Finding New Perceptions

Students from across the Greater Toronto Area opened up about turning points in their lives at The Learning Partnership’s Turning Points ceremony, held on April 28 at the North Toronto Collegiate Institute.

While many people face struggles, there is always support. That’s how one Grade 6 student from Calgary sees it, as she wrote in a winning essay she penned as part of the Turning Points program, which emphasizes character awareness and literacy skills for students in Grades 6 to 12.

As today marks National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, it’s a timely message. In her essay entitled “Finding New Perceptions,” the student with the Calgary Board of Education courageously shared her experience struggling with depression and opening up to her mom.

“This was my new perception–I finally had someone,” she wrote. “I was lost in my own world of sorrow, and I thought my mom was the last person who could understand me. She did though; she was my reminder to not go there–to that world where life was not worth living, because there is always going to be someone who sympathizes.”

You can read her award-winning essay submission below.

Finding New Perceptions

Over the last couple of years I’ve had a lingering sadness. I would cry in my room by myself. I felt alone, like I had no one. I did have people in my life who cared about me, but it felt like nobody got it. I felt like my parents loved my sister more than me, and sometimes like they didn’t love me at at all. I felt like I had no friends who understood me. I have diabetes, and that has always made me feel alone, as if God just didn’t like me. I didn’t know what I’d done to deserve this.

Sometimes mom caught me crying, and it’d crush her to see me so low, so sad, so angry. I refused to tell her what was causing my depression, until one day, I let it all out. We sat in my room for hours, both crying rivers and sharing our feelings. She said she understood, and I told her that since she had a perfect life, she would never understand my pain.

My tears broke her wall, and her truth came flooding. Her outer shell, her inside story, her barrier of a smile. She told something I would have never have expected about her parents. She told me that she was growing up she felt very alone because her mother was an alcoholic and her father was physically abusive to the family. She told me she finally cut him out of her life when she was afraid he would really hurt her.

This was my new perception–I finally had someone. I was lost in my own world of sorrow, and I thought my mom was the last person who could understand me. She did though; she was my reminder to not go there–to that world where life was not worth living, because there is always going to be someone who sympathizes. Someone who, too, has felt alone, worthless, like the world is relentless and unfair. I’m glad that day happened, and I am pleased to have my mom as my mom. She is my reminder to keep going.

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