This I Believe

camille - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness
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This I believe essay

I believe in telling my story. Everything, the whole truth, the good and the bad. Telling my story has made me happier, and more truthful. I’m happier because I’ve dealt with most of the sadness, fear, and guilt from when my dad had cancer, and my feelings of self hate.

I bottled my feelings when my dad had cancer, but they still hurt me. I pushed him away in fear of the emotions I would face if he died. Even after my dad got better, I remained distant because my feelings were still there, and I feared the illness would return. Telling my story and going through these emotions fully has helped me be openly loving toward him.

My brother is leaving soon for college. We’re really close and I’m sad about him leaving. I didn’t want him to leave, part of me felt like it was my fault, as if I wasn’t good enough for him to stay. But in later when I was going though the emotions of sadness, I found that this was only what was on the surface. I found out that I was secretly happy he was leaving because I had been comparing myself to him, I love my brother but convinced myself I hated him for being better. Yes, I loved and hated him. Still underneath that, I was actually disappointed in myself for being ‘worse’ than my brother, Grant. Self-hate was my core issue.

I used to think that I was stupid because I had ADD and Dyslexia, and I thought that I was ugly because I had been teased about being skinny. I wouldn’t say a lot in school to avoid the possibility of saying something stupid, and I procrastinated on my schoolwork to avoid feeling stupid. I used makeup to cover my insecurities and so called ‘ugliness’. But now that I’ve finished dealing by telling this story of how I felt stupid and ugly, and going though these feelings, I can love myself now, and life is a lot more fun. I’m confident. I speak up in class, and I can catch myself if I start to procrastinate. I realized I’m beautiful. I’ve accepted the fact that no one is perfect, and that everyone has days where they can’t think straight and make mistakes. I don’t hate myself any more, which feels great. So by telling my story and going though all my feelings, I’ve become happier and closer with my brother and myself too.

I achieved this during my jr.high years at Paideia School. Our homeroom teachers lead us in a creative writing class where we write about emotional distress we have experienced. Our goal is to be to become our complete and honest selves, and be completely honest with others. And by doing that, we can become happier. For me being in this class and working out emotional issues, I have become happier and more aware of others and myself.