We’re all born with a clean slate, pure and innocent. It doesn’t last long. One day you’re five walking through the kindergarten hallways, and then you’re twenty-five. 2020 was one of the worst years of my life. It chewed me up and spit me out, all kinds of fucked up. I lost myself and am still trying to repair the damage caused. When 2021 began, I was determined to get my shit together. I found the Cerebral app and got back on medication. I started a blog, got back into yoga, and started learning how to cope better. Living with Bipolar Disorder isn’t a walk in the park, but I am committed to the work it takes. Getting back into therapy has been eye-opening for me.
I’ve always been someone who takes the trauma and puts it in a box. There’s this box in my brain that contains all the things I have decided to bury. It’s time to open it. I can’t move on and continue in my recovery with these things holding me back. When I was younger, writing was always a safe place for me. My therapist suggested trying it. Taking pen to paper, you know? I’ve become very open this year about who I am and what I go through. I’m not posting this to my blog to gain sympathy. It’s good knowing you aren’t alone. Healing your inner child and accepting the negative experiences is a huge step in recovery. Recognizing your triggers can be very beneficial for you.
Let’s start from the beginning. Lol. I was fourteen freshman year. I had already been cutting myself for a few years and went into high school seeking something (or someone) to make me feel better. My first boyfriend was two years older than me. Let’s call him Asshole number one. Lol. The relationship was possessive. He needed so much attention; there were calls ALL THE TIME and so many text messages. It got to the point where he thought he was going to marry me. I WAS FOURTEEN. Like, what the fuck? Losing my virginity to him is something I regret. All that comes with that memory is pain. I lost a piece of myself to him that day. We broke up when he was out of town, and I quickly moved on. He wasn’t ready to let me go. I remember seeing him drive by our house all the time. He started rumors saying that I was telling people he raped me, which led him to put a letter in my mailbox addressed to my mom. Yes…a fucking letter to my mom. It got to the point where he keyed my boyfriend’s car at school. He made me feel unsafe for a long time, but he also was the beginning of a long line of bad choices in men.
After Asshole number one, there was Asshole number two. It was amazing…until he went to college. I thought it was going to end in marriage. I was CONVINCED, and I’m fucking ecstatic that it didn’t. When he went off to school, our relationship started to fade away. I tried to make it work. I went to visit a handful of times before things went sideways. One of the last times I went, we had gone out after the football game. Now, I liked a good party back then. We drank, and I was fucked up. There’s still a lot missing from that night when I think back to it, but I can remember some. When we left to go back to his dorm, he had his friend put me in the backseat (I couldn’t walk). I remember his friend having me put my head on his lap and I thought, “I can sleep now.” He continued to molest me in the backseat of his truck, and Asshole number two did nothing. I could feel his hands on me, but I couldn’t move. So I closed my eyes and waited for the car to come to a stop. I quietly thought that this was all I was good for…sex.
It took both my boyfriend and his roommate to get me into their dorm room. I honestly think I had an out-of-body experience. Asshole number two and his roommate continued to have sex with me. They had sex with me when I was in a state where I couldn’t even speak. The incident comes to me in flashes. He was someone I loved and thought loved me back. He was supposed to be my safe place, and he hurt me. They took something from me that night that I never got back, and it sent me into a downward spiral. Sex meant nothing to me after this. I was looking to fill a void in me, and I looked for it in boy’s beds. I believe I experienced Mania for the first time that year. I stopped loving and caring for myself. I’ve never talked to my family about what he did to me, and I’m not sure how they will feel if they read this. I have stopped caring about the negative and I don’t care if this makes people talk. It should make people talk. I was scared for years to talk about this, but not anymore. I want everyone who has been through something like this that they are NOT alone. You are never alone.
Fast forward to July 2014, and Tristan has come into my life. I had already committed to going to Mississippi State for my freshman year of college. A few months in, we had a concert. I forgot who came to play, but we had to walk these little town roads to get there. Parties were all over. I think we stopped at like seven different houses on the way to the concert. I was out with my friend, her boyfriend, and a few guys from his fraternity. I was pretty drunk but I was aware of my surroundings. I found one of the guys we had been out with all night and asked if he would walk me across campus to my dorm. I was scared to walk all that way alone. I didn’t know the person I had to be scared of was the one walking me home. I’m not sure how far we had gotten before he grabbed and shoved me behind some dumpsters. My back was up against the concrete wall, his hand over my mouth. He attempted to make me touch him, but I wasn’t going to just let it happen. I grabbed, twisted, and dug my nails in. When he let go, I ran the whole way to my dorm. I stayed up till the sun was in the sky, smoking cigarettes the entire time. I lasted one semester before going home. I got depressed, stopped going to my classes, and slept all the time. I was miserable, so I went home. In a way, I felt like he won. But, I’m glad I came home. Look at the family I’ve created and look at how much love I have in my life. So…no. He didn’t win.
It’s been almost a decade since these things have happened to me. This past year has been huge for me in regards to self-growth, self-love, and forgiveness. I am a survivor, I am NOT a victim. I came out on the other side and can say that things do get better. Life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. I think you all know that, but life is beautiful. Life is worth living. I’m twenty-five now, Bipolar, and sometimes a total fucking wreck. Now I know that despite all my flaws, I am deserving of love and happiness. I am worth it. I will never lose who I am again. It’s scary talking about your trauma and having people know what evil has happened to you. There is strength in acceptance, and there is strength in forgiveness. I am no longer a victim. I am a SURVIVOR.