"A firey soul" I'm not your average girl. I didn't play soccer, I don't have blonde hair, I'm not model perfect, and I wasn't some insanely smart student. I was known as the girl who rode horses and likes to workout. I was severely bullied throughout high school and as a result I was diagnosed with severe depression and mild anxiety. For years girls would torment me for my hair being red, my curvy body, and for my interests. They would make up rumors about me, call me a slut, gang up on me, push me and do so many other awful things to me. I was constantly isolated and I only ever had a few true friends. I remember going into the bathroom calling my mom crying saying I couldn't do it anymore. I could feel my soul leaving my body as I tried to force myself to go to hell also known as "high school". It wasn't until the end of my junior year when I was told we were moving to another state and I remembered thinking that meant a fresh start for me. But that summer I had a tragic accident which changed my life forever... I was riding an off track thoroughbred when he and a loose horse had gotten into a fight whilst I was on the other one's back. My only memory was my skull impacting the ground and hearing my friend scream. Everything was black and peaceful. I was unconscious for 15 minutes until my dad and friend found my lifeless body in a pile of rocks and cacti. I woke up and I didn't know my name or anything. I was rushed to the walk in clinic where I had my blood drawn and some tests done. The nurse's face turned white as she asked to speak to my dad in another room privately. My dad came in a few short minutes after and told me that I had to be transported to the ICU trauma unit because my brain was bleeding. And that's when I blacked out again.. An ambulance was called and I remember waking up on the white board with a crowd of people taking pictures and gawking at my bloody face and torn up body. My dad carried my helmet and my riding gloves. I stared at my half chaps and boots which were brown from the dirt and rocks that I was thrown into to try and forget about the crowd of people pointing and staring at me. The EMS scowled at the crowd of people to go away as it was an emergency. They loaded me up and on went the lights. The EMS in the back tried to stabilize my head and keep me conscious but I blacked out once again. I remembered thinking I can finally die and just forget all the pain I've been put through. But then I could hear the EMS' voice. "I know you want to give up right now.. But your dad looks pretty scared to me. And I can tell you're a strong young woman with a firey soul. God really was watching over you and I know you can pull through this." I wasn't one to really think about God as I had religion shoved down my throat for 16+ years of my life making me shy away from it.. But this EMS had a point. I woke up in the ICU to meet a nurse who quickly stripped me down to my underware and dressed me in a gown since I could not move due to impacting the ground so hard. I had bright lights shown into my eyes every hour and needles prodding my arms. A machine watched my brainwaves and I was constantly being observed. I wasn't allowed to sleep or eat or drink. I hadn't had anything in over 15 hours and the pain killers they gave me made me throw up like a dog. The EMS held my hair back and talked me through the pain. He even let me sneak in a nap for 15 minutes. But what really stuck to me is that he prayed over me while i did. He asked for God to spare my life and to keep me alive. The next day I was pronounced a medical miracle. I had a subdural hematoma which is swelling and bleeding of your brain and only 20% of those who receive this injury survive it. I came out of the accident with a slight case of a PTSD as I had reoccurring night mares of my skull and face impacting the ground (and I still do to this day) and short term memory loss. I would attend my first public co-Ed school and I remembered how nervous I was because Of my accident and memory loss and I didn't know what to wear, say or how to make friends because I grew up wearing a strict uniform, going to catholic schools and eventually attending two Catholic all girls schools. Moving down south was definitely different from where I had grown up. Sports were everything and academics came last... Two things that were backwards to me. I grew up putting my academics first and my sports second because that was my school's rules. "You don't play unless you have A's and B's" I could hear the echo of my former coaches voices in my head. The grading scale was vastly lower than what I was used to and so was the work load. I remember meeting who I thought was my true love. He was tall, sweet and admitted to one of my new friends that he was interested in me. I came to realize we had two classes together and eventually we started talking. We went on a date and hung out on multiple occasions before he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so happy! This guy was sweet, protective and everything I THOUGHT I could of wanted and needed. things were great between us! We held hands, talked everyday, he walked me to class, and everyone referred to us as "relationship goals". It