This I Believe

Brandie - Maple City, Michigan
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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Ever since I was a young child, painful memories have followed me like a haunting, dark rain cloud. Consequently, because of the myriad of hardships have been through, I believe that painful experiences make an individual stronger.

Throughout my life, I have experienced many horrid circumstances. However, because of everything that has happened, I have been formed into the person I am now. I am a very strong, bright and enlightened young woman. The reason why I am such a strong individual is, in fact, because of the painful experiences I have overcome.

During my early years of ages six to eight, I was sexually abused by my stepfather. My innocent, vulnerable body was merely used as a fulfillment to his adult desires. Every afternoon, sunny or dreary, I would walk home from my elementary school. It was as if I had to drag my own body down the cracked sidewalk. I had to force myself to walk every step toward the house where he was. My fake happiness would evaporate from my face, the pain clearly present on my young face. I looked like I had miraculously aged at least twenty years. However, the sin I was living is ubiquitous the age of twenty-eight. I was only a young child, this sin was not supposed to happen to young children.

As I walked upon the threshold, I wanted to turn around and run. I would silently promise myself that I would never turn back. I would not take into consideration of where I would go, of what I would do. All I knew is that I wanted to get away from the Hell I was living. However, my obedience led me toward my doom. I would close my eyes and slowly open the front door. The handle pierced my heart with its coldness. My voice echoed throughout the haunting house as I called out “Hello?” I would then hope there would be no response, that maybe I would be lucky and he wouldn’t be home that day. Unfortunately, I was never so lucky; he was always in his bedroom waiting. I was caught in a web of deceit. My innocence was his body’s tasty fly. There was no escape for me. There was nothing I could do.

I knew that I was not going to let this experience ruin my life. I was going to let this experience form my person. There are many children who are sexually abused annually. Unfortunately, most let the experience haunt the rest of their lives. Because of my personal belief that painful experiences make you stronger, I have become the strong young woman I am now.