Self-Hate Trigger, Self-Harm Trigger, Drug Abuse Trigger,
My name is Jenny, see that face? That is a happy face, and it’s mine. These days, happy faces are hard to come by and I am glad that mine had stayed happy for a while. This isn’t the first post I have made to SHYB, but I have come such a long way since I last posted. I am finally happy, regardless of the obstacles in life. If I can get here, anyone can.
I am nineteen, and my life has never been a bed of roses, but then again, who’s life is? Let’s go back, to where it began.
I don’t remember much of my childhood, but I do know that due to my mom and dad’s fighting, and later divorce, I ended up living happily with my grandparents, until Grandma get sick.
When I was fourteen, my Grandma found out that she had Mesothelioma In her colon. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, normally found in the lungs; when it showed up in her colon, doctors were baffled. She took regular trips from South Carolina, to New York just to live. I would stay at the house and try to keep it clean for her. It was a year long struggle that she lost. When she died, the child I was died along with her. That is when everything changed.
She was practically my mother, and all I had. I lived with my Papa, in that same house, for a while after she died. I had to take care of Papa, take care of the house, and take care of my school, so that’s what I did. I grew up a lot in that period of time. I also picked up some bad habits in that period of time.
Papa became abusive soon after Grandma’s death. I would take care of everything, but just a slight mistake would cause him to go off.
Grandma had a bunch of pill bottles left after she died. Most of them were for pain, like morphine, oxycontin, percocets. I started taking them pretty heavily, because they put my mind in a state of not-thinking, and I loved it when I wasn’t thinking, I couldn’t hurt if I couldn’t think.
Then one night, I went to the bathroom after he choked me out, took some scissors, and started slashing at my thighs. I’m not sure what initiated that thought, but it was spontaneous, and it took my mind off of the pain I had been carrying for months. It felt good.
One morning Papa got tired of me, and dropped me off on my mama’s front porch. My mama and I had never really gotten along at this point. The main reason we didn’t get along is because she married an asshole that controls her. Well, that living situation had a lot of ups and downs. It was still abusive, but I liked being taken care of. I fell in love, for the first time, but it didn’t last. That breakup pushed me off of the ledge a bit. The cutting became a bigger problem though. At several points, I has so many cuts that I couldn’t hide them all. When my family noticed, I knew it would be another stay at a mental facility.
I remember one time, talking to one of the counselors at MUSC, and she asked me to list ten things that I liked about myself. I sat there for an hour at least, trying to come up with more than two. I honestly hated myself. I hated the way I looked, the way I thought, the way I acted. I hated my existence. All of my life, my family and myself were the biggest critics on my appearance and personality. I was always, “too fat”, “too stupid”, “too hairy”, “too pale”, “too awkward.” Sue to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, I have problems with my hormones and weight. I have thick body hair. I can’t really lose weight no matter how hard I am trying. I was never perfect. I tried. No one can be perfect though. I was told that I was worthless so much, that I started believing it. I never finished that list of ten things I liked about myself. I could list a hundred things now.
I stayed in mental facilities a lot in my life. They would throw the book at me. At some point, some psychiatrist has stuck my with everything from Bipolar Disorder, to Schizophrenia. They also switched medicines on me a lot. I would start off taking Paxil, then they swtch me to high doses of Prozac, just to change me to Zoloft. It sucked. That was life though.
Eventually I stayed at mama’s for a nice period of time with little conflict. It was tolerable until one night things went farther than normal. Long story short, Papa, Mama, and the Stepdad were all determined to beat me senseless, because I was talking to a mixed boy.
I came to school and the counselor noticed the busted lip, the black eye, the bruises, and swollen spots. They called DSS on my family, and that is were my Dad steps into the picture. I would usually only see him every other weekend if I was lucky. Surprisingly to me, he took me in.
Daddy had always stayed with his parents to help them out. His parents are old fashioned people, but the living conditions were almost eerily peaceful. At this point, I had to quit with the pills, because I ran out. So I started smoking weed, to calm my nerves, and ease my headaches.
