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I Was Saved by Music

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The only thing I ever remember feeling as a child is terror and complete isolation. It began with a slap on my face by a hand twice its size, a two-inch cowhide leather belt that left whets, and the hateful and vicious words that cut to the core of my young and fragile soul. There were intimate touches upon my person by someone who should have known better. Piece by piece I began to die inside. The monster started to visit me in the night. When the lights were out, the floor of my room turned into a pool full of water. Snakes, long and fat, slid through the dirty brown water, their black beady eyes staring at me as they hissed. I lay frozen in my bed calling for my mom. She cut on the light and said there are no snakes-you are being silly-go back to sleep. But when she cut out the lights and shut my door, the snakes would always come back.

I stayed awake as long as I could, but sleep would always overtake my tired eyes. Then the rats would come, not the kind of rats you find in a science lab but huge ones, larger than cats: rats with long tails the size of broom handles and teeth like blades on a rake. Their black beady eyes awoke me in terror, unable to scream. I knew I could not call Mom as I had before. She did not seem to understand that the rats were real. I needed for her to make them go away, but she could not or would not help me get rid of these monsters that were coming to kill me. I was on my own in The Land of Terror and Pain.

The Land of Terror and Pain was also filled with sounds that caused me to tremble with fear. There were the sounds of Mom and Dad fighting, the sound of my brother as he cried and begged for mercy as my father beat him. The sound I feared the most was when Dad would fo...

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...There are days I know I get busy running from place to place, errand to errand, and I forget to be alive. I lose sight of all that is important, forget about my dreams and goals, and miss all the beauty that surrounds me. On these days, I turn on my stereo, put in the tape, dim the lights, close my eyes, and push the play button. Once again as the music starts, I am rocketed to the Land of the Living, where all people are alive. At times I sit in complete stillness and just listen, letting the melody carry me away. At other times I dance, my eyes closed, my body swaying to the rhythm of the beat. But at different times, I laugh or let the tears of sadness fall. It does not matter what I do when I hear the music, because the same thing always happens when it starts to play. I am made whole, and all wounds are healed. It is then I feel, and then I am alive.
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