That Girl.18 Dec, 2012 01:19 AM
"Oh, Lena. I don't know how you do it. You're so strong all the time. I am not sure how you keep it together. Thank you so much for listening to me. It means the world to me."
I'm the kind of girl that lives to make other people feel better about themselves, to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the kind of girl that you will see jumping around singing at the top of my lungs during worship. I am the kind of girl that puts on a show.
It started back in 6th grade. I'm 16 now, but December 4th, 2008, still haunts me. I was the nerdy, quiet girl. I was in band and it was the night of our very first concert. During 8th period we received a note saying the concert was now canceled due to "unforeseen circumstances." Instead I went to a play with my best friend for her little sister. We sat down in the bleachers when another friend came & said, "I found out why the concert was canceled. A girl in our grade died. I think her last name was Gwen?"
My heart skipped a beat while an image of Sabrina Nguyen flashed through my mind. I immediately text-ed her. No reply. I sent 4 messages before my best friend called her phone. Her father picked up. To this day, I am not exactly sure what was said on that phone. All I remember is my best friend screaming. I didn't cry that night. I was in shock. The next day, however, I was a wreck. I found myself not being able to breathe. December 5th, 2008. That was the day I started cutting.
No, I haven't every single day since then. I scared myself. I didn't start again until end of 8th grade. By then, the expectations of being the 'smart kid' had far exceeded what I was capable of. I cut to remind myself I was alive. That I had a purpose & there was more to my life than this pain. That I was capable of healing. Even then, it wasn't very often I had to feel that pain. The summer before my freshman year, my grandfather was found dead in his house from a heart attack. He was all alone, found 3 days after he had died. I was at church camp on the Tuesday it happened, came back, found out, & was shipped off on a mission trip the very next day. I didn't have time to process anything. I wasn't particularly close to Grandpa Chuck, but the state in which he lost his life gave me chills. It was the quickest my 'camp high' had diminished.
Just 3 short months later, a week before my birthday, on Halloween, I was just about to leave when I received a phone call that Grandpa Barry was admitted into the hospital, but things were going to be okay. But, I had the option to go to the hospital & visit him if I wanted. I chose the better option.
By the time we got to the hospital, my grandfather was much worse. He had battled cancer for a majority of his life, & he had beaten states of health worse than this. However, at 1:26 AM on November 1st 2011, he lost his war. I froze when the heart monitor screamed the infamous beep that dragged on, seeming endless.
I sprinted from the room, collapsed in a hallway, & called Bradon. Don't get any romantic ideas, he is my youth director. The only one I knew would answer his phone that late. For the first 10 minutes, I don't think B really realized what had happened. All I said was, "This wasn't supposed to happen! He was supposed to get better! He always got better! God was always on his side! this wasn't supposed to happen!" I nurse came & took me into a room where B began to cry, too. He stayed on the phone with me until 3 in the morning. By then I was able to breathe through the tears. I was able to walk while still shaking.
After that, I took to bruising myself rather than cutting. Bruises are so much easier to explain than cuts. Everyone gets bruises. The most recent significant pain however, was a death of yet another friend. Brian. He was killed in a car accident by a motorcycle going 85 down a back road & slammed into the side of the car. For time's sake, I left out the family fights, my sister's epilepsy, my best friends leaving me behind for boys, being bullied at school for being "fat." For never having my first kiss. For having no hair ((I shaved my head in memory of my grandfather)). For being too smart. For the music I listen to. For my dyslexia. .For being clumsy
I am not saying my life is full of misery and woe. I am just a girl who has seen pain. A girl who has felt the sting of death & rejection. A girl who every time she finds the balance & strength to stand up again, get knocked down. There is happiness. I work with kids in dance & music. I work with homeless women on my Saturdays. I have a wonderful youth group to put their arms around me & hold all my broken pieces together. It is there that I find hope. It is their that there is this boy. Of course there is a boy, right? But, for me, I haven't spent time on romance since 8th grade. Too much happening; too much recovery. But, he makes me happy. He makes me laugh. He is sensitive & caring. He listens.
This all gives me hope that one day I can leave the self harm monster behind.