This I Believe

Ed - Radford, Virginia
Entered on November 13, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, setbacks

I tip-toed the tight rope of life numerous times, escaping death. I was born two months premature, blue, and unconscious. I was incubated my first few weeks and then eventually released to go home, unaware of what was in store for me.

Abuse and neglect shook me around. I was never shown any love, and I was beaten and starved frequently. I prayed for a way out. My mother suffered from cancer ever since I remember. When I was five, my mother passed. My own grandma told me that I killed my mom, which added to my guilt. At the age of five, I became mute and practiced suicide.

When I was nine, I was supposed to attend a baseball game with my two best friends; unfortunately I was ill that evening and could not attend. On their way back from the game, their van was t-boned by a drunk driver. My two friends died instantly; I was expected to be sitting between them. Their father, who was driving, became paraplegic; their mother was severely injured and is now a spokesperson for MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Not being there for my best friends made me even more depressed.

I jumped off my house, overdosed on medicine, tried to hang myself, jumped out of cars, inflicted myself with thousands of wounds, all without safety nets or paramedics standing by, but I survived. Why? This was serious, this was not a joke or act, there were neither harnesses nor magic mirrors, and I felt destined to die. So why am I here?

I was mute for five years and suicidal for eight years. At the age of sixteen, I had attended twenty-six funerals.

January 14th, 2006, I found myself teetering on the bridge near my house. Cursing God for making my life miserable, I was ready to take matters into my own hands and dive off. One step away and my phone rang in my pocket. Ironically, I hardly ever carried my phone with me and rarely had the sound on, so I looked to see who it was. To my surprise, it was this girl from school that I had this huge crush on. If it had been anyone else, I would have jumped, but I was interested in why she called. I got off of the two-inch frame and called her back. During the conversation, I found myself walking back toward my house.

That night we started going out and we still are. I love her infinitely and because of her, I will never rethink my existence. I believe there is a destiny out there for everyone, and I found mine. I never ended up where I wanted to be, but I did end up where I needed to be.