Dear Friends,

There was once a guy in my life, one that I loved, but he disappeared in the midst of the college world. He and I met at the end of freshman year, and we had a great run together. We fell in love, and although it was short, we always had a good time together. Well, at least up until the end. That’s when it all became real. Once the excitement stopped and real life started to come into play, it was over. We both had jobs, school was about to start again, and I had volleyball practice every day. He started to pull away from me. We saw each other less and less, and when we were together, he was completely checked out. I was no longer his first choice. I was no longer on his priorities list; I was replaced by parties, drugs, & alcohol. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that he did not think there was anything wrong with that. Fight after fight, I was the “bad guy” for bringing up problems in our relationship and “trying to blame him for everything”.

One day, I reached a conclusion that he was not good for me. He played with my mind, continuously pulling me in and then crushing me. Some days he acted like he cared, and others I wouldn’t even hear from him. We could go a week or more without seeing each other. But for some reason I could not get myself to break it off because there was a small part of me that thought I could save us. I was holding on to the guy he used to be, the guy that I loved, instead of the guy he had turned into. But that didn’t matter because he beat me to it. He came over to my house one day and ended it.

He took it upon himself to terminate our relationship, but then would continuously try to crawl back into my life. I’d try to get away, I’d try to get over him, but time after time he would tell me that he still cared about me, and that we just needed a break. I heard that a million times over the 7 months we were “friends”. He’d barely acknowledge me, but once he felt that I was slipping away, he’d act like he cared again. It continued to go back and forth.

After Christmas break, it got worse. I tried to get a clean break from him, and he did everything he could to stop it. He manipulated me with his words. He told me all these wonderful things, and how much he had changed. He told me that he loved me, and that he wanted us to get back together. But soon after, it fell in a downward spiral. That’s when I realized that actions speak WAY louder than words. I began to think that the only reason he kept me in his life was to use me for his benefit. What truly opened my eyes is when I put everything together…and I feel like an idiot for taking so long to realize it. I was so blinded by my feelings to put everything together. But here were the facts:

  1. He would ONLY invite me over at night before he went to bed. No earlier than midnight, and not once did we spend any time together outside of his bedroom.
  2. He would never give me oral sex but would expect me to do it to him.
  3. At one point, he would just invite me over, get me to have sex with him, and once he was done, he would go to sleep. We barely even talked.
  4. Then, we almost completely stopped having sex. At first, whenever I was invited over at night, he would just vent to me about his life and then go to bed, which I didn’t mind because I like helping people through things because I know how hard it can be. But then, it turned into something else. When I’d come over, he would have already turned the lights off and be lying in bed. He’d have me join him and then try to “start things” with me. But if I went with it and we started kissing, he’d shove medown to his dick to give him a blow job. And if I didn’t want to do anything that night, he would continue to coerce me until I did.

 

I was treated like an object, something for his pleasure and nothing more. To add to all of this, when I was trying to get over him, I met a guy at a bar that made everything 10x worse. When we met, we exchanged snapchats. Soon after, we decided to hang out, and 2 dates in he invited himself over to my house. I was very apprehensive about it as I didn’t want him to get any ‘ideas’ since we were watching tv in my room. So, I came up with a few chores to do to avoid sitting on the bed with him, but eventually I had to sit down. Once I got there he tried to engage in sexual activity, first trying to make out with me. But, that didn’t last long before he tried to progress. He got on top of me and tried to take off my shirt. I said no. I told him that I was not comfortable going any further. He laughed and continued. I repeated myself that I did not want to have sex, that I didn’t want him to take my clothes off. He continued to ignore me, and while still on top of me, ripped off my clothing. I kept saying no, and eventually I just froze. I didn’t know what to do. I was petrified. We had sex, and the whole time it was happening I was miserable. I wanted to die. I didn’t sleep at all that night. This happened about 4 months ago, and up until last week I hadn’t told a single soul. It’s was too hard. I felt like lesser of a person, I felt so disgusting. Whenever anyone asked about him, my defense mechanism was to just act casual and to finish the conversation as soon as possible. Every time anyone said his name, I felt sick to my stomach. That day, I was seen for nothing other than my body. This moment will be with me forever, but what I need to recognize, and what everyone else that has unfortunately had to go through this, is that we survived. We made it through, and we are stronger for it. Remember that this was not at all your fault, and that keeping what happened to you bottled up will not change what happened to you. So, find someone you trust, someone you care about and share what you have experienced. I know how petrifying it is, it took me months to do it, but I promise you that it will make things easier. Getting something like this off of your chest will make you feel like you can finally breath again.

