How To Change In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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Melinda Sordino started ninth grade just as afraid and alone as I did. At an End-of-the-Summer party, Melinda was raped by a football player from Merryweather, her new high school. She immediately called the cops to report the crime, however the kneejerk reaction of the underage drinkers occupying the houseparty silenced her and chased her away. Consequently, Melinda’s best friends from middle school abandoned her; no one wanted to be associated with the squealer. Her parents were distant and never took the time to understand the sudden change in Melinda’s demeanor. She fought hard to keep the darkness in: bloodying her lips with her teeth and nails to stay quiet. In the midst of Melinda’s battle to come to terms with her assault, she found …show more content…

It was the summer after eighth grade, a year of pretty terrible bullying at a brand new school. I had just lost touch with my best friends-- the kids I’d known since Kindergarten-- and once I became a target, I was blacklisted and was abandoned by the new friends I’d made. My parents didn’t know I was bullied or that I was struggling with very severe depression and anxiety and, honestly, they didn’t try very hard to figure out what was going on. Much like Melinda’s parents, they responded with anger, frustration, and a deficiency of compassion. So I struggled; I was hurting and alone with nobody to talk to. There were so many days that I just couldn’t convince myself to leave the safety of my bed. Some days, I buried myself in books and the internet and other days, I spent hours staring up at the ceiling and wondering why I couldn’t cry no matter how much my eyes burned and my chest ached. Melinda and I could commiserate; we were both lost, wading waist deep in emotions we couldn’t fathom. Moreover, we both found similar escapes-- Melinda had art and I had music. When I was at a point where I could no longer verbalize the way I was feeling, I found melodies and lyrics that perfectly captured my thoughts. Music rehabilitated me when I found myself in a very dark place. It gave me strength and courage and helped me find the words that escaped me for so long. I began teaching myself to play guitar, and started writing songs and journals. Music helped me to express myself and has been the most important part of maintaining my mental

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