Watch Now France vs Australia I Am Afraid After The Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh


By Bella | Subscribe: | Record your story @ or our iPhone app for a chance to get animated. Comment, like, share this story.

Bella lives in a neighborhood called Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh. She’s grown up there, lived there her whole life, has her friends and her synagogue there, right near the Tree of Life synagogue, and it had always been a peaceful neighborhood – diverse and accepting – a really nice place to live. There were a lot of Jewish families who lived there and she could hardly remember any anti semitism ever happening around them.

But, on Saturday, October 27th, she slept in late and only woke up when her mom called to her from the other room at around eleven o’clock. She ran in to her Mom’s room and her younger sister was there and they looked awful, pale, afraid and scared. Bella didn’t know what was going on, and her mom would only whisper because she didn’t want Bella’s youngest sister to wake up. But something really, really bad was going on – you could tell from the terrified looks on her Mom and sister.

Her mom asked is she’d looked at her phone yet, if she’d seen or heard any of what was on the news. She’d heard lots of sirens in her half sleep, but they didn’t wake her – what was going on? Her mom sat her down and told her that there had been a mass shooting at a temple – the Tree of Life synagogue right there in squirrel hill.

Bella gasped and sat down hard. She was so scared, afraid, shaking and crying. She was just in shock that something like this had happened, in their neighborhood, at a synagogue that was practically right next to the one she attended. Also, the fact that it was all because of their religion, all because they were Jewish, and this scared Bella too – the ant-semitism, and all these shootings taking place everywhere.

What made the tragedy even worse was the fact that it was Shabbat, the holiest day of the week for the Jewish people — all they were doing was praying — and that morning the Tree of Life synagogue was having a baby naming for a new baby just born into their community, a special and festive and happy occasion. And an evil man full of hate and anti semitism came into their place of worship and shot and killed 11 people, including police and security guards.

When Bella and her friends returned to their religious school, hebrew school, so many of them were on edge, scared, and couldn’t quite put into words how awful and vulnerable it made them feel. Why was there anti semitism, or hate of any kind? Why couldn’t people coexist without hatred and gun violence?

After they had started their school day they had a special morning prayer service and they invited the congregation from the Tree of Life synagogue to join them. There were so many people there, mourning and praying, holding hands and supporting each other – praying for peace, and love, and for the souls of the those who passed to ascend. And they chanted and sang words of power, that they were strong and that they would not be afraid.

The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting has effected jews all over the United States and the world, and all people who enjoy feeling safe and free to worship how they choose under any religion they choose. Hopefully the families affected by this tragedy will be able to feel one day that those they lost did not die in vain and that they re-awakened the need for peace, and love, and light across the entire world.

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Watch Now France vs Australia Being a Homeless Teen Mom Didn’t Hold Me Back


By Zoila | To find a safe place to stay If there’s not a Covenant House near you, call the National Runaway Hotline 1-800-786-2929 to get help | Subscribe: | Ready to “wear it out loud?” Merch store open, SHOP NOW: | Subscribe: | Record your story @ or our iPhone app for a chance to get animated. Comment, like, share this story.

Since the day Zoila was born it seemed that her mom never wanted her around. Her whole young life, she was always bouncing from one friend’s house to another, and never really having a home until her mom had a new baby – then she was invited to move back in. Being the oldest now, her mom wanted her to take care of her younger brothers.

But she was only ten years old – overwhelmed with responsibility, stress, and pressure that not even teens or high school kids should have on them. But, she made it through elementary school and was really excited to go on to middle school, but instead her mom decided to send her to Dominican Republic to stay with her grandparents. She stayed with them until she was 16 years old when her mom finally asked that she return home and that they try to build a good relationship.

For the first couple of months everything seemed to be working well. Then, a surprise to everyone, Zoila found out she was pregnant. Her mom was so mad about it that she let it ruin the relationship they were trying to build. Her mom did NOT want to have a new teenage mom around.

And, after her baby was born, since she had to stay home and care for her son anyway, her mom made her take care of all her siblings just like when she was ten. It was a lot more complicated this time since she had her own baby to take care of as well.

When Zoila finally decided to go back to high school it made the relationship with her mother even harder. She wanted Zoila to stay home all the time to take care of the kids and didn’t want her to advance herself with school and education. Zoila refused to drop out and her mom proceeded to kick her and her new baby out of the house.

