Overcoming diversities as a teenager. | Teen Ink

Overcoming diversities as a teenager.

April 2, 2014
By hjsswag98, Strongsville, Ohio
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hjsswag98, Strongsville, Ohio
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Favorite Quote:
"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Author's note: Ive been through situations that made me who I am today.

My name is Heidi S. I grew up in Strongsville, Ohio; I lived in Chestnut Lake Apartments. That place wasn’t the best, always a lot of cops around, drug deals, just wasn’t the best place to live. I have two loving, great parents, Tracy and Anthony . I have one sister, Sarah ; we have different dads. I have a very loving family on both of my parent’s sides. My sister and I are very close; we do a lot of things together. My family has the best times together. We like to go places, eat together, and do silly things. We always have great times.

I started 1st grade before most children my age because I was more advanced than most. In my early elementary years I liked school and got decent grades. Then around 5th grade, I started hating school. I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning or see anyone. I started missing day after day. I would fake sickness to come home half way through the school days. My grades were dropping tremendously. My sister was diagnosed with Hepatitis-A around May 2010. She caught it by going to a restaurant and who ever prepared her meal, didn’t wash her/his hands after he/she went to the bathroom. Her liver almost failed; she almost needed a liver transplant. I didn’t want to go to school; I wanted to be by her side, and it was hard focusing on schoolwork while I knew my sister was in the hospital and very sick. I didn’t want to do anything at all. I would be very quiet during the whole day and then push everyone away. She had to have surgery and after that, she became a little better, but she’s at high risk her whole life. This will continue to affect the rest of her life, and the family’s lives.

It was the summer of 2011. I was dating this guy and thought I was in love. He told me a lot of cute things I’ve never been told before. I thought I was his one and only, his everything and his princess. But little did I know, he was talking to another girl saying the same exact things to her. The next day I confront him about it all and he said, “I thought you didn’t love me, so I was going for some one different”, and he said sorry and I bought it. I thought he was so in love with me.

He didn’t live by me, he lived about 2 hours away and his family lived here and that’s how he would see me. I would sneak out at night when my mom and dad would go to sleep so I could go see him. I snuck out 3 times before getting caught. I ended up sneaking out and went on a walk by the pretty lake and forest. That one night it all went down hill.

I snuck out that night, and we were staring at the stars, cuddling and gazing into each others eyes. He then got on top of me and starting kissing me. I was thinking at the time, “That’s not so bad; nothing past this”.
He asked me, “Would you lose your virginity to me?”
I said “No”
He wouldn’t take that as an answer; he held me down and raped me. He told me if I were to make noise, he’d kill me and no one would ever find me. I didn’t make a peep; I tried getting away, but I couldn’t budge because he was to strong. I tried and tried and tried; I finally knocked him off. I got away and I ran till I couldn’t run any farther.

I ran all the way home. I got caught, I snuck out, and my dad called and said “Where are you? Get home now!! You’re in very big trouble!!” then hung up.

When I came home my; my dad took my phone away and smacked me on my butt. I was crying so hard, that I didn’t tell anyone. I was so upset and I felt like everything was my fault. I took my clothes off, threw them away, got in the shower, and balled my eyes out. I didn’t know what to do.

After that night, I didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone because I felt like I was going to get hurt again. However, because of my experience I felt like my body was permanently stained or tarnished so I chose to give it away easily. So then, I just kept doing stuff with guys and putting my body out there for anyone. I felt useless, dirty, and like I should die. I felt like everyone would be better off without me. My mom and sister have both been in the same situation as I; they’ve been raped and been hurt so bad. Why did something so horrible have to happen to all three of us? After the rape, my self esteem was wrecked.

I finally told my sister and her boyfriend who was like a brother to me, was always there for me. He helped me through anything, and he was funny. My sister said I needed to tell mom, so I did. Mom then wanted me to go to counseling and make a police report; I didn’t want to at first but I did. Counseling didn’t help me at all. I made a police report, but of course the guy had his side of the story, and he denied it completely.

The bullying all started when I was in 7th grade. I have most of my dad’s genetics, and the one gene I have from him is to sweat constantly. If I wear deodorant I still will sweat majorly and stink. In gym class, I was getting made fun of for sweating and stinking, and having arm pit stains, but nothing would work for me. I was then getting called stinky, nasty, and gross. I didn’t keep up with my hygiene very well because I had a low self esteem and I didn’t care what I looked like or smelled like.

I told one of my so called friends that I was raped and about the situation; she told everyone. I was being called a “whore” for being raped and I was being told it’s all my fault. I was starting to cut myself because of that, I cut my wrist, my legs, stomach, basically everywhere on my body. I hated school; I was starting to miss more and more school. I would miss days after days. I was being called “slut,” “whore,” “b****,” and all these other names. I was being called “poor white trash” for living in Chestnut lake apartments because Chestnut apartments are trashy and for people who are poor. I was being bullied for almost everything.

