With This Gun In Hand

I was abused as a child.
I grew up in my grandmother home. I lived with her, my 2 uncles, and my 2 brothers. We lived in a small rented duplex with only 2 bedrooms. I was the only girl excluding my grandmother in our family. My uncles shared one bedroom. My brothers and I shared another. My grandmother slept in the living room in a fold out sofa. I really didn’t know how little money we had, how close to poverty we were but I remember I was happy as a little girl growing up. I truly loved my grandmother and was happy to be with her and my brothers. I don’t know what happened but sometime after those very early years of my life, she started to hate me.
We use to attend church together, my family and I. At that time I was a small child and I never really knew what the lessons were about when we went. I just knew we were there for almost 2 hours on Sundays and at the end of the service we would go out walk home and play. It was easy getting to there; the church was right across the street from us. As time passed and my thinking developed I came to a decision. I didn’t want to attend church anymore. I honestly hated being in that place. The music was always too loud and more and more I thought on the lessons, nothing made sense. So around age 7 or 8 I got up the nerve to tell my grandmother that I didn’t want to go anymore. She would still force me to go. Often she would tell me, I was a demon and evil that’s and why I didn’t want to go. So I sat there in a place I didn’t want to be in, in a dress I didn’t want to wear, listening to words that contradicted themselves, and watching hypocritical people, including my grandmother whisper to each other. When I could no longer take it, I wouldn’t even get dressed for Sunday’s. I think that when most of the trouble, the abuse began.
When I refused to go my grandmother would spank me, sometimes with her hand, sometimes with a belt, and sometimes with other implements such as a stick. When I would no longer respond to her hitting me, our eldest uncle would be the one to administer the punishment. I remember the feeling of semi-soft leather striking my hands making them burn with pain, I remember the thumping sound of an open palm colliding against my temporal bones leaving me dazed and disoriented. I remember having to pull down my pants shaking in fear before either he or my grandmother would strike my legs, or my rear end harshly making me cry in pain. I wasn’t the only one this happened to. My brothers would also experience what my grandmother called discipline and what I deem torture as well, but for different reasons than mine. To this day I’m still dreadfully afraid of them both. The ironic thing about all this, is remember hearing in church many times, about the fear of god and how this fear was considered to be the love of god. I guess god was teaching me love through my family. Its ironic isn’t it.

Over the years I became depressed. At the time when I didn’t know I was. When you’re a kid you don’t understand what’s going on with yourself, with what’s happening around you so you assume that whatever happens is normal. I started overeating to cope with the sadness I was experiencing in those days, so I was always overweight as child. I didn’t know anything about proper nutrition to begin with and it’s not like we had money to buy healthy food. All I knew was I just hurt, so I just ate whenever I could to make the pain go away. Food tasted good and brought a little happiness every time I ate so it must have been good to eat.

Before long my older brother would make fun of me about it. He would call ugly and fat other things that I would not like to mention. We grew up together and as all siblings do we sometimes get into fights with each other. I remembered never being able win a fist fight against him. I never learned how to throw a punch. I guess we each had issues, because my brothers and I never knew who our fathers. And yes I said fathers not father as I would come to find out later in life and we didn’t live with our mom either. Until the age of 5 I had always assumed my grandmother was my mom. Since we all shared a room it was hard to find time to ourselves, we didn’t to have any personal space to go to when we were mad at each other; my younger brother included though he was the most docile of us. I guess people are like planets, the bedroom we shared was our galaxy, and like all planets we each need our own orbits otherwise worlds collide. And they did. Sometimes with small bumps like taking each other’s toys that resulting in fits of crying from any of us. And sometimes with explosive force like when, for whatever reason, we would resort simply to hair pulling and fist pummeling. As I have said before I never really could fight. Sometimes our collisions would extend beyond the bedroom. That’s when the Titans of our house my uncles and my grandmother would get involved. Order was restored swiftly as we stood before these overwhelming gods, the overseers of our worlds, and tried desperately to explain the reason as to why fought one another or defend our innocence whenever something in the house was broken. The solution dealt out was often harsh a group spanking from one of our uncles, or a single person being made example off. I admit, as sad as it is, I was relieved when it wasn’t me.

But even as our little planets constantly exploded with one another, the universe outside our home still went on. And so I grew up in a dysfunctional home, no one outside it the wiser. There were days I just sat in closet trying to pretend I wasn’t there. I hate to admit this, but I tried to pray. Who could I ask for help? So I sat quietly praying hoping, god or Jesus would hear me. Im such a ******* idiot for believing such things.

