This is about my best friend who taught me lessons I desperately needed to learn, inspired me, and helped me find strength after one of the lowest points of my life.
According to the Commission on Domestic Violence, 25% of women are abused by a significant other each year. I now have the strength to admit, I have been a part of this percentage.The day I was trying to hide a black eye was the day Andrew, came into my life. Before this time he was merely an acquaintance, to me he was just the smart theater kid that sat behind me in homeroom, and I was in the midst of an abusive relationship, then one day our lives merged.
Andrew used to talk about how I “bumped” him the day he saw me crying in class, he saw a lot of what I was going through as I struggled to hide my pain. By the time we became good friends, I had been cheated on multiple times, and often had to hide bruises. I noticed myself looking forward to that class where I sat in front of him. I loved talking to him; he was a deep thinker like I am. I remember practically running to keep up with his long stride in the hallway on the way to class and energetically talking to him, barely stopping to ask him about himself sometimes. One day it occurred to me that he truly listened. This was the day I confided in him about my black eye, and everything else that had been happening to me. He never pressured me, but encouraged me to get out of the situation I was in. He worried, the way a friend like him does. I soon found the strength I needed to leave the abusive boy, and everything that was hurting me. Emotional healing after an abusive relationship is often a difficult process. My self esteem was crushed, but Andrew would stay up with me until early hours of the morning, talking over everything until one day I was strong again. His patience amazes me. A few months later, he asked me to be his girlfriend; it was one of the happiest times of my life. For the first time, I finally learned what it was like to be treated well and cared about. The things he taught me are so important to me today. We would go for long walks, and have philosophical conversations. I remember the time we stared at an ant swarm for about half an hour and discussed the life of an ant. I remembered how good it felt to laugh and laugh often, and he showed me the treatment I deserved. We would often discuss all the things what we wanted to do with our lives. He spoke of taking risks and told me how his mother would say “If it’s not making you a bit uncomfortable, then you probably aren’t growing much.” I live by these words today, and always want to try new things. We share a love of helping others. Today I am acting on that. He’s traveling around the country doing volunteer work and I’m here as a social work major.
Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.
He helped me heal, he taught me many things, and he continues to inspire me every day. Not too long ago, someone asked me if I believed in miracles. I said yes, we can be each others miracles. Andrew is my miracle.
Who’s miracle are YOU?
Submitted by Rachael Stamm
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