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Discovering Happiness

By , Hemet, CA

I once thought romance would make me happy
I became infatuated with nothing but a sixteen year old boy
Texted into the late hours of the night
Moonlight shun onto his face as he crept through the door
Life was becoming a movie more and more
Blinded by emotion I stumbled upon a dark path
Eventually my purity went from white to pitch black
Lying was foreign language of which I never knew
With time my knowledge of it grew
He was all it took to make me happy
As we grew closer he was not just a boy
He was an addiction
But addictions never end well


My movie ended April seventh
The stars were hidden beneath the clouds
A sky of which no light shed through
My mask flung off revealing the atrocious side of me
A side buried deep within me
All my secrets out in the open
Mother’s eyes went ablaze
A river flowing from my father’s
The thought of their youngest being promiscuous was like a bullet to the heart
Disappointment flooded them both
Guilt poured over me
Each of us drowning in emotion
Then came the belt


It was no surprise to wake to more than one welt
Arriving to school the next day I seeked help
Terrified to return home
At the time I thought I feared being beaten
But now I realize it was much more
I was ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed in myself
Opening the door to the counselor's office I stared at my reflection
Unrecognizable


Little did I know the next four months would be spent in a foster home
Each night full of nightmares
It always felt ice cold
It is hard to live with strangers


I received anything I asked
Friends thought I should be happy
I had new clothes, a phone, even a puppy
Materials can only keep you happy for so long


The more they knew me the more they wanted to change me
Makeup to cover my face
Bought me dresses and heels
Even wanted to dye my hair blonde
Started to think maybe I’m not beautiful
Insecurity grew within me like a weed
Would go days without eating food
Eventually all my stomach could hold was three bites of toast
Anymore would make me sick
The baggier my clothes got the more happy I was
Within a few weeks my shorts did not fit
Then my ribs began to show, perfection, happiness


Anxiety a leach that sucked the life out of me
It attacked me quite often
The first was the worst
Objects flying across the room
House drowned in my screams
Rushed to the car
Held down as I kicked and screamed
Wanted to run away, be free like a bird
Emergency room in sight
Security snatched me out the car
Xanax practically shoved down my throat
Fully numb but not happy


My last day in that home was one full of pain
Room overflowed with the bad man’s voice
He spoke to me often, usually late in the night
That day he visited early
Told me I was a disappointment, worst daughter in the world, a problem, even a s***
I yelled to go away to be quiet
I caught a glimpse of the pill bottle on my dresser
If I took them life would be over
No more pain
No nightmares
I would no longer be a problem
The voice would end
Maybe then happiness


In a flash forty-five pills were in my system
Sirens outside the door
Feeling weaker by the minute
Foam dripping down my face
Strapped into a gurney, hauled away
First time I saw my parent’s face in months was in a hospital bed
Their face dropped seeing how pale and thin I was
I thought they did not want me anymore
I was too dirty, that I did not deserve them
Tears fled from their face they loved me and wanted me back home
Happiness overflowed my body


Next week was spent in a mental hospital
Each of us seeked happiness
Unfortunately all of our ways were not sustainable
Some wanted the perfect image, as thin as it took
Some got drunk to be happy, eventually got sober
Some got high, only to be left low
Some were like me found the adrenaline rush with sex, until the guilt tore them up
All different individuals searching for happiness
All of our highs brought us so low
None brought true happiness


On my journey I have not only learned what happiness is not
But I have learned what it is
It is the small things that we sometimes take for granted
Family who always give you a second chance
For me just waking up in the morning is a blessing


Now my shorts fit again
I have lost my anxiety
I do not hear the voices anymore
I look in the mirror and see a strong beautiful girl
Who is blessed to see another day
I feel that I was given a second chance for a reason
To make a difference in people’s lives


I just returned home a few weeks ago
Life is full of love and happiness
Now when I look out the window at night I see a sky full of stars




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