“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” — Rafiki

I have been doing a lot of reflecting these last few months. If you read my very first blog post you will know that my childhood was rough. There’s no denying it. Being dragged around all over by my sex driven, drunken, drugged up mom was only part of it. Being shipped away to Arizona with people I didn’t know where a lot of physical abuse happened was probably the best thing she could have done because that’s when I was able to be “rescued” by the most wonderful and selfless people I have ever had the pleasure to know….that would be my grandparents. As soon as they found out what my mother had done and exactly where it was that she had sent me, they set out to pick me up. It was my grandma’s birthday, September 23, 1999 and I was seven years old. I was a gangly little girl who had no self-confidence and thought she was the dumbest person in the world. It was a very dark time, in deed.

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These are my wonderful grandparents who gave so much yet received so little.

Because of my past and refusing to be more open with my grandparents, I was put in therapy. I know what you’re thinking, “Therapy is for crazy people. What am I doing reading a crazy person’s blog?” Well, a lot of people go to therapy and it’s not always because they are crazy. I was a neglected, abused, scared, and confused little girl and I needed help. I, of course, didn’t realize I needed the help but my grandma always knew best. I went to see my therapist shortly after I went to live with my grandparents, I loved her but at first I was very shy. She never would pry, she only asked a few questions and listened to me play. I loved playing with the doll house and stuffed animals she had, they were my favorite. Slowly but surely I began opening up. I never told anyone everything that happened to me in the past but I opened up more than I had and I began to understand how it had hurt me in the long run.

(Here is an interesting read for you on child play therapy Play Therapy for Abused and Traumatized Children: A Bibliography)

My grandparents did all they could to help me, though. My aunt put me in modeling classes through the community that are meant to help build confidence and I did it twice, I loved every moment of it. I even have pictures to prove it! I wish I still had that confidence in myself but most days it’s hard.

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This is my favorite out of all of my modeling pictures. I was in 5th grade.

In 2009, 10 years after being “recused” by my grandparents, my life fell apart once more. I was at school when my grandparents and an aunt and uncle were going on a trip to see my youngest cousin graduate Kindergarten. I couldn’t go because I had finals and in high school you can’t really skip those or you’ll risk failing the class. At the end of the day, I had a crazy amount of missed phone calls on my cell, which we aren’t allowed to use at school. All of these calls were from my brothers. I immediately thought something was wrong with my niece, who was born only a month before, or my nephew, who was a few years old. I called both of them back several times when the younger of the two answered and I was so worried. I remember his words so clearly “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this but grandma, grandpa, Doyle, and Cindy were in an accident. Grandpa and Doyle were air evaced to Springfield. We’re not sure if they are going to make it. Grandma and Cindy are ok, though.” The bus ride home was the LONGEST ride of my life. My best friend Dakota was there for me, though. He helped me when I needed someone the most.

Dakota
This is Dakota, he helped me a lot my Sophomore year. We were both new to the school and he was a great friend to me.

Within a month, I lost both of my grandparents and the realization of moving away was setting in. I hated it. I did it, though. I knew my family loved me and wanted the best for me but I struggled. I still struggle.

After high school, I moved out on my own because my family was moving away and I didn’t want to go. I moved downtown and lived with a pretty awesome roommate. I was living an ok life. I knew I wasn’t happy though. Nothing made me happy. All of my friends could see it. I was encouraged to see a doctor and a therapist. Yes, again, I went to therapy. I went for a couple of months and I was put on antidepressants. I couldn’t tell my family, I couldn’t let them know because they would never approve, they never understood depression. I had to move back in with family due to some issues I was having at my apartment and I stopped taking my medicine.

I thought I was happy, I did. I went without any antidepressants for over a year. Until I was about a year into my mission and I was put on them again. Of course, when I came home to my family, I stopped taking them because, like before, I knew they would never understand.

I am still struggling with taking them because I know there are so many people who don’t understand depression and the reason antidepressants are important but I know I need to take them. I am currently starting them up again and I hope to stick with it this time, for as long as I need them. It’s not good to continue to get on and off of them, especially when you don’t talk to a doctor about it.

If you feel like you have serious depression, you should seek help. Not everyone will understand but we all need to learn to take care of ourselves. Never discount the way you feel just because your family thinks you have a good life or because you see that other people have it worse. Depression is a chemical imbalance and there are many medications that will help. I will post more on depression later.

I wanted to share my story with you because I know that if I help just one person, I have done my job. Thank you for reading. Please know that you’re not alone, even if you feel like it at times. You can even drop a comment here and I will be sure to help you in any way I can.

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