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  • Sometimes stories are just stories, tales told to entertain our friends. But sometimes they

    contain lives, sometimes they explain the shadows in between rips, or the whispered

    confessions to the moon when everybody else is asleep.

    We all have a story to tell. We own the things that have happened to us. It is our life and we

    have every right to speak up about our own suffering.

    I was six the first time a man touched me in the places a bathing suit should cover. My body

    became a crime scene with ripped caution tape wrapped around my hips before I knew what

    was happening. My suffering began the moment he lead me into that dark room.

    I spent the next few years locking every single memory of him away in a wooden box in the

    darkest corners of my mind.

    I was fourteen when the box started to crumble. Nightmares haunted my sleep and a dark cloud

    hovered above me during the day. My screams would wake me up in the middle of the night and

    I would spend the next hour shaking in bed, too afraid to move.

    I was fourteen the first time memories started slipping through the holes in the box. One second

    I was following my friend into her garage and the next I was laying naked on a wood floor

    with my wrists encased in a stone hard grip. The box was shattered and its sharp edges were

    shredding me from the inside out.

    I was fourteen the first time I began to feel the poison running through my veins.

    I was fourteen the first time I drew blood from my wrist in an attempt to drain the sickness that

    that man infected me with. I turned every place he ever touched me into a rigid scar.

    I was fifteen the first time I sat on a roof of one of the tallest buildings in town and wondered if

    the fall would kill me.

    I was fifteen the first time I stood in front of a train and waited for it to hit me. But when the train

    roared by, I stepped to the side, the wind whipping my hair around and streaking my tears over

    my cheeks. I didn’t want the last thing I saw to be the conductor's face frozen in terror.

    I was fifteen the first time I took a breath of toxic white smoke and held it in my lungs until they

    burned.

    I was fifteen the first time I let the sweet smelling smoke wrap around my mind and take me up

    into the stars.

    I was fifteen the first time I put my life in danger to feel a rush because my fate was in the hands

    of chance and for a second I couldn’t feel his fingers brushing over my hips.

    I was sixteen the first time I willingly let a stranger use my body for his pleasure. None of the

    strangers ever thanked me for letting them touch me. Instead, I thanked them for helping me

    destroy myself a little bit more.

    I was sixteen the first time I realized what was happening.

    I was sixteen the first time I lost my breath because of what I was doing to myself, the first time I

    whispered my story through a clenched jaw and shaking fists, the first time I managed to take a

    real breath again.

    I was sixteen when I realized that I wanted to get better.

    I am sixteen and I am taking my body back.
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