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Vanquished This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

For years after that night, I thought I was worthless, hopeless, and useless. For some, now unconceivable, reason I believed I deserved what happened to me and assumed it was somehow my fault. I had to have done something wrong in order to cause such a terrible thing to occur, right?
My hands continued to block my face in a defensive position as I lay alone on the damp, freezing cold ground. I yearned for any speck of protection. I somehow saw myself on the grass; watching myself lying there, it wasn’t as if I was looking into any type of mirror or reflection. An out of body experience? I guess you could call it that, or at least it was the closest I had ever come to one. Gradually, I observed my blemished body begin to shake and shiver from creeping chills, while at the same time strangely commencing to form tiny beads of sweat on my forehead from the sudden heat rising up from inside of me. Stuck in a state of shock, I was in momentary disbelief. My feelings are what confused me. It was if I had every possible emotion all enter my body at once. I felt things that entirely contradicted what had just taken place. What came over me was a flash of intense fear mixed with a questionable feeling of safety, a lack of energy and desire to try to do anything combined with a rush of adrenaline, growing guilt with an unsure certainty, and tension clashing with relief. All of these feelings entered my body one by one, finished and then started over again. Each cycle of emotions ended in a complete and total numbness. I couldn’t think straight and was clueless to what I should do.
I felt like screaming, somewhat for help, but mostly just to be able to make some sort of noise that would cleanse me of my emotions; rid me of the racing abundant feelings. Even with such an incredible urge to yell, I was overcome by an unbreakable wave of silence. I tried, more than once, to just simply make a sound…but nothing. I remember even wondering, for a split second, if I had lost my voice. I imagined getting up and running away, running away from myself and the impurity that I now was. Although I wanted nothing more than to escape this night, I soon found that I was momentarily paralyzed. I was incapable of even the simplest movement. I didn’t recall ever beginning to cry, but I suddenly acknowledged tears streaming from my eyes. I then noticed previous ones starting to dry and stick to my cheeks and down my chin. I was unnoticeably hysterical. I never felt as if it was actually me doing this, but I realized that I was breathing heavily, in the early stages of hyperventilation. What do I do now?

It was in the beginning of February, I remember, and was the night of the superbowl. It was late, and was dark outside. I was only thirteen years old when it happened, and he was my best friend. He hurt me in the worst way possible. He stole something I can never get back. I thought he was so amazing. What was I thinking? There were so many things about him that I realize now, looking back, that should have given me a clue to how he truly was, how inside a monster, which could be summoned at any time, resided. I believe that night will forever stay a vivid memory inside my head.

For such a long time I had many ranging emotions over what had happened. I experienced guilt, hate, remorse, anger, sadness, self-pity, unworthiness, grossness, self-hatred, and a reoccurring fear at its greatest. Even when each of those feelings filled up inside of me, I still somehow always felt an extreme and indescribable emptiness. Now, things are much different. I have both grown and changed. I now view the feelings I previously mentioned as wasted emotions. The person who brought all of this upon me is the unworthy one and he doesn’t deserve my time. The fear that he had originally put inside of me left me under his spell, but it is past time for me to break free of it. I am done giving him any inkling of power over me.

I will of course continue to feel things from the experience in general, but my emotions truly took an unconceivable turn. Today, I feel satisfaction in knowing that I was strong enough to make it through, and bliss in the way everything has turned out. Relief comes over me from understanding that it’s in my past. I even have sorrow for him, and the guilt he must go on living with and is forced to face each day. I am no longer remorseful, for I realize that I have no reason to be; I don’t regret anything because I know the events of that night were never my fault. I made peace within myself, with what took place, with this unforgiving world, and even with him. I survived; I became stronger. I know now that I can deal with whatever may be thrown my way. Life rarely gives us more than we can handle. We all get dealt different cards, I realized, but in the end you have to choose how to play your hand. I chose to keep going. I am now able to take joy in the fact that even though he wounded me, I can rise above. Through all the obstacles I faced, I still came out on top. Vanquishing my demon was one of the hardest experiences I had ever gone through, but I prevailed in the end. I learned that catastrophe can be a remarkable path to peace and suffering can result in serenity.





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