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Growing Up
Robin, Age 16, Williamsville, NY

I don't look at the world the same anymore.  I am growing up, I know that, I just didn't think it would feel like this.  My parents raised me well, I can't blame anything on them.  I have never felt unloved, or deprived of clothes, food, anything really.  They taught me a lot, but there were some really important things that no one tried to tell me.

I didn't know the temptations I would face, the choices I would need to make. My mom never told me how to say  no.  My mom never taught me to respect myself enough to wait until I was sure.  My dad never told me that some guys would only want one thing. My parents taught me to read, they taught me to be smart.  They never pushed me to do homework, but I did it anyway and I got such good grades!  But they didn't tell me how easy it would be to let myself down.

Drugs.

Drinking.

Sex.

Violence.

No one mentions the risks to you growing up.  Sugar-coated poison.  It feels good sometimes.  They don't tell you this, no one told me how sad I would be.

Now I know.  Now I know the truths.  I wish someone had told me sooner.

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