story of complex medical conditions, self acceptance, and healing
It was in 2018, I was 17 years old. I was in my teenage phase where I was just a teenager who just cared about having fun and taking life easy. I was going for my o-levels when I had the biggest shock of my life. I had symptoms of skin rashes but I was taking it lightly, hoping that it would be gone. But it got bigger, more blisters and more scarring happened.
And then I tried to muster the courage to tell my mom. I nearly thought I had breast cancer. On the first day of my examination, I was filled with anxiety, stress and had an imbalance of emotions. This led me to have a low achievement rate at my o-levels . And then the doctor diagnosed and declared I have atopic dermatitis which was heartbreaking for me and my mom. But for me, I was completely devastated. I had been crying, trying to understand what was happening. I was traumatized. I couldn't have the ability to have courage, I had lost weight. It got chronic within months. That was agonizing seeing my breasts like that.
And then the second year it came back, it became worse. I had blisters on almost every part of my body. It had intensified. I was just wearing long-sleeved covered clothes in public. I was frequently using cortisone and steroid ointment. I had scarring which was thick- frequent scratching caused blood. I was in deep misery. I felt awful seeing my body like that. I was in a phase when I had started developing suicidal thoughts wishing I could end it.
I wasn't myself. I had been distanced from many people from 2020 till 2021. Then, the year 2021 at the 6th month that disease completely changed me. I tried to change myself, I changed my thinking, my way of seeing my life. I was getting to know myself and my disease slowly began to leave me. I had started loving myself.
I am sharing this story in order to spread awareness, to come support people who are fighting with eczema or atopic skin diseases, I just wanna say don't give up. It is the worst feeling to have such a disease. As it drains you completely making you feel inferior and having to cover yourself always. You can be in depression as you feel alienated, alone in your own suffering that you only know how it feels. But I just wanna keep fighting, it will heal And you will find yourself. Don't Give Up.
story about neurodivergence, bullying, suicidality, and finding treatment
I’d like to share my story. Not for fame, or recognition, or sympathy, or anything like that. Purely to tell other girls that they aren’t alone. I was diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old and ADHD at 7. These 2 conditions have shaped my life since. When I was 11, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. When I was 12, entering into a new year at school, inappropriate rumors were spread about me, lowering all the confidence and self-worth I ever had. At that point, I had built walls all around me, preventing anyone from coming in to support me. Shortly after I transferred to a different school, hoping that it would go ok and I would make some friends, and have a good time. Unfortunately it was the opposite. It was ok for a while, I was sitting with a group of people, I still felt lonely but I brushed it off then. Several days later I was playing a game of Truth or Dare with a couple people who weren’t very nice to me, but I ignored them most of the time. In the circle of kids, One of them, who was one of the mean kids, said to me “I dare you to go up that tree (A big tree in our field) and get a rope and hang yourself.” At that point, I was actively suicidal and self-harming. I was actively thinking about acting on what those kids had dared me to do. I reached out to my parents who took me to the hospital as we couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment. Due to the mental health crisis in New Zealand, I waited for 5 hours before eventually being seen by an adult psychologist. In that appointment, the psychologist didn’t understand me and went on and on about the wrong things, making me feel worse and worse. After that appointment I was referred to a mental health clinic, which shortly turned me down after saying “I wasn’t suicidal enough.” Those words broke me, and my family. I eventually went into private care, where I slowly recovered from my trauma, shortly after being diagnosed with PTSD. Currently, I’m feeling great, and looking to do a career in Mental Health advocacy. I want to encourage anyone who’s reading this who is struggling right now. You are worth it. You make the world a better place. You are loved. You have hope. Best wishes.
