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My Essay About Life

~~*Kristen Howell*~~

Introduction: I am not writing this for pity, so do not take this that way. Some of my worst and deepest pains I will never write down and never tell a soul. These are my skeletons and they hurt to talk about them, even to myself. The following is my life, no exaggerations. In fact, at times life was much worse for me than I will let on; however, I refuse to go there. To those who I have hurt in my past, I am sorry, and I hope you have moved on with no wounds, because I have been hurt as much as you. Just please no one take pity on me for the following. I write this to inform.You learn from life, you don’t hide from it. ~~*Kristen*~~

The essay: This is my essay about life. This is my essay about my life, and the hell that I have endured in the past few years. No body can begin to understand what its like, except those who have lived it. Some people may read this and say, “Why would you do this? and Why would you tell these things?” Well, frankly, I do not care those people’s opinions. This is my medicine, this is how am I getting through. Only now that I see a light out of the tunnel that I am stuck in can I even begin to write this. When you are going through something like this, it does not seem as bad as when you are looking back on it. But, in the end, it has all affected me, both good and bad. I have lost some faith and gained some. Although I feel stronger, writing this today, then I have in any other time in my life.

I will start where I believe my painful teachings began; in the fourth grade, where I met the girl who would prove to be utterly damaging, to both my reputation and my self-esteem. I will call her Kathy, because I will not write her real name, and ruin her life like she did mine. Her, I, and Lisa(name also changed) became basically inseparable. I had known Lisa since before first grade, and we both had just met Kathy.

Well, before I get into what happened, I have to tell you about Kathy. She came from a troubled home(and lived right behind me, by the way). Her mom was an alcoholic, who eventually married the alcoholic across the street, whose children were in and out of the Juvenile Detention Center. Her dad had tons of kids from tons of woman; he was a truck driver, and his base home was cross country. She never saw him except when he would fly her and her equally disturbed brother out to his house. Kathy was also not the brightest pea in the pod, her most common grade being a D, but I found what I thought to be a true friend in her. I felt for her, because my family is not no perfect either. You see, Kathy even claimed to be raped, although I never really believed her, because lying was a main personality trait of her, and I never fully trusted her.

Well, back to her, I, and Lisa. We spent day and night together. Kathy, being manipulative- a defense mechanism that I believe she learned from her mother- got anything out of us that she wanted. Clothes, money, my life- you name it, we gave it. I would would wait on pins and needles for her, waiting for her call, waiting for something. She was my best friend. We even pent holidays together; she became my sister.

Ok, so don’t think that I am this gullible, stupid little girl. At this point in my life I had no self-esteem whatsoever. You know that obesity epidemic? Well, meet one of the many persons in that large percentage. So, here is an overweight fourth grader looking for someone to care about her for who she is, and there is a manipulative little girl looking for the same thing. This proved not to be a good combination. Kathy eventually made me drift away from all of my friends, One that I regret the most is my friend that I met in Kindergarten, Lauren Faith. She was NOTHING but an amazing, wonderful, whatever you want to say friend to me, and I regret every day what I did to her. I still love Lauren Faith for being such a great friend to me, and to her I am so very sorry.

Kathy was never a good influence, never. I would try and get away from her and then I would lose my will, my strength, and call her back. It became a never ending cycle of being friends and then not. Eventually, in middle school, Lisa drifted off to have “cooler” friends. I have known her for a decade, almost, yet I have not talked to her in three years. I still see her everyday, and it is still a cause of pain, although the wound has healed greatly. I was left alone by all those I once knew, with just Kathy.

I was not very social in middle school, the only friend I “needed” was Kathy. I missed week upon week of school, and faked illness time after time. I had acquaintances, some of which have turned into my best friends who have picked my up to be the person I am today. Many people, however, don’t remember that I even went to the middle school in the seventh grade. That is how much school I missed. I was depressed and hated myself fully. Looking back on seventh grade, I wish I would have gone more; I could have done so much better. But I did do good enough, and eventually made it into the National Junior Honors Society, although that happened in eighth grade.(although I thank god every day that that year did not ruin my life)

So I stayed with Kathy; every day she remained my only friend. Whenever I would try and leave, I realized that I had no other friends, so I would desist in my attempt.

In eighth grade, I found myself in the same boat again, but I was getting stronger. Kathy and I were finally drifting apart, naturally. But, let’s go back a minute, back to seventh grade in April. My father lost his job, not because of the economy but because he had a wretched boss who had a ludicrous reason for firing him. He would work as a freelance writer, to keep us going, at least to pay the bills. He could not get a good job in his field because of the above mentioned stupid Bush economy, and no one was hiring. Well, except at entry level to save money because just-freshly graduated young ins accept less money than twenty year experienced geniuses of communications. However, I did not realize the pain of this event until much later, But at a time when I was strong enough to hear the pain.

In eight grade I was happier. I let myself gain better relationships with people, and not just boys, which I preferred being friends with because they came without backstabbing, which I had grown accustomed too, but with girls as well, which would prove to be my way out of my self destructing relationship with Kathy. That’s right, I said self-destructive. At times I would be so hurt, and so not strong, that I would cut myself, only with those little swords you put in drinks, but even with those I still have scars, although, thankfully they are fading. This is one part of my life that is truly hard for me to write about mainly because I have come so far from it. I feel like I am talking about a separate person, and in a way I am.

