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Applecharm11 Starhorse

Singapore

Hi! I love writing about animals, fantasy and just expressing myself through words. 'A painting paints a thousand words' so why not a thousand words form a painting?

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Hi! I write for hobby and for escaping troubles. I love to write as I get to 'live through' the stories I improvise on the spot. It makes me able to feel and be someone else in a world where I can change anything.I hope my words can make a difference

14 years of life

April 11, 2016

PROMPT: [Insert Age]

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14. 7 years from 21, adult age. But question, am I ready for that?
 
14 years, not much, people would say, quite a number, others reply. 14 years, of the life I've lived to now.
 
These 14 years have been quite eventful. And educational.
 
It wondrous how quickly you can change. After 7 years of age, you go to primary school. After 6 years of that, you're in secondary school. Another 7 years and you'll be an adult, heading into the world.
 
Its mysterious how many changes occur as you tread into each age mark. Baby, child, teen, adult, senior.
 
At each stage, you're treated differently.
 
They say everyone's life is different, though.
 
Me?
 
Well... lets reflect shall we?
 
I grew up a happy child. The elder sister of a little boy. Two years difference, but yet he seemed to stay young all the time. I'll admit, he wasn't your usual brother. First of all, he didn't scheme like I've heard brothers normally do. And he was more than happy to play by himself. But lack of communication made me unable to understand his sudden emotions, leading to him barreling into me, a screeching fury.
 
Autism, we found out, was the reason for all his act ups. And I'm not talking like Asperger's where they could at least talk. My brother literally grunted and yelled when he wanted something. And when he didn't get what he wanted when we didn't understand, guess who got the brunt of his fits?
 
I guess maybe that was why I didn't grow up, exactly... social.
 
When you're a toddler, all you have is your parents, and your siblings.
 
When my brother didn't respond to my invitations to play, and instead attacked at random, I learnt to withdraw, assuming all children were like this.
 
As we got older, he went to therapies and improved, but he wasn't perfect and still had many flaws.
 
I remember the first time going to the playground. I was dumbfounded by the behaviour of the other children, who laughed and played.
 
Maybe that was also why I never really understood what a good game was.
 
The only game I managed to play with my brother with the least amount of screeching was 'role playing'.
 
My mother had first introduced it as a way to help him learn what to do in certain situations.
 
Since all I had to talk to really were stuffed animas, I had become a pretty creative and role playing child. So at the opportunity to actually play with my brother using something I had grown to love, I jumped at the challenge.
 
He stopped therapy after that.
 
We played all sorts of things.
 
Doctor, tea parties, dinosaurs, prince and princesses, all sorts of things. What I could image, we would be.
 
Slowly my brother got into the whole playing thing. At first, he never really 'played'. He simply gathered information like a computer, information nobody really cared about. Like memorising the Periodic Table at the age of 7, learning american, german, japanese history and the Pi numbers. 
 
I brought him slightly back in the world.
 
That was my childhood.
 
As we entered primary school, my shy and submissive personality aquired me a few friends. Primary 1 to 2 was happy. Our teachers always told us to be ourselves, and everyone would like us.
 
It worked.
 
For a while.
 
As the third primary year approached, I realised how innocent I had been to the truth.
 
Newsflash, people DONT always accept you for who you are.
 
And unfortunately, I had fell into that category.
 
Though I had two best friends I'd die for, I found myself actually dreading school for the first time. 
 
I actually trembled as my father drove me to school. I'd quietly slip out the car, past the gates, into the school. I'd sneak past, pressing myself against the walls, in hopes of escaping them. But no matter what I did, it never changed the fact that my enemies waited in the classroom. All of them. In my classroom. Yipee.
 
I don't even know why, or when it started, but I was praying everyday it would end.
 
Why every 'popular' kid decided I was the best target to bully, I have no idea.
 
All I know is that I hated it.
 
I hated how they'd treat me as if I wasn't like them, human, something that had feelings. I hated how they'd hurt me, take my things. I hate how they'd make me cry. I hated how they made me feel I was a mistake.
 
I just hated the bullying.
 
Lucky me, all of the worst ones were also in my Chinese Class! 
 