I will say that I had some happy times in my family, like the time we got bikes from goodwill one year, the time we got rollerblades from them the next year, and Christmas time wasn’t so bad. We even had a plastic tree with little sequence Christmas lights covering its artificial branches. They’d vibrantly glimmer with colors of green, blue, and red throughout the quiet evenings. Sometimes the small Sunglow colored blubs would be set to flash very slowly in the night. They’d make a trail of moving light that led a path to the top of the tree. I formed the illusion of a tiny invisible person was walking through the forest that was Christmas tree as I watched at night. Sometimes those same lights would be made to flash wildly, giving off a mesmerizing glow of maize and cream colored light. They reminded me of the evenings when I used to look up at the stars see them twinkling in the distance, lost in the vast ocean of black.

My grandmother was a good cook too; she made the best garlic eggs you could have ever eaten and many people who bought them enjoyed them as well. She supplemented her income by selling 2 eggs for a dollar to kids in the neighborhood even the adults love them.
I had a gift for reading as well. Whenever reality became too hard endure I would open a book I had taken from my school library. By time I left 6th grade I had already read The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Gulliver’s Travels, To kill A Mockingbird, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and a myriad of lesser titles and novels which I cant recall. I guess the books that make an impression on you are the ones you remember the most. My lexicon was even used to help my grandmother decipher The Old Testament and the New whenever she came upon a word she did not understand. Quite a few verses which confused her at times. She had stopped attending our old church, said it was full of lairs and hypocrites. So she becomes a gypsy, a wander who traveled from one church to another, trying to find god within the confined walls of each one. It didn’t hit me until a few years ago, she never really had the chance had a good education which is why I think she bare a lot of animosity toward me. I find it odd, I was the one refused to go to church but ended up being the one to teach my grandmother a few lessons. But if given the chance I would give all the blood in my body and all my internal organs I have, just to be spared from having been born into that family or maybe being born at all. I’m an organ donor by no coincidence.

As I got older the beating got worse, I remember one day I dare to challenge my younger uncle. I had said something or did something he didn’t like. I remember racing to the bedroom, my sanctuary at the end of the hall and slamming the door. I sat against it trying to keep him from opening it, trying to keep my uncle from getting in and hurting me. He got in no matter how much effort I’d used. He kicked me in the head when he got in, after that thing are a blur.
All the while my grandmother’s hatred of me got worse. I was washing the dishes one day. I wasn’t even tall enough to reach the sink so I had to stand upon a chair. I don’t know how young I was but I remember standing next to me. Telling me that if I ever got pregnant she would kick me out. I didn’t know what she was talking about and I was young and I never really thought of sex, all I wanted to do was watch Sailormoon in the morning and go to school. When I got home I would go to the bedroom to do my homework and watch television with my brothers. But she kept calling me names like ***** and ****. I don’t know why she would say such things or where they would come from. I just stood there crying washing the dishes listen to my grandmother bad mouth me. I could never get them clean enough. I remember saying in tears to her, ”I’m not you I don’t know how to clean them the way you want.” My brothers didn’t have to clean the house because they were boys. My grandmother would tell me I was a girl so I had to do them. Any time I spoke back she would tell me I had the devil in me. She started comparing me mother, tell me how she would open her legs to anyone and I was just like her. I let you all in all know, I was virgin until the age of 19. I never been on date before, I had never gone to a party with a boy, hell I’ve never been invited to one. I wanted to push on the ground some days and tell her with all the fury I could muster, “If you hadn’t open your legs then maybe I wouldn’t be here would I? “ As I knew we didn’t have a grandfather, so must have not been any virtuous woman herself. But I kept that to myself. I was sure if I had said or did something like that to her I would have been beaten senseless by my uncles.

Her tactics of scaring and scarring me religion become more and more frequent. Telling me things like Im evil for not wanting be in church, or god will kill you for speaking my mind. Or the main one of I was going to Hell. Can you believe this people? Telling an adult telling a child they are going to hell. A place of burning and eternal suffering. Where anyone body who does not accept this almighty Jesus Christ as their savior, is considered equal to a rapist or murderer. So from ages 5 to 18 years of age I literally thought if I died god would take me to hell. The mental and emotional stress placed on me was cruel. Ive come to realize that this is tactic used by religious people to in order to scare other into submissions and blind obedience, to get what they want. And if doesn’t work they will bully or even use force if they thought there would be no repercussions. Im grateful I live in America for freedom of religion.
Continuing, my eldest uncle once hit me in head while I was washing dishes. I dropped a glass cup I was holding at the time. He yelled at me called me stupid, ask me why I dropped the cup. “I told him because you hit me,” in tears. I ended up having to pick up the mess and finish the dishes. Sufficed to say I hate doing the dishes. It brings back bad memories.
As far as the outside world was concerned I wasn’t allowed to go places like my brothers who went to their friend’s house and had sleep overs. I never really had any friend’s houses to go to. So after school I would come home, do my homework, and walk to the local store with a dollar or two to get some snacks. Other than that I never really left the house for anything. I never had any make up or some of the girly things you’d expected most girls to have. I did have a doll and a set of pink plastic teacups, but for the most part I grew up a neutral child. Not really girlish nor tomboy, at least not purposely. America is a sad place to be, if you dress up in nice clothes or wear makeup you’re not considered a girl. Turn on tv watch a few shows, how many homely women do you see? I will say that I did enjoy going to my elementary school. No, I loved going to my old elementary school because the teachers there were wonderful great to be around. I think it was my haven from home.