I’m still not over what happened, but I am finally able to see myself with someone else again. I decided that I wanted to give my friend a chance, as I’ve known him for about a year and a half now and I knew that he was a good guy, and he has liked me for some time now. He always treated me respectfully and was extremely kind. Although, I am starting to rethink that decision. One night he asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him and of course I said yes because I thought it would be a good time to get to know him better, as we have never hung out one on one before. Although, 5 minutes into the movie he immediately tried to start things with me. I was okay with a kiss or two, but other than that I didn’t feel it was appropriate considering it was the first time we were hanging out. He tried to take off my shirt and I said that I’d rather watch the movie, but he continued to push me. I said no, and he kept saying “come onnnn” and so on and so forth. It started to feel like deja vu, I felt like I was with the guy from the bar again. I started to give in, I fell into the paradox of helplessness & hopelessness. Something that depression is very good at causing. I should have pushed more, but I didn’t know what to do because last time I was in this position, I tried everything, and it didn’t work. This situation is especially hard, because I really thought that he might be good for me. In the back of my head I know he’s a nice guy, but ever since that happened I’ve felt a little used. Situations like this are especially hard, because with past experience with something similar to this, you feel as if it is unavoidable that you are going to get taken advantage of, but I am here to tell you that is not true. Do not let your past interfere with your future. It is sad that what I’m about to say is true, but bad things do happen. It is unfair, but you should not let that hurt your future self. Don’t be afraid to let people into your life again. Don’t be afraid to love again. I know it is difficult, but I believe in you. You deserve happiness, and the people that have hurt you should not be given the power to ruin your life.

 

You are beautiful. You are loved. I promise you will find happiness, never give up hope.

 

Let go

Keeping things bottled up inside of you takes a toll on your mental health. You try to bury it deep down inside of you, only for it to boil up until you explode. I try to talk to my close friends or family about issues I’ve encountered, things that are bothering me, but I can never gather enough courage to tell them the worst of the worst. Some things are just too personal, too scary.  But I have advice for you. The more you talk about it, the more you share, the easier it gets. Let down your guard, I promise everything will be okay.

The number one reason I created this blog was to let others know that they are not alone. That depression, anxiety, ptsd, and every other mental health issue is way more common than believed. That you have a support system, even when it doesn’t always feel that way. I wanted to express my thoughts to the world, to help others and myself. This is an outlet for me that can let me poor out all of my feelings, while doing what I love most, helping others.

But, there is something holding me back. I’ve always wanted to be a public speaker for mental health. I’ve always wanted to write a book on it. I am even majoring in psychology in order to become a psychiatrist so I can continue to pursue my dream of helping others and overcoming the stigma that mental health should be an unspoken illness. What’s holding me back? My deepest darkest secrets being exposed to the public, the feeling of being so ‘naked’. That’s why I created this blog, to take the first steps to the rest of my life. Although, I have published my life for everyone to see, I still haven’t exploited it on any of my social media. I haven’t told a soul that I have created my blog. But, each day I get closer and closer. I just need to let go. Hopefully that next step will be soon.

To everyone out there that has opened up their life for the rest of the world to see, you deserve a round of applause. You are amazing. You have blessed others with a source of comfort, and not all the money in the world could replace that feeling. Thank you, keep it up.

Empty

Some days, do you just feel empty? Your heart hurting, but not sure exactly why? Because that’s where I’m at right now. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know it’s a place I want to escape from. I feel nauseous. I want to cry. I just need to be held by someone I love, but then I look around, and there is no one there to tell me that everything is going to be all right.

Why does this happen? What causes this aching feeling inside? Nothing happened to me today to onset it. In all honesty, I had a good day today, so why does it have to come crashing down?

I feel like I’m drowning and I just need gasp of air, but I don’t know how to get it.

Make a Difference, Speak Up

No matter how hard I try, I feel like I can’t get away from my past. It always seems to be brought up at one point or another. It makes me sick to my stomach every time, especially because nobody knows what is going on in my head. What truly happened and how much it impacted my life.

Rape is defined as a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent.

