My relationship with my parents was very intense from a very young age; they were never around to raise me, but when they were, it was always chaos.
My father had major anger issues which translated to physical abuse towards me, and my mother had severe depression with suicidal tendencies which led to her using me as an outlet by abusing me mentally and emotionally.
Growing up in that environment made me very anxious and depressed myself. I was constantly scared and hurting. I remember 10-year-old me asking for help but instead being told to ‘grow up and stop acting crazy’; and that is where the self-harm began.
As it is, I was at a place in life where I no longer felt safe within my environment or with myself, and it was scary to have to wake up to that reality every day. I began to tell myself to cope, that I was enduring the worst and nothing more could hurt me, but I was yet again, proven wrong.
On my 15th birthday, everybody was home, and I hated it. I wanted to be elsewhere, but my mother had told me, like every other birthday, that I wasn’t allowed to be anywhere else. My birthday, every year, was the day my mother would tell me about how hard she fought with my father and his family to keep me, as in my father’s culture, a baby girl was considered a bad fortune. She would remind me how grateful I must be towards her for allowing me to live.
I learned quite early on, that my birthdays were not mine to be enjoyed. So I stayed quiet and kept my head down, not wanting trouble.
Just then, my father had come home from work and he was very angry. It was evident in every move he made and every word he spit out. He demanded to have his drink, so I rushed to the kitchen to get him a glass full, worried he might hit me if I don’t. After having a few sips, he threw the glass on the dining table in a complete rage.
I still don’t know what I did to trigger him, but the punches and kicks began pouring in on me. I screamed for help when I saw him about to stab me, but my mother just stood there and watched. He didn’t stop – even though he saw I was bleeding from everywhere.
My mother drove me to the hospital and said “tell them you fell down the stairs, don’t bring up your father”. I lied to the doctor, I lied to the police, but something in me snapped that night and changed me forever. Nothing has ever been the same since and I’m glad.
I worked multiple jobs to keep myself busy even after school, and then finally left home 2 years later.
I went for therapy and began trying to heal myself ever since. I had to teach myself that I am more than just a part of a dysfunctional family. I focused on my talents and honed my craft, which allowed me to find a space to express myself – on the good and the bad days.
Now, as a woman in her mid-twenties, I am still recovering and learning to find and love myself out of the chaos. It hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies, but it gets easier. I have made healthier choices in life and stay around people that allow me to heal and appreciate myself out of my trauma and mental illnesses.
By profession, I am a holistic therapist, mental health speaker, and author. I found solace in my voice so I speak and write about my lived experience, which has helped me shape my craft and vision towards a better way of living for myself and for everyone going through something.
If you’re reading this – I know you’re scared, I know you’re hurting, but please hold on to yourself because things will get better. Reach out for help and find healthy outlets for your emotions, because you need it and deserve it. You are precious and such moments in your life will never stain that!