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No Face

By , Sandy, UT
Have you ever looked in the mirror and seen nothing? No face, no fire, when you looked in the mirror the only thing to be seen was the complete absence of an identity. My early circumstances set back identity formation. While most little girls were finding out what they liked, I was working to simply keep myself safe. I had to grow up fast because there was no alternative. I experienced more fear, pain, and dispair at the hands of my father than the rest of my life combined. Father...I don’t think that was his title. A father keeps you safe. A father will scale mountains to make their little girl happy. He was not my father, he was my warden. He created an environment akin to most prisons, if not worse.

Youth is supposed to be free, uninhibited, and without the chains of maturity and responsibility. At eight you should be fashioning a ship capable of interstellar travel from cardboard or breaking your arm because you didn’t have the foresight to know jumping out of a large tree would end badly. I’m not saying I never experienced moments of innocence but they were always shrouded with underlying fear and mitigated by the need to avoid “discipline.” Discipline and lessons at the hand of my father were brutal and scarring in all aspects: physical, mental, and emotional. Memories of them still causes shivers of fear down my spine.

When I lived with my dad, living was accomplished only in the physical sense. I simply was marking time until death or freedom-whichever came first. Looking in the mirror I didn’t see an individual. It was at that cataclysmic realization that I finally embraced my humanity, my rights, and my needs. Things I had never considered relevant prior to that moment. Thus my battle for freedom began. It was a long arduous process but eventually my imprisonment ended as his incarceration began.

I have chosen to consume life with fervor. I have found passion and purpose in my life. I found talent and dreams in performing arts; dancing, music, and theater pulled me out of my head and cut the chains from a mundane lifestyle and taught me I can feel and aim for stars. Debate has given me confidence with voicing my own beliefs, moral and political, even if they counter the conservative culture I have been raised in. The refugees may have had the most substantial impact by introducing my desire to aid in whatever way I can. There were other evils to conquer now.

Years later and I can’t claim to be “over it.” Scars are still there and some wounds are opened by other events and people in my life. However, I will never be without an identity again. The person I have developed into is strong, ambitious, independent, kind, and above all else unencumbered by anyone but myself. Who am I? Is a question I continually ask myself. Sometimes the answer changes but now I have one.





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YourFavoriteMystery said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm
this was an amazing essay.  I'm so happy I found this, you've given me a lot of ideas for my own essay and I hope you get accepted to the college of your choice. 
 
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