Dedication: I dedicate this story to my past self. To my present self that's staying strong. And to my future self, that's hopefully living a nice peaceful life.
Hi! I’m a girl who is under 18 and doesn’t have too much of a story to share, but thank you to all who reads it. It’s hard to find a place to start because it seems never ending, but I guess I could start when I was around 11-12. I loved to play online games but only had 2 at the time, but I mostly went outside to play with my neighbors. The neighbors kids where ranging in 6-8 years difference except for one who was two months younger than me. The kids where punished pretty badly when they had done wrong, but the way they where punished made them not learn anything. Either way, we where still friends even with the age difference although our mentalities where way off. But regardless we all became really close and I was allowed to go over to their house, that’s when the issues began. At such a young-ish age I had witnessed the kids being whipped with a belt and sandal so hard that they where almost bleeding and had bruises. The punishments where done by their grandpa who had already been reported to the police once for child abuse a long while back. If I tried to step in or comfort them I would be told to leave them and if I didn’t listen to get out of their house (they used more colorful language of course) so I stayed and comforted them out of sight. The neighbors started to get too comfortable with me in their house so often, I helped with laundry, watched over the kids, and when we where outside late at night I would pick them up and bring them home. It was a relatively thankless job but all I wanted to do was be their big sister that looked out for them. Because I was pretty good behaved and didn’t whine or groan about doing any chores, I became the favorite of the house. To which my two month younger friend hated me for. I don’t blame her, she was made to go into gymnastics and was forced to love it, and even after working hard in heavy classes she barely got a fraction of the love I got. A few months later some online drama occured between me and a few friends, resulting in my mom taking away any connections to them. Because everything was taken so fast, and I now had nothing or no one, I got easily depressed, and started harming myself. Not because of the usual “it’s something I can control”, but simply just felt weirdly okay even though I didn’t like it. Later down the line the neighbors got a puppy, I’m quite scared of puppies because of an incident that happened when I was little so I didn’t like it much at all. I also disliked our neighbors a bit because of the way they treated their animals, they had put bulls and chiuauas in the back which where known to bite, but the pitbulls where harmed and abused badly. When they got the new small black curly puppy, I was honestly more afraid *for* it then for me. Sure enough a few days later the puppy got out by accident, and right infront of my eyes it was held down and beat, it’s a horrible image that I can’t forget. But I’m sure you’ll like to know that it ran away about 2-3 weeks later. Thank goodness. I had a lot of truama around animals and them being hurt afterwards, as it was sadly seen often by me when I was younger. As far as my neighbors go the kids where sad the dog ran away. Moving on to when I was about 3 months after 12 the little boy who was about 1-2 years younger then the little sister became horribly violent due to his sleezy father. Who more than once threatened to come in and shoot up the place. He often said he would kill the family infront of the kids, and sadly the younger brother started to repeat the same words as well as get violent. I wish I could say I moved without being hurt, but that’d be a lie. He would use broom poles to hit me, use his toy dump trucks and fire trucks to throw at my head, would latch on to me and his sister, usually pulling out my hair, and almost shattered my thumb by using a hammer towards me. I came home with a lot of bruises, sometimes a bloody nose, and sometimes drenched in water or have mud/dirt on me from it being poured/thrown at me. You might wonder about what my parents did, I told my mom and she said to just stop playing with them, but that would mean never going outside again, or have any social interaction as I no longer had online privilege. I tried doing so, and the depression got worse. So I went back to play and get hit again, smiling through the pain as did the sister, why? Because we knew if we cried or made loud noise the brother and sister would both have to go inside and get equally punished, and they wouldn’t be allowed to play with me for a bit. Neither of us wanted that, so we kept generally quiet about it unless it really hurt. (Such as the sister getting her ankle sprained because it got hit by a broom poles, or me getting a black eye from a tennis ball) After getting hit a few more times I went to my grandparents, who had owned the house we where in, and told them about the abuse. They “didn’t want to start a bad reputation with the neighbors because we where moving in 5 years anyway”, which was really just telling me to grind and bare it. We managed to get by before I finally snapped, my friend who was two months younger had told me that I was weak and a wimp because I didn’t grab the hammer from the two year old, apparently I should be stronger than a two year old and it’s easy to just take it away from him. But he was swinging it heavily and had good grip for being young, so I was too afraid to just grab the hammer, believe me I tried and that’s why my thumb almost got fractured. After that I knew it was a loss game. Because if I had taken the hammer away, he would’ve cried, I would’ve had the hammer in hand next to a two year old who’s crying and would have no remorse blaming me for hitting him with it. So I gave up. I felt bad for the little sister, who almost hated her life at age 6, but I couldn’t take it anymore. I became blank, dressed in black clothing, completely different from my sort of kind nature and bright colored clothing. My depression had horribly taken over and I felt I had no where to run, I no longer had friends I could go to, couldn’t go inside my house because it was too loud or there was always tension, so I sat in the back of my grandpa’s truck. Alone, and with only a notebook filled with stories I made up to keep me company. Things have changed now, I moved two states away, but the living situation still sucks. I’m at a standstill where there’s not much that can be done but hey, I’m proud of the person I’ve become. I’ve grown a lot thanks to those around me, and looking back, I can wave to my past self and say “hey! I made it…thank you”. And thank you to anyone who read this. Please keep moving forward. Even if there isn’t light just yet, you’ve still come so far.