She worked with her high school guidance counselor to try to find a shelter and they finally found the perfect place – Covenant House! It was a perfect solution – and a path for her to graduate. Every day she would wake up early, get ready, and drop her son off at daycare, then a full day of school, followed by an internship, homework, and then repeating the whole thing every single day. She worked so hard.

In June, a couple of weeks before graduation, Zoila got a call from her guidance counselor with amazing news! She had been chosen to speak at graduation as valedictorian; graduating with honors. She was so excited, had worked so hard, and felt so proud to have been recognized like that.

She had always believed that hard work pays off, as does persistence, determination, overcoming adversity, focus and sticktoitiveness. But, she had never imagined that she would achieve such an accomplishment. Her graduation speech was all about how even when things get hard, no matter how hard they get, you should never give up. No matter how many obstacles appear in your way, you should always keep striving to achieve your goals.

Having her son there to see her give her valedictorian speech – she was the top of the class – really underlined her accomplishment. She felt that not only had she accomplished something powerful for herself, but also something that would be really good for him too.

Once she was finished and everyone was cheering and clapping, she saw her son jumping up and down, so excited, and it filled her with pride, hope, love and joy. teen pregnancy story time.

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Watch Now France vs Australia My Life With Tourette Syndrome


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This is Pete. He has a problem that maybe you’ve heard about or seen, and which you’ll probably find funny, annoying or creepy. He has Tourette’s syndrome. He’s not ashamed of it – he’s got used to it. Pete wants to tell you how he found a way to turn his condition to his advantage rather than accept it was a problem.

He was an absolutely normal kid until one morning when he woke up and felt the urge to twitch his head for no reason. And then do it one more time. And again. He was standing in the center of his bedroom doing strange movements, and he couldn’t control it. Okay, he thought, maybe it’s some muscular spasm and it will pass. It didn’t pass even after several days. What was even worse was that he had a couple of other symptoms. Like raising his hands and winking. And the worst thing was that he wanted to squeak like a pig, like this *squeak*, from time to time, and he didn’t understand why. Of course, all this became pretty noticeable, and he went to see his parents feeling pretty stressed. They took him to the doctor at once, and that’s where he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.

Pete had never heard of it before, and he was certain that if he had seen someone else with these symptoms he would have laughed or been disgusted. And now he had to go to school and explain that this was how he would behave for the time being. He was only ten at the time. He still remembers what it felt like standing among his classmates and saying he had a condition, how embarrassing it felt to constantly move, and his classmates laughing at his every single tic. Sure, it certainly looked like he was having fun, but really, it’s not pleasant or entertaining at all! When he tried to explain that no one actually understood his problem, everyone just thought that it was Pete’s weird way of expressing himself.

And that’s how he became isolated from everyone. No one wanted to be around him anymore; and the teachers didn’t even try to give him any support. Even worse, Pete remembers how once his teacher became irritated by his winking – she thought he was just making faces, and put him at the back of the room away from everyone else. There he remained, isolated both physically and psychologically.

Pete got to know some other guys with Tourette’s. He thought that he wouldn’t feel so lonely if he got to know other people with the same problem. Unfortunately, Tourette’s is tricky, because when you see other people’s tics, your own tics become worse. And even if a situation like this looks comical in a way, all these tics can be very tiring and debilitating. So Pete came away from these meetings feeling really exhausted, and tried to avoid other Tourette’s sufferers from then on. In the meantime, the situation with his tics was getting worse – more movements appeared, as did more sounds, even abusive language, and in the end he reached his mid-teens looking like a foul-mouthed perpetual motion machine in deep depression.

At that time, Pete was browsing a lot on the web, because online no one was disturbed by his tics. One day, he came across a video of a Tourette’s guy who was singing on “The Voice”, and Pete was amazed to see that he performed flawlessly and beautifully, without a single twitch. It was then that he had the idea that maybe he could give it a try himself, and he even knew what he could do. Pete he’d always been quick-witted and had a good sense of humor, so he thought that he could maybe try a couple of times to do stand-up comedy pieces for a small audience, just to get him out of his house a bit.