I would not be away from Kathy today if it were not for band. Every year, the two top bands at my middle school go on a trip to a music festival. There are five to a hotel room and I had no one to stay with, well I had no girlfriends. An acquaintance, eventually friend I had made in science, Emily,told me that I could stay in her room with her friends. This was very comforting for me. So I went on this trip and had the time of my life, without Kathy. I had a new group of friends that accepted me for who I am.

I went to one last movie with Kathy, although I had mentally become strong enough to dump her. I had finally realized that friends are not supposed to control you and make you fell like shit- or even bring out the worst aspects of your personality just by talking to you. So I went to this movie, and Kathy brought one of her no good friends- who was staying the night with Kathy, they made this quite obvious by telling me, although they had no social manners to actually invite me. And thank god for that. This girl Kathy brought was my last straw. She was trouble- she smoked and was a horrible child. However, this was not the worst person Kathy brought me into contact with. So that night I said to myself, No more Kathy and I no longer returned her calls. Luckily I no longer lived around the corner from her as I had in fourth grade, when I had first become entrapped by her. It was a freeing experience. It was my first step to victory over my demons.

That summer, I locked myself up from the world. I did yoga, swimming, anything that would make me feel better. I lost a ton of weight, although, I am still not super model thin. but I finally feel comfortable with my body. I will go on another weight loss regimen this summer, but I feel good that I finally have the confidence that I don’t care if anyone looks at me.

Then, I went to high school. I hung out with my band trip friends and friends I had just made. I have a large group of friends not that I think about it, but my life still became harder. It became harder with no money, and days spent with my mom asking family members for money, so we would not be evicted from our house. I was exposed to his from my mother, who now needed a rock. With my dad working nights, she did not have any one else to rely on.(my brother just dealt with it on his own. I still have no idea how he feels). My mother and I became entranced in doing things like the Ouija Board. I became trapped by demons again but since I was with my mother this time, I did not realize it. I felt it was justified, although it wasn’t. I had no money to go out with my friends, in fact I barely had enough money for those two dollar tickets to in school activities. I had no one to confide in, no one else would understand, and I am not one to burden others with my problems. It was like I had traded one problem for another, but then again this is life.

The beginning of the end of any entrapment I had ever had was when in January when I went to my friend Emily’s house. This helped me to get closer to my friends. This was the first sleep over I had been to since at least fifth grade, without Kathy at least. And then I went to a party with one of my new best friend’s Kathryn’s. And well, we “Ouija”ed. I realized how stupid this “Ouija”ing is and I finally felt that I No longer needed it to get through the day. I no longer "Ouija"ed, to the dismay of mother who still needed it- although she had no choice. I was an addict and I needed to go “cold turkey” to rid myself of my addiction.

Only recently, has my mother been offered a job, which she will love. Only now can a breathe a sigh of relief. My dad is getting interviews for fantastic jobs, in his field by the way, although he is not healthy as I write this. But he will be, and then we will be a great family again. Only in this past few weeks have I become myself again, the person I was so many years ago, although I am greatly changed. I no longer have to hang on other movements.

A few months ago, Kathy called me, but I was not home, and she left a message for me to call her back. Myself, feeling obligated to her, made myself a deal. If I called her and she answered I would give her another chance, if she did not, then she was out of my life forever. And with that I called, and she did not answer. I finally made that life changing decision and firmly did so.

I have become a better friend to my friends, at least I believe so, and I began to enjoy my life and myself. I was recently inducted into Thespians( and by recently I mean last night), and when I had to perform my monologue, which I was ubber-nervous about, my friends cheered me up there. I felt like I had finally moved on- moved on to being myself. I will be inducted into tech crew soon, as well- another place where people have accepted me for me and given me numerous reasons to live.

High school is a blessing in disguise for me. I can not say anything bad about it. I have friends or acquaintances in every grade and they are all different and unique, and quite frankly form every different spectrum of person. I do not drink or smoke, or even defy authority like most adolescents. But, this is because of what I have been through. Why ruin what I have longed so long to have- self control. It is stupid to me to do these sort of things. People may see me as a goody-two shoes(which I agree to, by the way), but I could care less, I am just me. I am not shallow and I could care less about the materialistic aspects of my generation. I still do not have money to do things that do I want to , but I now have the faith that one day I will.

I have become the best version of me that I can imagine, and it has only happened in the past few weeks. I have faith, and not false-from say a Ouija Board, but faith from within myself. I am no Christian, in fact I have no religion, but that does not mean I have no faith.

My parents firmly believe that I should be who I want to be, and that I should choose my own path. At times I wished that they had held me closer so that I had not been through the things that I have. But, in the end, I would not change a thing. I have learned more about life then I could have hoped to learn in a lifetime. I have my own morals and my own beliefs, not from an established religion or whatnot that has set, unwavering beliefs.

I am myself now. I love theater- all aspects of course, school, my friends, politics(I am a democrat, and I would love to get rid of Bush for his stupid economy and how it has put me and my family through hell. unlike most people my age who hate him because of the war, which, by the way, I also hate), I love to write, and most of all I love my life. I am no victim, just another person on the wonderful ride of life. I may still be going through my challenges, but they will no longer hold me down. This is my medicine. I write down my past in order to let it go, but never forget. In the words of one of my dialogues,”Otherwise, what has it all been worth?”