This I Believe

Andre - Providence, Rhode Island
Entered on January 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I used to believe. that hopelessness and despair defined my childhood personality. When I was younger, life for me was constantly unloving, uninspiring and unsupportive, emotionally, mentally and physically. My mother seemed to constantly be under immense stress, consumed by uncontrollable anger, and always loving someone else, from my selfish point of view. I contemplated my position as the child and why I was the recipient of verbal and emotional lashings; questioning my environment took the place of being a worry free kid. I was always aware that something in my household wasn’t right; I was a product of dysfunction but couldn’t define what that meant. Although I felt it very deeply, I knew it was something I didn’t deserve as a child, a creation, a person brought into the world and not by request. At an extremely young age, after enduring years of emotional and physical abuse by the one person I knew was suppose to love and care for me. No one around me seemed to express concern and the traumatic experiences led to my first real taste of being neglected or unseen. Before I was in kindergarten I was mindful of my status as a victim and began to victimize others.

I was an abundance of goodness, love, positivity, and blackness slowly being broken by an environment where those qualities aren’t embedded in a persons psyche affirming their individual humanity. As times got harder and I grew older, life in my wounded household was not the only problem, I became apart of that problem. The effects of harboring anger and resentment towards my family and surroundings boiled to the point where expressing my feelings wasn’t possible in words. Through intelligent self-critical thought, internalized rage and episodes of hyperventilation I persevered. I used to believe this defined my adolescent personality. I became the breaker, the mental disruptor, a conductor of emotional lynchings on my peers. I told people I had no feelings, no conscience, and no respect for them. I made sure to make other people afraid to accept who they were; humiliating anyone became my weapon of choice. People thought of me as cool and accepted. I attracted an infamous popularity, but what I craved was a thorough goodness, self- love, and consistent optimism. None of which I felt could ever be in my reach. No one ever noticed my armor, how easy it was to break through it or the internal pain that caged my emotions.

This I believe, I am currently a representation of the fact that I have always maintained my ability to love and be loved, happiness and goodness, all in one package. Despite constant attempts by other peoples and my own ignorance I conspired with temporary material need to degrade my consciousness. I am evolving, changing constantly, and I’m headed somewhere deep in my newly elevated consciousness to a peaceful mentality that feels extremely positive and optimistic. I have realized that people, circumstances, places, and beliefs constantly change. I am no longer trapped by negative beliefs and when they do appear they’re defeated quickly. I am thankful to be awake, idealistic, devoted to learning, and no longer a prisoner of resentment, anger and negative thoughts. I am becoming greatness.