What’s my story?
I’ve always tried to figure out if my story was worth telling and because any time I start to depict the events of my life, one way or another, the person listening always pitied me. But what I am trying to tell them through this mostly dark part of my life, is while it was a dark tunnel, I have found myself closer to the light than I have ever been in all those years.
I grew up the middle child in a family of five children. All five children sharing the same mother, but all of us having different fathers. And while it was supposed to say more about our mother, it always said so much more about us. My eldest sister was the planned one, she was the one who came from married parents, who eventually divorced. But she got the “ideal” partnership. Next in line, my older sister’s father passed away one week before she was born, to which he had no knowledge of her existence, my mother’s choice. My eldest sister’s father took her in as his own. Then me, the one who was born through a hook up with her high school love. Again, he had no idea, he left for the navy before my mother even knew. I wasn’t as lucky as my other sister, he didn’t want anything to do with me. However, I met my biological father when I was sixteen, I’ll elaborate on this later. My younger brother followed, his father was there when I was born, who my mother had told me was my biological father, to only later find out he wasn’t. They separated after he went to jail for physically abusing her one too many times. And last but not least, my baby brother was born ten years after me, an accident, to my mom’s last love interest she met at the trailer park we lived in. For the curious folk, he’s still with her, 21 years later.
My mother never quite learned how to love all her children equally, let alone unconditionally. Her and I struggled the most to have a good relationship. I needed more than she could ever offer me and as a child I didn’t know how to accept that. I was told many hurtful things from: “I was supposed to have an abortion when I found out about you” to “I have more important things in my life than you.” I was always too sensitive, I always cared too much about school, and I was never ever good enough for her. When my biological father finally contacted me, he filed for joint custody and I came home to all my belongings in trash bags. She was kicking me out for a decision I had no knowledge of, at the age of 16 to live with a man I had knew for 3 weeks. In which, that lasted for four months and eventually he told me he wanted nothing to do with me.
I tried to end my life three times in the span of my high school years. Each time I tried and failed, my mother’s only words were “You’re fucked up, you need serious help.” She never tried to help me and it only made the darkness darker. She made me feel so completely and utterly worthless. Someone who was by nature supposed to have nothing but love for you, had nothing for me. Both of my parents had rejected me and I was completely alone in my darkness, terrified and hopeless.
At eighteen and one fight too many, I decided to move out of her house. We got into the fight on a Thursday and I was out by Tuesday. I had had enough of her. I was so completely depleted. I had no idea how to be on my own but I knew it was the only option I had to save my life.
A short 6 months later, the man who raised me, my brother’s father, passed away. He protected me from my mother my whole life, the best he could. When he passed, I shut everyone and everything out. It then shut me down. I went through the “party years” I never thought I would go through. In high school, I was the goody two shoes who was on her way to Harvard and never did anything wrong. But none of it mattered. Everything that mattered to me was lost. At the age of 20 I landed myself in jail for a DUI. I was getting into clubs with a fake ID, one of my “smart” decisions. I sat in that drunk tank for 11 hours and blamed everyone around me but myself. I had hit rock bottom. I lost my license, I lost my car, and I had lost my dignity. I worked for a family business and when my mom found out she called them and next thing you know I’m in the conference room with three men I looked up to, looking at me completely disappointed. I had let the only people who thought highly of me down. My darkness darkened.
For about six months I avoided everyone and everything. Through this time I was reunited with suicidal thoughts. Every day I was praying for it to be over, that it would stop hurting. I cleaned up the mess I had made, outwardly. But inwardly, I was drowning. No matter what people told me or did for me it didn’t make anything better. I was so convinced that I was a failure and I let this one mistake dictate the relationship I had with myself.
I can’t tell you exactly what made me click. I can’t tell you what made me completely switch. All it was, was a decision to stop feeling the way I had let myself for so many years. I decided to be responsible for everything, even the relationship with my mom and all she had done. I attacked my life, both physically and mentally. I dove into self development books and I worked out like crazy in hopes to learn to love myself like no one else had. As many times as I wanted to give up on myself, I didn’t. I kept fighting because deep down, I wasn’t going to let anyone determine my worth. I still struggle daily with feeling “enough.” But I will never stop trying to love myself harder than anyone else has. I will not let the way others made me feel pull me into any darkness.
I have always been one to give. One to pour everything I had into others, leaving myself depleted and resentful. But I have learned that in order to pour into others, I need to be overflowing, and to overflow, I must pour into myself by self care as well as be a part of things and associate with people who do the same. This is why I have decided to become an Only Human Advocate. This community is so completely giving and I can’t imagine how much I can take from this experience.
I just want to be someone who can lend a hand and be helpful. Most of my life I didn’t have that help. I was too busy being judged or too busy being scared to ask for help. I want to help others who are going through what I went through. To help anyone and everyone has always been one of my biggest goals in life. Help goes so far to people who are struggling. Especially to the ones who struggle in darkness like I did.
Invest in yourself, you are worth it.
Story submitted by Amber.