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I donít consider my life to start the moment I entered this world. I would love to say it did however thatís just not the case. No in fact I was one of the lucky ones whose lives started later in life. I was breathing, living, thinking for the first fifteen years of my life. However inside I wasnít truly alive. Itís hard to say what its like to walk around the world feeling like a shell forcing a smile on your face even if youíd rather do anything but. Donít let me mislead you there were points in my life that the smiles were real, there were points where there was true happiness. With April winding down I feel obligated to tell about the abuse that happened in my life along with the repercussions and decisions I decided to make that kept me from realizing that I was alive and I had a clear existence.
The first and only time I was ever physically abused was way before I could even open my eyes to see the horror that lay before me. I wish I could comprehend the action of my father as I was slowly maturing in my motherís womb. My father didnít think of me as he reared back his foot and put his force behind it driving it into my motherís womb. At that moment I became a statistic, I became a victim even before I could take my first breath as a separate entity from my mother. For the next several years I would start finding out what real pain was like. When born into a situation full of pain, anger and sadness those feelings start infecting you. The infectious concoction slowly enters your veins and spreads throughout your body slowly taking away any shred of good inside of you and sense of yourself. By five years old I was totally under its influence. I was very hurt very sad and most of all very angry little boy.
I remember how it felt to lose control. I remember the times when I was a young child and someone would take away something I enjoyed. I would get upset and instead of backing down I would take a page from what I learned at home. I would act out. I would take my fists and drive them into the person that took away my toy. I remember one instance when a boy gave a girl I liked a ring. Instead of being hurt, crying and getting over it. With my small hands I grabbed the throat of that little boy and choked him. When entering elementary school things only got worse, teachers saw me as a trouble maker. They saw me as lazy however another obstacle was going to be placed in my way. I was soon diagnosed with dyslexia. The combination of dyslexia and the continuing abuse at home created a perfect storm that would define my life for the years to come.
As I began to grow I noticed I was doing it differently than other kids. As the continued to grow up and reach out to friends I turned inward and began to battle the demons within myself. By the time I was eight or nine, I donít quite remember but I do remember I was losing my battle. At this time the verbal and emotional abuse that was laid thickly into my mind had built up to a point that I would do anything to escape from the pain. My father who was a pastor led me away from God to help me. I never quite understood how my father could stand in front of a church on Sunday and talk about Love, forgiveness, compassion etc and later on that Sunday turn to his children tell them how much they were bad how they were a nuisance tell them things that no father should ever tell their children. When those type of words come from anyone they hurt, when they come from your father they are devastating. I quickly found my life spinning. I began to feel like I was nothing and I began to take my life for granted. I began contemplating suicide to stop the yelling to get some pieced. I help myself for ransom on many occasions to stop my parents from yelling and screaming. I knew if I held a knife to my chest, if I threatened to throw myself down the stairs they will stop yelling at just for an instant I will feel like my life was actually worth something. When you get low enough the only way to go is up. Soon a very bad decision turned out to be a blessing in disguise. That decision was to kick a teacher of mine in the fourth grade. Realizing I had problems I was sent to a class for people with emotional problems. For the next 6 months I looked around and saw the actions of others. I began to realize I had to lead my own life and the only way to do this is to change my path. I knew what I had to do. I took the opportunity to change the way I treated others. I began to deal with my anger. Along with my mother gaining strength to begin to leave my father my life was changing.
When my mother left my father the daily cycle was broken and I was given a second chance to survive. I began to see that there was a light and begin to slowly walk towards it. My mother was able to support me more and more and began to move me towards the light. Soon I began to feel the all the pain, sadness and anger slowly receded from my veins. I became more focused. However just like when any drug is purged from your body it begins the drug begins to fight back. When I was fifteen I began to think I was over my past. I begin to slowly become less and less of a victim and more and more of a survivor. However on a dark winter day I found myself once again caught within the grasp of pain and sadness. It was the first time in awhile I began to contemplate killing myself.
I remember the event so clearly I was playing a game in my basement. It had been a terrible day in school. I was currently doing track and because I was heavy and not doing to well I began to feel the feelings I felt earlier. I thought they were all gone. I begin wondering if I could take the cord and put it around my neck and then around the post to choke the life out of me. I begin to sob. I ran upstairs and began to search for help. It was dark, I was alone at least I thought I was. I began to pray, I was crying my soul was in unrest. I donít know what happened but I believe that day I passed the test. As I prayed the smell of apricots began to fill my house. It soothed me and it opened my eyes. On that day I realized I had a purpose in the world. On that day I was reborn and set on the right path. All in one day I became a complete survivor. I knew my life had purpose and I started living.
I have left a lot of stuff out of this story. There is much much more and there will continue to be more. Here are some things however that I believe you should know. My mother Joan is remarried to my step father Kevin. Kevin is awesome and the real love shines through. My mom is working on a book about her experience with domestic violence along with a book about how to get counseling when in a domestic violence relationship. My sister asks me not to talk about her and I respect her privacy. I myself am no 19. I have gone on to graduate High school with almost honors. My senior year I spoke in front of a packed gym about my experiences. I have also found an amazing girl. The love I feel for her is amazing and she has made a major impact on my life. Through my past I have seen how to treat her and I will continue to remember this as in the long run I hope to start a family. I still have contact with my dad. He is no longer a pastor and has accepted an alternative lifestyle. I have forgiven him with his sins. We used to get along fine however some tension developed and now we are both at a place that satisfies both of us. I will never know if he is truly sorry thatís between him and God. I hope that this will open the eyes of some or remind others. Child abuse and domestic violence is an epidemic in this country. For every survival story like mine and my families there a millions others that arenít so lucky. There is hope out there. There is a light. The following are some hotline numbers. 1-800-799-7233 is the hotline for Domestic violence and 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-222-4453. Education is the only way to stop this epidemic I hope through my story a sense of knowledge will be passed that it can happen to anyone.