TW: toxic childhood, childhood trauma, depression, and abuse
I awoke to the sound of shattering glass and an angry, yet terrifying scream. Quickly, I jumped out of bed and blindly ran towards the light pouring out from the cracks on the door. “Stop!” I screamed. As I pulled my dad off of my mom. I was now standing witness to a scene, a nightmare I had dreamt of too often. There stood my dad, holding his hand in a threatening grip. “Go back to bed,” he said sternly. Did he think I was an idiot? Did he think I was some ignorant child? I could see shards of broken glass in the other room, and I quickly inspected my mom from head to toe. You can only imagine my surprise when I found myself gazing at a scared and helpless little girl who stared accusingly back at me in the mirror. I closed my eyes and woke up in my own bed, then quickly ran over to the mirror. Staring back was a mature girl with a tear-stained face and red puffy eyes. This was me. As a child, I grew up in a household where fear ran deep. My dad, the man whose lap I laid on as a baby, promised me the world but instead taught me the true meaning of temptation and hate. For years I watched as he abused my mom and brother both physically and mentally and, though I love him, soon discovered that my trust in him was gradually slipping away. He frequently made my mom a promise of change and repentance, insisting that all he needed was a second chance. The first time my mom stayed, she thought she was doing what was best for Luke and me. A day would barely pass before the sound of forceful strike and gut-wrenching cries echoed throughout the house once more. Most days began to drift together as if it was a constant cycle. In the morning, my mom would drop us off at school while my dad continued to sleep in “his room”. Some days I dreaded returning home at the end of the day because I knew all too well what the evening would hold. When we returned home, sometimes the front door would be unlocked, so we could walk up and get in. “Hello, how was your day?” he’d call from somewhere in the house. “Come here and give me a hug, tell me about your day.”
story of child abuse, self-esteem issues, and homelessness
If love was love there would be no pain and if pain was love there would be plenty of it. l was a child; I have been abused. At a tender age, I slept on verandahs and cold floors. At the age of 6, I was defiled. Life became so hard because I was not loved. Beatings, threats, abusive language was my food. Pain and sorrow filled my heart and tears became my best friend. At the age of 20, I ran away from home to the streets. I got a man who also mistreated me. I got sick and had nowhere to go, so I went back home. I got a mobile money job and a lot of money was stolen. I ended up in jail and spent a week there. When I came out, I was chased away. I got another poor man for support till I could make it on my own. My life was affected so much that my self esteem is too low. I was always hiding from people. I had no friends in my life and was always sick. I wish I knew organizations that fought child abuse that would have helped me in my battle. I would tell someone in a similar situation to seek help from organizations and trust in God.
story of physical and sexual abuse of a child
When I was 11 years old, I was removed from my mothers house by social services. I got placed with my dad and 1 month later his other kids came along with his girlfriend. My brother and I were used as slaves and babysitters. We were abused daily: only allowed 4 hours to ourselves and 4 meals a week. We walked 1 hour to school when we didn't even know the way to school. I still have the scar of a hot frying pan on my stomach from my dad. Move forward 4 months, I started to get sexually abused by my dad, his dad, and his mother for 2 years. During that time, I ran away. I told my teacher what was going on, but they didn't believe me. I was moved into my dads moms house, where I got sexually abused for another 2 years. I ran away a total of 14 times. It took 36 calls to the police for them to see what was happening and now I’m living with my mom. My moms house is where I am happy and safe.
