“He’s gone”.

The words hit me harder than life. The pain was like knives penetrating your skin while being dipped in acid.

I don’t remember breathing. I don’t remember seeing. I just remember a loud ringing in my ears and tears LITERALLY flooding from my eyes…

This should’ve been the turning point in my life. This should’ve changed everything. But it didn’t.
It was December 18,2013. My 17 year old little brother committed suicide.

In order for you to fully understand why this should’ve changed everything… why I chose to make my story start with this… then I need to take you back…

I am a child of 9. My family is huge and my parents are divorced. I grew up in my mother’s house (the middle child). My father always remained very close (in distance) to the family. My father is a 30+ veteran, old fashioned, opinionated, judgmental man. Out of all his children, he would openly tell me I am his least favorite (still true).

I am a black sheep to him. I was bullied by family, at school, by teachers, etc. for being the kid who dyed her hair black and stained her body with ink and piercings. Even being athletic, I was verbally attacked for being “manly”. The kids were ruthless. I was suicidal and often wrote about it through high school. I told no one.

In 2012, I entered an abusive relationship. I often woke up with bruises I wasn’t sure how I got. Because alcohol was usually involved, it took me months to really admit, really understand that i was being abused. When I finally realized it, I would always make an excuse for him saying it must’ve been my behavior that pissed him off or it wasn’t him but the alcohol. We were together for over a year and a half and he made sure I cut off my family so they didn’t find out. I am 3 years older than my brother (Jacob)… I had no idea he was being bullied. I had no idea he was depressed. I was oblivious.

When I received that phone call… when my whole world stopped and changed… I should’ve changed with it… however, only one week passed and the abuse got worse. But now he had an excuse.. I deserved this because since Jacob died I “had changed”…

This continued for 6 months until finally I called the cops and for the first time ever my family found out what was going on. That was June 2014.

Forward ⏭
March 2015, I discovered bodybuilding/personal training. I started helping others while focusing on my own goals. I got off anti-depressants and reestablished all bonds with my family. I am single. Happy. In school. Working. Achieving.

Forward ⏭
It is March 2018… life is still good. I am working towards everything I want in life. I am staying committed to my goals. Focused.
& then I met her.
I wasn’t even in a dark place but it was like the room lit up. It was an emotion I’ve never felt. Not with a female. Not with anyone.
She teaches me something new everyday. About love. About life. About myself.
This is only the beginning…

For all humans though, these terrible events of life are eye openers. They force us to learn the lessons that we habitually try to ignore. And if we take those lessons as blessing and use them… maybe we all can be better humans. Maybe our broken-ness “together” is what makes us whole.