Thanks to My Enemies
Prompt: What is your opinion of the idea that our beliefs are influenced by the actions of others.
Theme Statement: An individual’s belief are dependent on their self-perception and can be influenced by the actions of others.
February 17, 2017
Packing with the knowledge of never coming back to such a lonely and wretched place brings to mind a poem that I never understood until now, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. This is a poem that I have spent days, even months trying to find a personal connection, but it just seems to always slip away.
As am finally reuniting with my family after ten years of separation, I wonder what the neighbor would say long after I am gone. Perhaps I will be ‘written down in history with bitter, twisted lies’ as Maya Angelou said. For my aunt whom I live with portrays me as a wretched and desolate creature who needs to be feared by all. I am known as the kid who murders by night but acts innocent by day just because I neglected a baby till death became her only friend. The newborn stirred in the rough canvas, shivering in the July evening. She can’t smell her ‘mother’ – at least that what she believes I am. My warm arms that had held her only moments before are gone. She kicks her legs out in search of something reassuring and the swaddling gives way. I take one look at her before moving on to the next chores. I guess I had too much going on in my mind. Time went by before I remembered she existed. I ran back only to find her eyes blank, her skin cold as ice and she is no longer breathing. It took me 5 minutes to register what had just happened. Panic rushed through me because I knew this was the worst thing that can ever happen. How am I to blame for I knew nothing of death. A mere six years old given the responsibility to take care of an household.They only recollected that I let the baby die out of negligence but it never occurred to them that my aunt’s pure cruelty allowed her to leave her four weeks old baby at home in order to attend a party. I was punished beaten and publicly shamed. And as of that moment, I knew my childhood was lost forever.
I know not why all those years that followed, I was shunned by my immediate ‘family’ – what else could I have called them. Was it because my sassiness upset them? Why were they troubled with gloom? For I set a standard for myself and others. I learned to expect the worse and brace myself for whatever it is. I decided to enjoy every moment while it counted and started my own little rebellion in ways I was able to. Self- respect was the key that freed me from the darkness that engulfed me. I rebelled by lying to escape punishment. I rebelled by finding a friend that helped me through it all – she needed only to remind me that I am a human being. .Just like hope that sprung high, my resistance to pain helped me rise above the ground. I did my best to maintain peace and every act of rebellion, boosted my self-esteem as a person.
They all – my aunt, cousins, uncles, and neighbors- expected me to be broken, bowed head and lowered eyes. Shoulders falling down under the bludgeoning of chance my head bled but I refused to neither wince nor cry. My haughtiness did make a difference for at first, they underestimated me but under the menace of the years, their effort to drag me down only inspired me to rise above all. It’s a long story but my favorite is this:
Dinner was served, instead of standing around the corner waiting to be called to service, I left the house to visit a friend – at least that who I thought she was to me. I ended up being punished because my ‘friend’ was just a trap set aside for me by my aunt. I did get punished for my indifference to hr rules. At least this time it was a more endurable pain. Just a week without food, and a beating session every other day for the next two months. But for every slash I got, I laughed aloud and smiled. I created an imaginary world in me. My satisfaction comes from my aunt’s sore hands after the beatings. It gave me joy when I indirectly inflict her with pain and agony.
They shoot me with their words, cut me with their eyes, killed me with their hatefulness. I was an open book and they knew all I ever wanted was for someone just to care no matter how little it is. And indeed they used this as a weapon to further enslave me. With all this happening, it furthered strengthened me to face the harsh reality of life. Every scar is a reminder of how strong I am and tells me that if I could survive all of this, there is nothing more challenging I couldn’t overcome. It ultimately resulted in my enemies being troubled with gloom. They tried and failed to break me. An inspiration I called it as it gave me a thirst to achieve my greatest potential.
Coming back to the present, I m really glad all of this happened because up from the past that’s rooted in pain; I finally know what I’m to become in the future. I have left behind all terror and fear, escaped the fantastical world kids dream of. I am moving into a wondrously clear daybreak in life and all the training I ever needed was already provided for. They hoped I would remain their slave but after every injury, my skin healed and built more resistance. I am the dream and hope of the slave I once was. My enemies will see me rise, and continue to rise until there is nothing left to leap over.
I seem to always dwell on the past. I believe moving in with my family will make a difference. All the voices and screams that play in my head will cease to be there. I am delighted that all this happened to me at a young age. For now, I can truly appreciate the world, I will appreciate everything I come across. I am now a matured person for I know the difference between Idealism and truth.
I must leave now diary for I can hear a knock on the door, a honk outside, it is time for me to leave but before I do so, thanks to all those who helped on my journey of self-actualization.