Pete immediately sat himself down to write punchlines, and the ones he came up with made even him laugh. It was so exciting that he completely forgot his depressed state – he was just so drawn into the process. The thing was that his Tourette’s tics could be pretty amusing if he looked at them from an outsider’s perspective, and combined with his comic monologue, the effect was hilarious. And what he wanted to tell people was that having his condition was not a stigma; he wasn’t an idiot or anything, he was just a regular guy.

Pete performed his first show surrounded by Tourette’s patients. The effect was even better than he had expected. He got a standing ovation, which was a bit undeserved in his view, but still pleasant. What’s more, Pete learned that he really could control his tics better when he was on stage. He went to the local open mic comic club and performed in front of the locals, who first were taken aback by his strange behavior but by the end of the performance were laughing their heads off. And the most important part was that they were laughing not at him, but with him.

He’s now taken his comedy outside the club, and everywhere his audiences like him a lot, while Pete himself feels a lot better – more in control and not so lonely anymore.

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Watch Now France vs Australia I Don’t Like My Parents Because They Don’t Accept Who I Am


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Buddy never really liked his parents, and they never truly got along. They argued and disagreed and butted heads over almost everything. They didn’t see eye-to-eye on politics, to religion, to lifestyle and how to raise good healthy happy kids.

Buddy is an atheist, while his parents are very devout Muslims. Buddy is very liberal, while his parents are very conservative. And, Buddy is also unapologetically gay, while his parents, not surprisingly, are extremely homophobic.

But, even though on the inside it was really clear that he didn’t get along with his parents, he was never very public or vocal about his disagreements with his parents.He still needed a roof over his head, and food to eat, and money in his pocket, and he was afraid that if he shared who he really was and what he really believed too strongly they would kick him out of the house, maybe even disown him.

Because of that, he formed what looked like a good relationship with his parents, but it was totally fake and artificial – on the inside, he just didn’t get along with them. They saw him as being practically perfect, a good and trustworthy kid, but Buddy saw that his parents were really flawed.

His mom liked to hold grudges, was very quick to judge people, and liked to enforce really old fashioned gender roles, like boys should do yard work and take out the trash and that girls only belonged in the kitchen and were destined to become subservient housewives. And his father was so invested and distracted by his work that he never formed and real bonds with his children.

He was also upset at the way his four sisters were treated. His parents wouldn’t allow his sisters to have any friends over. They weren’t allowed to have phones, or do any extra curricular activities, or drive once they reached the age where they could legally get their licenses.

And it was even worse with Buddy, especially when he tried to come out to them and tell them he was gay – twice. The first time, his parents begged him to date girls because they saw his coming out as a real threat to them. The second time he tried they just threw out a slew of insults and homophobic falsehoods ranging from the idea that gay people were in fact mentally ill, to the idea that it was a simple choice and he was just making the wrong one. They threatened to disown him and told him he would be a failure in life unless he “fixed himself.”

This all made him so unhappy and he imagined that he would be under the control of his parents for the rest of his life. So, he felt he had to continue to pretend to be the perfect little straight Muslim boy in the house, dating girls and praying and the rest. He didn’t think much of it, had been doing it pretty much his whole life, but when he finally confided in his friends they saw it for what it was, miserable and very, very unhealthy. They asked him to imagine what he would be and how he would feel if he was far enough away from them that they couldn’t watch his every move, and judge and control him.

That was a turning point for him and, realizing his parents were more like prison guards than anything else, he thought of the farthest place he could go without them having a negative impact on him and still be successful and thrive as a young gay man.

After doing a little bit of research he concluded that California would be the best place for him — a thriving LGBT community, a ton of diversity and acceptance, and on the other side of the country from his toxic family life and parents. So, he applied to a few schools in California and, was accepted to attend UCLA! It was one of the happiest moments of his life.

His parents were hesitant about it at first, because of how far away it was, but they were happy to have him go to such a highly acclaimed school – that’s mostly what they cared about.

Since moving to Los Angeles Buddy has never been happier. He is part of a really diverse community with amazing friends, endless support, and a great education. Even though he returns home on Holidays and has to pretend, just like he used to, he is so happy to be out of that toxic house and on his own.

His next wish is for his sisters, that they will recognize the truth about their parents, follow in his footsteps, and escape!

