I started writing this on Instagram for my third entry of #selflovebootcamp, but it was soon apparent to me that it would be too long for Instagram. I also realized I’ve never really dealt with the stuff that happened in my life as a child and teenager. There was so much bad stuff that happened in such a short amount of time that I’m surprised I turned out okay in the end. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for anything more than a place to vent and get these thoughts out because most of them are things I’ve never addressed out loud to anyone but my therapist and boyfriend.
I’m not going to hold back in my descriptions of things, so this post might be triggering for some people. I’m going to talk about self harm, eating disorders, abuse, and things of that nature. Please read with caution. This is a really fucking long post. I don’t even expect anyone to really read this.
I’ve been mentally ill as long as I can remember. As a child I didn’t have the support system or resources to cope things. My parents were young and had a lot of issues throughout their marriage, even early on. I grew up in a household with a lot of tension and fighting. I thought it was normal for relationships to involve fighting and negative emotions. Every family I was exposed to operated in this way. For lack of a better term, I had “Daddy Issues” because my dad wasn’t around very often. When he was around, my parents would argue. I was afraid of him. I never bonded with him. I remember him screaming at me and shoving me around as a child. He’d fly off the handle for no reason and take it out on my mother and I.
When I was 12 years old my parents split up. It was messy and I was put in the middle of it very early on. I was forced to choose between the mother that raised me from birth but left suddenly, and the father that I never really knew. My parents worked opposite schedules. When I would get home from school, my mom would be there. She’d leave right before he got home. The first thing he’d do was interrogate me about what was going on with my mom. He would draw his own conclusions from it and put words in my mouth. I started pretending to sleep when he got home so that he couldn’t ask me questions, but that wouldn’t stop him.
He told me a lot of things about my mom that weren’t true and effectively turned me against her. I’ll never forget when he told me my mom was a lesbian, and that he’d kick me out if I ever told him I liked girls. I think the only reason he acted this way was because his pride was damaged. He never dealt with the fact that my mom left him for a woman. He also told me my mom was on drugs, and that her girlfriend had “drugged him” at a Halloween party. He wasn’t really drugged. He was just so drunk (as usual) that he got sick. I didn’t know who to believe. I chose my dad. This is what I regret the most out of everything I’ve ever done. My mom and I drifted apart and our relationship was damaged for years.
I watched my grandmother die just two months after my mom left. Instead of being able to mourn my grandmother, I had to deal with my parents fighting. I was also faced with the possibility that my dad would be adopting my cousins, and I didn’t know what to think. Something snapped in me during this process. I should have never been forced to watch her die. I should have never been put into the position that I was. I was just a kid.
My cousins did end up moving in with us. To sum it up, they were living with my grandma and now that she was gone they needed somewhere to go. It was my grandma’s dying wish that my dad take care of them. It was even worse dealing with the events of my life now that they were there. My dad seemed to prefer them because they had natural musical talent and I didn’t. I was just his daughter that fought with him because I missed my mom and knew he was keeping me from her even if he didn’t say those exact words.
My dad would always take my cousin’s side when they’d run to my dad, telling on me for the smallest things and causing more problems between my dad and I. It became a routine for my cousins to cry to my dad about things, or for me to get blamed for something they’d done, and then have to deal with my dad screaming at me and pushing me around the house. He would never once listen to my side of the story. He’d always believe my cousins. It’s like he was looking for someone to blame for all the shit he was dealing with, and I was the target. They became the golden boys. I was just his shitty daughter.
The most vivid example of this was when I was locked out of the house after school. My new key that he had given me didn’t work in the door. I had to wait for someone to get home. My dad found out it was the key that went to his bedroom. Instead of realizing he gave me the wrong key, he accused me of stealing his room key so that I could snoop through his stuff. I ran to my room and locked my door, sitting in front of it to barricade it, and he used a tool to pop open the door. He shoved the door open and screamed at me. I ended up flying across my room and landing into my closet door, hurting myself. When he found out he fucked up and gave me the wrong key, he gave me a half assed apology. During other arguments he’d threaten to hit me, and I’d grab the phone and threaten to call the police.
I started cutting myself and vomiting after every meal. I also stopped eating lunch at school. My cousins and dad would make comments about how I was getting fat. Any time my dad would get mad at me he would start criticizing me for being overweight. I started to hate myself and hate my body. I cut myself because I was being relentlessly bullied. Somehow the whole school knew what was going on in my life. As if on cue, my cousins went and told my dad I was hurting myself. Not to help me. No. They did it because they just loved telling on me.
