The Experience That Changed My Life

The experience that changed my life was when I found out about the book called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was about a teenage boy named Charlie whose aunt recently died in a car accident. He thinks about her a lot and even visits her grave sometimes, telling her secrets that he only shares in his letters to his dead best friend (suicide). Charlie and his aunt had a unique relationship, she always got him the most presents but she died on her way to get him a gift for his seventh birthday so he blames himself for her death…

Growing up, Aunt Helen was molested by a friend of the family. When she finally told her parents, they didn’t believe her. They did nothing to stop it, and even continued inviting the man into their home. Eventually, Aunt Helen grew up and got away. But of course, the trauma stayed with her: "My aunt Helen drank a lot. My aunt Helen took drugs a lot. My aunt Helen had many problems with men,” is a line from the book. Victims of abuse often become abusers themselves. And of course, Aunt Helen goes on to molest Charlie. She took advantage of shy, quiet Charlie’s love and trust. Charlie forgives her, but it has changed the course of his life forever.

After reading this novel, I’ve had a different perspective on life and child abuse, etc. You never know what’s going on in somebody’s life or what’s happened to them in the past. As I said earlier, victims of child abuse often become abusers themselves so you really can’t blame them if they do because of their childhood.

The reason I felt such a strong connection to this book is because of my old friend Melanie. We’d been friends since 4th grade and she was one of the closest friends I’d ever had. We were basically inseparable! She used to have small bruises on her arms and wrists and I never knew what they were from. I never really asked either up until last year. At first, she didn’t answer my question and ignored me for days. But then a few days later, I walked into the girls’ bathroom and saw her sitting on the floor, crying. She was my best friend so I was instantly worried and I asked her what was wrong. She wouldn’t tell me and I didn’t know what to do so I went to my teacher and just told her that she was crying and looked horribly upset. Our teacher immediately called the guidance counselor because even she was worried. My teacher asked me to walk her down to the guidance counselor’s office and all Melanie did was cry for 10 minutes straight. I nearly started crying too because I felt like I couldn’t help her. The guidance counselor asked me to leave so Melanie could tell her what happened. Later in the day, I found out that her mom was physically abusing her and ACS would be going to her house in the afternoon. For the next few days, she was looking really gloomy and she told me that she was now living with her grandmother for now. Since I moved schools, we haven’t been in touch too much. We still text every now and then and she tells me how she’s been doing and I do the same. I still worry for her sometimes but hopefully everything’s getting better and things are going great for her.

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