100% non fiction writing piece from seventh grade, edited and revised
|I never believed in writing diaries. I was never good at spilling my heart onto a page like that. I always felt uncomfortable sharing my secrets, even if it was only to a notebook. Even a notebook with a lock made me uneasy. I was never a fan of the idea of a book holding all of your secrets, emotions, and memories. I always thought it was too easily lost, too easily stolen, too easily read by unwelcome eyes. Due to these opinions, you won’t be finding any sort of journal or diary of mine anywhere. Sometimes, though, I’ll be willing to write down bits and pieces of my life. This story is from fifth grade,when a sixth grade boy found out that my mom was in jail.
Since I didn’t live in a very diverse or accepting area, and instead was stuck living in the “happy” city where nearly everybody in my school lived with both parents, had a wealthy enough family to get hoverboards, beats headphones, and the newest iphone, and had little to no family issues, it was a pretty dramatic topic. At first, I was one of the weird kids who lived with her dad and grandma and walked home from school. When word spread that I had a parent in jail for murder, I became the dangerous murderer’s daughter. My peers began leaving anonymous notes on my desk, spreading rumors about me, and speaking unnaturally loud about jail and murder when I was around. For a while, I didn’t care. I didn’t mind their teasing. I told myself that in order to keep from stressing out my dad, I had to handle these problems myself. Eventually, though, their words started to get to me. I couldn’t help it. Words hurt. So I told my grandma, but the only advice she gave me was “don’t let them get to you. Their opinions don’t matter.” I tried to tell her, I tried to explain that it wasn’t that easy. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t that simple.
Despite it not being that simple, I tried again. I tried to ignore their comments, their jokes. For a time, it worked. They weren’t physically hurting me, so as long as I kept my emotions behind a thick wall, their attacks would only bounce off. Then, my lunch started to disappear. After about a week, I just stopped bringing lunch. Since I didn’t want to reveal to my dad that I was being bullied, I never asked him for lunch money. Since I didn’t eat breakfast either, my two meals a day were cut to one. It wasn’t so bad though, because I still had a few friends who gave me some of the snacks that they didn’t want. Even with the random apples and oreos that I received, I still couldn’t ignore the hunger that occasionally crept up on me. So I started walking 1.1 miles to the closest Safeway and spending some of my allowance on lunch foods that I could eat after school. The harsh words from my peers and occasional stomach aches became bearable, and, ultimately, stopped affecting me.
Then a few of my classmates did some research. They started using the names of my mom, the victim of her crime, and the names of the victim’s family in their shared writing pieces. Some people found out that my mom was bipolar and started questioning how emotionally stable I was. My wall, built to shut out anything that could potentially hurt me, began to crumble. I began to realize that I was lying to myself. This was not okay. Whether I liked it or not, their opinions did matter to me. I realized that my wall would not stand forever. I realized that my mental barriers would not save me. I realized that my wall was not only keeping their comments out, but it was also keeping my emotions, my personality, locked in. So I let my walls down. I took down my barriers.
I had heavily underestimated the army of pain and hurt waiting to raid my mind. I had nobody to talk to. My dad was always at work. There were no counselors. I didn’t trust the teachers to keep quiet, because I didn’t want my classmates to see my struggle. I didn’t want them to see that they had succeeded. My grandma wouldn’t understand, having grown up in a somewhat rich household in the Philippines. I had nowhere to turn. I was completely and utterly alone. When hurt entered my mind at full force, I fought. And I failed. I realized denying what hurt me wasn’t working. What was hurting me was the facts. So one day, when I was sitting in my room reading an article about my mom, I decided that I would accept it. So I did. I accepted that my mom was in jail. I accepted that I was a murderer’s daughter. I accepted that there was nothing I could have done to change what she did.
I began to listen when they teased me. I began to fight back again, not mentally, but verbally. When somebody asked me about my mom, I would reply as honestly as I could. I tried to make it as clear as possible that my mom may be in jail, my mom may have killed somebody, but I didn’t. Though the bullies may have left some scars, overall, I like to think that they just made me stronger. They showed me that avoiding and denying you problems doesn’t necessarily mean that your problems are gone, it just means that that you’re putting it off and letting it build up. I’m not saying that nothing can hurt me. Nobody is invincible. I’m not saying I’m strong. I’m just saying that I’m stronger than I was.