I could not possibly describe a moment of my past that I am more passionate about than this one. In order to duplicate the intensity I felt in that moment, I must first explain where my heart stood prior to this life-changing encounter.
I do not see my father often. My mother, however, more than adores her children. Her love for me has been most evident through the way she speaks to and of me. Mom has always adored Oprah Winfrey. She admires the way Oprah, through the massive amounts of persecution and tribulation she faced, prevailed and reached her full potential. My mom treats me as if I am Oprah. She tells me I can do anything, and she puts her money where her mouth is. My mom works on a teacher’s salary and we do not receive child support. We are not financially able to splurge for pleasure. Even so, when I said I wanted to become a professional jump-roper, she sent me to a jump rope camp! (Who knew that was a thing?); when I said I wanted to be an engineer, she sent me to a two-week seminar at the age of 11. My mom is obviously my biggest investor.
Perhaps this is why I felt I could not go to her with my problems. It felt almost uncharacteristic of me to say to her that I could not look in a mirror without becoming overwhelmed by self-hate. Since I could not endure the endless flow of negative thoughts any longer, I took my anger out on myself physically. I tore into my flesh with my fingernails. Within weeks, my arms became a direct reflection of my internal pain. A war was waged between good and evil for my heart. How could a girl with the potential to become Oprah hate herself so much that she felt the need to break open her flesh and at one point, end her life? I needed change.
My solution came from the most unexpected place: my information technology class. Long story short, a friend invited me to his church and I agreed to attend. I would like to say that as soon as I started going to church, my situation bettered. I would like to say that my...