– – –

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Watch Now France vs Australia My House Burned Down And It Changed My Life


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This is Johnny, and he’s going to tell you a story about a disastrous fire that destroyed his family home and forced him to change his outlook on life.

When he was just 13, Johnny’s family lived in a small but beautiful house. They had good relationships and loved each other, and also, they loved all the things they had there.

It may sound weird to use the word “love” when it’s about things, but there’s no other way to effectively describe it. For example, Johnny’s books, his gaming console and the games for it, his clothes and old toys – all of that stuff really mattered to him. One glance at any one of the things he owned could fill him with warm memories of a particular time.

Those things helped him to cope with his problems and to escape from his ordinary life.

“One day, when Johnny came home from school, he discovered that something terrible had happened. His family home was on fire, and there were firefighters trying to put the blaze out, but it was already too late – there was nothing that could be done to save it. The firefighters explained that it wasn’t their fault – it had something to do with faulty wiring, and they couldn’t have done anything to prevent it.

It’s weird, but it’s hard to process something like that – you don’t immediately start to think about it like it’s a real thing with consequences. You need time to get your head around it.

Johnny and his family didn’t have much time to be sad. They had to find a new temporary place to live, and to talk to different officials and sign documents.

And only then, when they were alone in their small temporary apartment on the outskirts of town, everything started to sink in. They had lost so much. Johnny would never see his old toys or childhood drawings again, and all his favorite books and games had been destroyed. It’s not like he had owned a lot of things, but they were important to him.

And his parents didn’t feel much better – their days consisted of endless planning, like what to do next and how to get back to a normal life. Maybe they would sell the family car, start using the bus, and try to get more money for a new house. Everything that formed part of Johnny’s hobbies had been destroyed. He felt a strange mix of fear, boredom, and sadness…

And then, his parents started fighting. Looking back on it, Johnny understands now that they were nervous and tired, but at the time he wanted to run away from it all, he didn’t want to hear it. But you can’t help seeing it when you have only one room to live in.

Eventually, he grew tired of just boiling in this soup of anger and despair, so he went outside to do…something! He couldn’t see his friends because they were too far away from him. So he had to improvise.

He climbed some trees, went for a walk near the river, drew a map of everything around him. For a few hours, he completely forgot about all the misfortunes his family and he had had to endure, and had fun the same way he did when he was a little boy. Eventually, Johnny got to know the other kids in the area, and funnily enough, they thought he was very cool after telling his story…

But he still felt quite sorry for his parents, who had to go to work and buy him food and solve other problems. He asked if he could start working himself and help out a bit, but honestly, how much can a 13-year-old boy really earn?

Johnny felt useless, and he didn’t like it. He wanted to do something.

Before he enjoyed his world of games and books, and he never let anyone into it. Now, this place where he lived had become his new escape from his problems. Suddenly, he thought to himself – maybe my parents also need something like this? Sure, it won’t magically solve all our problems, but perhaps if they saw how beautiful this place is and had just one happy day, it would make it a bit better for them?

So one day, he gave his parents a map he had made earlier and proposed to go on a tour of the area. His dad was very reluctant, but his mom liked the idea, and so eventually, they agreed. As they walked through the streets, he saw smiles on their faces for the first time in a long time. His dad even tried to climb a tree with him, but he wasn’t very successful!

After this, they slowly started to rebuild their family. They saw how beautiful their new home was, and decided to try to buy a house there. They told him that he could help by getting good grades (typical parents). Three years have passed since then, and they finally have a new place and new things to love. But they don’t rely on material possessions for happiness so much now.

From all of this, Johnny learned that while things are important, it’s more important to be a strong and interesting person no matter what. His dad later said, “you know, I’m glad it happened to us, because it made us so much stronger.” And Johnny agrees.

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Watch Now France vs Australia I Found Out I Was Adopted And It Broke My Heart


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Hello everyone, this is Andrew. Sometimes, a family is not what it seems to be. We all have our secrets, and when they’re revealed, it can change us completely – and not necessarily in a bad way. But let’s start from the beginning:

Andrew’s life was never anything special – his mom and dad were simple people with regular jobs. They never had any big fights, but it wouldn’t be true to say that he was close to them either. They didn’t talk much except about ordinary stuff like school, grades and what was for dinner.

