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When I was very little, I use to pray. I would sit on my bed, bow my head, and squeeze my eyes shut as tight as they would shut. My lips would move, but no sound would come out, my prayers were silent, heard only in my mind.
I prayed when I was alone, for someone to find me. When we only had each other, for my sister to be safe. When I was crying, for my parents to stop fighting. For my mother to stop yelling. For my father to stop hitting the walls.
I was afraid of them. To hear them screaming at each other. To hear them screaming at me, or at my sister. I was terrified when I saw the holes in the doors, in the wall.
So I prayed. I prayed to anything, to God–any God, every God, which ever would hear me speak. To this one, to that one, to his, to hers, to yours, hoping for one to here me. I would plead in my prayers for a happy family, with peace ringing in the halls, not anger. I prayed that we would laugh and play as other families did.
But as I grew older, I stopped praying. I lost my faith. I stopped because no one ever listened. I never got an answer to my prayers.
I talk of faith because it is what holds a person together. Faith, not religion is what people believe in, for there are an infinite number of things to believe in.
But I began to loose faith. How could I keep faith if nothing changed–if the fighting, the yelling, didn’t stop? How can I pray to someone who won’t listen? If God was there, why would he ignore me so? Why would he let me take on the role of parent and provide me with ones who were unfit?
I was the one to wake the house in the morning, to make sure my sister was fed. To remind them of this and of that. I was to be the glue that held them together, to try to be the peace maker. I had to up in the blink of an eye and had little time to enjoy it.
I try to stop the fighting, but I cannot and my sister has suffered much it. She takes it out on herself; she bears self inflicted wounds that I can do nothing about. My words fall on her deaf ears. I can do nothing, but stay solid, to be there for whatever she may need.
I did not rebel, I stuck to the rules. I did not drink, I did not smoke, I did not stay out to late, or skip class. I thought that if I did anything to show that I wasn’t stable, even for a moment, for my own enjoyment, then they would fall apart. If I was not to be the sane one, who was? None of my family can hold that title for more than a moment.
So you ask me now, why I do not act like a normal teenager, why I do not go out to parties, why I’m not as experienced as you. You ask me and I do my best to answer you as easily as I can.
It is because I am afraid to let go. That if I jump, there will be no one like you there to catch me.