She couldn’t take it anymore. Sarah looked down at the tear-stained pillow as she wondered why her life was such a mess. Why could not she have a mom who cared or a dad who was not a drug addict and had time for his children?
Sarah was 14. Doing online college whenever she got time from caring for the two younger siblings she had. Together with her mom busy with her 9-5 job and a dad who barely ever came home, she’d given up on even hoping that her family would ever be like it was before. She woke up as soon as the youngest, John who had been one, woke up. Making breakfast, sweeping floors, doing the dishes took most of her day. By the time she got time to sit down for school work, she was so tired that eyes would shut the moment she sat down.
So her grades dropped, from a 96 into a 85. She stopped eating, from three helpings to just one. Struggling with insomnia which combined with depression made it impossible to sleep for over an hour each evening. These changes were subtle but they were there all along and she fell apart, piece by piece.
One extremely hot day while washing the dishes with a 2 year old clung to her leg, Sarah felt light-headed. Putting down the plate she was washing she tried to reach for the counter but before she was able to hold on to it, she passed out and fell to the ground.
Sarah woke up in a hospital very near to her home. It was neither big, nor welcoming. Stuffed in a little room with three other patients and only as much as a curtain to separate them, Sarah found herself with an iv attached to a saline drip. It soon came to her knowledge that her mother had admitted her to the hospital but had quickly left because of work. As she sat pondering over her gloomy life, she saw the girl next to her also, had no relative beside her. She seemed much older than Sarah but had skin full of bruises and slap marks on her bony arms and legs.
She had a condition known as hypertonic cardiomyopathy which had not come to be seen in previous scans and X-rays taken throughout her youth. The condition worsened with anxiety, hence being the cause of her breakdown earlier that day.
Living in a bad hospital with no electronics, no household all Sarah could do was speak to other patients. The girl next to her called Emily and Sarah soon became firm friends and Emily let Sarah into the deepest and darkest secret of her presence.
Emily lived in a large family, something Sarah had often wished for. However two years later Emily moved to California, her parents lost their lives in a car accident leaving her to her aunt and uncle according to their will. Every night after her aunt slept her uncle could come up to her room and attempt to sexually force her. Sarah was mentally so scarred that she couldn’t bring up the courage to tell one soul. However when she finally warned her uncle that she could tell, he started beating her. He broke two of her ribs, fractured her femur and left her with marks that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Listening to this, Sarah was on the brink of tears. Words were unable to describe the fantastic deal of pain and sympathy she was feeling.
Sarah thought that even though her parents were not really very actively involved in her life, she was never raped or even laid a hand upon. It really made her realize that you should not be ungrateful.
Even if you have nothing, that nothingness means the world to someone else!