True Strength

Terrence - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on March 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

In March 1997 I was walking down the sidewalk with a friend of the family’s. I was seven and my friend was eleven. We were run over by car being driven by an underage teenager who was out for a joy ride. I spent the next four or five months in a coma on life support. My mom didn’t pull the plug, but my friend’s mom did. I lived and she died. After the accident, I became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. My mom soon became overwhelmed with my condition, and she decided to relinquish custody of me to the state. My father has been in prison since I was two years old. I have lived in foster care and nursing homes for the past twelve years.

I have discovered what true strength is and used it to help others find the strength within. Going through the pain, helped me advance my state of mind, brought out the best in me, and helped me bring out the best in others that believed in me. When it comes to being paralyzed, my biggest strengths are in my words.

Fighting the battles of self-hatred, alienation, and depression, I wanted to die. Wishing everyday for some way for life to finish. In the beginning I grew bitter of people who were happier than me. I prayed for inner peace to come, and I dreamt of a magical place to escape to.

With the accident, I lost my physical strength but gained an immense amount of mental strength. Suffering from thoughts that beat me down and made me feel despair. I found I also had the strength to feel joy and eternal love.

As a result of my dark thoughts, I have found a way to express myself through poetry, and I give speeches to help others with their life experiences that are difficult to overcome. Filling me with excitement, poetry became a way of life for me. Writing helps to calm me, and helps me cope with the abilities that I’m living without. Pressing forward to prove to others that hope is never lost.

As my collection of poems grew, I needed some where to lock my words into place. Hence, I was able to create a website. My website has helped me expose what I’m all about and explain what my true meaning in reality is.

I believe in the kind of strength born of suffering and despair. That kind of strength has helped me overcome all of my challenges; foster homes, family problems, and countless surgeries. I believe that the joy and hope I feel today was the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and that I could only get to that light with a mental fortitude I did not know I had, but arose in me after my accident. People need to understand that we all have true strength, and that if we never give up, we cannot help but conquer life’s challenges.