Someone once told me that the shards of our sorrows get turned into something beautiful. I wasn't sure i believed them. I mean, I understand but those shards, they haunt me. Those shards control my life day in and day out. How could my past possibly be beautiful?
When I was nine years old, I was sexual abused. If that alone was not horrible enough, it was by a family member. A family member I had to see everyday. One that was trusted to be alone with me. One that was suppose to protect and care for me. I don't know about you, but at nine I wasn't exactly up on my sex game. I wasn't sure what was happening. I knew i didn't like it and I thought if I told I would get in trouble. I didn't know I was the victim. It went on for longer than I care to remember. It happened everywhere and anywhere that we were alone. While it was happening, I would block it out. I tried to think about other things, count the seconds on a clock, how many fibers the rugs had, how long I could hold my breathe, anything. Anything to not acknowledge what was happenings. One day while the unspeakable was happening, my mom walked in. She was mortified, sad, angry, a mess. It stopped after that day. I took all the memories and stuffed them way back into the depths of my mind behind a door with several locks to never be opened again.
I thought I was fine. I really did. I still saw that family member everyday but he would pretend I wasn't there. I went on to be an honor student. I was in clubs and played sports. I was never the pretty one or the most popular but attention was never my "thing". I had nice circle of friends. I was fine. I was fine until my sophomore year of high school. That's the year they require you to take Sexual Education. I didn't think anything of it. It was just like any other day. I went in, sat down at my desk and waited for class to start. Ten minutes in I had tears streaming down my face. I got up and walked out. Everything I had locked away for so many years came rushing back. I couldn't walk. I couldn't talk. I couldn't breathe. All I could do was let the tears stream down my face. Living through it once was awful. Living it a second time, and this time you truly understand and comprehend every little thing, was horrendous. I felt so broken and repulsive.
A few days later I came home to a book sitting on my bed. A walk to Remember. Nicolas Sparks helped me thru the toughest of times. He showed me the sexual abuse I experienced was something that was decided for to me but it wasn't who I was. It showed me that I was not unloveable, that I wasn't broken. I related to Jamie in many ways. I didn't want people to know what happened to me. I went thru my days quietly, unnoticed. As I read A walk to remember I saw what love was. I saw the way Jamie's father loved her and realized my parents loved me the same way. I read as Jamie and Landon become friends and fell in love without realizing it, the way I fell in love with the boy down the street. I was consumed with this book. It spoke to me and touched my heart in ways I never thought possible. I learned how to be a caring, selfless person from Jamie. Landon taught me how to take chances and stand for what I believe in. Revenuer Sullivan showed me how to be accepting.
I have since become an adult. My shards are no longer in control anymore. I still own A walk to remember. I still carry the lessons I learned with me. I re-read it from time to time and even though I have read it to the point I could probably recite it, I always find a lesson in it. It saved my life when I didn't want to live and I will be forever grateful.