I still remember in vivid detail the first time my father made me bleed. It was a cold November evening and we had just finished dinner. I was all dressed up in my golden basketball jersey ready for a game. I played for a junior basketball league in town, on a team called the Spurs. Both of my brothers played with me and at this point I was 11 years old and full of team spirit. Basketball was my sport. It was the one place I felt the most free, like I could do anything. When I ran down the court I felt the wind on my cheeks like I was flying and when I threw a ball through the hoop I could feel my pulse in my finger tips, could feel a fire in my face, and when I landed on the ground could hear the explosion of the crowd around me and it was magic. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that again since that day. My father apparently had a bad day at work and when my mom asked me to go grab a coat before I went outside he thought I had rolled my eyes. So as a normal father would do, he grabbed me by my throat and threw me from one room into the next room and onto the back of a wooden chair. Time slowed down to seconds. Tick, One second went by and I saw the pure evil in his eyes. Tock, the next second and his hands were squeezing my throat and shutting down the highway to my brain. Tick, the next second goes by and I am in the air, flying, but not in a pleasant way. Tock, I am losing blood to my brain and my vision is getting blurry. Tick, I begin to panic and I feel my own urine dripping down my leg like blood as I realize I had peed myself out of terror. Tock, now I am soaring towards the dining room through the doorway while I violently flail my arms, trying to regain some form of control. Tick, I smack my arm on the doorway and I feel some skin scrape off, but I’m still flying. I see the monster I called my father getting farther and farther away. Tock, I feel the back of a chair dig into my spine as my skull connects with the tip of the chair. Blood begins to drip out of both spots. Tick, Objects in motion stay in motion until acted upon by another force and this was that force. I fell to the ground and before I could process what had happened I felt the tears build up like a dam about to burst. Tock, I remember feeling pain ricochet through my body and a ringing in my ears. The tears poured down like silent rains while the blood pooled beneath my clothes and I finally realized what I had done wrong. I was born. This wasn’t the end and it was far from the beginning, but it was the first time my blood had been invited to the party. It was the day my father decided that telling me I was worthless and that I would never be enough, wasn’t enough. It was the day I learned how far he would go to show how much he hated me, the day I learned how much he hated who I was becoming, how much he hated the person I would become. I became exactly who he feared I would. A man who believes in equality before superiority, a man who loves people more than money, a man who knows how it feels to be beaten and would never make another human feel that way. But you know, no matter how hard I try to deny it, you made me this way.