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2023 – Violet Conger – HWRA – Fast Forward Charter HS

Jan 20, 2023

I started high school during the beginning of the pandemic, a hard time for all of us. Online school was easier for me, but I strived to have those social experiences like before. A couple of months into my freshman year, my sister tried to commit suicide and was taken away to a mental health facility until she was better. It was a very traumatic experience for the whole family.
The day started like any other: waking up to go to school, sitting through lectures, and sitting with my family at the dinner table. Nothing was out of the ordinary, just some bickering between my sister and I until out of nowhere, she snapped. Punches were thrown and awful things were said. She tried to overdose on the ibuprofen but I knocked the bottle out of her hands before she could, thus leading pills to spill out everywhere. I remember how badly my hands were shaking as I picked up each and every one of those pills. In the meantime, my parents became more involved in stopping this chaos, but things only seemed to get worse. The problem was beyond what we could handle so my mom took on the responsibility of calling the cops.

While we waited for the police officers to arrive, I sat outside in the cold with my dogs because I was afraid to go inside. I recall hearing lots of yelling and screaming so I came running inside to find my sister with a rope around her neck lying on the floor. My father tried to stop her from strangling herself and I remember at that moment just feeling so helpless. Memories began to flash before my eyes as I looked down in shock at my sister. I was completely and utterly terrified.

I heard sirens and saw the red and blue flashing lights coming towards our house. When they arrived, they asked me if I was hurt at all and it took me a moment to find an answer but I simply responded with “no.” They had to handcuff her so she wouldn’t hurt herself on the ride down to the hospital. I still remember the words she spoke to me as she walked out the door. “This is all your fault.” she said to me.

The next week before she arrived home was rough for all of us. I never stopped to think about how it affected me because I was trying so hard to make sure my parents were alright. It took me about two weeks after the incident to finally realize that I was not okay. I broke down in tears and told my mom that I had been having nightmares and flashbacks of the night. We decided it would be a good idea to start going to family therapy and having private sessions with just me.

Throughout all of this trauma, I started falling behind in school and realized I had to get my act together if I wanted to stay a straight- A student. It’s been two years since that night and I have managed to keep my goal to do the best in school that I can and I am now on the path to graduate early. I have realized that no matter what, everyone is going to have to overcome a difficult challenge more than once in their life and that it was hard to learn that I couldn’t dwell on the trauma. The topic still bothers me to talk about but I am better now.

I busied myself with school and I opened up to friends about my experiences and they were able to help me cope with my emotions because in the end, we are not alone. There are those of us out there that want to hear our stories and how they effected us.

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