I might not be the typical person that submits their story to you, but I figured that maybe it could help even one other person out there. You came to speak to our Grade 11 class today and I sat in the crowd with everyone else. I might have been hard to pick out at first, but after looking around a bit you could have seen that I didn’t quite fit in. Not because I was odd, or alternative or anything along those lines, but rather because I am a young, first year teacher and look quite a bit like the students that surround me, but am quite a few years older. I know your message wasn’t directed to me, but it hit home with me and my journey. So, lets start back when I was in grade 11. I was dating a boy at this time who had successfully convinced me that I was in love with him. Despite his physical, emotional, and sexual violence, he had convinced me that he was all I had in life. Through the struggle I dealt with, I had lost touch with my connection with God. Coming from a Catholic family, this was not an acceptable situation so I tried to hide it as best I could and continued to go to church every Sunday with my parents to keep them appeased. No one had any idea what I was going through. Since I had broken a promise I had made to myself and ended up having sex with this boy, I was complete convinced that I had to marry him, so I did everything in my power to show the people around me his positive attributes. Luckily, after a few months (9.5 to be exact) I came to the realization that he was not what I deserved. After all, everyone kept telling me how happy and pretty I was. Although I did not believe this or feel it. To deal with my pain and secrets I found myself drinking at a young age, thinking of suicide often, and escaping in the numbing pain of self harm. No one knew this. Not my best friends or my family. One day, I decided it was too much and I took as many pills as I could find in the house. I thought I was home alone and I had left a note on the last page of my diary saying goodbye to my family and expressing everything I was feeling and that I couldn’t deal with it any more. Thinking I was making the world a better place by blowing out my candle. Right at the moment I closed my eyes to fall into eternal sleep (hopefully in my mind), my little sister walked into my room. She NEVER did this. But today was different. She strutted right into my room like she owned the place and I was LIVID! But instead of saying anything I just rolled over, waiting for the unending sleep….