Later on something had happen to my aunt and so her four children, 2 younger girls and 2 slightly older boys came to live with us. So now 10 people were living under one roof in a 2 bedroom house. I recall my grandmother having a hard time trying to manage my cousins. I think they were more resilient and clever than I had ever been. They grew up with my aunt, so they had self-respect for themselves, something that I don’t think I had. They stood up to grandmother in their own way they would call the police if they had too when thing got to really bad. But not before I had my share of grief from the boys, I will go into to it later.

Eventually we moved to some apartments down the road. It was three bedrooms on the second floor the first building. My uncles got a room to themselves, so my cousins got their room with a bunk bed. The girls slept on the bottom while the boys were on the top. And my grandmother, brothers, and I share the last; my ground would still sleep on the fold out sofa in the living room. My grandmother worked as a house cleaner but couldn’t afford to pay the rent for the duplex anymore. So we lived in government housing. I guess there are many of you out there who think people like us are just trash and worthless, but as I live and breathe I’ve seen it only takes one trashy person with money to ruin the lives of many good hard working people. Then turn around and use the poor as a scape goat, but I guess this is what you call human history. Its not even history it still happens every day.

With a new place to live came a new elementary school. School district zoning had forced me to go a school that required me to wake up an extra hour earlier and sit on a bus for an additional 30 min. That’s not something that’s good for an overweight girl, who could have easily walked to the same elementary school she had gone to for years. In fact my old elementary school was closer to where I was now living. With the bus ride came something that was not new to me, rather it came in a new a form. A school bully.

Her nickname was Peaches. She was fair of skin, at least fair compared to me, lived in the same complex as I, and was the popular miscreant among my fellow schoolmates. For next 96 days she would make my bus rides a nightmare, and for the entirety of my school year I would have to live with the *****’s, and I do use the word *****, repercussions. I don’t know how I caught her eye but from the moment we met she decided make sport of me. Some days on the bus she would pull my hair. I tried a lot of times to ignore it or I would sit on the edge of my sit to avoid her hands grasp. Other days I tell her to stop but my voice was weak and measly. She would just echo my words back in a condescending tone to insult me. She didn’t like my voice for reason; she said I spoke like a certain type of girl. My voice was neutral and I used proper English, at least in the American since, whenever I spoke. Her vernacular included slang and her voice was what people would deem “a stereotypical ghetto tone.” I did whatever I could to sit as far as possible away from her but it turns out she had friends, or a pack I think is the proper word. If I went to another seat the boy behind me would throw paper in my hair or pull things out of my back pack when I wasn’t looking. Perhaps they were just having a laugh or maybe they were picking on the person would offer least resistance. Whatever the reason was one thing was certain; she was making fun of me at my own expense which lead to others doing the same. Telling the bus driver of my plight only made things worst. When they were called out for their actions and their parents soon after properly informed the bullying it stopped for a few weeks. It was like a vacation from hell. I didn’t have to worry about this girl or her evil little minions tormenting on my way to school. So the rides become pleasant, enjoyable. I tell you a solemn truth, it’s really nice to watch the clouds go by on a bus. The way the sunlight refracts upon the surface of them in the early morning is breathe taking. The hues Iris and blue-grays coupling with Amaranth pink, Puce, Red Rose, mixed into shades of Chinese, African violet, and Thistle were not lost on me. And the glorious sphere of the golden sun rising set the eastern sky aflame in tones orange and red-orange. Like a mighty god waking from its long slumber who’s very presence is the form of passion, fury, and life burned into my mind’s eye. To me the sun was a woman whose home was the sky and the clouds of violet and pink was her blushing face. A goddess in living mural that that changed day by day, hour by hour, second by second.
After my 3 weeks reprieve the teasing and the taunting returned only this time with a focused hate. There was hurtful whispering of me behind my back, spits balls ended up in my hair, and worst of all I was left sitting alone from everyone else. Regardless of where I was on that rolling metal contraption I was the hated rat, I was the tattle-tell. And it didn’t end with the bus ride. There were times at school they caught me between classes. Snickering and laughing me in passing because I was overweight wearing used clothes. I didn’t talk much in class, I just tried to keep a low profile as much as I could and finish my assignments. When the bell rang at the end of the school day, I would rush to the bus area hoping I was the first kid in line to get on the bus. That way I could sit up front or in back. It was a lot harder for them to tease me when there was physical distance.

