The following story was shared by a 14-year old whose life experience reminds us that we are all responsible for supporting and encouraging each other, and that the road to self-empowerment can be filled with difficult life lessons.  My heart goes out to her and I hope she finds encouragement in the stories shared by other girls and women here.

When I was 1-4 I was confused, stupid, and fun. I smiled every day like my world would never end. If only I knew, 5-9 I was introduced to school, bullied, didn’t care, introduced to having no trust cause people stole. 10-13 I changed of course, became a new person, learned how to make friends. and now I’m 14. I don’t really want them. I don’t want anyone except to be alone in the darkness of a cold room. I remember I’d do everything for love. Cause love was beautiful, now I feel as if love doesn’t even exist. I was the kid thrown around, bullied by parents, teachers, and kids. All for doing nothing, except being normal, and being nice, being kind. All for love. Cause love would heal me I thought but no, in the 7th grade I wasted 2 years on a girl ( I was bi ) just cause I loved her so much. And I was loyal, loved, cared, gave gifts, lifted her up as high as I could. A girl told me “she cheating on you” I was so blindly in love I said “that’s a lie” Turns out she was right, those 2 years we walked together alone a sidewalk, talking cheerfully, when she suddenly told me. It felt as if I wasted everything, my heart fell through the floor like a bomb ready to burst into pieces any moment. And it did. This made me lose my happiness. We moved afterwards, lost all of my friends. This made me lose my enthusiastic side. Tonight, was horrible. 9/18/2017 it’s like a nightmare come true except with my parents fighting over my Aunt smoking weed. She never cared she didn’t pay anything, she hogged out on food, pretended to gain sympathy. And both my mom and dad’s family’s sides did nothing but talk bad and not have trust. SO really, my life sucks. Well, kinda. Want my life tip? Tip: Don’t waste time on people. Live life how you want, and don’t let people push you around cause you could die some day.