When I started middle school, it was nice and exciting. I had enough friends and people in my classes I could get along. When I started my gym course in 7th grade, I would sweat a lot and get made fun of it. I thought the girls in my gym class would understand and still be my friends, but they turned on me faster than a bee would turn for honey. In 7th grade I was doing pretty well with attendance and grades in the beginning of the year then came January, and my attendance started dropping, my grades dropped tremendously. I was starting to lose most of my friends; a lot of them turned on me for every little thing I’d do. I started to be hated by people I didn’t even know or ever talked to. I was hearing rumors about myself I never heard of.

8th grade came around and I had at least 5 friends that would talk to me, but those 5 friends weren’t even real friends. If I was down or upset I had no one to turn to during the day. I had no one to talk to or go to if I had a problem with something. I was missing more school days and going home after 2nd period almost every day that I actually went to school. I had straight F’s; I didn’t care at all about my grades. I thought “Who cares its just grades and I’m probably just going to drop out by 10th grade, so it doesn’t even matter.”
I missed 32 days at the end of 8th grades year. I didn’t realize how important it really was for me to get good grades; it affects a person badly in the long run.

Around semester time in 8th grade I had a GPA of 0.50. I wasn’t very successful that year. I didn’t care one percent; I thought I could just rely on others for my future and stay home. I was in my own little world, I didn’t think anything clear. I told myself I would just drop out and not care. I never studied for tests, just blowing everything off. I wasn’t doing any homework for any classes or anything that would boost my grades. My teachers were willing to help me with anything and tutor me, but I didn’t care.

At the beginning of my freshman year, I started out pretty well but, I still didn’t care much. I was having a lot of stress to start high school. I was nervous to be around everyone from my past, seeing them and being around them. I still didn’t care much about my attendance and grades. I finally got an A on a test, and I felt like I accomplished something; I felt happy that I finally did well. I was still being bullied, and I was stressing over that. I wasn’t very comfortable with having to ride the bus with others that bullied me in my past. I tried to get over that and say “Forgive and forget.” But, just couldn’t get over the hurt; however did forgive the people who hurt me.

I started to care a little more about my grades and how it would affect me in the future. So I started to do all my homework and keep track of study guides and notes. It felt good to set a goal and accomplish it. So I tried to set more short term goals and accomplish them in the time being. I accomplished most of the goals I set for myself freshman year, and I felt pretty good; I gained self confidence knowing I can be successful if I put my mind to it.

Half way through high school, I started losing more friends. I was getting hurt by most of them talking behind my back and being two-faced to me. Most of it all started on the bus; I was being bullied by mostly two kids. They would post things on Facebook about me. One girl posted a video tagging my name in the video. The video was called “Ratchet by Machine Gun Kelly” a rapper; I was trying to stand up for myself so I put a comment on the video the girl tagged me in saying “Wow, you’re fake.”

I made a status talking about a few selected people who lived in my building complex that we’re my friends with; “People who lives in chestnut are fake as hell; y’all are some two faced people.” Then this one kid I knew at school. I thought he was my best friend. I told him all my problems, every single detail about everything! He then saw my status and thought it was about him, so he posted a status so everyone could see it about me saying every single detail that I ever told him. I was hurt because I thought he was my friend. I didn’t know what to do.

After what I have experienced with my friend turning on me and posting all that traumatic information on Facebook, I broke down and started hyperventilating. I couldn’t breathe or even speak. I was balling my eyes out; I told my mom I wanted to die. I thought no one cared anymore or even loved me. I thought I was meant to be dead so everyone could be happy. I had a plan to commit suicide and a plan on how to do it. I told my mom I needed to get help. She called my pediatrician, who told my mom to take me to Fairview because they have a great psychiatric unit. I was admitted for 4 days.

Being in Fairview hospital, helped me realize how to deal with reality, life, bullies and how many people really care about and love me. I never understood why I was taking every little single thing to heart. I never understood at the time why God had chosen to let me die instead of my grandmas or grandpa. I wanted to take my life instead of my grandpa and grandmas being dead.

After visiting Fairview hospital, I noticed that nothing was worth taking my life over. It wasn’t not worth killing my self or cutting my self at all over anything. The people who put me down get their energy off of how I react to what they have done. Bullies are people who use strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. Bullies are people who don’t have good self esteem or self confidence, so they have to harm one another to get the sensation they need. After being bullied and almost committing suicide, I was no longer going to the high school in the general population. I began doing home instruction. I met up with a teacher at the library.