By the time Andrew’s 15th birthday approached, his parents wanted to have a party with all their family friends and their children. Andrew was very annoyed, because he wanted to have fun with his friends. But his parents insisted, so he HAD to accept. During the party, one of the guests, who was a friend of his parents, said: “It’s amazing how much you look like your parents despite your situation.” Andrew was confused, and he immediately asked: “What situation?” “Oh…” the guest said, “…you don’t know…”

The rest of the party proceeded normally, but for days afterwards Andrew couldn’t stop thinking about what he had meant. One of the things that sprang into his mind was that maybe he had been adopted. It could have been true, because he’d always noticed small differences between his parents and himself. So one day at dinner, Andrew asked the question straight out. His parents just stared at him with a worried look on their faces, not saying anything. And at this moment he realized that he’d found out the truth. And it made him ANGRY. It turned out that EVERYONE knew except him. And it hurt, a lot. Andrew kept asking himself: “Who I am? What do I do now?” It was a very confusing and scary time for him.

He almost started a rebellion. He spent a lot of time outside late at night, and his grades at school went down.

The thing he just couldn’t understand was why they refused to talk to him about it. Why did they try to act as though everything was normal? And what was even worse was that they got angry at him when he stayed out for too long, and tried to control him. They weren’t even his real parents, so what right they had to do that?

One evening, when he got back late, his father started shouting at Andrew for being spoiled and ungrateful despite everything they did for him. So he turned straight around and left the house.

He didn’t know where to go, so he just walked through the dark streets. He doesn’t know how long he walked for, but it felt like hours. Andrew couldn’t stop thinking about how nobody really cared about him. His real parents had probably left him, and it seemed that he was nothing more than a nuisance to his adopted ones.

He couldn’t go back home, so he went to his favorite childhood place – a pond where he had loved to look at the ducks when he was little. Andrew sat there, cold and sad, and cried. He was completely lost.

Suddenly, he saw his parents’ car drive up next to the pond. His mother got out of the car. She looked scared and worried. She came up to Andrew and hugged him.

“We were so worried! We didn’t know how to find you, so your father said that we should try looking for you at the pond”.

Andrew still couldn’t stop crying, and he started asking his mother questions – why did his real parents leave him? Why had they never told him?

His mother sighed, then finally started answering his questions: “To be honest, darling, your real parents just didn’t want you. But we do want you. And we love you. Both me and your father. We decided not to tell you, so you would have a normal childhood. But I guess we were wrong. I’m sorry. You are the best thing that ever happened to us.”

The only thing Andrew couldn’t understand was why his father was still just sitting in the car and hadn’t even come out to talk to him. He looked through the window…and noticed that he was crying as well. Andrew had never seen his father cry. In fact, he rarely saw him showing any emotion. And his tears revealed more than his words could ever say.

“Let’s go home,” his mom said. And he did.

Andrew realized that his parents weren’t perfect – they didn’t always know how to express their emotions or how to do the right thing. But they did love him. And it didn’t matter if he was adopted or not. They’re still his parents, and he loves them despite all their peculiarities. Being loved is one of the best feelings in the world. And he was loved. And for that moment, that was enough for him to be happy again.

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Watch Now France vs Australia Don’t Call Me Dumb Because I Can’t Read


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This is Billy, and he can’t read. He’s not blind, nor stupid – nothing like that. He’s dyslexic. This generally means that he’s physically not able to read or write. Or more precisely, he can do it, but he does it 100 times slower than other people. But don’t feel sorry for him! He’s happy this way. Here’s the story of what happened to him.

His parents always told him that he needed to do the best he could in his studies in order to excel in life. They’re both very successful – his dad is a lawyer and his mom is a physicist, so his future was well defined from birth. He was supposed to become nothing less than a brain surgeon. And indeed he remembers how he could already do a lot even in his early years – maths, science for kids, things like that. The only thing that worried his parents was that he didn’t manage to learn to read. But he was still very small, so they thought that since he was attending school anyway he would get taught there.