During the last days of my hell, Peaches decided to continue with her regularly schedule appointment of belittling me. I turned around and with tears in my eyes I started to swing my fist like a helicopter blades that had be tip on its side. I didn’t land too many hits, and when I did they were pretty weak. I think that’s the first time I ever exploded. The kids on the bus start yelling the typical words you would expect to here, “fight, fight, a ****** and white.” I assumed they were referring to me as was the white, since told everyone I talked like a white girl. She was mixed I think Hispanic and something else I couldn’t tell. It’s funny, because the people who picked on me most as a child people who were minorities as well. Over the years I had come to hate the color of my skin, but that a story for another time. Anyway that was the last time Peaches had ever dared to insult me on the bus. The bus driver informed the school of what had happen, the school inform her parents and grandmother. She and I were both suspended from the bus for a week. When we were allowed to return she sat with her friends quietly talking with them. They didn’t take a liking to what I had done. If they disliked me before then they must have hated me now. Whenever I turned my head on the bus her friends would stare daggers at me. I sat by myself, I guess now I was label the angry fat girl in their minds. People are really blind when they want to be.

I hated having to leaving my old elementary school. Whose teachers were bright and kind. Whose classes were educational and fun. A school where I could get up and sing our alma mater aloud with pride. Where I could go home with a smile on the end of the day. A school which recognized I smart so they placed me in a gifted classes. But here for my the year of elementary, at this new school I was socially inept, and easy target for predator. A bully nick named Peaches.

And what of my family and home? My brothers had distanced themselves from me when this change in schools occurred, most of the kids at school didn’t know my brothers had a sister. We didn’t share the same facial traits so no one could tell. My eldest brother was a Mesomorph with a voracious appetite. In time during his high school years it would come to serve him well. He joined the football team. My younger brother was a tall, lean ectomorph of a delicate build. I think because he was tall no one really messed with him, even a few girls had their eyes on him. I was an endomorph, round and pudgy. So it didn’t surprise me when I got to middle school, people would ask if I was so and so brother. Sometimes I’d say no.

Anyway at home things were the same. I remember being 11 trying to take a bath; I use to have horrible menstruations. I just wanted the bleeding to stop and I didn’t know anything about my body so I just stayed in the water praying for the bleeding to stop. She came into the bathroom, my grandmother and standing over my naked body, told me how ugly, fat, I was. Pointed out the fact that I had more stretch marks on my body than she had on hers. I just sat there in the water listening to my grandmother, crying at my ugly self. She told me I bled like a pig.
My cousins, the 2 boys, would sometimes watch me take a bath. Whenever I caught them I started to yell and tell them to stop, we had a simple lock on the bath room door. It was easy to open all you need was a butter knife to twist the mechanism so I couldn’t even keep the door locked. My grandmother heard me one day. When I go out of the bathroom I told her they had been looking at me. All she said was so. She said my body wasn’t special. The oldest uncle I had caught them in the act one time, I shamefully admit I was happy to hear them crying when they got a spanking. After that they didn’t bother me in the bathroom ever again.

When my mom finally came to visit us, I didn’t know what to say or do. I was always told she was a bad person. So I ignored her. She was sick dying from AIDS. I didn’t know this at the time. It’s so ******* ironic, I remember one day she was lying in bed. And she reached her hand out to me. I simply ignored it. I thought she was a bad person. I shouldn’t be around bad people. She was didn’t live with us so I didn’t know her.

One night several days later, I woke up. I don’t what woke me up, I tried going to the bathroom but then I stopped. I heard angry chatter coming from there. The door was cracked so I quietly peeked inside. It was my grandmother and my mom. My mom was so sick that night, she tried to go to the bathroom, but she didn’t make it to the toilet. So when my grandmother found her she started to ridicule her. Called her all sorts of names, I cannot remember what they were exactly but what I do remember is what I saw. I saw my own mom, crying on the stool still covered in her own filth being yelled at by her mother, my grandmother. The worst part is after she brought my mom to tears I she pick up a bible and started to read it to her! I thought to myself is that god love? I felt a lot of regret for those times because I didn’t do any to protect her. She left our home a few days later. She went to live with a man I didn’t know. They lived in a little trailer park not too far from us. I don’t know if that man ever really loved my mom or if he wanted her for money she was getting from the government due to her condition. Because whenever we would visit her, my younger brother always insisted on going to see her, she would be drinking or smoking quietly outside. I don’t like smell of smoke either. She’s probably the reason why I never took up smoking or drinking. I don’t know what she thought of me as a daughter but I don’t think was too proud of me. I didn’t visit often. For a long time, I hated her. I just never said it. She moved later on to another city.