The start of sophomore year in high school was a little stressful; I wasn’t going back into the general population because I have very bad anxiety levels when I’m around the bullies. I start to get clammy, shaky, pale, anxious, and stressed. I started 10th grade in this program called ASAP (Academic & Social Advancement Program). It was at my high school, but I could easily avoid everyone who bullied me. I stayed in there for all 7 periods from 7:20a.m. till 1:30p.m. I started caring more about my grades and attendance. After the visit in the hospital, I changed my whole outlook on everything that has come up in my life.

I was so happy about my attendance and grades. I earned credits, and I had goals for myself. I got a 3.0 GPA first quarter of 10th grade. I was so proud of myself; I never knew how good it felt to get good grades. I received 4 B’s and 3 A’s. I was making new short term goals each and every week. I love my teachers I have; they explained everything down to each detail. I showed all my teachers I had freshman year and they were all proud of me for my progress I had made and the good grades I had received 1st quarter for sophomore year.

During 2nd quarter of sophomore year, I was doing well so far, and then the wrecking ball came crashing down on all of my progress. I was suspended for cheating on my lessons on the computer. I didn’t know I hurt that many people; I hurt everyone who trust in me and believed in me. I hurt my grades; I had received an A in science, B in history, C English, and an A in community experiences. After the suspension, I had received a F in science and history, a F in English, and a D in community experience. I lost the trust of all my teachers I had, my principal fought tooth and nail for me and I let him down. I hurt a lot of people and I was so mad at myself for what I have done.

I first started counseling around August 2011. I started counseling for being rape to help me cope and not put my body out there for boys. I was starting to get better, but then I wrecked again, I just didn’t care and lost all the progress on my self esteem. I wasn’t very thoughtful of others and I didn’t ever want to go to counseling, but I needed help. My mom always came with me; she was the main one who came with me. Counseling didn’t work that time for me so I didn’t go back, I tried something new. I saw I could just open up to my parents and talk about my emotions and other things that popped up.

I went back to counseling because of the rape and for the things I couldn’t handle. I was getting worse with the way I treated my family. I would just ignore them and be a complete brat to them. I would be rude, mean and cruel. I never even saw myself being. I felt like a complete different person, and I didn’t like it. I then quit counseling this time because I didn’t care about it again.

Eventually, I was willing to go back one more time and try to fix my self. I was recommended to KSK Health Services after I went to Fairview for almost committing suicide. The doctor I had at Fairview recommended the lady I’m with now. The place I go for counseling now has helped me with a lot; I’ve changed into a better person. I can tell I have matured and turned into a young lady. I can express to anyone how I am feeling. I can talk about situations and now I don’t have an issue talking about how I feel.

I have a very loving family. My dad’s name is Anthony, mom’s name is Tracy, and I have a half sister Sarah. My sister and I have different dads. I grew up thinking my sister is my biological sister, in about 7th grade I found out she was my half sister. I got upset and starting crying. My parents were together for 5 years before they had me. My parents were very loving to each other, and they were very happy together, at least then they were.

On my dad’s side, my dad had one brother Jeff and two sisters, Susan and Tammy. My grandpa passed away in 2004. I don’t have much memory of him. My grandma died 2012 from a rare type of cancer that was incurable. My family on my daddy’s side isn’t very close. Nobody gets together to talk as much. I have 3 cousins; Joe, Brandon and Alicia. I was sad when my grandma passed away because I didn’t see her as much, and the last time I was her before she passed was at almost a year or two before.

On my mom’s side, my mom has two brothers, Tad and Mike, and two sisters, Katie and Heidi. My grandma passed away in 2002, and I don’t have much memory of her either; my grandpa is still living and very healthy. My mom’s side is very close; we get together every holiday. Over the summer my family usually throws a cook out for everyone to get together.

My parents split up around 2011 in October. I was sad, but it was for the best. They argued almost every day and they would call each other names. I would have to hear that each and every day and I was getting upset. I was still young when the arguments started, so I was growing up seeing that.

As I previously mentioned my sister and I have different dads. Her dad’s name is Jeff. She went to visit her dad in December for her birthday, and when we tried to go pick her up, her dad wouldn’t let us have her, so my father had to call the cops. My sister’s dad pushed my mom down and hurt her and that was the first time I ever saw violence.
I was shocked and scared, I started to get nervous, I ran outside and I said “DAD GET IN HERE NOW; JEFF PUSHED MOMMY, SHES HURT.”
Dad threw his phone and ran inside. He went up to Jeff and said, “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size and sex, instead of a damn female, especially your ex wife”.
Jeff didn’t care; he picked up a piece of ply wood and tried hitting my dad, and my mom stepped in and pushed Jeff away.
Mom told my dad, “Is it worth beating up Jeff and not being able to see your daughter?”
Daddy just looked at me and stepped back. Dad just looked at Jeff saying, “Don’t you ever put your hands on a female again.”
That was the first time I ever experience violence with grown ups.

