Hi loves. My name is Sierra. I’m 25 and from Michigan. I wanted to take the time to tell my story in hopes it can help others.

When I was younger I was always known for being shy… I was always the quiet kid. As I got older and I came out as lesbian I started to make friends, but little did I know those friends would turn on me. Those girls I shared my secrets with, my everyday with had turned on me. They went from my best friends to bullies with a flick of a switch. Everyday I went to school had become a nightmare. I would walk out of class and they would all surround me to try and jump me. I remember always saying what did I ever do to you? I knew deep down they were just going through their own stuff and wanted someone to be a punching bag.

8th grade came I was beyond excited for a new fresh start. Over that summer break I got myself together. Talked with a therapist to help me have a voice for myself I went back to school ready for that new beginning to only have that end up being the worst year of my life. It was May 28th. A Wednesday. It was nice outside. Not too hot and not too cold. It was beautiful out. I remember coming home from school as I would any other day but for some reason something about that whole day just felt off. I had very bad anxiety that night so I hopped in my mom’s bed to lay there and talk. I was 13 at the time. As my mom and I lied there laughing about a joke she had sent my dad, we both had fell asleep for 10 minutes then the phone rang. My mom got up to answer and all I can remember is hearing everything that was happening but my body wouldn’t wake up. When I opened my eyes I looked at my mom and could tell something horrible happened. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to hear.

My heart sank when I heard her cry. My head couldn’t wrap around the emotion in her voice. I asked her “mom what’s going on” choking back her tears and the knot in her throat she replied as she gazed over the room, “I don’t even know how to tell you this, but your dad was shot Sierra and he didn’t make it”. At that moment, that very moment I had no words. I had no sense to what was happening. I couldn’t believe that someone would hurt my dad. I can still feel that ache in my chest from when I found out.

As time went by and I got older I stared to understand more and more. I started to feel his death more and more. I began to shut everyone around me out thinking that would help me any. I didn’t trust anyone. To me everyone was guilty.

I started to take adventures around and talking to my mom about everything. Which started to make me feel again. They made me open my eyes to all the beauty in life. I stared looking at nature for its beauty. I started to take pictures and write. Expressing my thoughts and feelings through writing helped me a ton.

****This next part may not be for everyone****

Have you ever had a friend that you thought you could trust more than anything and they take advantage of that?
I had a friend that I confided in. We had been friends for years so I thought I knew who him. Turns out I was wrong. He was in need of somewhere to stay because he was locked out of his house so I let him crash on my couch. I took a shower and laid down having no worry in the world because I thought I was safe right? I can trust him. He’s my best friend right? No. As I laid there falling asleep he came into my room and forced himself on me and in me. I laid there pleading and pleading, but that didn’t stop him. I was told it was my fault it was happening. I was told I wanted it. Never in my life did I think that would have happened to me. I was so angry with myself. I let him too close. I thought I could trust him.

He left with success that night. I laid there with all the regret. Regret for letting him stay.
I asked him why would he do this to me? Why? And he would just continue to tell me I wanted it. No, no I did not. I never told anyone besides my mom and a close friend. I was scared all the time. I get instantly nervous around anyone that gets close to me. Sleeping next to someone is easy, but when it comes to intimacy I get so nervous. I am forever scared from one night. I used to think if I went away no one could ever hurt me again. But I told myself I’m important and I matter in this world.

He may have taken a piece of me that night that I didn’t think I’d ever get back, but I decided to start making a change. It was time for me to take my life back. Today I am stronger than I was. Yes, I’m healing. Yes, I’m working on me. Yes, I still get scared, but I’m human and I am me. My strengths don’t define me. I define me. I now smile at people again and can lay next to someone again. Moral of my story humans, is that bad things are going to happen to us but it’s all about how we overcome that stuff. It’s okay to take your time. Don’t rush. Fall in love with all the beauty in life. Fall in love with the tree you pass everyday. Fall in love with that sunset that set yesterday. Just fall in love with everything because loves, well, we only have one life. And please make a person smile today 😌 Be free be you.

This story was shared by a brave human named Sierra.

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