I had to go to a really expensive psychiatrist who said I was showing signs of bulimia. Make no mistake, my dad never let me forget how expensive she was. It’s like he was inconvenienced by my mental health issues, turning a blind eye to the reasons I felt that way. All this woman did was try to put me on medications and have me committed for minuscule amounts of weight loss. The one time she told me losing 4 pounds was “a ton of weight”, and I had to be put away so I wouldn’t be a danger to myself. I was fat. It’s not like I was 90 pounds and 4 pounds would hurt me. I understand that bulimia is serious, but I don’t believe I was ever serious enough to need to be put away. I stopped seeing the psychiatrist.
After even more drama I started hating my dad. The only tension I really had with my mom was the fact that my dad would start shit every time I saw her. I’d go out with my mom, and when I got home my dad would question me and accuse my mom of having ulterior motives. It got to the point where my mom and I stopped seeing each other as often as we would have liked because the mental back and forth was ridiculous. Imagine doing something for your child and having your ex husband pick it all apart and make your kid mad at you.
My dad eventually met another woman. I was apprehensive about it. He was still starting shit with my mom for having a girlfriend, but he thought it was okay for him to date. It confused me so much. When I found out how similar her and I were, I agreed to meet her and I did like her. She started staying over and things were okay between the two of us personally. I didn’t know at the time that she was contacting my mom. Somewhere around this time I realized I was bisexual, and I ended up being forced out of the closet at age 13.
Things continued on the same way until I decided I wanted to live with my mom. He wouldn’t let me live with her full time, and the compromise was that I’d live with one family for two weeks, and the other family for two week. The interrogations got worse. He also didn’t like the fact that my mom let me do things he didn’t like, like have my own computer and use the internet. He would always call my mom and make up stories of things I said and did online that were either taken out of context or complete fabrications. I ended up living with him again because he said I was “out of control”. My dad and his girlfriend got married and we all moved into a new house.
My dad implemented a chore policy where if one of us didn’t do a specific chore, the other two kids would be punished. As you can imagine, it made things worse beween my cousins and I. It all came to a head one night. My dad got mad at my older cousin for not giving him access to my cousins paychecks and bank account. He ended up throwing him to the ground. I freaked out. My dad and stepmom went to their room and I ran upstairs to pack what I could. I went to the bathroom and started swallowing handfuls of pills. I called my mom and told her what had happened and what I had done. I said I wanted to live with her and I was going to end up killing myself if I had to stay there.
I moved in with my mom and never went back to live with my dad. Things were finally okay between my mom and I. It would okay go sour when my dad would call me or my mom looking for an argument. He was relentless. I found out he was stalking me online and had binders of all the things I was doing. He was obsessed with proving that my mom was an “unfit parent” for letting me online, even though I was constantly harming myself and wanted to die under his roof. He blew everything out of proportion.
When I was 14, I started experimenting sexually. I had a couple of boyfriends and girlfriends. I felt empty if I wasn’t in a relationship or didn’t have people interested in me. Even in relationships I had a few people on the side who liked me. I kept them at arm’s reach and took advantage of their feelings for me. I just wanted attention. I started high school, and over Christmas break I met a girl and started an intense sexual relationship with her. I ended up finding out something about her that I won’t disclose here for the sake of both of us, but we broke up. I started dating one of her male friends that I had become friends with during this time. I didn’t know a whole lot about him but we had a lot of common interests and were very interested in each other.
The relationship got really intense really fast. We ended up losing our virginity to each other. I loved him more than anything at that time. It didn’t take long for us to start having issues in our relationship. He’d talk to girls or have a female friend that was too close for comfort. I’d become friends with other guys to make him jealous. Some of the times I talked to other people, it would get out of hand I didn’t know how to assert myself. I never physically cheated on him, but I had a few people that wouldn’t leave me alone and became obsessed with me.
One of the guys that was obsessed with me took matters into his own hands and sexually and physically assaulted me 20+ times. I go into more detail in this post.
My boyfriend became abusive. I have a post dedicated to the emotional abuse I dealt with, but I intentionally never talked about the rest of the abuse he put me through. The abuse didn’t really start until after I was assaulted. I think he thought I was cheating on him and making excuses for it, which is what everyone else thought because I was friends with the guy before he started attacking me. He became very sexually aggressive with me and would demand I perform certain sexual favors for him. If I didn’t, he’d do what he wanted with me. I didn’t realize it was abusive at the time.
