This I Believe

Gwyn - Sandpoint, Idaho
Entered on March 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: freedom

I believe in freedom; physical, as well as freedom of choice, of speech, of feeling, of expression, of opinion; freedom to be who you are, to have your life.

Freedom is important to me because once I did not have it; and because of that, I was not able to be the person I actually am. Though I realize now that person was in me along. I was not able to discover and explore this inner person until I got my freedom.

I think that some people may have all the physical freedom in the world, but still not have the freedom to make their own choices or live their own lives; or the other way around. With me, I didn’t have any emotional freedom because of the fact that I was physically confined.

From a young age I was kept shut up in a house. I couldn’t go out in the garden. I could not talk to people. I had to stay in the car all the time instead of going places. Now that I think about it, I am surprised the windows were not papered over to prevent me from seeing. None of it was my fault; and it was done on purpose. It got worse as I grew older. I didn’t just have physical confinement, but I had no freedom to make my choices, to feel the way I felt, to learn, to have my opinions; it was wrong. I still had it in me, but I learned to never voice anything I thought or felt. I never wanted to. It became emotional confinement. It was wrong to do to me. I constantly fought it.

I remember once when I was still really little, the person who was doing this to me was sent to jail for three weeks. I remember those weeks; I was very happy. I played and did things any ten year old ought to.

Since I couldn’t talk to anyone, I started writing. I have been writing since I was very young. It helped me; it was my freedom then. I could tell the paper, and it would not judge me, or try to me believe the way it did, or try to terrorize and hate and beat me for thinking what I thought.

I am fourteen years old, and for thirteen years I was confined. Now I have my freedom. I am able to be a person and live a real life, my life. I can have choices, I can learn, and feel; I can be who I am. I can explore myself and the world that is suddenly mine. I have my whole life ahead of me, and all of it will be free. The only reason that I am here reading this essay is because I resisted this confinement.

I think everyone should have the right to their freedom and their lives.