The voice clawing through my vocal chords and dropping from my lips is so cracked and battered it’s unrecognizable

At twelve years old, the scars of your words have seared their way up through my veins and into my heart like battle wounds that refuse to heal.

Everyday, my skin crawls at the words preceding the sting of your hand. Searching for peace, I listen to everything you say. And most importantly, to everything you don’t.

You become my world and the only way to survive is to lock myself away inside, until even I forget that a part of me is missing.


Do you know how many days--how many months—it took me to turn the volume down on your voice and raise the one on mine?

Finally, at sixteen, I’m reaching out, trying to get help from family. But even they belittle my emotions. And all my desperate screams lead to scoffs and scorn.

No one believes me. No one listens. Look past the smile and look into my eyes. They’re begging, pleading for redemption. I don’t want treatment or drugs or relocation. I just want someone to talk to, someone to understand me, someone to believe me.


I’m nineteen and I’m doing it on my own. I’m learning to lean on my own shoulder and carry my own weight. I will not fall even if I can’t get help from others.

My self-confidence and faith is growing and my happiness accordingly. Sometimes only you can help you.

Now, I can’t change what has happened, but I will not let anyone believe that they have a hold on my life. And, I will no longer let myself believe that you have a hold on me.

I’m not the only one who’s been told “you can’t do it”. “You’re too naïve, too poor, too pitiful.” Beaten into a quiet submission of nothingness.


But no matter who you are, this is well on its way to the past. Don’t ever forget what happened to you. But, use those memories to fuel your success. Prove them wrong. Prove to everyone, including yourself, that you are significant.


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