Finding Myself

I guess you could say it started when I moved from the small city, to the even smaller town. Dad was under a lot of pressure at work, and I, a very energetic six year-old starting to think for myself. You know, I was wondering why we moved, and why we didn't live on a farm like most of my friends, just wondering why life wasn't easy. My younger brother had just turned 3, and my mom was working, too.

My dad and I started fighting a lot, and he used to hit me until I was black and blue. He told me i was worthless, and that I wasn't good for anything. When he hit me, my mom would tell me I shouldn't have done this, or that, that I deserved everything I got. He never touched my brother - I wouldn't let him.

Things were like this for about 7 years, until I entered high school (grade 8). I realized that I didn't deserve this, and this WASN'T normal. So I spent my first year of high school trying to 'find myself'.

When I started Grade 9, the staff acquired these three young teachers. They could really relate to us as students, and the student body in general took a great liking to them. I finally worked up the courage to tell them my greatest fear - that I would become like my dad.

Between the three of them, they helped me to understand that it was my dad's problem, not mine. I looked up to them, especially one of them. She shared with me her past, about how she went through the same thing (she made out okay, so I figure I will too).

We sat somedays and just talked for hours. They totally understood me, and why I was the way I was. One of them even started crying when I first told her.

Two of them (one I didn't tell until much later) fully understood what was happening at home, and decided it was in my best interest to report the situation to Social Services. Well, for about two hours after they told me I did nothing but scream and beg and plead with them. My words hit them pretty hard.

After I got home, my dad called me from work. He told me how proud of me he was, what a great daughter I was, and how much he loved me. I felt horrible.

I felt like I turned him in, like I incriminated my whole family. The first thing I did was call one of the teachers who had me in tears only minutes before. We talked things out until I was semi-calm and settled. She told me that all she thought about was how horrible she felt for reporting it, but she knew how much she wished someone had helped her when she was growing up.

After all this, nothing came of it. Social Services came to talk to me on a day I happened to be visiting relatives, and never bothered after that. I'm leaving for boarding school in a week, and I'm much more at peace now that I know I have someone I can depend on.

So, in the end, my 'angels' helped me with something previously untouchable. They gave me comfort, self-confidence, reassurance, and peace of mind. They gave me my life back. For that, they will always be, my angels.