The Tree at the End of the Schoolyard

The Tree at the End of the Schoolyard - student project

This stage in my life was when my depression started, the stage in which I programmed myself to view the world through the eyes of an existentialist, of the rejected and unwanted. One who finds pleasure in very few things and who many times would rather give up than to have to deal with the pointless urgencies of the here and now. A 13 year old boy who then decided to pack his bags and leave, run away and cease to exist within this place and between these people.

I was living in my small family’s home in Los Angeles, a 7th grader who would rather much be involved in being a Teacher’s Assistant and part of the California Cadet Corps than to be at home, in the place of my never ending agony. I was a bright but yet misunderstood individual, had always been a straight A student till this particular year, the year I wept under the oak tree at the end of the schoolyard.


This was the year I collapsed, I began to let my feelings out and to stand up for myself. Come to think of it, I had no other choice, it was either standing firm and strong to what I knew in my heart was right or to give up to the whims of an abusive father and to let him define who I would later become . Quite frankly, I would have gone mad if it weren’t for the line of decisions I took that year, thus the reason I’m still here standing firm, and continuously blossoming like that old oak tree at the end of my schoolyard.


I wept and wept all throughout my lunch break in that old oak tree at the edge of my rustic schoolyard, to have been found by my group of eclectic friends who dressed in all black and listened to punk rock and cut themselves secretly. I cried like this was the end of the road for me, like it was the last day the earth beneath me would retain my tears. I cried because I felt alone and abused, I felt like the person who was supposed to love me the most on this journey was the first person on the list to hurt me and push me away. I cried because I didn’t know what else to do, I cried because I wanted all this to end.


I then decided to finally leave my enemy, to separate myself from the person who was defining the glasses which I used to view the world. I had decided to leave the abuser who had once struck me so hard that his buckled leather belt had opened my skin and then had the audacity to blame it on myself -a 13 year old boy who only wanted the approval and guidance of his father- stating that I had done that to myself in order for him to get into a fight with mother.

 I had decided to leave and never come back, to leave the person whom I once most desired to love but that I now hated. I decided to leave to the country of my forefathers, to pack my things and set sail away from the hell I was living in. I decided to pack my bags and take my secrets with me, to take all the unholy desires within me for them to never be discovered. I decided to take my love and innocence away from this barricade of religious double sided morality, who on Sundays taught me to love and forgive but the next day physically and mentally scarred me with words of hate and the striking of rugged leather belts on my fragile, wounded hands.


I left on the day of my birthday, I left with no regret. I packed my bags and said goodbye. I liberated myself from him. I took my secrets with me, I took them locked up in my luggage to never be opened. My sexist and double standard father would never find out I liked boys, at least not now, not when I most needed to run away and stand strong. Not in the moment where I most needed to listen to myself when I knew deep inside me what I felt wasn’t wrong, that I knew it was OK to like another boy and that if I had never learned from him the contrary, I would have never hated myself for it.


I left and I took my luggage with me. I left and loved myself for doing so.