I am from...

I am from Milford Connecticut, where I was born on November 15th.
And from rainy afternoons when 4 year old me, and 6 year old James, danced in the rain until our mom called us in or the sky cleared up.

I am from the baby bucket swing on the swing set in my backyard, where my legs got stuck because, even though I was 4 years old, I swore I could still fit.
And from July 12, 2005, the day I stood in the driveway, saying goodbye to my family one by one, the hardest goodbye being to my best friend, my dad.

I am from the unaccompanied minors seats on airplanes to visit Connecticut for the summer.
And from hour long car rides with my dad and brother, blasting Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin the whole way home.

I am from the seat on the bus to field trips with an empty space next to me because my mom was working, and daddy just couldn’t make it that day.
And from drama club at Banyan Creek, where I looked in the crowd before each show with a false hope that my dad surprised me and flew down to see me perform.

I am from Seacrest soccer field on Saturday mornings filled with orange slices and cheers as we won the game once again.
And from Omni Middle, where all I learned about was myself after seeing so many people set the standard for the who and what I didn’t want to be.

I am from the pages of books, where I got lost in fascination, but found myself by comparison.
And from journals that seem to be the only place I can really be honest, about myself and how I feel.

I am from Atlantic High School, where my freshman year, I heard “are you James Lee's sister?” nearly every single day.
And from a soccer team whose coaching decisions led me to quit playing for good.

I am from a group chat with my best friend Ben, where I met his best friend Juan, who’s now my boyfriend.
And from the night I told my dad about Juan, when I wished he was there to threaten him like every father should do for his daughter at least once.

I am from anger problems that hurt people I cared about and got me into trouble,
And from seclusion because alone was where I really felt comfortable.

I am from 1999, making me always the youngest in my grade,
And from wishing I was older as I watched my brother and friends do what I couldn’t.

I am 15 years old now, but I still hold parts of 4 year old Shannon that danced in the rain and got stuck in swing set, and 8 year old Shannon that wished she wasn’t the only student without a parent on the field trip. 

I still, in some ways, am 11 year old Shannon that was introduced to the kind of people she didn’t want to be around, or be, and 13 year old Shannon that lost herself in her own thoughts through reading and writing.

Yes, I am still James Lee’s sister, and the ex-soccer player.

I am still the Shannon that met Juan, only now I love him, and it’s been months since the group chat. I too, am the Shannon who wished her dad was here to be protective, even if I have never needed that protection.

 I am still the Shannon that had anger problems, but I’ve learned self control. And I am still Shannon who likes to be secluded, although I’ve come out of my shell more with the help of Tiara and Juan. 

I will always hold parts of who I was and how I was growing up until today, but of all the places I’ve come from,  and things I’ve been through, I’ve still remained myself all along.

This poem is about: 
My family


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741