Throughout my childhood and teen years, I had to grow up very quickly. I never really had a childhood because of the abusive household I lived in and my mum being ill. From the age of nine, I have practically raised my siblings and tried to protect them from the abuse. Throughout all of this, there are many lessons I have learnt, some took longer than others and some were very difficult for me to face up to and learn but all through life we have many lessons to learn.
I don’t get along with people my own age
For years I have had friends and then things go wrong and I am left on my own. At first, I became sad, upset and angry about it but I soon learned that I don’t understand people my own age. As I was growing up I was worried about the abuse at home, when would be the next time I got hit, punched, when I would have to take a beating for my siblings etc.
I never worried about my grades, I didn’t worry about boys or anything else that teenage girls would be worrying about during school like makeup, boys, etc. There was way too much going on in my mind to be worrying about something so infantile.
People can be cruel
Even if you believe a person could never do anything mean or bad just me I have learnt the hard way, The people closest to you can be the cruellest of them all. Many friends and family have been really mean and vicious towards me, especially when they are the people I trusted and believed would never hurt me.
When this happened I decided to remove myself from those situations and stand up for myself. I would rather be on my own than be around more people who are cruel to me. Many of the lessons I have learnt has shown me I am fine on my own.
The people I have met on the internet have done so much more for me than others I was in school with for years.
The internet has always been my safety net. When I felt alone, sad, scared or whatever mood I was in I would find someone to talk to and be able to express myself without having to worry about telling someone who knew me and could get me in a lot of trouble if they said something that could go back to my dad.
Through the internet, I have met my best friend, who I have travelled to see, spent a weekend in London with and also travelled to Auschwitz with. If it wasn’t for 5 Seconds of Summer and Facebook I would never have met Leanne and went on the adventures that I have had.
I also met Ryan through the internet. He became my rock, my shoulder to cry on (virtually that is until we met), one of the only people who could calm me down and help me get out of my bad mental health days. I honestly have no idea what I would have done without Ryan for the past three years.
I have known Leanne almost two years and Ryan almost four. It has been only a short time but I never would have gotten through everything without these two. Leanne and Ryan have been by my side when I was alone in school, getting bullied and in a very bad place mentally when no one I believed that I was there friend couldn’t care less.
To guard myself around people
As I began to grow older and become aware that the situation I was living in wasn’t normal started to tell people. No one listened or wanted to listen to me when I was trying to become free from the clutches of my abusive father.
It never worked so I learned that the only way to protect myself was to keep my guard up, never let anyone see my pain or know how I am feeling or going through. If no one knew it was much easier to protect myself.
Bottling up my feelings was the only way I knew how to cope. My mum didn’t even know what was going on in the house when she wasn’t here.
I am stronger than I ever would have thought
Throughout my childhood, I always felt weak and a failure because I couldn’t protect myself or my siblings from my abusive father. After months of therapy and talking about what I have been through I finally learned that I was strong. Everything I have ever been through has made me strong and it took me a long time to come to that realisation.
I am stronger than I have ever thought and I know now that no matter what life throws at me I will be ready to face it and get through it.
My mental health doesn’t define me
When I was diagnosed with depression, I felt weak, weird and I didn’t want people to know. I have always felt that way and I didn’t believe that it was a mental illness It took me a long time to come to terms with my diagnosis of depression and anxiety and realise that I am the exact same person that I was before I walked into the doctors office and after my appointment walked out with a prescription for anti depressants and anti-anxiety medication.
I am a survivor and my mental health does not define me or make me weak. I have battled against my abusive father and won and I will now battle against my depression and anxiety and win.