This I Believe

Kate - fort collins, Colorado
Entered on November 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I remember so vividly the feeling- the mixtures of fear, guilt, and panic. I remember clenching my jaw in agony as my own darkness tore through me. It cut in half every blood vessel in half, leaving dangerous internal bleeding. It sheared every muscle, leaving me unable to move. My nerves were engulfed, leaving my limbs twitching and eager to move, but instead, paralyzed. There was no help for me but a small, white, bitter-tasting pill that left me feeling like an old corn husk; dried out and worthless. Every night, I would lay curled up on my bed, touching barely anything, but still feeling poisoned by the safest surfaces.

These episodes, deemed by physiatrists “panic attacks” occurred nightly, and would not let up until I eventually dosed off late in the night. Doctors told my parents that these feelings were self inflicted, and stemmed from a secret- one that I was not ready to tell.

When I was very young, only in second grade, another student took advantage of my naivety, using me for her own pleasure and abusive fetishes. For two years I was used by this very confused person, who happened to be three grades, two years my senior.

Finally, on my own account, I stopped my abuse. It had been a little over a year. I waited, however, another year to tell me parents. In that year I had wrestled with guilt, wanting desperately to tell someone. I could not, because I viewed the entire situation as my fault.

But in the end, I was strong: I am now fourteen years old, and I believe in inner struggle. The only way for me to get through this was on my own. No amount of Zanex, Prozac, or any other disgusting pill could help me; only I could help myself. Frankly, that is exactly what it took. Whenever I would feel useless, I would strip away every feeling, leaving only logic. I would block out every other distraction until I could delve deeply in my soul and say “I am not a bad person.” Only then was I able to move on.

And then I forgot about my happening, until one day, it came flooding back. I was weaving in and out of shelves in the local bookstore with my best friend, Belinda. Then, I saw her. My breath left me, and quickly I hid behind one of the shelves. My best friend looked at me like I was a crazy person.

“What’s wrong?!”

“Oh my god, Be, it’s her!” I said, tears streaming down my face.

Immediately, her face became blank. Then it became very concerned, and angry. “Are you going to be okay?” She asked.

I realized, then, that I had nothing to worry about. I was the same person I had been when I was younger, only better, my best friend was with me, and I had her support. I smiled.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” I said, wiping my tears away.