I have so many things I could say, that I could write; I don’t really know where to start. This is my story.
I come from what most people call a broken family, broken home. This has been my life. I was abused by my dad, and then by my mom. I never went into the system… partly by the grace of God, and partly because I was too scared what would happen if I told. As I have grown, even with all of the heartache it caused, I still feel like it was the best decision. I have a relationship with my family that I don’t think would be so connected, or together if we had ever been separated. Now, because of my experiences, I have struggled with depression, anxiety, EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It has become a fact of life. For the longest time it felt like it had always been there. Then my therapist and I worked out the timelines. I struggled with anxiety my entire life. I started struggling with depression when I was about 8. The PTSD has always been there. It has roared its ugly head so many times. It is sometimes just shown by nightmares, sometimes just by flashbacks. I say that… JUST flashbacks. Through therapy I have learned how to ground, and to keep myself in the present. I do what I must so that I can stay sane.
There were several times that the depression came up. I was 15 the first time I tried to kill myself. I am so thankful that I had no clue what I was doing. In the next 35 days, 28 were spent in the psych ward. It wasn’t consecutive, but the majority of my time was in the unit. It sucked. The last time I got out I determined to keep myself safe, that I would be OK, and that I would continue to talk to my mom. I did great. For 3 years I held on. Sometimes only barely, but I was making it. I was a “good girl.” Throughout this time I faked a smile so much. Except for my eating, there looked to be nothing wrong from the outside. But inside I was tearing up.
I am currently 5′ 7″, and weigh 155lbs. I am proud of this. Back then I was about 5′ 6″, and weighed about 122. That is about 4lbs above the underweight mark, and had I ever hit 115, I would have been labeled with anorexia nervosa. But again, by the grace of God, I didn’t. I sure tried but I never succeeded. I would eat less than 100 calories some days, and maybe 900 on my max days. When I thought I had eaten too much, I would make myself throw it up. It was an endless cycle of never getting to where I wanted to be, always feeling like a failure, feeling worse about myself, and then making myself eat even less. I got over that with help from family, friends, and God. I was shown a verse: Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principal and power. I was told that God is Perfect, in Him I am perfect, because He made me PERFECT. While we were driving home I started questioning why I worried so much about my outward appearance if God already thought of me as perfect. It was a huge changing point. I still struggle though and it tried to rear its ugly head in December 2014. Through the support of friends and family I made it through.
I said that for 3 years I held on. That’s not exactly true… I started cutting in November of 2012. I was depressed, but not suicidal. I was angry and hurting, but we were all trying to keep it together. None of us felt as though hospitalization was the best option. Things got worse in the fall of my senior year, November of 2013. The weeks leading up to that I was becoming increasingly moody, angry, and severely depressed again. I made it until the day after homecoming. That next night I told my mom I was going to kill myself, and we had to do something about it. We ended up calling the police, and I was at the hospital for nine days. I found a sharp object, and tried to slit my wrists, but I couldn’t go deep enough. I got out. I was very angry, and became verbally, mentally, and sometimes physically abusive. The police were called several times. It was really bad. I was leading up to my nineteenth birthday, and I was looking to get kicked out because of my actions. I ended up in the hospital one more time. It was a different one this time, and we found it more helpful than any of the others combined. I came home actually stable, and determined to never go back. I stopped cutting, started controlling my anger even when I didn’t feel like it. And then: GOD. I have given so much credit to Him, and I will continue to give Him credit. He has done so much in my life, and is continuing to heal and strengthen me even today. I was writing a short sermon for my local Fine Arts Festival, which is through the Assemblies of God churches throughout the nation. The theme this year was Limitless. I was struggling honestly… I was ignoring God, and kept trying to do it alone. One day I decided to let Him in again. He inspired me to write about Limitless Forgiveness. It changed me FOREVER. I forgave my dad for all the crap. I forgave my mom for anything I hadn’t already let go. I became less angry almost instantly. I stopped screaming and cussing, I was never over the top again. I even far about 3 months was not overly depressed, or anxious, and most of the PTSD symptoms were under control. I was floating on air.
I could leave it at that… I could tell you that’s my story… I could tell you that I haven’t struggled since… but that wouldn’t be true. There are ups and downs, TRUST ME. My dad called in June 2014. That night was the worst PTSD night I have ever experienced. I got that under control, and then I started college that fall. I started cutting, I became suicidal to the point of researching my plan to make sure it would work. I started having panic attacks, and the flashbacks came back. I was hospitalized in November and then again in April and May. We are looking at a possible new diagnosis of Bi-polar. I am about to start an inpatient 90 day treatment for mental health. It is a struggle constantly right now.
But what I have decided is that I am going to get through this. I will survive because I have survived. I will soar on wings like eagles, I will run and not grow weary, and I will walk and not faint, because God has made me new. He is in control, and I give it all up to him. I will not let my past determine what I do today. I know that in some ways, my past does define me. My mistakes don’t, but the mistakes of others do. The way those mistakes and choices effected my life up until now, that has made me who I am today. BUT, the choices I make right now will determine who I become. Now, I will stand tall, and I will move on.