Utah seniors share their stories of resilience.
I only have one life, a web strung into complexities that only I know the pain of its creation. Discrediting the human race is to say that resilience is rare: resilience is ingrained into our biology. The challenges I face are their own unique facet of hardships. I was seven years old when I was first molested by a teen neighbor boy. I was playing house with him and he explained to me that couples on tv do it all the time. “It’s fine, just lay down here” I didn’t realize the implications until I was much older. I was fourteen when I was sexually, physically, and mentally assaulted in my health class in middle school. I felt like he had chewed me up and spit me out over and over. I stopped eating. The rare occurrence of sleep was flooded with nightmares that came from the boy in my class. At the time my passion was ballet but after developing chronic pain I had to quit and spend that time getting my blood drawn at the doctors. This spun me deeper into a depression. I remember the day I told my mom what was happening. I curled up in my fathers lap as I sobbed to the sheriff about the bruises on my body and soul. Even after the restraining order, the boy would shout profanites to me in the hall and even came to my door one night to ding dong ditch. The proceeding summer I stayed in my bed, suicidal and hurting. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my body. My mother let me get a kitten that summer. I started a card business for my kitten, I made watercolor greeting cards and applied to be a part of a kids entrepreneur market. My kitten and cards were the only things that kept me alive. Even though I felt worthless, my sweet kitten needed me and my art helped distract me from the pit in my stomach.
Healing isn’t linear. I’ve spent years feeling whole, broken, and the strange in between. Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned is embracing uncertainty, giving grace to others and yourself, and finding peace in nature. I spent my freshman year drained and lonely, sophomore year enlightened in creativity and isolation, junior year malnourished heaving over a toilet and then later on an epic high of antidepressants, and finally senior year in a new school and attending early college. I’ve been able to work through my mental blocks and maintain a 4.0 gpa throughout my healing. It’s hard for me to look back on an era of my life and wish it could be different but I’ve grown so much more once I learned my past does not define me. I’ve found healing in art and I’m pursuing a degree in art education. I am a big advocate of being a positive influence for the younger generation. I hope one day to have a painless body, for my soul to feel whole, and for the flashbacks to fade away. The hardships I’ve overcome have only helped me become more a compassionate, ambitious student. Life is a constant endeavor in which I’m grateful to have chosen to finish my journey. Those chapters in my life have been written, but my resilience can change my future.
About the Author
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