Life, choices and accepting people as they are

I remember when I was just me. Just an innocent girl who had no idea what was going on. Now I know better. Before I was happy, but now it is sometimes very hard to find a smile. My name is Bella and I have had a rough life so far. You may say after reading this that my life isn’t rough but the way I see it, it is. I am sixteen about to be seventeen, not even a month away from my birthday. Some worry about birthday gifts, but I worry about life. “What will life throw my way?” is now a constant thought in my head.

I am currently in a terrible school. I have been in many schools so I should know. Because of the school I am in now, it is hard for me to get motivated to go. I have had a CHINS placed on me by the school because of not going. We talked to the court and had notes from my therapist and the person who did my testing. They read the notes and understood that the school wasn’t helping me but I still had the CHINS put on me. This school is an alternative school. They call it a “therapeutic day school,” which I find is funny, since in my opinion they do not help. I know they try to help but they usually make it worse. All the staff there are nuts and they don’t catch much of anything. For example, I was getting beaten up by a kid one day in the small cafeteria. A staff walked in and asked what was going on. The kid said, “Nothing,” and then left. The staff believed him! I was shocked and honestly I felt hurt inside because these staff are supposed to protect you. And they can’t even handle that task. So that added to my school refusal. I don’t really trust anyone there except for a select few kids.

My home where I live is alright. I still live with my parents and my sister. I love them dearly but sometimes they can be a pain. My mom was in a car accident before I was born and has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from it. My dad was laid off at the end of January this year. My sister has had a lot of bad stuff happen to her also.

My sister is one of the nicest people I know. She speaks her mind and is original. But most of the other kids want her to be just like them. Except she isn’t just like them. So naturally she’s been bullied. She wasn’t only bullied by the kids, she was also bullied by the teachers sometimes. There was this one guy who was a guidance counselor who would intimidate people. He intimidated my sister and my mom. If I met him I would have given him a piece of my mind because he claimed to have a child of his own with mental health/special needs. Honestly, I don’t care if the kid is purple, has tentacles, or has three heads, you don’t treat people like that. While I may not be big on religion, I still hope that people can learn how to treat others correctly. As in learn to help others and not harm them in any way.

I find all people are different. Some can be similar but never exactly the same. No matter what, we are all original. You just have to embrace it. If everyone embraced this concept, it would make the world a better place. If we accept people as they are, with their quirks and faults, and become more understanding and considerate it would be better for the world. And for humankind as a whole. This is what I believe.

As much as I feel alone, I also want to be known. I want to be who I am and remembered for who I was. I want my name to be remembered. I want to be my own person and remembered for it. And I want to be there for others just as my friends have been there for me.

I don’t want to give in to peer pressure. Sometimes that’s others making bad choices, trying to make it seem okay, and trying to get you to make the same choices, too. For example, underage drinking. I don’t see what’s so great about drinking at this age. And drugs, why is that so great? Does it magically fix all your problems? Does it pay your bills? I don’t think so. I think it is just going to cause you more problems in the long run. For example, if you get caught you are going to go to court and possibly jail. Was it really worth it? Smoking is a different story depending on if you are able to buy it on your own. But still it can cause some lifelong issues no matter what your age is.

I have not given into peer pressure for anything yet; my choices are still completely my own. I have not done drugs, drinking, or smoking. But I have still made some poor choices. Yet, I do not regret anything I have done. Just because I do not regret my choices doesn’t mean I am necessarily happy or proud of all of them.

No matter how many mistakes I might make, I don’t want to regret them. I won’t be able to change choices that were made in the past, so I don’t dwell on them. I want to continue down the path I have chosen until I reach the next fork, the next decision. As much as I might want to change choices, I cannot, so I just try to make better ones the next time.

Bella is a member of Youth MOVE Massachusetts. She lives in Central Massachusetts.

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6 Responses to Life, choices and accepting people as they are

  1. KAREN SCOVIL says:

    Bella,, i think what you had to say was very mature and i do agree with most everything you said. I to believe we are on a journey and that this is a learning experience. You will make mistakes but the important thing is to learn from those mistakes. I believe there are good teachers as well as bad teachers. Hopefully more good teachers then bad ones. The good ones love what they are doing. I think most try very hard to help but even they are human and make mistakes. When you talked about how that other kid beat you up and when the teacher came in,, he said everything was okay but you didn’t mention if you said anything about what happened to this adult. You felt this person didn’t do anything to help you and only believed the other kid, but, if you did not speak up how was the adult to know that anything had happened? I know that it is hard to speak up when there are bullys out there but if you don’t , you are not giving the adults the chance to stand up for you. I wish you all the best in life,, you sound like a very strong smart person and I believe you will do fine. Maybe you can be the person who changes things for other young people by being the kind of teacher or counselor you would like to see in the schools. Best of luck to you. .

  2. MARY ANN TUFTS says:

    DEAR BELLA,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ELOQUENT AND OPEN WORDS. YOU ARE SO RIGHT, SCHOOL, ANY SCHOOL, SHOULD BE A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE SAFE AND SUPPORTED ALWAYS. KEEP UP YOUR GREAT CHOICES. IT DEFINATELY ISN’T EASY TO BE A TEENAGER. I HAVE THREE GIRLS WHO WERE VERY CHALLENGED IN THEIR TEENS BY MUCH OF WHAT YOU SPEAK OF. THEY MADE IT THROUGH AND SO WILL YOU. YOU ARE A REMARKABLE PERSON WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE AND YOUR HEAD IS OBVIOUSLY SCREWED ON STRAIGHT. YOUR BELIEFS WILL HELP TO IMPACT CHANGE! I TRULY BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOUR VOICE. THANK YOU.
    STAY STRONG!
    MARY ANN

  3. Dalene Basden says:

    Hi Bella, I just want to let you know how impressed I am with your wisdom, “my choices are still completely my own.” and honesty ” But I have still made some poor choices”. They exemplify values and morals that would make any parent proud. I also believe that these attributes will guide and support you as you continue on life’s journey and face the choices and challenges that await. I wish you all the best.

  4. Fran says:

    OUTSTANDING……………………..

  5. Dede The Board Whisperer says:

    Bella – thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I think it’s very brave and I, too, wish you well – keep writing!!

  6. Daphne Lopes says:

    Dear Bella,
    Thank you, thank you, and thak you again for your truky ELOQUENT and honest thoughts. I am the parent of a 14 yo young lady and like yourself she was hurt received a concussion at a “theapeutic school” and was also unsupported by staff…and she did speak up although it was hard for her as she is a very shy child who has been bullied by both staff and students in the public schools.
    It was an honor and a blessing to find your thoughts and share them with my daughter. YOU HAVE EMPOWERED MY DAUGHTER TO HOLD HER HEAD UP AND STAY STRONG!! She stated that you “get her” and she no longer feels alone. Just know that you have forever earned my respect and gratitide as oneof the people who have helped to save my differently abled child.

    I too truly believe in you and your voice… stay stong….and know that each one teaaches one and you have been one of the BEST TEACHERS that my daughter has had!!

    You are going to change the world youn lady…. one person at a time!!
    Daphne Lopes