This definition should be read and reread over and over. And not only read, but understood. If you are with someone, even if you are in a relationship with them, if you have to push them or coerce them into something they don’t want to do, that is rape. If they say no, that is rape. If they explicitly tell you that they aren’t in the mood, that is rape. Please refer to this video to help you understand.

~”Tea Consent” by Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

Personally, I have encountered not only rape in the connotation of sexual assault against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, but also by coercion, and force. Sex is a scary thing for me. My past has forever tainted my viewpoint on it.

I can not express how terrifying it is to wake up in a strangers bed with no memory of the night before; how petrifying it is to not know where you are or what happened to you. To wake up dazed and confused with no pants on. And you know whats even worse than that? Confiding in someone about it and them not taking you seriously, to tell you to your face that what happened wasn’t his fault and that maybe you should have drank less or flirted less. That empowers rape culture. Do not blame the alcohol or the personality of a person. If you are into someone and you KNOW that they are too intoxicated to give valid consent, WAIT. They will still be there tomorrow. If you are at a party and you see a girl stumbling around unable to keep herself up or a girl slurring her words being walked out alone with a man, take it upon yourself to pull her aside and make sure she is alright. Make sure she gets home safe, unaccompanied by someone who isn’t trustworthy. If you don’t know her, find someone that does and get her the help she needs. And if someone confides in you about a possible rape, just listen and be there for them.

Do you know what’s even more horrifying? Telling someone NO, and them not listening. Once upon a time I met a guy at a club, we danced a little, talked a little, and exchanged numbers. We had spent time together on two separate occasions and things were going alright, but one night he came over late and asked to watch some tv. I said okay why not, I had some wrapping to do and I wouldn’t mind some company. The night progressed and once I finished up with everything I joined him on my bed to finish the series we had been watching. I avoided as much physical contact as possible so that he wouldn’t get the wrong idea, but none of that mattered. He wouldn’t stop trying to get physical with me. Before I knew it, he was on top of me. He tried to take off my shirt and I explicitly told him no, that I wasn’t comfortable doing that. He continued to attempt to remove my cloths & I continued to get the message across that I didn’t want this to happen, but he still pursued. He was still on top of me. I told him to stop and he didn’t. We had sex that night. The entire time it was occurring, all I could think about was how much I hated myself, how this was all my fault. I was frozen. I wanted to throw up.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, no matter if it is for yourself or for someone else. Don’t let someone be added to the statistics. The average amount of women who have been a victim of an attempted or completed rape is 1 in 6, lets fight to change that. 

Tattoo says it all

Journal Entry 4/13/17:

“It has been forever since I have written in this journal. I am falling apart. Depression is killing me from the inside out. Not one thing makes me feel happy anymore. It takes all the energy in the world to put a smile on my face. I want to die. I can’t put up with this anymore. It has been going on for what seems like forever, and it just gets progressively worse. Now people hate me for how I have been acting, secluded and unsocial with spells of crying. I don’t know what to do, I feel trapped. I need help.”

IV.XIV.XVII or April 14, 2017:

That was the day my roommates saved my life. That night my three roommates confronted me about everything going on & I broke down and told them everything. They told me that everything was going to be alright. They told me that they were there for me no matter what, but in order to help myself & get better, I had to call my parents and tell them what was going on.

I was terrified. I knew it was best to call out for help, but I didn’t want them to worry. I didn’t want to impact their life in a negative way, I didn’t want them to bare any of the weight I was carrying. It was a lot for them to take on. My first instinct was to call my mom, who has been close to me my entire life. Once I told her what was going on, she expressed how worried she was about me but was unsure of what to do because she was out of town for a business trip. We talked for hours. When we hung up, she called my dad and filled him in. The minute he heard what was going on, he loaded up our 3 dogs and drove 5 hours to my college to see me. He drove through the night. We grabbed breakfast the next morning and he told me that everything would be okay and that he will do everything in his power to help.

April 14th changed my life. I don’t know how much longer I would have made it on my own. I will be forever grateful for that day, my friends and my family. This tattoo is a reminder that I am never alone and that I can overcome anything.

AND SO CAN YOU! Trust me, you can get through this. No matter how hard it is, no matter how much you want to give up, know that you are stronger than you believe.

