Thank you, Kenna. {Warning: tearjerker}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 5, 2011
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“But I know some of it is situational, too.”

This is heartbreaking, really tough to watch, tough enough that I cried a bit and am crying now a bit and I’m not too good at crying. Her generosity to think of others at the end really sent me over the top.

Note: please share this post to your FB Wall, if so inspired, and leave a comment or “thumbs up” on the youtube video, itself, where there’s a fair amount of hateful comments (!?).


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


14 Responses to “Thank you, Kenna. {Warning: tearjerker}”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Hey I'm Kenna 🙂
    I'm 18 and just graduated from high school.
    I graduated top 4% of my class with the highest honors.
    I was a student council officer, math NHS officer, church youth leader, NHS member & a "PAL"
    I'm going to the University of Texas & majoring in Biochemistry
    I was accepted into a prestigious scholars program at UT
    My story though?
    My story completely contradicts the act I put on.
    People say I am: "outgoing", "funny", & "energetic"
    But that is not all of me
    My life is a play and I am the actress
    My story:
    MY parents divorced when I was 7
    My dad and I were best buds and inseparable
    Then he was suddenly not around so much
    I lived with my mom and sister
    My mom & I had difficulties getting along
    A single drop of alcohol could either make her really out of it…
    or make her really angry
    I've been hit, scratched, grabbed, yelled, cussed at, and slapped many times,
    Everything was ALWAYS my fault
    There were times she would come home so wasted and throwing up everywhere
    And I was forced to take care of her & my little sister.
    Therapists labeled her as an "Abuser"
    I HATE that word.
    Because the problem is better than what it was. And she still cares for & loves me. And I know that.
    I was bullied relentlessly in middle school Physically, verbally and emotionally,
    I was small, so an easy target. And I was never a "popular" kid, so girls liked to make fun of me.
    I didn't have any friends
    When I was 13, I finally found the attention I craved from someone to feel important and special
    He was 29 and my band teacher
    he was my world and I was his target
    I trusted him and made myself completely vulnerable
    And he manipulated and destroyed me
    I reported him when he crossed the line one too many times
    He was fired and fled to Georgia
    And I dealt with private investigators, DAs, and the dreadful rumors and bullying at school
    I blamed myself for ruining his marriage, family, and life
    for years – it was my fault
    he shattered my life and I stopped living
    I suffer from clinical / major depression
    I have cut.
    I have intentionally harmed and inflicted pain on my body
    I have conjured multiple ways to kill myself
    I have felt alone.
    I have felt hopeless and worthless
    I have felt numb & isolated from the world
    I hated my life
    I hated myself
    every time I looked at myself and thought
    "what a fuck up, who would ever love me?"
    I battled every single day.
    I was diagnosed with depression because of a genetic chemical imbalance.
    But I know a lot of it is situational as well.
    And have I mentioned?
    I'm dating a girl. 🙂
    I decided to post this after my graduation so I wouldn't have to deal with gossip at my school.
    I've gone through too much to tolerate immature bullshit. And i don't.
    Haters gonna hate but most people like us. 🙂
    And I am incredibly happy. That's all that matters, right?
    For everyone who struggles with their story.
    I want you to know and believe:
    hope is real
    love is real
    everybody has a story
    your are not alone <3

  2. Wong Tho Kong says:

    Rightly so Waylon because compassoin arise at the sght of suffering especially seing the suffering of others. Sometime karma works its own intrigue it could be cruel at times but it take is impermanent.

  3. Ann says:

    OMG, this is exactly my life

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Angie O Genesis oh dear, I was going to go to the grocery store and now my mascara is running.
    about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleLoading…
    Kathleen McCoy Grover Very powerful!
    about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleLoading…

    Joan Boughton Thank you for sharing this Waylon. She is some gal.

  5. Juliet D says:

    Beautiful. I reposted… oxo 🙂

  6. sherry says:

    the truth will set you free. what if she kept all those secrets? it would have eaten her up; she's strong and brave now and a very good role model. her video surely will save some souls.

  7. elephantjournal says:


    You and 41 others like this.

    Lauren Hruby Beautiful.

    Bella Ghosti What a beautiful soul 🙂

    Charles Adrian Coats Very. Lauren, I am still at a loss for words. How artistic and honest..brave.

    Charles Adrian Coats I had to re-post

    Scott Robinson Beautiful.

    Christopher D. Brown Lived a similar down at her age (different story). Papered it over with workaholism. Now I am trying to find my way in Love and Hope. Honestly, I am lost.

    D Karen Wilkerson What a brave and wonderful young woman. Good luck and godspeed, Kenna. (And Hook 'em Horns!)

    Juliet Deissroth This is beautiful. What a courageous young woman! I re-posted!

    Cara M Rinaldi I can't imagine anybody with a ounce of compassion comment negatively on the youtube video of this. It was brave and uplifting in the end. Absolutely beautiful.

    Emily Purvis This was stunningly beautiful. As the mother of a young teen who was bullied throughout grade school (doing better now in Jr. High since we switched schools), this really affected me. As for the hateful comments on YouTube, the interwebs are full of trolls with nothing better to do. Her story is just that – HER story. She is doing the best she can with what she has been given. Finding God or going to Africa for some "perspective" isn't going to change what already happened to her. I've been to Africa, and I grew up in the church. My life improved drastically when I realized that beating myself up over the issues of other people whom I cannot help, out of guilt over the life I was born into, does no one any good, least of all myself. And leaving the faith of my parents was one of the hardest, best decisions I have ever made for myself.
    I re-posted this, and I sincerely wish Kenna lots of love and happiness in her life. It sounds like she's well on the way to creating the best life for herself.

  8. Isabelle says:

    mine was even worse :-))) she's so right <3

  9. Keren says:

    Beautiful and so courageous. Kenna is an Aquarian leader <3

  10. Amy says:

    Thank You for this. You are beautiful .

  11. Terri says:

    Thank you for sharing:) You never know whose heart you will touch. You spoke to mine!
    Your message is beautiful, hopeful, true, and uplifting. Stay positive! Love is a powerful healer especially when it comes from within;)

  12. colleen says:

    Aw! Good luck Kenna!

  13. Kathy says:

    Really? Why so negative? Even if it isn't true, the message is clear. Children come to us with lots of baggage, let's try not to add to it.

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