This I Believe

Daniel - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on October 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in always striving to become stronger physically, and mentally. From my earliest days, I loved cartoons that involved characters with insurmountable strength like the characters in Dragon Ball Z. All the characters handled themselves with complete confidence, and were all strong and respected. These characters were my idols, but after the divorce they became more like symbols for what I had to become to survive this harsh world. When I turned seven, I noticed my parents fighting more and more, and I simply didn’t understand why. Day in and day out my parents would argue and fight, slowly breaking me down. The climax of this conflict came on one fateful night, which I remember all too vividly.

It was around eight o’clock and I was hanging out upstairs playing video games with my brother when my father barged in, and said that we were leaving. Seconds later my mother appeared behind me screaming saying that we weren’t going anywhere. My mother then tried everything she could to get past my father to try and get to my brother and me, but my father was blocking the doorway. My mother was screaming and crying and I could see that she was trying as hard as she could to get past this brute, my father. At the time I was mostly scared, but I felt helpless, I felt weak, my mother who loved us so much was unable to see her two children. I couldn’t do anything, but sit and watch my father push her away.

My father has left a permanent mark on my mother, he has hurt her in ways that go beyond the physical abuse he did against her. Even after my father’s extreme behavior, he decided yet again to do something that would permanently hurt my family. Two years after my father and mother divorced, my father sexually assaulted two girls that were around my age at a mall. Not only had my father hurt my mother, who had sacrificed so much for me, but now he had stolen my pride. My last name, Kozak, was now stained with the crime he committed.

To erase this stain, I will have to become stronger, I will need to fight for good, and do everything I can to regain my family honor. Standing by helpless is no longer an option if I wish to live my life how I want. The only way to impose my ideals and to fulfill them is to become strong. The weak are disregarded, and pitied, yet the strong live on, able to help those who cannot.