story about family inflicted abuse and childhood trauma and healing
My brother introduced me to a game when we were younger. In this game, we hid in the basement, fully equipped with pretend weapons, hiding from whatever lurked outside. I'm not sure how this began or the purpose, but we spent hours on end in our creative minds. Imagine the golden glow of looking back on your childhood memories; this was one of those golden memories. Quickly, the golden light stopped glowing and faded away. I learned the truth about the abuse that occurred and the reason behind my parents' divorce. The basement was a safe space, a room full of potential imagination. It was the room I could escape from my parents' control. As the typical 3-year-old, my mind could see a dark, expressionless basement and make it into a magical wonderland where anything could happen, as almost everything did. At the time, I was hidden from the truth. The only thing I saw was the typical childhood nostalgia; not the trauma. This is one of the only memories I have with my brother, other than times that also don't represent what I wish my childhood would've been. For the past years, I've viewed my brother as a shadow. He has always been my brother, regardless that I had few to no memories of him. We were driving in the car, my dad and I, and he was in a rage. He was angry with me, I don't remember why, but it escalated. To the point where he told me that for years on end, my brother was assaulting me, and nobody knew. The light turned dark and shock overtook my body, I didn't know what this would mean. I'd never heard a word about this, not even seen my dad like this before. This wasn't supposed to happen, he wasn't supposed to tell me, at least that's what I think. He waited 16 years to tell me, who knows if I ever would have found out? After his fury-filled speech, I got more answers from him, including details and the story behind my parents' divorce, which was because of my shadowed childhood. After this, I wanted to forget. I wanted to push it away and pretend it wasn't like this. I could not grasp the fact that I felt as if I'd been lied to and as if I didn't know myself. The open space that once withheld my childhood, was now burdening my thoughts; it was an inescapable prison. I have always been hyper-aware of my past. I find it interesting that specific events in your past shape who you turned out to be. But mine never added up. I never understood why I grew up so shy, and why I closed myself off from the world at such a young age. Now I understand, I felt vulnerable and ashamed of what happened. I try to look back on my childhood, as one naturally would, but I don't want to. I don't want to remember the undeniable fact that there's a gaping hole where comfort and love should be. There will always be a part of me that wishes I could text my brother; I still can, but what about the guilt? What would my parents think? What if I regret it? I wish there were a stronger relationship. I wish his 10-year-old curiosity didn't take over, I wish he saw me as his little sister, but above all, I wish he could see how I've grown from this. The basement isn't something I should use to trap my feelings in. It's a place where I should use the open space and take the opportunity to build off that. Now, I'm 17, and I've only known for a few years. As it stands, I haven't talked to my brother in years. We say our biannual, "happy birthdays!", but that's all it's been for a while. Despite all of this, I'll admit that I do miss him, I do still view him as my brother, and I choose to forgive. I stayed mentally in that room for years, it imprisoned my thoughts, but it shouldn't have. I've learned that life is so much more than just your problems; I mean that in a good, optimistic way. To add to that, I'm not writing this for pity or empathy, I'm rather writing this for growth, for the audience who may be reading this, for any reason. I'm aware that your past is a huge factor in your present, but what I've learned is that it doesn't have to affect you as much as it's able to. I try not to let my past define me, I strive to move past it and create a new present.
story of depression, self harm, suicidality and survival
I was 13 years old when I got diagnosed with depression. The anxiety followed shortly after. During this time I would call myself nocturnal. I was on a strict sleep schedule of wake up at 6pm, eat “dinner” that was actually my breakfast, stay up all night, and once I heard my mom wake up at 7am I would go to sleep. My depression started getting worse and I eventually stopped going downstairs for those dinner meals, and soon I stopped leaving my bed all together. I started to feel so numb and to feel anything at all I started to self harm. I hated what I was doing and knew I should stop but I just wanted to feel anything again. After months of this happening I felt one single thing. The pain of my mom. I thought about how my mom would feel if she knew I was hurting myself. The thought of me bringing pain on my mom was enough to stop me, and of course it wasn’t really that easy. I relapsed and craved and struggled but in the end I came out on top. I thought that was it but what I didn’t realize was depression is a life long illness and while I had almost made it 1 year self harm clean I started to slip into the worst depression of my life and one night I wrote everyone a cared about suicide notes. I decided to swallow pills, but I guess it wasn’t enough because I woke up the next morning. For the next 2 weeks I was drowsy but alive so I never told anyone about that night. Now looking back a year later and almost 2 years clean of self harm, I still feel my depression and anxiety all the time but I am so unbelievably proud to say I am alive. I am living and there is so much to my story but at the end of the day something has kept me on this earth so whatever it is I’m taking it as my second chance.
