NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) - Sean Bennett is proof your past does not define your future. He recently published his first poetry book, turning his painful past into inspiration for others.
"My eighth grade year was when I really started writing because I hit a point where I didn't know who I was," Bennett said.
To this 18-year-old, writing is more than just words on a page.
"Whenever you love something you do it's not work, it becomes just part of you," Bennett said.
His painful past is not transformed into pages of poetry.
"I grew up in a house with an abusive step father and I was bullied at school," Bennett said.
Now, he's crafted his emotions into art that is now giving hope to others.
"I'm telling my story and hoping that kids out there who are like me are able to realize that you can get passed your past," Bennett said.
Bennett says before writing, his pain would turn into anger, prompting self-destruction.
"I would go into cutting which was not helpful either but the way I saw it was hurting myself and not anyone else," Bennett said. "I had to find a different outlet. I started joining choir, started acting, and started writing."
Bennett's mother, Tricia Hale, says her son's writing is proof that there are healthy ways to deal with pain.
"I'm hoping it will show that there is more than running to alcohol, drugs, hurting each other, when you can actually take a journal and write it down," Hale said.
Sean's writing tells his own life story.
"My dreams just became bigger and bigger and I wanted to be a beacon of hope," Bennett said.
To see, or purchase, Bennett's book click here.