new, terrifying chapter for her

And she didn’t want to go.

As the car left her home and eventually approached

The open, grassy, person-flooded campus,

The girl kicked, screamed, and cried internally,

Feeling a tumult of negative emotions swirl within

But keeping a blank expression without.

She would not let them know.

She would try to be happy and excited

Even though the world as she knew it

Was crashing down, being exchanged

For a strange, new world that offered unpredictable things.

As she moved into the dorm

She felt confused, afraid, and lost.

Would she ever adjust to this new place, and how?



Left at college to make all her decisions alone,

The girl felt overwhelmed at first.

But as time passed,

She determined

To face every new challenge head-on,

And to test herself—

To see if she could successfully function

On her own.

She realized that she was no longer a child anymore;

She was a young adult, with adult responsibilities.

She would have to do laundry herself,

Balance classes, homework, and social activities,

Determine when and where she would eat,

And other such things.

So she embraced college life

And discovered

That there were many positive elements to it.

She found friends who understood her,

Professors who supported her,

Leisure time to spend.

And soon she had adjusted




When the girl left for college

And became an adult,

She learned an important lesson

That she didn’t have the chance to learn

As a child back home.

She finally realized that she could handle

Full independence

From her family.

Living on campus alone proved to her

That she could survive on her own,

Manage her time and money wisely,

Succeed in her schooling,

And be responsible for herself and her possessions.

No longer under anyone’s thumb,

She could make her own choices

And be herself.

She was no longer tied to her home or its routines.

Now she had her own routines to tend to.

No longer was her home a confining shelter, now it was

A temporary tenement, a place to live in

Until the girl would be able to procure her own home. 

The girl grew from a timid child

To a confident adult

In college,

And although the growth process was painful,

It helped her to mature significantly.

She no longer felt trapped.

Now she was free.


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