Pain is Gain

Amadly - Camden, New Jersey
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe life’s temporary pain leads to a window of opportunity to achieve permanent gain. Just like a mother goes through labor pains prior to birthing her child, or a butterfly experiencing pain from the cocoon’s pressure before it flies, we all experience pain; however, there is a benefit to it at the end. I have been hurt in life to the point of tears, but I am grateful for each painful moment.

Sitting on the train with my back facing the direction of where the train was heading towards, I watched as all the houses and trees passed by and quickly shrunk into small objects until they eventually disappeared. Riding backwards made me feel as though I was in a time machine traveling back into my past. It was then when I began to think of all the hurt I went through as a child. One moment was when my demented uncle molested me when I was only six years old. His “so-called game” was only a moment of pleasure and satisfaction for him, while I was left as a child statistic, scorned, and stripped of my self-esteem. I will never condone what he did, but I do admit that his deranged act has made me into the strong-willed woman I am today.

Instead of growing to hate the world and live in grief over my hurt, I have grown to love, respect and appreciate my body and life itself. That pain has cut me deeply, but it only left a scar. I see that wound now as a remembrance to always protect and value myself. Like a bone that breaks, but then heals to be stronger than it was before, I too healed to be stronger than ever. That moment gave me a new strength that I never would have reached if it wasn’t for first experiencing it. Of course, the pain was unbearable at first, but the end result was more than rewarding.

I never saw my uncle again, nor did my family. He fled the country without a trace of his whereabouts. Most people would want to seek revenge, but I ask, “Why should I seek revenge to a man who has had a hand in making me the determined woman I am today?” Instead, I would rather confront him and say, “Gracias Tio,” or “Thank you uncle,” as it would be said in English. I am thankful for the fact that his painful act did not cripple me, but better yet, caused me to excel. I am now a strong-willed Hispanic woman with dreams beyond great, stereotypes to break and history to make. I am so thankful that my pain became gain.