Y’know what, anon? I just realized that in the past couple months I’ve gotten a whole lot of new followers who haven’t been with me these past couple years and don’t know my story. So I’d like to take a moment to share my story with you and with them because you are 100% right - I went through a really tough point in my life.
My mother is a crazy religious bi-polar (diagnosed but untreated) BITCH and up until 2010 I lived with her all my life in New Jersey, USA. My step-dad was an alcoholic for most of my childhood into my early teens. The way I got through this was by clinging to my friends, particularly my friend Jenn and my then-girlfriend, Rei. Their value to me is immeasurable and I owe my life to them. (I should mention, for sake of respect, that that ex now identifies by a different name and different pronouns, but since this is past tense, I hope my use of what is familiar to me is considered excusable.) I have two little brothers who are everything to me, and they’re another reason I’m alive today.
In 2010, when I was 16 years old, my mother and I got into an argument that I started. It got physical and she took my phone and I left the house in the middle of the night. On that phone was evidence that I had a girlfriend and had had a girlfriend for quite some time. My mom lost her fucking mind over it. Flipped shit - it was terrifying, and I was concerned for my well-being. She called my dad, who lives in California and who I had a very distant relationship with, and demanded that I leave as soon as possible, insisting that there was no place for me in my home.
The following day, I was on a plane to California, distanced by 3,000 miles from my friends and my brothers. I was more depressed than I’d ever been in my life. Life wasn’t worth living; I literally stayed alive because there were people in my life who would be devastated if I died. I slept in as late as possible and operated on autopilot. I poured my heart out in writing and used the same drowning metaphor for a year. I wanted to die. On top of this, my father had anger management issues and living with him was stressful and foreign to me. He had episodes of anger that were terrifying and made me wish I could run away - but I had no place to run. I was utterly alone, unable to make friends because I hated life so desperately.
This went on for a very long time - about a year and a half of feeling like that. At one point I had a panic attack of sorts and was flipping out at my dad and I took a pair of scissors to my wrist and slashed it open. I needed nine stitches and could easily have died if the angle had been a little different. I don’t know if it was suicide attempt or a cry for help or what, but I do know at that point I did not give a fuck if I lived or died. There was blood everywhere, it was horrific.
I still have those scars.
For a while I hated them, wouldn’t wear short sleeves, couldn’t bear to see them. I have come to find them beautiful, a visual reminder of everything I have overcome.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when things started to get better or what changed in me, though I do know therapy and anxiety medication are definitely factors in my recovery from depression. Bottom line is, my view of life has made a complete 180. I am happier than I ever hoped to be, and I love every minute of life. I no longer live in a toxic environment, either, though before going away for college I had reached a point inwardly where even my dad’s negativity couldn’t affect my happiness. I love life, which is the most incredible fact in the world because I swore so many times that I’d never be happy. The idea of being happy was laughable to me.
My empathy for other people is derived from a desire to help others get to the point where I am now. Because I know what it’s like to be in the dark and to give up hope of ever getting out of it. I know what it’s like to want to give up. And I’m living proof that there’s a way, y’know? So how could I not help others? How could I not make sure my followers know that they are loved and accepted and understood? It is the very least I can do in exchange for this happiness.
Jeez, I didn’t mean to hijack your question and write a book! Thank you for the compliments, they made me smile and I appreciate them very much <3