This I Believe

Catherine - Circleville, Ohio
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Child: Valued Human

Children are some of the most innocent beings on this Earth. Sitting on a park bench, one can observe a line of kids climbing a ladder to slip down a slide over and over again, or watch two kids race to be the first to swing 360 degrees over that pole holding their seat up. They always try to sneak a cookie out of the cookie jar or con their parents into buying them a puppy. Then, there are those crazy phrases that leak out of their mouths. My observations of children over the years and my past experiences are what lead to my belief in children.

I never had the opportunities that most children had. As a young girl, at the age of six, my father sexually abused me. I always questioned why the man who helped to give me life, the man who loved and cared for me day in and day out, would do something to hurt me. There was no logic behind the situation. That never stopped him though, from taking my hand and leading me into my bedroom, closing the door behind us. What happened behind that door will forever be etched in my memory and it has now become a part of who I am.

My family grew up with its array of problems, but what family doesn’t? I lived with four brothers and two sisters. When we weren’t constantly bickering, we played fun games in the basement or performed magic tricks in my brothers’ rooms. Since we didn’t have a lot of money, many of our games were made up. Yet, they were still tremendously fun. What I didn’t know until I grew up though, was that while I was being abused, so were they. My brothers were beaten and my sisters suffered as I did. The sad truth of the situation though, is that my brothers picked up on my father’s bad behaviors.

When my father was removed from the house and placed in prison, my brothers soon took over his job. I witnessed more verbal and physical fights than any child should be exposed to. I have also been a victim to more abuse than any child should experience. By the time I entered middle school, the abusive lifestyle subsided. My brother who sexually abused me was placed in Boys Village where he was saved from those habits. My other brothers either moved out of the house or went off to college.

The years during elementary school were definitely a trying time for me. But, as I grew up, I learned how to cope with my past and soon began to realize how special children really are. Not all children suffer as I have, and those that do need to be saved. I believe in the innocence of children and their value to society. I believe in children.