Body Positivity

Shoutout to all the women out there trying to love themselves in a world that’s constantly telling them not to. Being a woman can be extremely challenging even in todays world, and each and every one of you should be proud of what you’ve overcome to be here. What a better day than today than today to reflect on how beautiful you are inside and out & to celebrate body positivity!! Media has created a social construct of what a woman should & should not look like…& I am here to tell you not to listen! You should embrace who you are, and be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t listen to society. Your goal should not be to impress others, but to be happy and healthy.

The first two images you see were taken of me this past week, happy in my own skin. The second two images were taken the summer before I entered college. I was on the boarder of being underweight and hated how I looked. I’d look in the mirror and be disgusted at what reflected back at me. I could never stop staring at my stomach and thinking about how it wasn’t what it was ‘supposed to’ look like. But, once I got to college, I realized that I was focusing on the wrong thing. I started to put my energy into getting healthier and stronger, focusing on the weight room and the volleyball court. Now I am 18lbs heavier and happier than ever.

LOVE YOURSELF, YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL.

Liberation

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.” -Mary Manin Morrissey

There was once a guy in my life, one that I loved, but he disappeared in the midst of the college world. We met at the end of freshman year, and we had a great run together. Although it was short, we always had a good time. Well, at least up until the end. That’s when it all became real. Once the excitement stopped and real life started to come into play, it was over. We both had jobs, school was about to start again, and I had volleyball practice every day. He started to pull away from me. We saw each other less and less, and when we were together, he was completely checked out. I was no longer his first choice. I was no longer on his priorities list; I was replaced by parties, drugs, & alcohol. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that he did not think there was anything wrong with that. Fight after fight, I was the “bad guy” for trying to shame and blame him for everything.

One day, I reached a conclusion that he was not good for me. He played with my mind, continuously pulling me in and then crushing me. Some days he acted like he cared, and others I wouldn’t even hear from him. We could go a week without seeing each other. But for some reason I could not get myself to break it off because there was a small part of me that thought I could save us. I was holding on to the guy he used to be, instead of the guy he was. But, that didn’t matter because he beat me to it. He came over to my house one day and ended it.

He took it upon himself to terminate our relationship, but then would continuously try to crawl back into my life. I’d try to get away, I’d try to get over him, but time after time he would tell me that he still cared about me, and that we just needed a break. I heard that a million times over the 7 months we were “friends”.

I never asked for this. When we broke up, I was destroyed. I felt like it was all my fault, I was the one to blame. Maybe if I had done something different, or was a better girlfriend none of this would have happened. But it’s taken me a long time to grasp that I had done everything in my power, and it just wasn’t enough. And that’s okay. But during those few months following our break up, I was so broken. Unfortunately, that caused me to fall again and again for him when I knew our relationship was toxic. That it was just fight after fight. I was trapped.

My mental health took a big hit from this. It felt like abuse. No one has ever made me feel as powerless as he did.

Over Christmas break, I finally gathered myself enough to do something about all of this. For my own good, I told him that this couldn’t go on any longer. He had his chance, and he missed it.

Yet again, he found a way back in. And this time it was worse. He manipulated me with his words. He told me all these wonderful things, and how much he had changed. He told me that he loved me. But soon after, it fell in a downward spiral. I began to think that the only reason he kept me in his life was to use me for his benefit. What truly opened my eyes is when I put everything together…and I feel like an idiot for taking this long to realize it. I was so blinded by my feelings to realize it all. But here were the facts:

  1. He would ONLY invite me over at night before he went to bed.
  2. He refused to do anything at all to pleasure ME, when all I did was pleasure him.
  3. The longer time went on, the worse it got. At one point, he would just invite me over, get me to have sex with him, and once he was done, he would go to sleep.
  4. Then, we almost completely stopped having sex. At first, whenever I was invited over at night, he would just vent to me about his life and then go to bed, which I didn’t mind because I like helping people through things because I know how hard it can be. But then, it turned into something else. When I’d come over, he would have already turned the lights off and be laying in bed. He’d have me join him and then try to “start things” with me. But if I went with it and we started kissing, he’d shove me down to his penis to give him a blow job. And if I didn’t want to do anything that night, he would continue to coerce me until I did.

But again. whenever I tried to bring anything up, he would find a way to turn it around and make me feel worse. He continued to play games with my emotions. But I finally had enough and I blocked him on social media.

This whole process has been excruciatingly hard for me. And even though I pushed him out of my life, he still finds ways to make me feel bad about myself by trying to make himself look like the good guy. One thing I learned from this experience is that words and actions are two very different things. He was two different people, he was great with his words, but never showed me that he cared with his actions.

