Sometimes I pretend that I am Hermione Granger, and I fly around on a broomstick casting spells. This concept impacts my education because anyone who knows Hermione is aware that she is a genius child! My parents believe that Harry Potter is “clouding my relationship with God”. I do not believe in god, and it is not because of Harry Potter. I lost my faith in fifth grade. That year my three-year old cousin died from leukemia, leaving my aunt devastated. Two years later I developed a serious case of depression and I purposely alienated myself from my peers. In the eighth grade I received news that a good friend of mine was missing in action, in Afghanistan. Later I found out that he was killed. He never made it to his twenty-second birthday. One week ago I got a call from my mom that my cousin Trevor, an Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan. He left behind a new loving wife, and his unborn child. If god was real my friends and family would not have had their lives ripped from them at such young ages. If god was real, a brave husband would return home to greet his new child. My father does not understand how I lost my faith, despite my constant explanations. Every time he looks at me, my dad seems empty and ashamed. He threatened to kick me out if I did not go to church and participate. He always acts on his threats. Now I go to church every Sunday. I stand up, sit down, stand up, kneel, sit and stand some more. I participate by being a youth reader. I read the Bible out loud to children in Sunday school and on certain occasions I would read in front of the congregation. Currently I am going through the sacrament of confirmation, which means that I decided for myself to become Catholic, which is a lie. Recently I went on a trip with my three older sisters. The oldest sister told me that she “loved me but hated the decisions that I make” and that it caused her to be “disgusted and ashamed”. I know that out of this tricky relationship with my family, I will grow to become a stronger and more independent person.