This I Believe

Valarie - Appleton, Wisconsin
Entered on October 12, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe that everyone has a chance at life no matter where they come from ot what they’ve been through. Nobody can stop a child from fulfilling their dreams and living the life that they want to live.

I’ve lived a life more difficult than most. I lived with my mother, my younger sister, and my older brother. This was ten or more years ago. My broter was very disobedient and he was mentally ill. My mother was also mentally ill, and many time a day she would take various amounts of pills. It was hard being the middle child but feeling the oldest and taking care of the family, but still got sent to bed earier than everbody else.

My brother was only 13 when he got taken away by social services because of some things he did to my sister and I. He never made it back home which left me to step up even more. I had to be somebody that I wasn’t meant to be at that age. I matured very quickly and learned how to be a responsible adult. This is the least traumatic peace of my life, because things for me got incredibly worse. Some things I can’t remember well from the past because my mind won’t allow me to go there but the things I do remember I wish I couldn’t.

My first actual beating is when I was six. On a regular basis my mother would bring home men to “sleep over.” I was always afraid of these men and I would take my sister and I and lock us in a bedroom. This routine eventually got frustrating and I confronted my mom about it. That was the night when she hit me and from then on she become more evil and hateful.

My life become more complicated as I grew and I became smarter. I was always trying to protect my family (especially my sister), was dealing with finances, and hiding it all very well too. I would always take a beating for my sister and I still would. My mother and other family members continuously told me that I was worthless, I was going to fail at everything, and I didn’t deserve anything. At first I did beieve them but not anymore and I will never listen to anybody that will try to bring me down ever agian. I’m not expecting sympathy from anyone, and that’s not what I want. I want other children to be able to come out and tell their story, or a small part of it. I want to be abe to talk to children that went through some bad stuff in their lives and think that they can’t live anymore. The reason is because I KNOW that they can do the things that they want to do in their life and they aren’t worthless, they deserve to live.

I’m not trying to get poeple to feel bad for me or to get them to understand me. I just want the abused children in the world now or in the past to find their voice and live for it. I want for them to be able to say “I’m a survivor,” instead of “I’m a victim.” I believe that everyone has a chance at life no matter where they some from or what they’ve been through.