In life events occur that change your life forever. At the time it seems as if it's the hardest thing you've ever had to overcome but, later you realize it wasn't as hard as you thought. For me the hardest choice I ever had to make was the choice of life or death. My parents were raised in a time when hitting your children was perfectly acceptable. They were taught that hitting your children would hinder negative behavior. They were neglected in that they were not taught that it left feelings of utter humiliation. I can remember being hit my entire life and to this very day, over a year since the last time I was hit, I can remember vividly what it felt like. It burned and left my arm red then later bruised. It felt as if I had been stabbed, repeatedly. On the inside, I thought to myself that I could never tell anyone because I was too ashamed. I blamed myself, and part of me still does. Throughout the years, the hitting continued, it wasn't every day but, it might as well have been. Every time my parents hit me a little piece of me died and I hated them for it. The abuse had occurred so often that one day I felt my day fade into black. The abuse had crippled me. I was so dead on the inside that I wished I were dead on the outside. I had contemplated killing myself for the longest time. I decided that I couldn't because it would be like letting my parent's win and I could never do that. I had always found comfort in writing to people so, I decided to write to my friend Melissa. I always admired Melissa because she had this great faith. She drew strength from her religion and although I have no religion myself and deny the existence of deities it was still something I admired. Melissa wrote me back with an inspiring letter telling me how much she needed me around. It taught me that friends are the most important things in life maybe even more than family is. I knew that now I could tell Melissa anything and she would never tell anyone and that's what I really needed. I didn't feel ashamed to tell her things. The most important lesson Melissa taught me was that life was precious and that I needed to be here for it. Not everyone gets the chance to be here forever but we should all use the time we are given here to make a difference in someone else's life. Melissa made the biggest difference in my life and I thank her for it every day.

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