This I Believe

BreeLayne - Calabasas, California
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Lifelines of Love

Family is my lifeline. I gain strength from knowing I have a family who cares enough about me to not just hear what I am saying, but to listen to what I have to say. Family will be supportive during the most difficult times. I gain strength from knowing I have a family who believes in me. During the last several years and especially the past few months, I experienced a deep depression. It started with feeling like the third wheel in our family since I was the youngest of three sisters. I felt excluded. Incidences that had occurred demonstrated and suggested that this very feeling was in fact true. As a result I would feel very insecure about my place in the family and often felt very lonely and unimportant. When I began to wear my inner feelings on my face, my family recognized the problem. We struggled together as a team to communicate. I felt safe in communicating my feelings to them after working together to get through some rough times. They helped me to find my voice. It was then that my family truly began to not just hear but to listen to my words. There were incidences in the last year that were too difficult to bear for someone as young as myself to handle. For example, the unexpected deaths of my only grandparent, my grandpa, several classmates and other close family members all within a relatively short period of time. It was horrifying. I was mentally drained and traumatized from the losses one after the other. People around me were dropping like flies. I reckoned that I was sinking into a deep abyss. It was my family that was there to pull me out and back into the light by providing me with emotional support that, in turn, gave me hope. With their unending support I was able to learn how to cope with the pain. I could face the difficult challenges of everyday life but without the fear.

My family helped me to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses. They valued me in a way that thought me out to value and respect myself. Through my family’s constant effort to let me know that I was special and loved gave me the self esteem I needed to feel good about myself. Some incidences took place in order for me to rise up and think positively about myself, such as in an activity which encouraged lifting ones self esteem, several people including myself had to place good characteristics in which we admired about one another into an envelope with each of our names on it. Then, the qualities were read off to us and brought smiles, warmth, and comfort into our hearts. Through my family’s ability to communicate with eachother, we are able to respect each family member’s feelings. Without the support and nurturing of my family I learned to accept the loss of those I loved. Finally, through encouragement and faith in me, my family helped me to see myself and the world in a positive way. I hope everyone can have a family member that they can depend on because they are truly a lifeline.