No More Shame

Alyssa - Harlingen, Texas
Entered on March 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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When I was a young girl, my dad told me, “Big girls don’t cry.” It was because of this that I believe, now, it is difficult to express my emotions. When I was growing up, I never opened up to show my personal life. It always seemed that people saw me in a picture perfect life. I believed that crying is a form of weakness, a pity show (sadly I still believe this to an extent). So when my grandma died, I just sat there in the church and not one tear fell from my face.

I turned this into a skill and now I can hold back my tears, if I want to. Therefore, I grew up with this wall between the world’s perception of my life and the real me.

Then one day in my freshman year, a tragedy struck my family. This misfortune led to a very painful time for me and my family. The hurt was like one I had never experienced before, nor one that I would wish on any person. When I thought this pain was only a bad experience, I found that it actually had a silver lining. Not only did it make our family much closer and stronger, it helped me break down that wall. My emotions could not be locked up any longer. Breaking this down, helped my emotions flow like a stream that had been blocked by debris. By releasing all the built up feelings, I now felt like a regular, normal person who could experience life to its fullest.

I found a growing relationship with new, true friends and my family. The relationship that gained the most was the one between me and my sister. She and I have a bond that will never be broken. I admire her for her strength and incredible positive attitude, and she looks to my untiring love with great esteem and respect. She knows, just like I know, that we will do anything for each other.

Now I can speak my mind about anything. My friends, and even some strangers, will know personal feelings including when I need to go potty or even have a wedgie. This may be more information than they would like to know, but it is a wonderful feeling to be able to express my feelings openly and without reservation or shame. Expressing emotions is a great gift and personal right… this, I believe is the key to happiness!