I was a young girl, torn apart from her parents and plunged into the realm of the unknown. Born into a broken home, I found myself constantly searching for a home to call my own, afraid to mark somewhere as mine, when so many things had been taken from me. I was raised by a single dad aged 2 (and a half), childminded until I was 4, abused by my dads wife E until I was 10 and raised in care until I was 18. Is it little wonder then that in the space of 5 years I have moved 8 times, in search of my forever home, only to find my dream had never existed in the first place. You see I saw my life through numbers; my age was not a milestone but a memory of what life once was. But do I regret the abuse, the name calling and the scars? Not one bit, you see despite what people may think I am a warrior and nothing can tear me down.
Calling myself a ‘victim’ as many might identify me as seems to be sorely lacking a phrase. After all I am not a victim but a warrior, who overcame ‘life’s obstacles’ to become the strong person that she is today. I was so hell bent on self-loathing, that I forgot to see what was right in front of me; a woman who YES made mistakes and YES doesn’t always make the right choices but ultimately I am a woman who battled childhood abuse and that’s an achievement in itself. There were times where I hurt myself to numb the pain that I was feeling inside, there were times that I felt so dead inside that I contemplated whether life was really worth living and there were times where I imagined a world without me in it- would people really care? But still I pushed on because despite the trauma I was suffering from, the anxiety and the depression, I knew that there was more to life than the pain that I was feeling.
The hardest part was pretending I was happy when I felt like I psychically couldn’t breathe. My stomach was tied up in knots and all I could imagine were the various ways that I could end it all. I wanted to stop that buzzing sound in my head, the one that made me feel crazy but somehow I made it out the dark fog alive. No one knew the way I was feeling and even I didn’t know that I was suffering from anxiety and depression until I went to university. I had convinced myself that I was ‘Okay’ and was just being a drama queen like people would tell me I was being. I didn’t know that I was crying all the time because I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions, nor did I know that not being able to talk about my past was affecting me physically as well as mentally. When I started blogging, I found my safe haven, a digital space where I could share and connect with other abuse survivors who had endured horrific childhoods but had made it to the other side just like me.
I realized that I wasn’t crazy nor was it weak to show my emotions like people had once told me. Instead I realized that our scars and internal wounds should not be disguised but worn as medals of honour because we are all warriors, we are BRAVE. When people call me ‘young’ or tell me I wont understand something because of my age, I disagree. I had to learn how to be an adult at a young age in order to survive. I was bullied, abused, tortured and made fun of on a regular basis. My foster mum gave me a home and a shelter away from the abuse but even in care I went through hardships that affect me today. No matter how old you are, young or old or in between, you should never be made to feel like you are worthless. Abusers make you question your own self worth; they tell you that you are stupid or ugly, they make you want to crawl back into the darkness. But listen to me, its ok to fight back, together we can raise awareness of childhood abuse and become the warriors that we have always been.
I don’t want anyone to grow up feeling the way that I did;unloved, unwanted and undesired. But I can tell you something that is true, you can make it out alive. My foster mum taught me to appreciate life’s small ‘blessings’ and my aunty taught me to be strong but the biggest lesson is what I taught myself: I am strong, not weak and it was a mantra that I repeated to myself over and over again. There are still dark periods in my life where I struggle to overcome the demons that watch my every move, where even stepping outside the house makes me feel angry and I don’t know why. But for now I take each day as it comes, whether it be rainbow bright or full of uncertainty, I know that each day will teach me something new. And that is a beautiful blessing to behold…
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