I have experienced bullying since 7th grade. I was called so many mean names before. It stared getting worse as I was going into the next grade. I was hearing rumors about myself that I never even did or could believe. People I didn’t even know would bring up my name and talk badly about me. I would never have many friends, maybe one or two select friends, but they still weren’t true friends. I barely had any true friends that I could rely on.

The definition of a bully is someone who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. So, therefore, people who bully are only bullying one another because they have no self esteem. They have to bring down others to feel better about them selves. Bullies don’t think anything is wrong with bullying. They don’t see the harm they cause and the hurt they cause people. They don’t see how harmful it is to the person they are bullying.

Bullying could happen anywhere from home, school, online, and public. Your never to sure where to watch for bullies because their anywhere.

I went to school with this one kid who was bullied really badly. There were rumors about him every day; he’s a strong soldier to put up with everything everyone had to say. He barely let it bother him. People were saying he moved to Strongsville from a different state because he murdered a little girl and how he rapes all these different types of animals. I don’t understand why people have to be so cruel. This kid was nice, heartwarming, gentle, funny, and just cool. I don’t see why anyone would start making up things about anyone else.

The bullies and people, who make all the rumors up and the entire BS, are the ones who can’t stand themselves. They don’t have good self esteem and don’t like themselves for who they are and also they are jealous of others. I always told myself I wanted to stand up to the bullies who bullied me, but I never did.

Throughout my whole life, I’ve had many inspirations in my life from family, friends, to people I just met. I like inspiring people with my story. I like helping people who’s gone through struggles that I have experienced.

I’ve been inspired by several people. One of the people who’s inspired me the most is my mother; I see, each and every day, the way she treats my sister and me, the way she works for her money, and the way she tries to get everything my sister and I need. I see that she’s an amazing mother and I would be lost without her. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had any other mother than her. The second person who inspires me is my sister. I see her life style and the ways my sister struggles, so I look up to her. She has been one of my best friends since the beginning. She’s been there by my side through everything. She was the first one I told about the rape. I want to follow in her foot steps in education. The third person from my family that’s inspired me is my father. He’s gone through a divorce with an ex several times. They just now made it final; there is no more getting back together. So he inspires me because I don’t want to go back to any ex’s, and also I want to have a good education on my shoulders so I wont have to struggle to be able to support my family in the future.

I was inspired to write a book once I met the Rotary Club of Strongsville Ohio. They assist whomever needs help financially, or just to lend money to groups such as the ASAP program of Strongsville High School. They’re so giving and helpful; they have inspired me to want to help others and let people know my story. When I’m older I want to open up a homeless shelter for homeless people to have somewhere to go, to help them get jobs, to help them get a place to live.

I’ve had inspirations everywhere I go. I love meeting and helping others. I’m taking an adaptive PE class in High school to help the special needs children in gym.

I’m looking forward to my future. I have goals in my life to help me reach success. I have goals to go to college, to get my education, to have a good college degree, to get a nice paying job, to get married, and to have a nice family. I have a goal to graduate high school by the end of my junior year. I set goals for myself to have a time limit to complete them. With each goal I successfully complete, I feel better about myself.

After I get my college degree, I want to find a job that goes along with my college degree. After that I want to be able to put money away, to have a car, and to have an average apartment to live. I want to be able to support a family if anything ever went wrong as in if I were to become a single parent, and not depend on any other person. After I start putting more and more money away, I want to be able to have my mom live with me; she’ll need a care taker, so I’ll help her with that and take care of her. I want to be close to my family, my cousins on both sides of the family, my sister and my nephew.

My future looks good in my eyes so far. I’m going down the right path.

My mom’s always told me, “You’re going to college and getting a degree so you won’t struggle like I did”. My mom always wanted the best for me. She wants Sarah and me to be able to support ourselves and children in the future if anything happens. I have a good future and I’m still planning on more goals and other decisions for my future.

I’ve made a lot of progress through my life. I’ve learned a lot of things about each situation I’ve gone through. Each situation has given me self confidence and helped me understand the details. Each situation I’ve gone through has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I wouldn’t have gone through each and every single situation.

From the beginning I’ve made progress in each category, from my school work, to coping, to talking to my parents, to my future and being on the right path. I’m so proud of myself for changing my ways and becoming who I am today. I’ve matured into a young beautiful girl who has an amazing future ahead of me and a good family to support me.

This is the story of my life from the beginning to the end, from the hurt to happiness, from being bullied to standing up to the bullies to making everyone proud of me. I’ve made a lot of progress in my life with each and every thing.
Tell Me About Your Story.

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