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Everyone glared at my dad. So did I, but I spent most of the time hanging my head, looking at the black turf ground. Everything was blurry and my eyes burned from tears. His screams were like lashes from a knife in my head. Each word was screwed into my brain. My heart thumped harder in my chest every time he swore at me, as if it wanted to jump out of my body and run far, far away.
“You little s***! How the f*** could you play like that!?” This may not have been my greatest game of soccer, but it wasn’t my worst. This whole time, I couldn’t help thinking, how does he not feel anything from the pain he’s putting me through? I was barely 12 years old and I was used to being called a little s***.
“You played like f***ing s***; I could play better soccer than you. If you ever play like that again, I swear to God..” he would say this staring at me straight in the eyes then slowly turn his head to say something else insulting about my bad game. I could see the hate in his blue eyes; it was ugly and made me sick. At that moment, I wanted to die. I always thought maybe if I wasn’t alive, my dad wouldn’t have to yell at anyone anymore. This wasn’t the first time he had burst into uncontrollable anger.
As a twelve year old, being in middle school, I would over react about a lot of things because my emotions were crazy. Everyone’s emotions were like that though, right? Kids at my school would be having their first girlfriend/boyfriend. They would always say that they love them and will be with them forever, but I had my own situation to over react to. When we got home from the silent car ride that felt like forever, I ran straight to my room. I had a knife hidden in my room just in case I needed an outlet for my pain. Crying loudly, I slammed the door behind me and jumped across my bed to grab the small sharp knife under my bed. I pulled down my sports pants to show my bare thigh. I paused for a second and then started to cut into my thigh. I slowly slit the skin enough to see my blood. I started off slow and gentle, but as I started to replay my dad’s screams over and over I’d go deeper and deeper every cut I made. By the time I felt satisfied with my work, I had about ten scars on each leg with blood trickling out of them. All I did was stare at my legs then back to the knife then back to my legs again. The knife blade was wet with fresh blood. For some reason, I wanted one of my parents to walk in on me in the act. I guess I just wanted them to see what pain I was being put through.
Putting those cuts on my thighs was probably not the best idea. Being a soccer player, I use my thighs a lot. Every time I used my thigh to trap the ball and bring it to my feet, a scar would crack open and blood would start coming out and stain my shorts.
During these times, I regretted cutting myself because of how much my cuts were breaking, but also because I started to grow maturely as a person. That was the last time I cut myself, but that wasn’t the last time my dad screamed at me. His screaming and yelling morphed me into a sensitive person. Sometimes I hate being this sensitive person because I get hurt easily and cry a lot at things that upset me, but it’s also a good thing.
Now that I’m more mature than I was four years ago, I feel more sympathy for people who are mean to me and I put myself in their shoes. It’s something most people don’t do very often and something people should do to understand and respect the people around them.
Being bullied by girls my age is almost like boys getting in a fist fight about football. Pointless and unnecessary, but it still hurts. I was bullied for having freckles, by being called a giraffe and a Dalmatian. When I would walk to the park, someone would call “Hey Giraffe!” and I wouldn’t even know who they were. I would be on the bus ride home and sitting by myself while the bullies behind me would scream and try to get my attention. I was the last stop on the bus so they had me for the entire ride. All I could do was sit and cry while they laughed at all the mean things they said to me.
At this point in time, I struggled to find confidence in myself. I still have troubles being confident in myself. Every time, I get just the slightest embarrassed or put in the spotlight, my face instantly turns beat red, then I become more embarrassed. Being called ugly and getting made fun of because of something I can’t change about myself is hard to ignore. My dad’s yelling made other people’s words hard for me to ignore. My brain doesn’t remember compliments, but it remembers the worst of what people say. I think my brain can’t accept compliments because it’s used to hearing hurtful words. Every word an ignorant girl or boy has ever called me sticks in my brain and doesn’t go out until I teach myself that their words are from jealousy and immaturity. I’m still struggling with convincing myself that I should except that everyone is special in their own way. I slowly take steps to become the person I want to be; a strong inspirational girl who isn’t afraid of being in the spot light.
Throughout my middle school and high school life, I had troubles getting in front of a class and giving a speech. My face flushes in front of everyone. Sometimes I even start shaking during a speech or even cry. My teachers always told me I was very good at speech giving and I wrote great speeches, but I never understood why. The only thing that held me back from my unexpected talent was my mind telling me that everyone is making fun of the way I look or sound. I was mostly scared that the information I’m giving makes me sound UN intelligent. That is one of the reasons why I joined Perform. I learned through my dad and soccer that if I’m forced to do something, I will do it and get better at it. So I went into a school where people perform their speeches instead of read monotone off some note cards. Hoping that this will force me into becoming a more confident person in my writing and as a person, I made drastic changes. Standing up to my fears of being the center of attention might help with finally being able to stand up to my father.
I always think about having a different dad; a dad where I can have a loving relationship with and someone I can tell my secrets to. I try to see the good in my dad; like how he almost always lets me go hang out with my friends and lets me go shopping if I want to, but I can’t help it when I think the bad in him outweighs the good.
Even though my dad was not the nicest person to me and made my life harder than it should’ve been, I feel sympathy for him. I can’t imagine what childhood he went through to become who he is today. My grandmother was a huge smoker and a very hard woman to please. I never met her, but if I could, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a spitting image of my dad. Because of my dad, I now know what kind of parent I don’t want to be.