wasn't until after we graduated that he would show his true colors. We decided on attending different colleges and at first I was hesitant but we swore to visit eachother and FaceTime so eventually I got over it.. I noticed that he didn't like me going out with the cheer team and he didn't like me wearing crop tops or short shorts. He didn't like that I had guy friends in my classes and he would constantly go through my phone and made me stop talking to any guy even if they weren't straight. He would constantly give my friends dirty looks and was constantly asking where I was or what I was doing. I wasn't happy anymore but how could I leave someone who I loved? Who helped me through my senior year of high school? Who helped me through my darkest times? I ignored all my friends who told me he was abusing me and he was toxic. I didn't want to believe them.. My heart told me that they were just trying to get the single part of me to party with while my mind told me they were right and it wasn't healthy anymore. It wasn't until October that our relationship crumbled. It was our anniversary and I had drove 3 hours to see him. His fraternity let him slip out of an event for me and we met up. As we were at dinner I saw his lab partner text him.. I thought it was odd she was texting him on a weekend but i told myself it could be for homework. I stared at the iPhone until I brought myself to unlock it and read the message. My heart sunk. My eyes began to water as I read through their conversations... He had been cheating on me. I got up and I left crying. I felt so embarrassed as I could feel my makeup pour down my face and I brushed my long straightend red hair out of my face. Other couples were whispering and gave me a sad look.. And that's when he saw me and ran after me. We argued for a good 45 minutes which resulted in us both crying and I told him to take me to my car and that we were over. I had seen his conversation with his lab partner. What made it worse was he didn't even try to say anything. He just stood there blankly staring at me because he knew i saw the flirting. "Why the fuck would you go through my phone?" He screamed at me and got in my face. I shoved him back and I told him it didn't matter that he was caught and that I was ending our relationship. He referred to me as a slut and bitch to his fraternity brothers and would try to make himself look better for a while to cover up the fact he cheated on his girlfriend of a year and a half. For months I fell back into that black hole that once swallowed me years ago. I could hear the demons in my head laugh at me and I could feel that light inside of me dim once more. I became thin as I once weighted a healthy and muscular 140 lbs to a skinny 120 lbs. my ribs showed, my face was thin, bags formed under my eyes, I stopped putting on makeup, I stopped dressing nice and I fell silent in my classes and I left my invite texts to events un-opened. It wasn't until some of my good friends noticed I wasn't myself and they talked me through that dark period and lead me out to the light once again. They would stay with me to make sure I was okay, force me to be social and make new friends, teach me to be strong on my own and teach me that I was going to be okay. Months went by and I was back to being myself. I wasn't super thin anymore, I was dressing up and doing my make up once again, I was confident and I was smiling! Genuinely smiling and laughing! and my close friend urged me to create a tinder. "Girl you'll be fine! You've been talking about getting back out there! Why not try this? If it doesn't go well you can always deactivate it!" Damn, my friends got me there....I felt stupid and a little embarrassed but I was ready to try and talk to someone again and I sure as hell wasn't going to be able to just walk up to someone on campus so I figured this was more in my comfort zone(thanks anxiety!) I remembered getting a lot of attention and messages on the app until one man was really appealing to me. We hit it off instantly and he soon asked for my number. I remembered feeling butterflies again but my mind told me to stop to protect myself from getting hurt again. We would text constantly and we told each other everything about us. Back stories and all! We had our first FaceTime date then eventually met each other. We found out we both had birthdays in November and a lot in common. He constantly made me feel safe and he always helped me through my anxiety and doubts because of my past. And now this wonderful man is my boyfriend and I'm proud to say that he will never harm me like my ex did. The one thing that will always get to me is how he looked me in the eyes and told me "your fiery soul is what keeps me going. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and i was supposed to meet you." Each and everyone of you who goes through some sort of trauma or abuse has that fire! It NEVER left! Don't ever let someone dim your shine! And please take the time to listen to your friends and your gut feeling about a toxic or un-healthy relationships! I was able to overcome so much and you can to. From the girl with a firey soul to you.
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