If You Can Read This... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Adults seem to think that teens only base their views of each another on looks and popularity. Many of us can go much deeper into one another's lives and can make a difference in each other's lives.

I have seen a lot of sadness in my fifteen years on this earth. I'd like to share stories of two friends, and how I tried to be that one person in their life to help them through.

I've always thought that I can tell a lot about others, even if I only talk to them once. It sometimes scares people when I get to know them fairly well and I can foreshadow their future or decipher their past. It has nothing to do with the stars, or anyone's astrological sign; it is just something that, if enough time, compassion and energy are put into it, a reasonable assumption on one's life can be made.

This person, whom I won't refer to by name, was very shaken at what I discovered about him. I use the term "discover" lightly, because I did no research, or interview his past and present family or friends. Anyway, he was very scared and ashamed at what I told him I knew. I tried to explain to him that I didn't care, that everyone is ashamed of something in his or her life.

Born to an unwed mother, I knew he had very difficult problems that he had brushed aside and not dealt with well, if at all. The only thing he knew about his father was his first name. After having two more children and still being unwed, his mom abandoned him and his siblings, and left the state. Luckily they were left with their grandmother, who has taken care of them ever since. Anyway, he was brought up in a bad scene. By the age of 14, he had been through more than most adults. AA, Alateen, and rehabilitation are now part of his everyday activities.

I knew he had many problems, no parents for guidance, feelings of abandonment, a need (and hate) for alcohol and drugs. I saw this in his eyes, heard it in his words, breathed it in his presence, and acknowledged it in my mind and heart.

After a confrontation about these feelings that we knew he had, he was scared. Scared I could "read" him so easily; scared because I wanted to help, and even more scared because I cared.

I can say he is still hiding, still avoiding the pain of confronting the truth, but every day he lived in torment, he thought it was another day of life as it had to be. He did not know how pleasurable, how wonderful life could be, for his own was all he knew. So if you can read this, my friend, watch yourself, confront the truth, try to enjoy life, and try to please yourself, for you are the only one who counts.

Life isn't easy, especially when your parents are divorced. "You only get one shot at a family: if that family breaks up, you don't get a replacement. However, your parents do," my friend has said. When she was younger she travelled across town to her father's and then back to her mother's, while she was already having a hard time just trying to make it through adolescence. She grew up quickly, so she tells me, and soon was ready to "break free."

I know how she felt, my parents were divorced too. But to feel lost, confused and abandoned at the same time adds to the great complications of growing up. I tried to help her, to make her listen to reason, to gain her attention, and captivate it for just one sentence. She is lost now, away from either home, starting a family of her own before she is ready. My dear friend, if you can read this, please come home, we all want you back.

Now that I've said that, do you pity them? I did, but don't anymore. I pity what they don't know, but wish I had the strength, courage and endurance that these two people share. Even though neither of them knows it, they have been a great asset to my life, one that I will always think about. These people are hauntingly enough just two of the millions statistically affected each day by the mistakes of others. Whether it be the decision to have kids, or the decision to divorce, or even the decision to marry, do it for the right reasons. Because if you don't, you'll be another statistic. You need a license to drive a car, but any fool can have a child.

Remember, if you can read this, use this, and help my friends, and your friends, cope with their lives. It will help you deal with your own. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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agsmiley888 said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm
i agree with you and alo with the fact that ome have it harder for others. But i think that sometimes we have to let them see and give them time as well, for we don't know if they want to talk about it or if it shames them, i think that when they do talk is when theyre ready to talk about it and its important not to pressure them.
 
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