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A good girl turns bad

When I was around 13 or 14, I was baffled by the amount of sins around me. How could everyone be so careless? How could they so easily go against their own beliefs? I distinctively remember going to bed every night reciting the same promise to myself: I will never drink alcohol, I will never smoke, I will never have extramarital affairs, I will never cheat, and I will never hurt anyone. If I do good in this world, good things will happen to me.


So you can imagine my frustration when one day, when my mom asked me to help myself to her wallet to get some lunch money, I discovered a box of cigarettes. I immediately dropped it and started to shake, as tears rolled down my cheeks. Smoking is horrible for my mom's health, so why would she knowingly do that to herself? Does she not care about me, or the rest of our family? I decided not to say a word to her, and when grandma finally came home I went to her crying. I told her the truth, and a few days later the smell of cigarettes no longer lingered in my mother's hair. We never spoke of it again.


Proud to have put my mother in the right path, I continued to pray to God from the little window of our studio apartment. I was too short to reach the window sill, so I would push the bed closer to the wall so I could stand and look up to the sky. I prayed for a better life for me and my family, and I prayed my grandma would stop hitting me when she's mad. Over the course of the next few years, my mother moved to the UK to do her Masters leaving us with little savings. My grandmother, now having full access to me, continued to abuse me day and night.


My faith in what was right or wrong slowly dwindled, as I looked elsewhere for a sense of escape. My friends introduced me to menthol cigarettes, and I began to shout back at my grandmother after taking punches. I tried to get back to my old ways, because surely this was part of a larger test God had planned out for me. If I could just survive this period...but I kept getting hit down, time after time. Things never improved with my family, nor did it seem positive in other aspects of my life. Why was I being punished for having a moment of doubt?


Religion is a sensitive subject. So you can imagine the difficulty I have in getting words to come out of my mouth when someone asks about my faith. How much faith can a person hold when their hardships have never been solaced, when their dreams, even little, have never been fulfilled? Maybe I am being punished for my doubts, or maybe, just maybe, this is the way my story unfolds. Either way, I sit here with a cigarette in one hand as I type up this blog. I'm also sipping on a wonderful espresso martini I've just shaken up. I might as well enjoy and unwind from the difficulties of life, something apparently my mother was also doing - but I was too young to understand.

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