Even when he isn’t contacting me, just seeing his house or car reminded me of all the hurt he has caused me.

I don’t know how to deal with everything going on, I am in a constant state of pain.

Now I’m more scared than ever to be alone again because I’m worried that I will just be taken advantage of. He was not the first, and I fear he won’t be the last.

He had control over me. If I did anything he disapproved of, especially when it came to my friends of the opposite sex, he would get extremely angry at me and would shut me out for the rest of the day or longer.

I care too much, it is one of my biggest flaws. To this day, I still haven’t let go of the thought of who he used to be. Who we used to be. I can’t get myself to completely let go. And it hurts every time. I need to take Mary Manin Morrisseys advice, I need liberation.

Where do I begin?

It is an endless battle that has been going on for as long as I can remember….

“My Silence Is Just Another Word For My Pain” -Healthy Place

Some days I wake up with absolutely no interest of leaving my bed. I have no interest in doing anything, because in the long run, I’ll probably just feel worse if I get up. If I interact with others; If I go about my day; I’ll probably just get hurt anyways. I feel paralyzed. Numb. Trapped in my thoughts, thinking about everything that has gone wrong in my life & how I have failed.

At least I’m medicated now. The worst of it happened pre-medication, but don’t get me wrong, it’s far from being over. Some days are still too hard to bare. I feel myself slipping back into where I was last year.

Back when I was in my darkest days, and sometimes when I relapse back into them, it feels as if everything is a lot of work, even the bare necessities. I would get hungry, but then think to myself, “That means I have to get out of bed, walk all the way to the kitchen, open the fridge, get the ingredients, get the bread, make the sandwich, chew it….and swallow.” I wouldn’t be able to move, it was too hard. So, I just wouldn’t eat. I wouldn’t drink. I wouldn’t go to class. I wouldn’t do my homework. I wouldn’t even interact with my friends or family. The only thing I would do was sleep. Day and night. I didn’t want to be around anyone, I’d just want to lay in bed.

I overthought everything that went on, and still do. I thought I was finally viewing the world as how it truly was.

Some days it was almost too hard to survive. It was too painful to be alive, but what kept me from killing myself was for the purpose of saving others from that pain. I didn’t want anyone to slip into depression and have to experience even half of what I did. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Don’t get me wrong. If I had the choice to take away my mental illness (depression and anxiety), I wouldn’t. It has built me into the person I am today; it has allowed me to grow, and understand others on an entire different level. I can use what I have gone through, and currently going through as experience to help others get through it too.

What is hard to accept, is that this is an ongoing battle. Something that you will have to treat throughout your lifetime with medication and therapy. Depression and anxiety is engraved into our persona. You will have a relapse, but you will get better. Relapse, and then better. Over and over. You just have to remember that it WILL get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, accepting your disability and allowing others to know about it can be extremely hard. I battled with that for a long time. I’ve had depression for almost my entire lifetime, but it didn’t get SEVERE until I reached Junior year of high school. That is when I experienced the worst of my anxiety attacks. That entire year was filled with them. To add to that, I couldn’t go more than a few days without a mental breakdown. Life became too hard. I wanted to quit. It got a lot worse before it got better. I refused to ask for help, which unknowingly caused me to fall deeper into depression. Thankfully I eventually started to improve a little bit and held it together as much as I could until I got to Freshman year of college. Once again, I took a pitfall back into severe depression. Months went by, and once it got extremely bad, my friends held an intervention to help me recognize and accept what was going on in order to help me. I’m now a Sophomore, and thanks to that moment I am now being treated for my mental health. They saved my life.

Why is it so hard to come out and accept what is wrong with your brain? I know why, it is because there is a fear so large, especially if you also deal with anxiety, that if people find out what’s wrong inside your head, that they will never treat you the same again. But I learned the hard way that depression is EXHAUSTING and silence makes it worse. What you need to understand is that depression and anxiety are very common, but there is just unfortunately a stigma that you can’t talk about it. But you need to break that stigma for your own good, and for the good of others. SPEAK OUT! Embrace who you are. It will help. Understand that depression is due to a genetic vulnerability, and it’s not your fault. Acceptance will lead you to the path of recovery.

You are loved. I promise. I know your brain may tell you otherwise, but don’t listen to it. We are all here for you.

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