This I Believe

Whitney - Rainier, Oregon
Entered on June 6, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

When you’re alone for hours at a time, young and careless, afraid and lonely, the time seems, I believe, to pass slower. The seconds turn to minutes, the minutes to hours, the hours to endless waiting until the sun creeps away to leave only a moon in the sky. I was 8 years old then, a tiny child with long, light brown hair and big blue eyes. My parents would leave every night, never telling me where they were going, but I knew. They said lock the door, for their protection rather than mine, I believe.

My older brother who was 10 at the time was home with me, but even still I felt alone. We were not like regular brothers and sisters. We hated one another with a passion indescribable. I believe there was no trust, no faith, no love in us. When my parents left there was a silence beyond the television, no words passed between my brother and I unless they were insults or vulgar remarks. The locked door kept me inside, but what was inside was what I needed to be protected from.

I believe that trust is a necessity for a family unit to function properly. In my family unit, we had little trust. Parents did not know their children; there was no bond between brother and sister. Mamma’s Boy, Daddy’s Girl. The stereotype we all pulled so well.

When I closed my eyes before I went to bed, afraid of the dark or what was in it. The coyotes howled outside my window, the TV still blared with the radio coming from my brother’s room, and my parents’ car was vacant from the carport. Never tucked in but thrice in my life, I learned that falling asleep quickly was the easiest way to ignore the aching of my heart. The affection that was lacking in my childhood caused me at an early age to start considering my future.

My mother would come into the kitchen with my 4th grade report card, I was 9 now, and she would say to me, “What do you want to do with your life? Where are you going to end up if you have Satisfactory Effort?” I didn’t know. I knew nothing of a real career or wages, or what education could bring you. My father always wanted me to be a free spirit and enjoy life while I could, constantly sending me outside to run around in the sun. However, my mother wanted to keep me inside to finish the dishes and learn to do my own laundry. I began brooding instead of enjoying the outdoors.

And now, as the seconds turn to minutes, and the minutes to hours, the hours become longer and longer. As a 16 year old, it is as if I have spent 30 years getting to where I am now. And I believe that no matter the course or pace of time, occurances will leave you better off than before.