story of depression, suicidal thoughts, and manipulation (TW)
When I was in the eighth grade, a lot of things happened. I changed a lot more than I’d like to admit. At the age of thirteen, I didn’t have a lot of friends. All the people I associated with were just my classmates. The “friend” I did have took advantage of my family and I a lot, but I didn’t know that then. Anyways, at the age of thirteen, I didn’t know who I was, I was just living day by day. I was in love with my first boyfriend, and I thought he was going to be my forever. I made a joke one day to a “friend” and said I thought about breaking up with him and she went and told him. To avoid the embarrassment of a boy getting broken up with by a girl, he broke up with me instead. It was just a joke, honestly, but to him it wasn’t. Him and said “friend” ended up close. This is what I remember starting it all. At the age of thirteen, I told my mom I didn’t want to be alive anymore. What was her response? “You better get your act together or I am going to send you off!” At the age of thirteen, that is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted comfort. I wanted love. I wanted empathy. You may be reading this thinking, “you were literally thirteen, you didn’t know what love was. It was literally a little break up.” And you are so right. The sad thing is, I didn’t know what love was. I didn’t receive what I was craving. Everyone interprets love differently. I didn’t know that back then, but I know that now. I know my mom loved and still does love me, but she never showed it in the way I needed it. Especially by telling me she’d “send me off”. That made me feel like I wasn’t worth fighting for. That made me hide every single negative emotion I ever had. In high school, I always thought I was “dramatic”. I was always told it was just a part of becoming an adult. The reckless voices running through my head telling me I’d never be good enough. I wasn’t good enough to receive love then, why in the future? No one knew who I truly was. I could never be myself around anyone. No one heard the silent screams I cried at night. They saw the puffy eyes, but they never meant anything. Anytime I showed emotions, I was told to get over it and that people have it worse than me. I know they do. I know they did. I never once said they didn’t, but I was always silently crying for love, empathy, support, etc. I thought therapy was for people who were way worse than me. Worse than someone who self-harmed, attempted suicide in their bedroom many of nights, but stopped because they thought of their family and what it would do to them. Worse than someone who would look up ways to end their life for only the hotline for suicide to come up. I just needed to get over it because it was just a part of growing up. As time went on and I graduated high school, my thoughts got worse. I manipulated myself into horrible thoughts every chance I could get. I started to realize a lot of things in life and about people around me. I lost a lot of boyfriends, but I started losing my best friends. I felt like everyone was turning on me because I’m unlovable or that is what I’ve learned so far. In my next chapter of life, I met someone amazing. Her name is “P”. P was someone I waited for my whole life. P made it seem like the world spun in her hands. P’s family was amazing. They welcomed me into their home like I had been there all along. But I forgot. I am unlovable. P began putting things before me. P’s family began turning on me. P’s family would begin manipulating P into thinking I am unlovable. I knew I was, but I hoped that wasn’t the case with P. I wanted to be with P so bad. I’d promised myself I’d do whatever it would take to be with P. I went from seeing P every day to barely seeing her, but I was unlovable, so I understood. P began to get very abusive towards me, but I loved P. I loved P so much, I stayed even when I shouldn’t have. I stayed when there was cheating. I stayed when there was abuse. I stayed when I was told I was a piece of s*!+. I reached out to people who I thought took me in as their own just for them to tell me, “Leave him”. I was always the bad person, but to their advantage, I never told them the truth about P. I thought it was just part of growing up. P had no clue what all I thought at night and how bad I didn’t want to be alive and honestly, I didn’t care either because I just wanted to make P happy, even if that meant I was miserable. But then I realized how miserable I was. I’d cry at night so hard I didn’t even know when I’d take my next breath. I’d cry so hard. At this point, I didn’t want to die. I just wanted the pain to end. As my next chapter begins, I realized a lot. I realized wanting to not be alive every single day was not okay. I realized crying because God did bless you with another day, wasn’t okay. I broke down and saw a therapist for myself. If you have gotten to this point in the story, I want to stop to say, there is no “normal”. If you ever are wanting to feel “normal”, then you are never going to get there. Everyone is different. Everyone has something that may be so small to someone else, but so big to you. This chapter in my life saved my life. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, severe depression, and a mood disorder. I was put on medicine for all my symptoms. Taking that leap of faith on myself is the reason I am here telling this story. P is still in my life at this point. P didn’t know I was going to therapy. She believed I should just get over it as well. One day, P found out where I was. And it isn’t going to be the reaction you’d thing because I was dreading it too. Ever since the day P found out I was going to receive help, things flipped upside down. P and I sat all night long and talked. She let me spill everything I thought out with no judgment whatsoever. She cried and apologized all night long. She blamed everything on her, but it wasn’t just her. Unfortunately, I felt unloved way before her, but now, not after her. P’s family never got better, but P started taking up for me. P finally saw the things I did and knew the lies her family was putting into her head. P saw that he was getting seconds from his family. P saw how much favoritism there was. Therefore, it was my turn to be there for P. P started therapy and fortunately, I knew what he needed support wise. As for my family, I still show no emotion. I don’t even know if they know I’ve been in therapy, seen a psychiatrist, and almost been “sent off” by a licensed therapist. Maybe my mom would have been proud, I don’t know. But I never want her to find out. I know if she knew this story was about the person typing this, she’d never be able to forgive herself. So, I do still hide my emotions, but I’ve learned how to cope with them as well. There is a lot more I could tell and probably make it make more sense, but I try not to trigger as much as I can. Please, take your mental health seriously. You might think, “it’ll never get better”. Honestly, I can’t tell you it will. I can only tell you that you learn to cope. You learn there is more to life. I wish I could speak to whoever was reading this and tell you it is going to be okay. It will. I know you are rolling your eyes while reading this, but it will be okay. You aren’t just dramatic. You are lovable. You deserve a life that is worth wanting to wake up in the morning, even if it is only to go back to sleep. Sometimes getting up from bed is the only thing we can do on difficult days and that is okay. If all you did was survive another day, that’s okay. Whoever is reading this, I am so proud of you. And if you don’t feel like you have a reason, just know, you are the reason I am writing this story. You matter to me.
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