We started fighting a lot and became an “on/off” couple where our relationship status would change by the day. He always blamed it on me, and I always internalized it and would say crazy things back to him. I started to realize he was abusing me, and I blamed myself for the abuse and shitty way our relationship was going. I went to a therapist and it all came out. I spilled everything about my life. The therapist told me I likely had Borderline Personality Disorder, but she couldn’t formally diagnose me until my 18th birthday. I liked my therapist, but I stopped seeing her after I finally told my mom about being sexually assaulted and she was furious that the therapist didn’t call the cops on my behalf.
On the 5 year anniversary of my grandma passing away, I attempted suicide. I don’t have a concrete event that I can blame it on. I just snapped. I was trying to talk to my boyfriend about the way I was feeling, and he kept pushing me away and didn’t want to talk about it. I told him I felt suicidal and his response was to go to sleep and leave me suicidal and alone. I swallowed over 120 Tylenol and immediately panicked. I tried to call my boyfriend. No answer. I called my friend and she told me to call 911 or she would. I called 911 and was rushed to the hospital.
Luckily, I made it there fast enough that they were able to give me activated charcoal and make me throw it up. My mom was so disappointed, and the doctors at the hospital were extremely rude to me. They asked me why I did it, but instead of concern all I heard was condescension. The one doctor accused me of doing it because I had a “fight with my boyfriend”, and when I tried to explain what really happened she cut me off. I refused to speak to her again and she left. I was put on antidepressants for the first time. They helped me get through the rough patch in my life.
Things seemed to get a little better, and I ended up getting engaged to my boyfriend. We still had our issues but I thought we were working through it because I finally had a concrete thing to “explain” my behavior and insecurities. I was wrong. He ended up leaving me a week after my junior prom and we never got back together. He then moved two hours away. It was torture. I was so depressed. I didn’t know how I was going to live without him. It was my longest relationship. My only “real” relationship. We were together for 2ish years. I lost my virginity to him. I filled the void with lots of meaningless sex with random people. I made a lot of mistakes during this time period.
The boyfriend I had after him was also abusive. He was into martial arts and hardcore BDSM. I was drawn to him because he was the most sexually forward person I’ve ever met and I wanted someone to want me. I was still lonely and felt unwanted after my ex left me. He blamed me for letting my ex abuse me, and then started blaming me for the original assault. He’d call me a whore and say I need to learn how to stand up for myself.
He would push me around and make me perform sex acts I didn’t want to do. I liked and practiced BDSM in the past, but he pushed it too far and didn’t respect my safe words. I broke up with him when we got into an argument about something stupid in public and he tried to punch me in the face. I moved just in time and he punched a concrete wall and dented it. I finally stood up for myself when I left him. Although we talked in the future as friends, I never went back to him or spent time with him in person. At this point in time we’re not friends at all because he was trying to convince me to leave my current boyfriend. He claimed he “changed.” He said he’d never had sex as good as he did with me, and his current girlfriend wasn’t as “kinky” as me.
The last person I was with before meeting my current boyfriend was a woman with an alcohol problem. I loved her and thought the relationship would work out, but her parents hated me and she always talked to other women behind my back and made plans to meet them for sex. She also had a few friends that hated me and tried to sabotage our relationship. She refused to cut them off, so I left. We were only together for a few months.
Then I met my current boyfriend. We’ve been together for 3 years. He knows everything I’ve been through. He’s always supported me and helped me through all the struggles in my life. For the first time I was finally in a relationship that was stable and loving. Coming from a history of abuse, it means the world to me to be in a relationship with someone who’s helped me dress myself, shower, and use the bathroom when my body is in so much pain I can’t walk or stand. I feel like I’m able to heal from the events of my life. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on the open wound, it’s like he helped me stitch the wounds together.
In the three years since I’ve been with him, I’ve learned how to love myself. I’ve repaired my relationship with my mother. I keep my dad at arm’s reach, but speak to him and see him occasionally. I’ve healed from being assaulted. I even spoke to the ex I was with for 2 years and told him how he made me feel, and he apologized. I’m the type of person that hates to think that a relationship can solve all your problems, but it feels that way to me at this point in time. I would not be alive if it wasn’t for my boyfriend. I would have just kept my emotions bottled up and hurt myself more and more until I eventually gave up and killed myself.
This whole experience has taught me that you have to talk about your problems to heal from them. Keeping things inside leaves the wound open, and it hurts more and more every time you think of it. I used to cry every single night and cut myself frequently. I’ve officially stopped cutting myself and haven’t relapsed for over a year. I don’t cry myself to sleep. My life is far from perfect, but when it comes to my mental health I’ve done a complete 180.