'O' Level student-inmate from institution A4
The word believe has diverse meaning to it in the dictionary. It can refer to religious beliefs, speaking the truth or you are in a state of shock that you cannot believe it. Another meaning is having faith in oneself, which happened that I used not to believe in myself and due to that, I have lost myself along the way.
“Aargh..! I don’t think I can do it, I give up!”
That was the most common statement that I used to say whenever I faced any obstacles in life. I have this very bad habit of not even trying; instead, I would give up just like that. This attitude of mine went way back in my primary school days. Whenever I find that my exams questions are complicated, I would not even give it a shot whereas I leave the questions blanks and un-attempted.
The funny thing is that I usually do trust people and eagerly, naively believe in every word for word that my friends say but when it comes to myself, I kept telling myself that I am no good. Sadly, these self-destructive thoughts are instilled in my mind until today.
Let me share with you my life story, this is my true-life account and I have to kept it to myself and shared with none of my friends. As I have mentioned earlier that previously, academically I am barely there and due to that, I have played truant, escaping from any tuition and get myself involved with unruly kids. I behaved this way throughout my primary school days to my secondary school days.
Recalling vividly, one day after my Mid-Year Exams, I went hanging out with my friends, which was a group of boys. We went to one of their home as there was no one around. Stressed from too much revision and my below-par results, I decided to de-stress myself by drinking and smoking with them. We were drinking from one can to another, then to one bottle of liquor to another. In the drunken state, my male friends, whom I had trusted so much, began to rip my school uniform off. I had cried telling them to stop but it falls on death ears. Eventually, I was gang raped.
After the incident, I lost contact with all of them and I kept quiet with what had happened. I felt that my stupidity, my naivety of trusting them, belief in them made me be this way. From then on, I had damaged my life even further. Not only I do not have faith in myself but I also do not trust or believe anyone else. I become promiscuous, changing from one sexual partner to another. I became so much worse. I started to skip school altogether until I was expelled, I drink heavily and started to take synthetic drugs numbing my pain trying to wash away the dirt off my body. I kept filling my head with self-destructive thoughts until it ate me up inside.
Even with my bad behaviours, there are occasionally boys that genuinely wanted to date me, trying to understand me but I treated them all just the same. I had made them fell in love with me and I would break them apart insensitively. I do admit that there are times whereby I had sexual relationship with a boy for few months in exchange for money to support my drug habits and extravagant life. To them, they think that by giving me what I want will change me but to me, it is just my way of acting out my vengeance to what had happened to me. I treated a man like a toy.
I had made a bad name for myself among the boys and since I was also on drugs, this had made the boys easier to avenge against me. I was high on cocktails of drugs when I was caught in an apartment, which I shared with my friend in Geylang. Initially, I could not accept that my drug days are over that I will be locked behind the four walls for years. This unacceptance of my fate made me bitter and I had caused chaos while incarcerated. I had gotten myself into a fight with other inmates who shared the same fate as me. I had gotten myself segregated countless times and my stay extended up to many months. The women in my dormitory hated me and whenever I go, people will not welcome me. I had made myself infamous for my temple.
My violence and defence had made me to sit by myself inside a single room cell for months, going to outside cell activities alone and bring handcuffed whenever I need to see the doctor. In my cell one day, feeling lonely with no one to talk to, I decided to start praying and in that moment of solitude, I have cried. I cried all the tears of pain that I have endure, the ‘dirtiness’ that I feel, what made me cried drenching wet in tears is because of all my sins.
After that moment of realisation that I am not alone, I had asked from my officer to send me for counselling sessions. My counsellor had listened to my life story and she started to give me ample advice on how to reconstruct my life. She had listened to my woes and not judging me. What made me turned my life around is that she told me to start believe in myself, that is alright if I do not trust others that easily but what is important is that I must have faith in myself and believe that I am not a bad and damaged person I used to see myself.
Since then, I started praying, getting myself closer to God, I started to love my body and its dignities. I started to take pride in myself. It is not easy, and at times I would fall off the track but I will quickly get back up and navigate my life back so that I will not turn to be the person that I used to be. I started to believe in myself - have strong faith in both my religious belief and importantly myself.
Like what the song by Mariah Carey “Believe” that ‘miracles do happen when you believe’ and the song by R.Kelly that writes ‘I believe I can fly, spread my wings and fly away if I believe in it.’ Now, not only I had changed my life, I applied myself in school and have a certificate in N’ levels. I am proud to be currently undergoing my O’s and this is all due to that I believe in myself that I can do it. Therefore, miracles do happen if only you believe in yourself.