Somewhere in that time I developed bought of bedwetting. I don’t know if it was a medical condition or psychological condition that caused it. I just knew that when I woke up in the morning and the bed was wet, I would frantically try to clean out the stain before anyone in the house found out. The wash cloth I used smelled like a blend of Palmolive, bleach, and urine. I did my best to keep my grandmother from discovering it, but when she did I faced a ridicule so intense I do not wish to talk about it.

I always cried to myself in the bathroom of that apartment. It ******* pathetic, the person that I am. Its so ironic. I was in the bathroom, the same place my mom was being chastised by a bible fearing woman in an hour of weakness, that I, I myself praying to a god I didn’t believe in! I write this write this tears and anger in eyes and heart.

That last I had seen of my mom, was in my 12th year of life. She had moved into a nice apartment by herself. I can’t remember if she was still seeing that man but when my brothers and I had visited for a few days I saw no one else stay there. She would smoke in the living room and we would look around the place because it was new to our eyes. I never really got out much so when I came it was nice to be in place that wasn’t as crowded as our grandmothers apartment. I didn’t speak to my mom much. I just didn’t know what to say. Our youngest brother’s birthday came around while we were there. I was amazed, we had never really celebrated birthdays before at least not mine. We couldn’t afford too. On my cousin’s birthdays, gifts would be sent from their mom, sometimes in nicely wrapped packages, and other times with none. We as young kids would get jealous, we had never received such nice gifts. My brother got an Oreo cookie cake and we all shared it around the table. Near the afternoon I took my rollerblades went skating in the outside parking lot, when I returned I heard yelling coming from outside the door. My older brother was the closest to my mom of all of us. I guess he had memories of when he use to live with her. He ended up one day, just screaming at her. He had tears in eye and hurt look upon his face. I heard words like “why did you leave us with her, our grandmother, I hate you, how could you.” My mom was just holding her hand over her face, covering the shame from her own eyes I could have sworn her tear were bleeding. She was shaking violently, and because of her condition she was always pale and thin. I did what I had done before, I said had said nothing. The day ended and next day we had to go back to our grandmother.
If there is a god I don’t think he cared let alone loved my mom.

When the following months came, on my home from school, I found out the news of her death. My younger brother told as I was walking up stairs to our apartment. Back then it didn’t faze me much. She was barely around; how can you miss someone who was almost like a ghost in your life? My grandmother was distraught, though I wondered how she could ever be so sad. This was after-all the same woman who had the nerve to yell at her in an hour of weakness, and then preach to her about this so called goodness of god. So went to Saint Petersburg, the place where my mom would soon be laid to rest.

I wasn’t sad at the wake ceremony, I wasn’t sad at the funeral. I don’t even remember her being laid into the ground. I do remember seeing her body, she was pale, and had blue lips. The funeral home where it was placed almost reminded me of a church. It may have been a church. So if it was a church then it must have been the grandest way you could have used to **** the deceased over. And of her death I can say no more.

The bullying at home and in middle school continued though. The place where I lived had only one school I could attend. I endured bullying, from having my personal affects stolen to having my feminine pads taken from my backpack and thrown outside the class. I did best to ignore all this as well. I was lucky to have found a group of friends at school. We sat together during lunch. They were very intelligent friends, each with their own unique personalities and qualities. The kind of things our sex driven society could never really see in girl those ages. They were kind and fun to be around, we told stories to one another. I don’t know how I came upon such nice friends but I relieved to had people to talk with, bond with. Though I never told them about my home life. I think we were the social outcasts at school. Nerdy, short, fat, and ugly some would say. Our table was far removed from the girls who were popular and liked. I can still remember those girls’ names, but for the sake of anonymity I will not reveal them. Anyway I would sometimes watch these girls during lunch time, they seem happy, always smiling. They always got attention from boys; they were in the drama class as well. They were tall, pretty, with long hair, nice clothes to wear, even some real jewelry. They were the prom queens and the schools news casters so on so forth during high school years. I never really spoke to the, they had no need or want to speak to me. I just envied them. But somehow some way, our paths would cross but for now I will speak of middle school.

