The Outreach Team recently ran a competition, asking partner school students in years 10-13 to write an essay with the theme “How Can We Make the World Better?”
Second place was awarded to Emmanuella with her piece entitled ‘Broken’. Please see Emmanuella’s entry below.
She looks out at the window. The light coming in bright as ever but she is broken still. The light contradicts her state of mind. The dark empty state of mind she has now wound up in. Everyday she waits for the devil of demise to take her broken soul away.
She sluggishly drags her self off of her bed of misery to shut out the gleam of happiness. As she shuts the windows and draws her thick black curtains she remembers how this all started.
It all started winter ’90. She had just transferred to a new school. At her old school she had been repeatedly bullied and called different sorts of names from racial slurs to fat-shaming comments. She was overweight and of an African descent. She had always had these sort of comments made about her appearance and she always shunned them because then they didn’t matter. “But this isn’t then any more” she thinks to herself. She had struggled so much to remain sane and at the top of her class but she could only take so much before she cracked like an egg in an incubator, letting her feelings out like that. Little did she know that this was only the beginning of hell for her. “If only I had known” she thinks again to herself.
After reporting the situation and going through a lot of legal procedures (all which changed nothing for the better), her problems became more as she now started getting physically assaulted by classmates and people in the neighbourhood.
Finally her parents decided to move because they couldn’t bear to see their little flower wither gradually. Although their new jobs were not very well paying, it was all supposedly worth it as long as their daughter gets into a different environment.
Winter ’90 she remembers as clear as crystal. She walks into a new school with majority of people her own race. “I think I’m going to fit in here just fine” she thinks to herself. Little did she know that this was only the latest deeper hole dug for her to spiral down into deeper gloom.
As she walks down the hallways, she smiles and says hi to everyone hoping that this might be a different experience but they all just looked at her and whispered, treating her like an outcast. She tries so hard to not let this get to her and she was successfully able to pretend like she didn’t care. After all, she’s been doing this her whole life.
Days passed with her still being treated like an outcast days turned to weeks and weeks turned into months and before she knew it, a year had passed and nothing had changed. No things had changed but for the worse. Asides all the emotional and physical abuse she suffered from her peers, she also suffered in the hands of her male teachers who touched her inappropriately and threatened to make her life a living hell if she reported and that no one would believe her anyway. She unfortunately began to let that sink in as she began to believe it herself. “Come on who am I kidding” she thought “no one is going to believe a girl that literally just got transferred from another school for the same cause. At this point they’ll think I’m just faking it and seeking for attention.” So she kept it to herself and told no one about it. Not even her parents as she was scared of what they’ll think of her or say to her. A year and half soon passed and she had finally reached her tipping point. She couldn’t take it anymore so she told her mom. Her mom broke down in tears but this wasn’t the reaction that she was expecting. She was expecting her mom not to believe her or scream at her for being an attention seeker but she didn’t. This brought a wave of relief upon her and she became filled with emotion and began sobbing alongside her mom.
Eventually it was reported to the school authorities and the male teachers involved were fired. The school was also sued for damage.
But this was not the end of it all as there was still that cloud of misery hovering all around her as although justice had been served, she still had to fight with her inner demons.
She had now been permitted to home school by the government and most times she is left all alone because her parents need to work. Left all alone with her thoughts, thoughts of her worthlessness and how she’ll never amount to anything because she was still fat. She began to skip meals and exercise a lot and when she gets hungry and eats over her calorie limit, she purges. This was quite easy for her to do since her parents were always busy so she would just not eat and then lie.
Eventually her parents would notice. This had been going on consistently for 7 months before she fainted from standing up too quickly. She was then taken to the hospital and there they found out that she was low on blood glucose and then admitted. Series of investigations went on and then she was referred to a therapist for her abnormal eating habits.
Her parents kept an eye on her for a while but she was successfully able to convince them that she was over it now. But she wasn’t. She fell right back into it once eyes were off her. This demon of hers came back to her with even more demons: the demon of dysmorphia and the demon of self harming.
Her demons soon became her God. The ones she listed to without thinking and the ones she did whatever they asked her to.
Eventually her parents would notice again. She had just fainted. But in the bathroom this time. Luckily for her, she had just left the door unlocked accidentally and her mom was off duty this fateful day. Her mom soon noticed that she was gone for too long and opened the door to her daughter passed out on the door.
She had just slit her self in the wrist. Again. But this time, cutting open her blood vessels and making her pass out in the process. Her mom drove her to the hospital again only for tests to be carried out and it was revealed again to them that her eating disorder was still going on but now was accompanied by self harming.
She was hospitalised again but this time she would not be allowed to go home.
“Where am I?” She asks when she finally opens her eyes. “In the hospital honey” her mom says to her. Her face falls when she realises that she had been caught and there might not be a way out of this one. As if her mom could read her mind she says “you’re not coming back home today honey. I love you and I want nothing but the best for you. I have signed all the documents and you’re moving to ‘safe haven’. That will be your home from now on honey”… “wait.. what?!” She exclaims. “It’s for the best baby girl..”. “What is ‘safe haven’ first of all?” “It’s a mental institution for young girls like you with an eating disorder and mental health issues.” “I don’t have any problems!” She screams at her mom. “How could you? I hate you!” “It’s for the best baby”. They both break into tears.
After a few more minutes together some people came by to get her and she wailed as they held her down.
~1 year later~
“Crys! Cryssie? Crystal?!” She snaps out of her day dream. “I thought I lost you for a second there”. “Oh hi there Lils”
“You were really deep in thought huh?” “Yeah I was actually. I was just thinking about everything that happened and how all of this started”
“Don’t forget what I told you. Cast all your cares on him and he’ll lift them from you”. “Yes I do remember. Anytime I feel down and I talk to him, I just seem to feel better”
“Yes I told you that it works. Look at me now, I get to go home today and I feel happier than ever”
“Well done! I’m so happy for you”. “Thank you! Cryssie, promise me you’ll always remember me..” “Of course Lils. How could I possibly forget you? You helped me get through the past one year. Although I seem to have gotten on the wrong side of the bed this morning hahaha.” “Of course Crys. Everyone has their own bad days. Just never forget to call on him when you do though”
“Of course Lils I won’t forget”. “I love you Crys. Never forget that.” “I won’t Lils”.
They do their secret handshake and give each other a long hug before the nurse comes to get Lily.
Lily was admitted a while before Crystal. They had been put together in the same room and although they didn’t hit off well at first, they soon became best friends.
~3 months later~
“Crystal it’s time” the nurse says to her. She had been here for a year and three months and she is now okay.
She thinks to herself “my broken parts are now mended”