Have you ever met someone who changed your life? That’s what happened when I met Anxious. He changed my life, in an unfortunate way. When I first met him, he was shy and said very little. Most would say that his ways at the time were “cute” or “not a big deal.” I was one of those people, but oh I was wrong. Over the course of time since Anxious and I met, we became very close. I shared some of my deepest and darkest thoughts, and a couple fears, with him. Anxious was a very good listener. He understood my problems. However, when I shared a part of me with him, he returned the favor. As Anxious began to reveal more of himself to me, I soon realized he was not as harmless as I first thought of him to be. I discovered that Anxious sometimes got aggressive. When we hung out things would run smoothly, until something triggered him. When things did not go the way he had planned, he beat me. I tried to leave him, but it was no use. Anxious would follow me, and I could not escape his presence. When he showed up in the public eye he would verbally abuse me, telling me how I’m not good enough, and I’ll never be the person I want to be. I started to believe him. When I was all alone resting comfortably in my bed, he would show up, and hurt me physically. He choked me until I couldn’t have an ounce of oxygen, cut me and scratched me until my arms looked like graffiti. When he would finally leave, I would feel empty, and the only thing I could manage to get out were tears. Dealing with him kept me up at night. Sleep was never easy when the main thought on my mind, in the late hours of the night, was him and when he will strike again. Dealing with him left me with bruises, but they eventually healed. However, the scars he gave me scars that will probably last a lifetime.

—By Kennadi H., 16, Arkansas