I think about you often. Are you damage, or pain, or are you just the negative space I’ve created in my head? I cradle myself between velvet sheets when I need your comfort, your warmth. You’re my haven when chaos between my family arises. So why must I resent you so carelessly?

For the most part, I find I’m vulnerable with you, four walls. I run to you when I need a dividend between the people that care, and the catastrophe played out in my head. But could you blame me? You hold an infinity of cherished memorabilia, books, and untold stories. You’re beautiful in meaning just as you are in appearance.

However, lately, I can’t stand to be within you. Is it because of this quarantine? Is it because I know if I leave you, four walls, I’ll be eager to step out that front door? I am eager. Eager to embrace, caress, and engrave me in a peaceful conversation that flows like air.

I miss you, friends, and family, and friends that feel like family. I miss the indistinct chatter amongst the halls of an institution that took up eight hours of my day. I miss Student Council meetings, UIL practice and competitions, TAFE talks, and the occasional Leo’s Club set-ups. I miss Ms.Valle, and her persistent talks about mentoring and helping me improve my painting skill.

I guess the more I think about what makes me happy, the more distant I become. Is this your fate, four walls? Is this what you’re destined to become? Because I can’t hold back this feeling. Why are you becoming so foreign to me? Please help me explain.

As a child, there’s only so much one can do. We have no choice but to accept that we are never in control of what’s happening; in fact, many of us were too naïve to ever even think of the possibility in which we are in control. Throughout these years, she never really knew what or how things worked, within her childhood, all she did get to know was nothing more than her very own feelings and emotions.

Her parents are very kind and driven individuals. They both share a deep passion for work because it was implemented at a very young age. As far as she can remember, she too grew fond of it and soon after the age of four played the -at the time super cool- role of a promoter at a family business they owned at a local flea market. Because of this workaholic-like structure, her family as a whole became stressed. This and many more “adult” topics arose a series of altercations between her parents. Of course, for young, little Laura, this meant to distract her little brother with blasting music meanwhile she cried at a corner where he wouldn’t notice.

Throughout her early years of school, she had been the main target for a cheap laugh. Anything you can possibly think of, she’s pretty sure she has been called before. After that, she had no more room in her brain to think of anything other than these incidents all together. It felt as if every step she took was out of place. As she grew older, she learned that the anguish and disgust felt within herself were very much validated and were far from wrong. Up until the medial part of last school year was she granted the opportunity to share her story as a whole, along with other problems, for the very first time. It was through her former English teacher that she entered the first step of recovery.

Although this newfound path ensured success, she was filled with this sense of uncertainty and fear of neglect. This became the problem when diagnosing her with Mild Depressive Disorder and continued until she forced herself into a hospital for the fear of her own actions. After her discharge, she became quieter about her feelings because it felt as though they either did not matter or were always misunderstood. 

Later then she received monthly therapy and was visited twice a month by a social worker in order to learn coping mechanisms and really heal. Her parents too were educated about what was going on and helped her in whatever way possible. It was until then that she took this blindfold, that she had created herself, off and really looked at the bigger picture. There were all these people gathered that love and care for her deeply. The misunderstanding was all of her own, and this helped take a major part in helping overcome that fear and take time for herself this past summer break.

She knew then that her life was worth living because of all these reasons. She is worthy of living because she’s been independent since such a young age. She is worthy of living because being bullied created confidence in loving herself. She is worthy of living because she chose to rise above “scary” or “crazy” words like Mental Disorders. All of this makes her so much more worthy of living, and she hopes others can find their reasons too.

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