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Bridges High School, Carbondale, Colorado

My tenth birthday is one of the most important birthdays I remember with her. She got me a brand new backpack - it was gray with pink cheetah stripes all over it and it matched my shoes. I was thanking her happily, then she told me I was worth everything and deserved it all and more.

She believed in me and thought I should have all the good things this world had to offer. She had taken me in and took care of me the first 8 years of my life when nobody else could or would. Those years were eventful and adventurous because it was always fun and she was constantly introducing me to new things I had not seen yet or experienced.

One day she decided to move back in with her ex-husband, which meant she had to move away from me. She left me behind and I was heartbroken. When this happened, my only thought was that I had lost her forever even though I knew she still loved me. I knew she was always going to love me because we were still closer than ever.

I had no idea she was unhappy with her life. She never showed it. I just remember her always having a smile on her face. My grandma was the brightest and funniest person I ever knew, so all of this was very surprising when I found out.

The day I found out my grandma killed herself I thought I was worthless and I didn’t think life was worth living anymore. She honestly was my happiness and I looked up to her. Her actions showed me that life wasn’t worth living. Why would someone that taught me so much about life feel that it would be better if she were gone? I just couldn’t understand this. I was so confused and began questioning everything.

During that time I felt like I just didn’t care if I was alive or not. I didn’t want to be gone, but I also didn’t care if I was hurt badly enough that it would kill me.

Having to grow up in a toxic, Hispanic household is what has hurt me most in life. I’ve never understood why men and women are always treated so differently. Coming back home to my mom, crying, complaining to her, hoping she wouldn’t make me go back anymore to my dad’s house became a daily occurrence. I ended up realizing that it wasn’t up to her because she supported me and she supported my decision on not wanting to go back to my dad's house.

My dad always promised me so much and never gave me any of what he promised. When I turned 15 I still did not have my own room, which made me a little furious for a while. Then I turned 16, 17, and then almost 18 - still no room he promised. I still had no car that he had promised either, yet he still took out his anger on me constantly though. I was a liar to them, they always called me a liar, all because I decided to be strong and come out with the truth, I ended up labeled a liar.

I learned that others can label you all they want, but the power to believe their lies rests on us only. I have to build myself up and get to know who I truly am and the person I want to be, so I can stop the cycle of women not living their truth. I am working on knowing my worth and not letting others put me down. It is hard, but I have good support around me.  I will not continue doing what plagued the women before me. It ends here - with me finding my true worth and living my best life.

© Roxi. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.


  • Education
  • Family
  • Loneliness, Doubt or Loss
  • Friendship and Kindness