I find it amazing how inspiring it is when good people decide to try to do the right thing and give back to those who need help. I'm referring to Gideon Elrod and Sultrycharli, among others. I've been so impressed and proud of them that I've decided to put aside my fears and embarrassments, and tell everyone on Booksie who I am and how I got that way. I'm not doing this for any sympathy for myself. I'm doing it, instead, to show all of the young people on this site that there is someone who has been where you are. Someone who understands some of what you are going through. I'm not proud of what I'm about to tell you, but every year that goes by I realize more and more that it wasn't my fault, that these things happened to me, and I did nothing to cause them. In my case, my childhood was filled with continuous fighting between my parents, while simultaneously, my half-brother was abusing me. At school I was bullied terribly, to the point that all I ever seemed to feel was fear and shame. Again, I'm not telling you all of this for anyone's sympathy. This was a long time ago. I'm fifty one now. The reason I'm saying this is to let any young people know who might be reading this that I did survive, and I promise you, you can survive too. I know how hard everything is for you. I know how terrible you feel nearly all the time. I'm asking you to please hold on. Try all day long to hold on, and wake up the next day and try all over again. Most importantly, you need to know that you're not the only one, you're not alone. Please talk to someone, especially someone who's gone through what you're going through. If you want, you can talk to me. Just ask, and I'll give you my e-mail address. It would have meant everything to me if I had had a chance to talk to someone, but I never knew, and I had to carry it by myself. You don't have to. I won't have any easy answers for you, but I will understand, trust me. If you're a teenager with a site on Booksie, then you're already miles ahead of where I was at your age. You are writing, you have the courage to share it, and I want you to know that I'm proud of you already.
If you need one,
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