During middle school we had gender separated classes, which was not bad. We could focus on our work without the distraction of boys, or hormones. I had 2 of the most amazing teachers that ever graced a class in mine. My 6th grade and 7th grade algebra teachers. Oh how I wish I could tell their names but as I’ve said before I cannot. I never enjoyed learning so much back then. Equations, quadratic formulas, constants, variables, there was so much to learn. Both teachers were astute and clever. Each lesson was planned and taught with attention and focus. Whenever a question was asked, it was answered in a quick and accurate manner. The classes were held with dignity and grace. When things got too rowdy they weren’t afraid to put their foot down do that order would be restored. But they were not too strict either, like some teachers who could suffocate an entire class with just 50 minutes of a lecture. I guess that’s what I liked about them most. They had the perfect mix of educator and leader. Not too harsh not too soft. They were both geniuses in my eye. Needless to say I got A’s and B’s in their classes. I wondered if this is was what it felt like to be in college. I liken my 6th grade teacher to an avatar of Saraswati. My 7th grade teacher, a noble sage of old age bringing the light of wisdom wherever he went. Sadly my died my 6th grade teacher died of cancer near the end of the school year. It saddened me to see her go. The woman who replaced her did her best to fill in our lost teacher’s shoes, but the class was never the same for me. And so as all things are in this reality, time moved on. I miss my brilliant teachers of 6th and 7th grade; conductors, whose score was math and their orchestra the minds of students brimming with potential. The music they made a sublime symphony for me.

My year of 8th grade geometry was not to be so enlightening. A new policy came into play that year and boys and girls were now destined to be united as a whole in the galaxy called class. I ended having a teacher he spoke Spanish during in class. He’d let the kids joke around during class and even allow them to grade papers. I didn’t feel like I was in class at all. I felt like I was in the circus. The rambunctious boys were roaring animals who made spectacle for the crowd, the gossiping girls the prized prancing ponies, and the teacher the beloved ringmaster. I recall raising my hand to ask a question, the way I worded it came out, well, just plain stupid. A Hispanic boy 2 columns to my left made a joke of me in Spanish, the class erupted into laughter. In just a few jumbled words I became the *** of this circus.I failed that geometry that year. Partly because my lack of understanding, partly because I was too afraid to ask a question for fear of being ridiculed, and partly because I could not grasp the teacher’s methods of teaching. He spoke some words in Spanish during the lessons, what was I to do? But in his defense most of the kids did speak Spanish. I had to retake geometry in summer school something that was quite bitter sweet. Bitter because I had to take the course again and sweet because it keep away from home.

My friends and I stayed together throughout middle school all the way to high school. Life continued as it usually did and so now we were in high school. The word new would be my word of choice for my transition from middle school to high school. New teachers, new classes, new subjects, new books, new students, new clothes for others, new rules, and so on but I again had old issues to deal with. I had caught the attention of another bully, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why the hell this one had her sights so dead set on my humiliation. She would call me names and push me, sometimes spit on me if she had the chance. She even threw a rock or two. This went on for weeks, I didn’t even know the girl’s name or why she was picking on me. One day after leaving school she was followed me with a bunch of other kids. She was insulting me in front of all the other kids, as I tried to get home. Calling me a ***** out loud; the humor of this is not loss on me, I am damn female after-all. She threw rocks at me. I stopped, turned around, and told her to leave me alone. She wouldn’t. So I tried to fight back, I tried to hit her. I missed, then she punched me in the stomach so hard, I fell on the ground. I just balled up with my eyes closed waiting for her and the other kids to start kicking me, like what happened to me at home. I wasn’t sure how long I stayed on the ground but it must have been several minutes before I finally I realized no one was standing over me anymore. I think maybe teacher or an adult saw them, so they ran away. I walked home that day and didn’t say a thing to my family. Who was I going to tell, who could I confide in?

