It was a sad time in my young heart. Only four years old, and I already knew what it meant to lose. The year was 1990 and my parents were divorcing. I lost the man who was supposed to be there to protect me. My mother married an abusive and mean man. I learned at a young age what it meant to hate, to hate with a passion that I had never known before and never hope to know again. I hated so many people. I hated my mother’s husband for the pain he brought all of us. I hated my father for not being there to protect and love me. I hated my mother for the mistake she had made. I hated my entire family for allowing her to make that mistake. I hated myself for allowing one horrible man to cause me so much hurt. After years of hearing your not good enough, you’ll never succeed, you are a stupid…well you get the point, I have overcome. I have learned to quit hating and to believe again; and I believe in love. I have learned to love in a way that allows room for forgiveness and healing, in a way that allows you to love so completely that anything other than total happiness does not seem plausible. I believe in the kind of love between a child and a mother, between a brother and a sister, between an aunt and her niece. I believe in this kind of love because it has the power to transform a life. From the lowest of lows to the top of a mountain I have risen. I believe in me now. I believe I can succeed. I believe I can save others from the pain I endured. I believe I can save another young girl or boy’s mother from the pain my mother endured. I believe in reaching out a hand to pull up the fallen and put together the broken when they are too terrified to do so themselves. I believe in love’s power to help, to rescue, to heal, and above all I believe in love’s power to bring a family together and let them live happily and in peace.
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