Story of Domestic Abuse, Suicidal Thoughts, Religion, Self-Hatred, and hope of healing (TW)
20 years ago, I was a strong and independent 17-year-old. Insecure, but I never allowed anyone to dictate my identity or compromise my values. At 22, I married a man whom I believed loved me for who I was. However, as time passed, I began to change, losing myself in an attempt to meet his expectations. I constantly felt inadequate, whether it was about my appearance, faith, or intimacy. I tried everything to be desirable, to feel loved and accepted. For years, I masked my true self behind jokes, obsessive workouts, and conforming to my husband's preferences, even if it made me uncomfortable. I underwent surgery after breastfeeding my children, hoping to meet his standards, but it still wasn't enough. I faced various distressing experiences behind closed doors that left me silently crying in the bathroom. There was exposure to pornography, the introduction of explicit materials and activities I refused to engage in despite his persistence, which only intensified my feelings of inadequacy. I questioned why I wasn't good enough or simply enough. Eleven years of marriage passed, and I became a mere shell of my former self, pretending every day. I resented myself for not being what my husband desired, as he turned to videos during our intimate moments to find excitement. Meanwhile, we portrayed the perfect couple to friends, family, and on social media. However, I later discovered that he had shown private and nude photos of me to business associates, further reinforcing the idea that I was just an object to him. I felt like a receptacle, devoid of value. Unbeknownst to me, my own home was filled with hidden cameras, monitoring my every move for over a year before I became aware. Then, someone came into my life who saw through the facade, who saw the person I had lost sight of, even though I couldn't see her myself. Over the course of a year, this person became my safe haven, my home, my best friend. I resigned myself to spending the rest of my life in a publicly perfect marriage while secretly loving someone else because I never believed in giving up or breaking promises. But eventually, I did break those promises, and it shattered a significant part of me. However, it also liberated the person I had lost. For a few years after the devastating collapse of my marriage, I was broken, filled with self-hatred, and utterly lost. Not only was I not enough for my husband, but my friends and even my own family thought the worst of me. Sitting in my pastor's office after my husband requested an emergency meeting, I felt their pity and condemnation. No one bothered to ask if my husband had any wrongdoing in this situation. I was solely labeled as the sinner. In my darkest moments, contemplating suicide seemed like the only solution, as I believed my children deserved better. I felt utterly alone. Most of my closest friends, who knew nothing of what I had endured, abandoned me, except for a handful who saw through the facade and recognized the mistreatment before I could acknowledge it myself. But then, I found strength in the women who became my friends, helping me rebuild a foundation of the person I once was, even though they didn't know the pre-marriage version of me. I wasn't the villain everyone made me out to be. I began to understand that while my survival tactics were flawed, it wasn't entirely my fault. Even if no one ever knew the extent of my ex-husband's actions, I wasn't the antagonist in my own story. I was simply doing my best and stumbled along the way. The person who caught me, who encouraged me to rediscover myself before we could pursue a relationship, stood unwaveringly by my side. Over months and years, he never made me feel inadequate for needing time to heal, just as he healed his own wounds. My faith in Jesus's love reminded me that we are all sinners. And although I may still face judgment for my actions from those who are unaware of the full story, it's okay. Grace saved me. Love saved me. I transformed from a broken, abused (yes, abused) woman, mother, friend, daughter, and sister. My ex-husband isn't a bad person; he was lost and insecure, battling his own medical issues and demons. I hope that someday he can recognize the pain he caused and find it in his heart to forgive me for not standing up and revealing the truth before it was too late, before I hurt him. As much as I am grateful for escaping that relationship, for becoming a better mother to my children, for rediscovering myself, I still regret compromising my values. Nevertheless, I learned that sometimes hitting rock bottom allows us to start anew. I am no longer the picture-perfect wife I projected on social media or to my friends. I am real, flawed, and human. But I am loved and forgiven regardless of what others may believe. To my ex-husband, who wishes for punishment that fits my perceived crime, I wish you peace and the ability to be your true self, free from pretenses and the fear of societal judgment. Because ultimately, all of us deserve the freedom to be the person God created us to be.
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