This was it. She couldn’t take it anymore. Sarah looked down at the tear-stained pillow as she wondered why her life was such a mess. Why couldn’t she have a mom who actually cared or a dad who wasn’t a drug addict and actually had time for his kids?
Sarah was 14. Doing online school whenever she got time from caring for the two younger siblings she had. With her mom busy with her 9-5 job and a dad who barely ever came home, she had given up on even hoping that her family would ever be like it was before. Everyday was a struggle. She woke up at 6 as soon as the youngest, John who was one, woke up. Making breakfast, sweeping floors, doing the dishes took most of her day. By the time she got time to sit down for school work, she was so exhausted that eyes would close the minute she sat down.
So her grades dropped, from a 96 to a 85. She stopped eating, from three helpings to only one. Struggling with insomnia which along with depression made it impossible to sleep for more than an hour each night. All these changes were subtle but they were there all along and she fell apart, piece by piece.
One extremely hot day while washing the dishes with a 2 year old clung to her leg, Sarah felt light-headed. Putting down the plate she was washing she tried to reach for the counter but before she was able to hold on to it, she passed out and fell to the ground.
Sarah woke up in a hospital very near to her house. It was neither big, nor welcoming. Stuffed in a small room with three other patients and only as much as a curtain to separate them, Sarah found herself with an iv attached to a saline drip. It soon came to her knowledge that her mother had admitted her to the hospital but had quickly left due to work. As she sat alone pondering over her miserable life, she saw the girl next to her who also, had no family member beside her. She seemed not much older than Sarah but had skin filled with bruises and slap marks on her bony arms and legs.
Sarah had a condition known as hypertonic cardiomyopathy which had not come to be seen in previous scans and X-rays taken during her childhood. The condition worsened with stress, hence being the cause of her breakdown earlier that day.
Living in a poor hospital with no electronics, no family all Sarah could do was talk to other patients. The girl next to her named Emily and Sarah soon became firm friends and Emily let Sarah into the deepest and darkest secret of her existence.
Emily lived in a large family, something Sarah had often wished for. She had loving parents and a dog. However two years after Emily moved to California, her parents both lost their lives in a car accident leaving her to her aunt and uncle as per their will. Every night after her aunt slept her uncle would come up to her room and try to sexually force her. Sarah was mentally so scarred that she couldn’t bring up the courage to tell a single soul. However when she finally warned her uncle that she could tell, he started beating her. He broke two of her ribs, fractured her femur and left her with marks that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Listening to this, Sarah was on the verge of tears. Words were unable to describe the great deal of pain and sympathy she was feeling.
Sarah thought that even though her parents weren’t really very actively involved in her life, she was never raped or even laid a hand upon. It truly made her realize that you should never be ungrateful.
Even if you have nothing, that nothingness means the world to someone else!