Leagh - Tiskilwa, Illinois
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

I believe that tragedies make you stronger. When I was thirteen I started to endure a great amount of abuse. My step-father was very abusive and he threatened me saying that he would kill my mother and baby sister. So I faced the pain and humiliation. I was abused on a regular basis and no one could help. Most of the time, I just felt so horrible that I just slipped into another world. It didn’t feel like I was in the real world anymore, like when Dorothy and Toto weren’t in Kansas anymore.

One night when my mom and I were fighting, I just came out and told her what was going on. She didn’t believe me so she called over one of her best friends and I had to tell the whole story again to her. Finally, they believed me and called the police. The police officers informed us that we should get out of the house just in case they didn’t arrest my step-father before he got home. So my mother, baby sister, and I all got in the car and drove to a hotel in a near by city. We stayed there until the police notified us that my step father had been arrested. My mother and I did not talk to each other for a few days after this happened. I was afraid that she was angry at me.

I had to go through the court process of repeating the whole story on a tape. It took two months just to do that. By then I was so tired of telling my story but I had to keep going.

Soon after, it was in the newspaper and everyone in my small town knew about it. I became the girl that no one would let their children hang out with. Unfortunately my aunt told people about the trauma. She couldn’t shut her mouth about it. Before this event happened I was the “tough girl” at school. No one wanted to get into a fight with me. Now, I was humiliated by the thought that everyone knew about this incident and now I was the abused girl that couldn’t fight against anything. I didn’t want to go to school after all of that happened, but I had to face the kids at school or else I would never be able to face my fears. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” I knew that I would never feel like the “tough” girl again if I didn’t stand up for myself.

I guess what I am trying to say is that whatever bad thing comes along in life and hits you, get up and face it because if you don’t, it will be even harder later on in life. Be strong and never give up on yourself.