Anne Frank’s story is a powerful story. Her story can be explained in different ways; the Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank’s Biography, Anne Frank’s Hiding Place, and Anne Frank’s Holocaust. Each of these topics perpetuates social justice. Social justice can be defined a distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Anne Frank’s focus this year is to Engage, Lead, and Improve the World, which coincides with the difficulties of social justice then and now.
The presentation was thorough. The thesis, statements, and main points were clear. The story was meaningful. The presentation was full of metaphors; emotions were compared to bubbles, the routine and being controlled were compared to robots, and being different and being yourself was compared to Alex; a girl who did not cooperate like the rest of the robots. The play motivated me to share my story not only with the people who I give advice to but to also to not be ashamed to express my story any and everywhere. I was not always able to tell my story to everyone but participating in this event enhanced my comfortability to share my story with more confidence, be more open, and taught me how to use metaphors more vigorously.
My father constantly went over the fundamentals of Heaven and Hell, so I was basically taught to believe in it. He was very religious. My dad always told me to stand my ground and read the bible. He says it is required to believe in the word of God so I can walk through the gateway of Heaven; a beautiful, peaceful place full of angels and brightly whitened clouds. There are a lot rules and regulations you must follow; obey your mother and father, respect your neighbors, love everyone as you love yourself, wait until marriage, don’t kill, lie, or cheat; you know… all that good stuff. I cannot quote all of them word for word, but I can assure you I have probably broken almost all. I have a guilty conscience but I do not tell anyone about it. I keep all my emotions inside so no one can ask “what is wrong?” If they question me, it’ll require an explanation that I’m not ready to give. Most of the time I pretend like everything’s okay, when in reality, I store all of my emotions in these dull, cracked up imaginary glass bottles. The more the bottles fill up, the more I try ignoring the agony of being reminded of my wrong doings. My pains stem from multiple directions. Each direction triggers a different nerve in my body, which affects the main part of me; my self-esteem.
My self-esteem began to lessen once I lost virginity. I was 13 years old when “the love of my life” crushed my precious flower. His name was Mark. He was so beautiful to me; brownskin, tall, smelled like linen fabric softener, and very sweet (to almost every girl actually). I didn’t pay attention to my feelings toward him flirting with other girls; I was just happy to be one of them. He gave me my first kiss in 6th grade. It was on these dusty stoned gym stairs right in front of our gym teacher’s ran down office. He asked me to be his girlfriend a week after. He would buy me tropical flavored fruit snacks and write me little love notes twice a week. Most of the time I couldn’t read them; some of his letters were messed up because he had horrible penmanship and he was left handed. However, none of his flaws bothered me. Butterflies would rush into my stomach whenever he walked in a room. He had a glow; well, he did to me. I was blinded by “love” I thought was real.
All of these feelings I had for this “outstanding guy” led me to giving him something that could never be returned to me. My father stressed the abstinence rule. “In the Bible, Alexys, one must wait until marriage. That is all. The only thing guys want from you is sex. Period.” On February 17, 2012, I had sex with Mark. At that time I was happy, but after he got what he wanted, he moved right along with the time. He was no longer apart of my life and I was broken. As time went by, I began repairing my broken pieces. More guys came straddling in as the years went along and walked right out. It began to feel normal. I began to accept the fact that no one guy would stay around forever to keep me overjoyed and jubilant. However, for the time being, each guy gave me a strange feeling. A feeling that filled my body up to the brim. It wasn’t the feeling of pleasure, but the feeling of being “loved” and “wanted”. When a guy would leave, I’d fall harder because of every emotion I kept inside. The emotions would spill out all at once. The guys would say “Alexys, it’s not that serious”, “Alexys you’re crazy”, “why are you so upset with me?”. I could never answer them honestly. Me opening up to them would be a door for them to walk through and rob every piece of privacy I had left and use it against me. I became paranoid and developed anxiety. I would sit in the dark at night, stare at my wall, and think about death.