By then I think I developed a severe case of depression. I would not go outside the house for any reason other than school. When my friends would ask me to visit their homes for sleep overs I would just say no. I also had to permission from my grandmother to go and that was a bridge I would not even attempt to cross. I sometimes would take food from the fridge without permission to cope with the pain. I was deemed a theft in my grandmother house. Which is funny, because she claimed me as a dependent on her taxes every year, and every month she was given cash assistance and food stamps for all us in that house. I was so sad. I began daydream of finding a rope and looking for a place to hang myself at school. I could see my lifeless corpse swaying to and fro the gentle breeze as students would look on in shock. I had written the names of all the people who had hurt me over the years on paper in blood, and made sure every locker in school had one in it. I wrote a suicide journal for all to see, and I posted it on every forum I could find. So the people who hurt me couldn’t hide from anything. When I woke from day dreams I began to way the options of whether or not I wanted to go through with it. On one hand I would finally be free of my own pathetic life, on the other hand a crippling fear of going to hell for do such a thing torment my mind. I wonder if there is such thing as spiritual abuse, if there is then I definitely had it. My grandmother made sure of it. If didn’t clean I was going to hell, If I spoke for myself I was going to hell, if I didn’t do as I was told I was going to hell, if I had a different opinion I was going to hell, if I listen to music other than church music I was going to hell, if I had questioned authority, if I wanted to go out some where I was going to hell, if I was around a boy I was going to hell. IF I HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG AT ALL I WAS GOING TO HELL! IF I WAS BORN I WAS GOING TO HELL! How I wish I could recant the seething anger and bitter frustration I felt in these words too you. And sadly yes I did literally believe I was destined to be in hell. The days I spent trying to petition god for deliverance from my plight would extend well beyond a decade. From the time I was able to form coherent thoughts, I began asking for god help. I would go to the closet of our old house pray to god for help. When we had moved to the apartments that place became the bathroom. So many unanswered prayers so many unanswered questions. Why did you leave me with this woman? Where is my dad? Why is my grandmother so mean to me? Why she hate me? Why was I born? Why am I here? Why is my skin this color, I hate this color? Please change it. Why do you hate me? What did I do to you? Why won’t those kids leave me alone? No answer would come.

It got to the point where I could do nothing more than sob in defeat. Until a day came, as I was curled in the bathroom floor, a thought drifted into my head. I hate you. It came. I hate you. There it was again. I hate you. It spilt from my lips. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. I keep repeating it like on ancient mantra. I hate you. In that moment I felt like the honest truth in my heart come out. I yelled in the loudest voice my lungs could. I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! What more could I do besides hate a god who never answered my prayers? I began to think if I was god, I would have made sure to protect humans, my creations from any harm. If I was god slavery, rape, and murder would never exist. You are the cause of every evil or bad thing that has ever happened. But for all my accusations and who could punish god for all god’s brutality and cruelty. I know many people religious people out there will call me a blasphemer, a heathen, or a fool if you must then do so. Some you of you may ask why didn’t I run away? I wish I would have. I if I could go back in time, I would have taken all the money I could find in that house bought a bus ticket and take it as far as I could get away from that place. But I had no clue how the outside world worked. I didn’t know anyone who could help me. My grandmother use to say to me I should have let the state take you in so you could and let them you get raped. Yes she said that to me. I was 8 years old. I had nowhere to go. I didn’t what I could do? I just knew the only place I had was here. Somewhere in my heart I wished I was a demon. A dark and savage part of me wished I torture each and everyone them the bullies and my family for what they done to me. To hurt them and make them suffer as I did. If there was a devil I would gladly traded my soul at a chance to torment there’s. I would not put them out of their misery, I was going to find ways to make they pay.

As my emotions and mind suffered so did my grades. I went from being an A B student to getting C and D’s. It no longer matter to me because in my mind god was going to kill me anyway and take me hell. I think my 10th grade English teacher was the only person who had any inkling of there being something wrong at home. I suffered a week long absence from school. When he asked what was the reason for my missing class, I simply replied wasn’t feeling well. I think he tried to ask me a few more question, but all I just wouldn’t say what was wrong. The truth was I could not find the strength or the reason with in me to get out of bed that week. My grandma left me alone that week too. I don’t know what is was but she just keep minimal contact with me.

A few of the teachers in my high school were not the brightest people I would come to meet. The football coach was the history teacher, not that it was a bad thing, but I always wondered. What were his qualifications for teaching history? Some teacher’s seemed to be going through the motions of teaching and others really cared. Anyway during final exams in high school one of these teachers had the “bright idea(sarcasm)” to allow the students to grade test scores. And well I will tell you, the smartest friend we had, a brunette, who wore braces and was of Jewish decent was cheated out having the highest grades in all the school. These girls, who turned out to be friends of the schools valedictorian. She was only the valedictorian because of what these girls had done. They had a hand on my friends test sheet. They changed her answers on her test paper! And it turns out they had been helping each other like this all through the school year. They were the pretty and pretend to be nice, so no one suspected them of doing a such a bad thing. And if they had been caught the teacher let it slide.I never say tears in my friends eyes before till that day. Thinking about what happened to her, brings tears to my eyes as well. Tears and a burning wish to see those cheating girls get in return 10 times what they had given so cruelly. They were blessed with beauty and popularity, was that not enough to be satisfied with? Why take away the hard work and sacrifice of another student? I don’t if my old friend was ever able to have this issue resolved, but I think she somewhere off in college now. She was brightest amongst us, so I have no doubt that she went to a prestigious place.