There was this guy, that I went out on a date with, that seemed nice, bought me dinner, and alcohol. Well later that night, he ended up raping me at gunpoint, in his truck. That I kept to myself, because I was scared, and ashamed at the time. I just wanted to go home and forget about it, but those things, are things that you can’t forget.
Still, that incident brought out more cutting, and more bad habits in general. I kept it hidden pretty well. My grandparents didn’t know much about me, I stayed to myself. One day, that changed. What they did find out was my history. My Grandpa had to take me to the psychiatrist appointment, I regret that day. The psychiatrist went over my history of cutting, suicidal tendencies, and drug dependence pretty thoroughly to him. That was what got to my grandparents. I appeared to be some delinquent problem on paper, and they didn’t want me any longer. It didn’t matter that I was making A B honor roll for once. It didn’t matter how hard I was trying. None of that mattered, I had to go. I had nowhere to go, I felt like a problem that had to be resolved.
When they told me that, I flipped, I collapsed, every bit of progress I made took a nose dive. I tried to kill myself. I drank half of a bottle of bleach, and cut myself up really bad. I almost succeeded from what I am told, actually, I don’t know how I am still alive, other than grace.
I woke up in a hospital bed, sicker than I have ever been. I wound up in the mental facilities again for it too, then back to my Papa’s. This time Daddy moved in with me. (Yes with my mother’s dad, but it was for safety and convenience.) I had to do something with myself, so I became hell-bent on making my life better.
So I made my life better.
I had to figure out a way to be happy on my own. I didn’t want to require a drug, or anything other than myself, to be stable. So I stopped my medications all together. I don’t recommend that to anyone, but it worked for me.
I started trying to enjoy life. Special little moments were the ones that I cherished. I became more outgoing and friendly to everyone. The girl in the mirror started to look better and better to me, until it shocked me how much confidence I had gained. I started volunteering at the animal shelter. There has been no self harm, or drug dependence. I finally graduated high school. Things may not have been perfect but I found ways to be optimistic, even in the midst of a horrible situation. I started noticing the beauty around me, everywhere I was. I never thought I would see the day that I could look at myself and my life and embrace it.
In August, I met a wonderful man that has made me smile since the moment I met him. He got a hold of my heart, and still has it. I love him, honestly. Finally, I have someone in my life that love me for who I am, and loves what I look like. He makes me happier than I have ever been! I am hoping that this is going to last! The important thing is, is that even if it doesn’t last, I am strong enough to handle it.
Being strong enough to handle what comes your way is important. My life might have been rough, and I may have made it rougher than it would have been. I don’t regret a thing, because it has made me one of the strongest people I know. What counts is where I am now. I am happy and beautiful, I don’t need anyone’s confirmation for it either. You can do it too! I might be a big girl, with a lot of scars, that in society’s eyes, isn’t pretty. To me though? I am a strong girl, with a past. I have marks to show what I have had to overcome. I am my own brand of beautiful. Everyone is their own brand of beautiful.
I hope that this helps someone out there. I know it was I long post, but every part of my life contributes to why I am the way I am today. I thank whoever takes the time to read it all. I just hope that you found something useful in it. I am here for advice, and will do the best I can to help anyone that is facing difficulties. I don’t want anyone to follow my footsteps, I want people to see where my footsteps led me, and how not to make the mistakes that I made. It is easier to just enjoy life. It is as simple as that.
If you want to find out how to become happy with yourself, take a moment to block out the influences of what you think it pretty. Don’t think of what you see in magazines, on Tv, or even on Tumblr. Treat your body like a temple, and take care of it. Apologize for any kind of harm that you subjected your body to. Do things that help relieve stress, like reading, exercise, venting. Stress is the enemy, and you have to be on guard. Appreciate the functions of your body, and how it takes on everyday life. Think about how it works, and how amazing it is to have a body that functions the way a human’s does. Know that appearances aren’t everything. Learn to appreciate what you have, and see the beauty in it. Beauty is all about perception. After doing the above, look into the mirror. You will see yourself in a different light. I promise.
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