I’m a survivor, I’m a war refugee, I’m a warrior, I’m the person nobody ever believed in, I’m a musical artist, I’m 20 years young, I’m Ben The Realest.
I was born in South Eastern Europe in Macedonia on March 22nd of 1999 during the Kosovo Genocide. My mother, Ramize, was in labor with me from 4am but I wasn’t born until 7pm..she walked from Serbia to Macedonia to escape the tragedy of losing her life as well as her first baby, me.
My mother finally made it into a hospital with me and no one would help her birth me, with that being said she continued pacing up and down the hospital hallway until she had this alarming pain and soon realized my head was already out. My mother held her hands out in fear, hoping I wouldn’t fall out, a Macedonian nurse no longer could watch and asked everyone to help my mother birth me so they did just that.
Fast forward a month, I’m a month old getting bathed by my now deceased grandmother. She noticed something, she noticed my left hand. I couldn’t move it. Fast forward 2 weeks later, my mother walked 10 miles to the physical rehabilitation center and another 10 miles back since the nerve in my left arm that controls my left hand was no longer operating at all. Luckily, it worked.
Next after this, I’m 2 months and my parents and I now are in a refugee camp that President Bill Clinton, at the time, had set up. My family and I had no idea where we were going, but we were being taken out of the violence, finally. After a month of staying in the camp, we got on our first plane which turned into three. My parents had no idea where we were going.
A lot of my family was placed in Canada, Germany, or New York, we got placed in North Carolina. My parents had no money, my parents didn’t know any English, my mother was holding me in her arm along with a bag in her other arm, my father was holding a bag of their clothes together in one.
We lived with two sponsors and my parents each worked 2 jobs, I was almost always with a babysitter.
Nearly 14 years later, it’s 2013 and I am now a Freshman in high school battling depression, I felt defeated. Although, I kept pushing. I didn’t give up. Each year felt worse than the other and I didn’t know what to do anymore.
Junior year, I had to switch schools. I met some of the worst people for my health ever at that school and even though I left within a month back to my old high school, it was too late. I was convinced drugs were the key. I skipped school. I trusted everyone but my family until senior year, I had a rude awakening.
I was best friends with this female for 3 years, she introduced to all and everything negative and always found excuses that seemed quite believable to me considering she was was 20 and I was 17.
I was innocent, straight A’s, no drugs, nothing. We partied everyday, I did some things I’ll never be proud of. I was so easily influenced. We took turns driving my car under the influence from parties whether our own or other people’s, horrible choice but I did it and made those mistakes multiple occasions and I will own up to that as a man. This particular girl played a heavy role in my life.
This girl who I thought wanted nothing but the best for me, wanted the absolute worst. In late 2017, she began distancing herself without me noticing and would make appearances here and there, long story short..she lied about the alcohol content, came out with airplane bottles rather than a specific bottle like I asked, peer pressured me to drink another airplane bottle after I told her to wait since we were only seven minutes away from our final destination but she proceeded and called me a very insulting word so unfortunately, I gave in. I drank it.
Everything went as dark as her soul is black. I couldn’t see, but that didn’t stop my other senses from working. I heard her laughing as I felt my wheel slowly but surely being moved to the right and we began whiplashing. She laughed as if it was a joke. I was holding my wheel quite loosely considering how intoxicated I was and I just felt this sharp jerk in my wheel once again to the complete other side this time, the left, my side…we fell nearly 10 feet in a ditch, sprung back up and flipped 4 times and even took a tree and it’s roots out of the ground almost completely then hit another tree in the process and then we fell back down on my side.
My side had all of the impact. I thought it was my fault forever. I asked if she was okay and I hugged her and remember seeing this young woman in front of my car holding her mouth in fear and crying because she saw everything.
I remember being ripped away from her by the police, being slammed against my car and cuffed, and then being thrown in the backseat of the police car for three hours with no help to be found. I bled out of my left ear for those three hours while they got her an ambulance (which she took a Snapchat in) and the police did nothing for me.
As they got her the help, I kept fainting over and over to the point where I lost count after 7. I wanted to let go and I did. Then God brought me back on his own, it wasn’t time.
As 2018 continued, I was involved in a hit and run and the officer who came to the scene asked me if I remembered him and I truly didn’t, he brought up my wreck. I began asking questions. The girl claimed she was trashed and couldn’t even say her name or address or anything but really, she wasn’t even all that intoxicated.
I asked myself every night, I asked God what did I do to deserve something so ugly and horrible to happen to me. The girl’s laugh from that night replayed in my head, the people blaming me for the wreck saying it was my fault and accusing me of attempting to kill her replayed in my head. Why didn’t she stop it if she wasn’t that intoxicated? I asked myself. Why did she think it was so funny? I asked myself.
The girl tried setting me again through another one of her friends, and this time it was going to be deadly. A gun. I got beyond lucky. I became more family oriented. I was appreciative of this thing called life, and I cut out the bad energy from my life which ended up being everyone I ever knew. Music was always my therapy. I remember before the wreck I sang for the girl and asked her what she thought and I witnessed chills on her skin, I always question the motive.
Nevertheless, all this negativity became my motivation. Music was therapeutic for me already, so I stuck to it and I grinded. I became a better lyricist, more comfortable with myself, and accepted myself for all of my flaws which helped me pursue this career. Hard work and dedication and no interruptions.
Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Mac Miller highly inspired my music. In my eyes, all three individuals are legends in their own way and stand out to me. I’m so thankful I didn’t give up all the times I wanted to. Music helped me all of my life, it was and is the one thing that allows me to express myself in ways I never thought or knew were possible until I tried it myself.
Let this be an inspiration to you to cut off any bad energy in your life and make a change. It’s never too late for change and never will be. Make life what you want it, because you can.
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