When school started, Billy realized straightaway that he was slower than the other kids. It was strange – he had never seemed stupid before; he was generally quick-witted and easily understood anything that was explained to him. But when it came to reading or working with a text of any kind, he seemed to be really slow. For Billy, letters looked like splashes of water that were constantly changing their shape and size. His teachers kept telling him to concentrate, but what was he supposed to do if words were like insects flying off the paper?

Billy remembers the first ever test that he got marks for. He understood it was very important to bring a good mark home to his parents, to show them that he wasn’t stupid. He did his best, but unfortunately managed to answer only 3 questions out of 12 in time. He didn’t understand what had happened – the questions were not hard and he knew the answers, but it just took a lot of time to understand what was written and compose his written answer. He broke into a sweat. The last thing he managed to do was write his name, Bill Bumble, on it. As the teacher looked them over she asked him to stand up and read his name from the paper. “Bill Bumble”, he said. She then insisted that he read it from the paper. With great effort, he read what he had actually written. It was “Bill Dumble”. Everyone laughed at him and he felt so embarrassed. “Dumble” became his nickname from that moment on.

This made Billy sad, and he ended up being mocked all day and getting a D-. He decided not to suffer on his own, and went to see his parents. They frowned when he told them that he had nearly gotten an F, but when he explained his vanishing letter problem, they decided to take him to see an optician. She checked his eyes and confirmed that his vision was perfect, but suggested a visit to another doctor who specialized in learning problems. He was a very nice man who listened to Billy attentively, and then asked him to show him how he wrote. Then Billy said that he could draw what he saw instead. He liked to draw a lot, and it seemed like it was the only thing that he was really good at. He drew things exactly how he saw them.

The doctor told Billy’s parents that their son had a talent, and they seemed very impressed seeing it themselves. He then said that Billy had dyslexia, a chronic condition that can be improved but never cured, and that he needed to find a way to somehow adapt to his studies. He gave recommendations to extent how long he was able to take on a test and to use more audio materials, but after some time at school Billy understood that he still lagged behind, and everyone was still mocking him because of it. He found it hard to concentrate on his subjects, and his marks slipped even more. So his parents enrolled him in another school that specialized in individualized creative teaching.

That’s how he found out that he’s actually pretty smart! He had a tutor who adapted all his subjects to his visual comprehension. He received creative tasks that involved drawing some process or rule instead of describing it in written form, and he was given audiobooks instead of textbooks. And he also took art classes where he became the best straightaway!

Billy is still a long way off from finishing school – he’s now in his early teens. But he already knows what he wants to be without a doubt – he wants to be an artist, because it’s the thing that he enjoys most in his life. Thanks to his dyslexia, Billy now never has to study all those things he’s no good at, and doesn’t have to struggle to find out what he really likes, which is drawing. Now he can say that he’s happy to let those letters fly away – he’s better off without them.

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This is Fred. He will tell you a story about crime and punishment. He is actually a good boy, but once he became a criminal and he is not proud of it.

At school he made friends with a group of very cool guys. There were four of them, they all made friends since early childhood and he trusted them blindly. At some point as they were growing life didn’t seem thrilling enough anymore. They were trying to invent themselves some dangerous activities – from parkour to extreme acrobatics but it wasn’t what they needed. After some thought they came out with a brilliant idea – shoplifting! This thing is really dangerous if you get caught and as they read in the internet can even make an antiglobal statement which is kind of cool.

They started with small things like stealing a chocolate bar or a coke bottle. They did it in a group trying various schemes – someone always distracting supermarket staff and other stealing. They browsed specialized forums and found out there was an entire shoplifters’ community with elaborate techniques of stealing more expensive stuff. It was more like a sport. Thus their actions became more elaborate. They didn’t do it for money – they had enough pocket money from their parents. They did it for fun and adrenaline.

In a couple of months they became professionals sometimes carrying out kilograms of expensive food and drinks from big supermarkets of their city. Fred will not explain the whole technology to you – it isn’t right. But point is that you can do it successfully only if you are sure that your back is fully covered by your mates and you work as a team. They were quite successful but the rule of life is that sooner or later you would be caught anyway. They didn’t realize it at the time.

That day came unexpectedly. They were at a supermarket at a big mall. It was Fred’s turn to get the food while his friends distracted the security. Till now Fred is not sure what he did wrong; point is that he was noticed. He put all the stolen products into his big jacket and accompanied by his team went towards the exit where he was stopped by a security guard who asked him to unzip his jacket. Fred felt thunderstruck… and all his feeling of safety went away as he saw all three of his friends running away from him as far as they could.