Our chinese teacher was pretty nice, since I admitted this though I despised the subject, thats saying something. At the start of the year, she had us make coloured paper cut outs of our hand prints, in which she would pin to the board, beside the whiteboard. Though this seemed pretty silly for a Primary 5 classroom, it comforted me. As she explained how we were all equal, and we should help each other. 
 
But apparently, the rest didn't know how to read, or they didn't care.
 
Everyday I'd enter the classroom, to see my handprint ripped from the board and on the whiteboard, held frailly by a few magnets. Each day, the hand was torn more by a bit, another couple of hateful words added. Until one day, the hand was completely demolished. All of those trolls smirked at me as I entered the classroom that day. I didn't have to read the words on it to tell that it read 'You're a mistake', 'I hate you', 'No one loves you' or 'You should just die'.
 
I had enough. I stepped up to the board, ripping the strips of ripped paper that had once been a comforting sight, turned and tossed it in the bin.
 
And the funny thing? No one ever noticed the hand wasn't there with the others. Intentional or not, they showed their message well.
 
I wasn't needed.
 
The only refuge I had were my friends. But the bullies seemed to understand this fact, they would shove me against the walls, pushing my friends away. That was when they'd pummel me with harsh words.
 
Why did they want to hurt me? Even now I can't understand. What good did it do them to see me cry? To see me break?
 
Even now it frightens me that for once, I had thought of how a person could have a quick painless death. From fire to the school roof, these thoughts had raced through my head. I am now still horrified about what I had even thought for a second.
 
I was entirely relieved to leave, to move on to the next.
 
As I entered the doors of Secondary school, I found myself unconsciously afraid. What if it was going to be the same? What if things were going to be worse here? Though the first year had proved to be happy again, it didn't change the fact that I had been scarred, probably for life. I now carried unessesary anxiety with me. And of course, I never told anyone.
 
Even if I did, who would have listened? 
 
At home, my brother was better, but still not able to go through a day without at least three fits. My father was either busy reading, working, or playing on his iPad. My mother I usually avoided. She always seemed to see the worst in me.
 
94 for english? Why not 95? She'd say. Then with a scowl, she'd look away. I'm very disappointed in you.
 
My father? The same thing.
 
I couldn't handle it, the disappointment. Though I poured my best into my grades, they never seemed to please my parents. 
 
So I stopped trying so hard.
 
I stopped showing them my results unless I had to.
 
If I didn't hold hope and present them a grade I thought was great, I'd just be put down by their disappointment.
 
Since my brother was autistic, he'd been showered in attention and love. And that also meant his grades.
 
46 for english? Its alright, you can do better next time.
 
It was heart breaking for me to watch. 
 
Why couldn't you be as soft towards me?
 
It was painful when they'd compare me to him.
 
Well, autistic children just lacked communication skills, not brains. Autistic kids actually excelled in brains. But nope, they felt it wasn't the case. So when he scored amazing for the other subjects, my parents would always use it to compare to me.
 
Now? 
 
I'm trying to get my grade up, though I'll admit I still don't show my parents until report card day.
 
I'm getting through school with less fear of my peers.
 
And its actually... pretty good.
 
 
So what have I done in these 14 years?
 
I've learnt many things, I've gained, I've lost. I've been scared, I've been inspired.
 
And so my journey as a writer. What started as a way to occupy myself in the absence if a playmate, to venting out my emotions in primary school to now.
 
When I write, I'm living a different life. I'm a different person. And I know, that I'm not in the worst situation.
 
So if you were to ask me, what have you learnt in your 14 years of living?
 
I'd tell you I've learnt many things. But you can't learn these things from my story alone, you need to learn them for yourself.
 
You need to learn to treasure the time your siblings play with you. The times your parents are proud of you. The times you're accepted into a community.
 
You need to learn to be grateful for what you have. Never take it for granted for one day, they can be taken away.
 
14 years for me to gain and lose, its brought me happiness, tears, sorrow, passion.
 
But I can't give up here. I'm only 14 after all.
 
There are still many more years to go.
 
Though yes they might be happy or they might hurt. And more scars may be cut into me. But thats the reason of life. To live, to learn.
 
So I'll just keep going. Cause once you start living, you don't stop. Until the great being above takes you away.
 
So what you think I've done in my 14 years, I leave it up to you.

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