“How can I ask God for forgiveness? He would never forgive me… I’ve broken too many rules. I do not even know why I am like this.” The guys were the main issue but deep down in my soul, I knew they were not the root to my problem. Every night I tried to fight my thoughts about death. It began to haunt me. I pictured demons picking at my skin and me missing the bus ride to Heaven. I felt the heat of the fire coming from the grounds of Hell. That is why I never wanted my feet to show when I slept. I was always afraid of the devil creeping up on me and dragging me from under the covers into his chambers of horror. I had a very negative mentality. People always wondered why I never opened my eyes or uncovered my ears during horror movies. I did not have the guts to tell them that I will dream about it for months and believe that one day I could be them. I was terrified. I hated going to sleep because I felt like I would never wake back up. I began seeing things differently as well. I would look around and ask myself “Am I living right now?”, “Can people see me?” I felt alone and distant from everything. I wanted to know what death felt like. Nonetheless, as I grew older, those thoughts began slightly vanish. It was a day to day process. Being that I experienced a lot at a younger age, I grew to know and figure out how to handle some situations without expressing myself and without guidance, but I always questioned myself; why did I let those guys have such an effect on me? Is that really all I’m good for? Why was I not good enough? I dug deep and then it hit me. I finally had a feeling as to why I felt this way but I ignored it… I did not want it to be true.
My mother told me a story about when I was little. I was around three years old and I was with both my parents. I was sitting in the living room watching television and I began to cry; hard. My father got angry and yelled “Why is she like this?! My sister was never like this. I hate it! Why can’t she be a regular baby?!” My mother didn’t think anything of it because she said “He was young; he was didn’t know what he was saying.” I never liked staying with my father. Since I was a little girl. He wasn’t nice to me. I wanted my mother to stay home all the time. My father was so routined; never genuine. His “I love you” seemed forced and his “you look beautiful today” seemed dishonest. He never apologizes. He just moves on, not knowing how I feel about the situation. I never hug him, kiss him on the cheek to say goodbye, or greet him with hospitality when he’d walk through a room. That was my life since I was a little girl, so I thought it was normal. Now that I’m older, it got worse and I sometimes wished my mother was a single parent.
I hardly ever listened to people tell their “good daddy” stories. It would hit one of my nerves but always ignored it. I hated hearing them, not realizing the exact reason why. I’m not a “daddy’s girl” at all, but I wish I was. My father is a good man. He makes sure I’m good in school, he provides for me, he takes me places, and makes sure I am in church, but that is not all a father is suppose to do. I wanted to be loved, pampered, joked around with, welcomed, comforted, and have a relationship with him. I felt like a robot that had to obtain all this information and figure out what to do with it on my own. I just needed a dad, not a Sergeant. I was probably not the best daughter but the difference between my father and I is I tried to be. He thought he was perfect, so it was not much for me to do. I do not hold grudges against people because I do not want the burden on my shoulders. The grudge I held against my father, however, refrained me from being able to live up to the expectations I had for myself.
Now I’ve let go of the grudge. He spoke positively about me, but it always felt insincere so I never acknowledged it. Each day, I continued to build a wall between us. I can not change a person; I can only change myself and hope they change too. I always remind myself of my own worth and purpose. The Bible taught me to love my neighbor as much as I love myself. I’ve loved others before loving myself. I know now that I am in control of what I allow to affect me. People will come in go, but those who truly stay are those who love you the most. My father never left, but most of the time it felt like he was never there. I had to apprehend that he is not like me. Now, I know my dad meant what he said, but he has no feeling. I love my father with all my heart and I thank him for being the man that he is because he helped mold me into the person I am today. He allowed me to see the greatness in myself, BY MYSELF. I thank God for exposing me to those struggles and taking me on that rocky journey. Those bottles aren’t completely empty, but I know they will never overflow. My view of acceptance is different now and the burden is lifted.
Due to my experience, I am able to guide other people who have similar problems. They confide in me because they trust me and my story. I am thankful for everything I went through. This allows me to get Engaged when I hear someone going through what I went through and hope to Lead them in the path of comfort, stability, and self-love. The more people who believe in themselves and overcome obstacles they felt would never be accomplished, will help Improve the World, which will carry on the legacy of Anne Frank and her compelling journey.
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