I had learned to during my last 4 years in my grandmother’s house to just be quiet and take whatever she had to throw at me. I could see her old age catching up with her. Some grey hair here and there on her head. I was beginning to see she was only a human. A human who I unfortunately shared the same bloodline and gene pool with. But in some crazy way, I still cared for my grandmother. She grew up in a time where she didn’t have a lot of opportunities. She probably had a ****** family too. I know a lot people will say that not true, black people are just lazy people looking for hand -outs, all they do is complain. I would like to examine the history of great civilizations and major religions. There have always been a people in any country, regardless of any race or religion that have been used or discriminated against. Someone has always suffered at the hands of others. Whether it was the Roman Empire’s use of slaves, Nazi Germany genocide of and the Jews, settlers and the Native Americans, corporations that outsource jobs to country that have slave wage labor. In this day and age it’s seems like anyone who doesn’t have a lot of the color green is the man target now. So many home foreclosures from banks raising mortgages, wrongful terminations, Wall Street fiascos, I find there to be something dreadfully wrong when a banker is given a million dollars bonus after a stock market crash; need I say more? Anyway I still loved her in some perverse way.

There’s a lot more I could talk about, but I fear more words are nearly at an end.

After leaving my grandmother house, I’ve dealt had to deal with a lot. I’ve been bullied by my former boss, I’ve been in abuse shelter, I’ve been homeless, and sexually abused. I find it very hard to be around people that I do. I don’t talk to anyone in my family. I see a my friends from high school every now and then.
….
I think people have 5 reactions to abuse throughout their lives. They suffer in silence, they abuse someone else, they suicide, or they explode.
When they suffer in silence, they rarely recover. They end up taking dead in end jobs, bullies at work find it easy to manipulate them, eventual a lot end up in relationship that aren’t healthy for them, just to stave off the hurt. Or subconsciously they aren’t aware of they’re doing. So there life keeps deteriorating day after day as they try desperately to cope with their sadness and frustration. Making mistakes out anxiety and fear, losing their jobs and maybe even homes. Some turn to alcohol, others drugs, self-abuse, abuse of others. All the while people think them failures and scum of society. It’s true.

When they choose suicide people reactions are thus: 1. they feel so sorry for a person they never knew dying. 2. They say the person was weak, a loser. 3. They say they were crazy and need to be on medication 4. They say it cause they didn’t have god in their lives. 5. They don’t care. Which is probably the best thing you could.

When they explode, when they explode I think you get people like Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. America is making its own home grown terrorist, and unlike al Qaeda or the Taliban, you can’t track them. You don’t know who they are. Before it used to be country you need to protect yourself from, then it was religious group people could place the blame on, then it became race because it’s easy to pick them out and now. Now you can never tell who’s it is ready to snap, who’s a hairs-breadth away from taking out the pain and frustration on the people who’ve hurt them. And then they blindly attack everyone else. Rich, poor, white, black, religious, non-religious, educated and uneducated you never know who will be next home grown terrorist. Yet somehow people will always find a way to blame it on one thing or another. Blame it on guns, blame it race, blame it lack of religion, blame it mental illness, or even video games. We’ve forgotten to treat each other kindness and respect. All anyone wants is to be loved on this planet, but greed, lust for power and control, and so many other mundane things in life has allowed this one simple concept to take a back seat.

I think people do heal, but it’s those who can afford real therapy and counseling.

So now Im in my mid 20’s without a job, out of school applying here and there. I give plasma to pay for my bills, in debt trying to make ends meet. Some nights I still cry myself to sleep. I few days ago I found myself holding a pistol, wondering what to do with it. It feels cold in my warm hands and looks like stranger in the night to me. I ask myself one question as I hold it. Why not? Why not? Because no matter how much you try to get help, all of it is still going to be there. You have no money so how can you get real help. They are just going to give you a pill and expect you to deal with it, charge you money you can’t pay. You’re a complete failure; even though you’ve been to school you can’t even get a job. No matter how much you try to change you are never going to change. You’re exactly what she said you are, you always be.
I feel like a seed that’s not flowering, if I am haggard and malformed barely grow. I am not a bad person. I’ve done my best to be honest, to be generous to be kind, to give back what is owed. To be fair, to be kind, to just be a good human being.

So I ask you, the anonymous people of this forum, whom I’ll never meet, with this gun in hand what should I do?

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An Ep User An EP User
Jan 8, 2013