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English, Foreign Languages and English as a Second Language

Student Showcase

Writing Style

Michelle Salazar

Writing for me has always been a way of expression, my expression of pain and in the end, love. Although I am in my early twenties, I feel as though I have lived forty hard years.

I was always a very closed person. I kept everything to myself, so I had few friends when I was in my teens. It was during this period of my life that I had a boyfriend, and that is when the majority of my pain began and a journal entered my life. My boyfriend began to abuse me physically, and I found myself in and out of the emergency room. I wanted to talk about what was happening to me with my family, but they couldn't believe what I was saying, so I became distant. A journal was my outlet from the pain I was feeling and quickly became my best friend.

My life was in despair, and quite often, I wondered if I would live to the age of twenty-one. What started out as my first real experience with having a boyfriend turned suddenly and without warning into a nightmare. For the first year, I was in denial. I actually couldn't believe it was real, that this was my life. I went through the stages of self blame, hopelessness, and finally hate for the sick person who could physically abuse another human being. I was angry at him for making me the poster child for domestic abuse.

Everyone always says, "I would never let anyone hit me," and asks, "Why did you stay with him?" Quite simply, I was afraid, afraid of him because I already knew what he was capable of doing to me. Of course, I ran away once. He found me and dragged me all the way to his house eleven blocks away. I never tried again. My family didn't help me, but I guess that was my fault because they never saw me with black eyes and bruised cheeks. They thought that I just didn't want to talk to them for days, sometimes weeks. The police didn't help either. Sure, he would get arrested sometimes, but there was nothing they could do unless it happened more than three times within a specific time period. That didn't evercome into effect until a few years after the start of my abuse.

This abuse lasted six years, six years of hell no one should have to deal with. It also brought me two children whom I love very much. I was afraid for them because I knew that someday he would hit them, too. I went through many difficult periods during my years as a statistic, and I wrote every single one down in my journal. I knew I needed help. I needed to help my kids, not just myself.

Finally, I got help. The source of this help came from a very unexpected place, my journal. One day, I just sat and read all my entries, every page. I relived six years in those pages, and I cried the entire time. I ended with the knowledge that my children and I deserved to be happy, just as everyone does. It was then that the kids and I left. Of course, he was in jail, and we had to leave the state in order to be free. Soon afterward, we knew I could go back and not have to worry about being snatched into hell.

My journal saw me through everything. It's what kept me sane even in the bleakest moments. For years pain was my only expression, expressed in pages of a journal. As time began to heal the wounds, I began to write in it less and less until I stopped altogether. I have no reason to keep a journal nowadays, for I am happy. Now all I write are poems, poems about the love I hope to find someday. However, I will remember my savior of sorts, my best friend, my journal, for the rest of my life.

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