Surroundings The wind whispering, the night sky filled with stars, and the sound of being alone. In Hagerstown, Maryland, these three things were hard to come by. They were especially difficult to enjoy as the sounds of my latest arguments with my stepmother echoed in my ear. Her constant criticism affected me greatly, and being outside subsided my insecurities she’d placed in my head. I would feel complete as I gazed out into the night, at least for a little while.