We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

← Back to all stories
Photo ofAbeni Timms

Three words describe me as a child: innocent, naive, and impulsive. As a young child, I was a timid little girl who angered quickly. Life can be extremely challenging, but with the right tools, one can find  happiness.  Many would consider their early years as the best years of their lives, but my kindergarten year was traumatic. I started the year in a class where the teacher despised me, and a classmate made it her goal to degrade me. It all became clear one day after a very embarrassing event occurred. I remember it with painful clarity. We were at circle time, and I asked to use the restroom; she told me to wait. The urge continued and became a necessity. I asked several more times, and she replied no. I eventually had an accident on the carpet. As a result, my classmates teased me, which caused me to lash out and get into fights continuously. This incident was the first in a domino of unfortunate events that are known as my early childhood.  The next traumatic event took place on September 15: my grandma died. My grandma was my best friend, and I have wonderful memories of her. We often woke up early to eat Frosted Flakes and view the news. Our favorite movie was The Titanic. Each time it aired, we would cuddle up with popcorn in her bed and watch the film. When she died, I was lost! It felt like the end of the world. I just couldn’t let her go; I was filled with anger and sadness. Her funeral was a nightmare. As a result, I went to therapy, but as time went by, the loss became bearable.  December rolled around (my birthday month), and I was so excited. Unfortunately, something very unexpected happened. On the night of December 7th, my dad was admitted into the intensive care unit at the hospital. I was only five, so I wasn’t allowed to see him. The next day was my birthday, and I was furious. My anger was overwhelming, and it revealed its ugly head wherever I went: school, with family, and friends. I wasn’t able to see my dad for a whole week. It was the worst feeling in the world. I hated the fact that I was a child: confused, angry, scared.  My mom came to my rescue and decided I needed to attend therapy to help me control my behavior. I was conflicted and couldn’t understand what was going on in my head. My therapist helped me understand my feelings, taught me a calming mechanism, and put me on a path to success. I started to learn how to deal with my emotions, maturely and productively. My life turned for the better.  Throughout elementary school, I learned that life could be tough, but I had the tools to deal with my anger. I built strong friendships and learned to trust adults because they were there to help and support me. In addition to these tools, sports became an outlet to release my aggression. Athletics taught me valuable lessons, such as discipline, goal setting, and communication skills. I learned how to turn all the negativity into a positive one.  I learned that life is better with the right attitude and perspective. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. One must remember to find the positives in a situation. Now my life is considerably better. I still miss my grand- ma. I am content and understand life is easier with an optimistic perspective. As a result of maturity, I would describe myself as outspoken, social, independent, content. 

© Abeni Timms. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.