Fred is not sure what he would do if he were them but probably he would remain because he still believes in collective responsibility. He was standing in front of the guard, unzipping his jacket and feeling that everybody was looking at him. He was ready to melt into the ground of shame. The security took Fred into his back office and asked him, why he stole food, if he was in need or hungry. All of a sudden Fred understood that shoplifting wasn’t cool at all in it was enough extreme for him for the time being.He just fell into tears instead of answering.

The security guy was very nice and agreed not to call the police if Fred promised to give up. He had to call Fred’s parents though who came there absolutely furious and dragged Fred home. It took some time to convince them he was really sorry and that he learned his lesson. The sad part was that he understood that he couldn’t hang out with his friends anymore as he couldn’t forget their turning their backs on him and leaving him alone. He never spoke to them ever since. So his advice to anyone is to think twice before you are going to do something illegal for cheap thrills – it can backfire horribly.

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By Dejah | Subscribe: | Record your story @ or our iPhone app for a chance to get animated. Comment, like, share this story.

Dejah was born and raised in Aurora Colorado. She took her first steps there, spoke her first words there and made her first friend there. It was where all of her most important firsts happened. Basically, everyone and everything that was closest to Dejah’s heart was in Colorado.

One day she was hanging out in her room, on her cellphone, when she heard her Grandma and her Mom talking downstairs in the kitchen and she heard her mom say that she got a promotion and that they would be moving from Colorado to Illinois. But it kind of went in one ear and out the other. Dejah’s Mom is always playing jokes on them and teasing them so she just didn’t believe it – it seemed so far out.

But, two weeks later her parents, mother and father, pulled Dejah and her younger brothers together and told them, as if it was no big deal, as if it was actually a good thing – We’re Moving to Chicago!!!! And, even though he smiled and hugged her Mom and congratulated her – she wasn’t happy about it, not at all.

The plan was that her parents would move to Chicago first and set up the new house and get settled while Dejah and her brothers stayed with their grandparents and packed everything up. But Dejah was so upset about the move, not wanting to, and pretty tough and stubborn, and while her brothers and parents and grandparents all worked to pack their stuff up, she refused – just lay on her bed pouting and angry. Packing her room was something she wasn’t going to do. Her Grandma and Dad had to pack all of her things up while she just laid there – unhappy.

Dejah and her brothers waved goodbye to their parents and their loaded car and they set off – two months of the kids with the grandparents and November set as the moved date for the kids. And even though Dejah felt like she would have enough time to get used to the idea of leaving, and be able to spend tons of time with her friends and extended family, November came really quickly and before she knew it it was time to go meet her parents in Chicago and start her new life.

After a lot of tears were shed, and a lot of hugs and goodbyes, Dejah and her brothers boarded a plane to Illinois and off they went. Of course she was happy to see and be with her parents after so much time, but as more time passed and the more time she spent away from Colorado the more sad and unhappy she became.

After a while she started feeling really depressed and had a really short and bad temper – the smallest things would set her off. Of course, her parents noticed that she was having a harder and harder time and they found someone Dejah could talk to, a therapist who could help her find ways to accept the moved and move on.

The therapist helped with her grief, depression and sadness, and explained that she was literally grieving Colorado, and their family dog who had become sick and died before they left – that was hard too.

Now Dejah has good friends at her new school in Illinois, and they have all been really nice and welcoming and that has helped her adjust to being in the new place – she’s caught herself genuinely laughing and smiling, which she hadn’t done for quite some time.

So, today, while she’s doing and feeling so so much better, she has to admit that she is not 100% happy and content, maybe even wish she never moved away because if she never moved away, she might be completely happy. She’s super family oriented and no matter what, most of her family and lifelong friends are in Colorado and looking through all the social media showing them all together, doing the things they used to do with her, well, that doesn’t help – it makes her feel sad for sure.

All that being said, she is finding new things and people and opportunities in Chicago that weren’t in Aurora, and she is starting to appreciate those things more and more. Perhaps things aren’t absolutely perfect for Dejah – yet – but she is open and excited for whatever comes next!

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