Well, I am 33 years old today. My birthdays are always bittersweet because of my past. Every year I go back n forth on if I want to talk about it, and I never do. I decided this year I will no longer keep quiet.
“I spent my 18th birthday in a domestic violence shelter after my dad had beat me up for the last time.”
Growing up I was a victim of domestic violence. From my mom, dad and sister. I don’t know how many times my sister bashed my face into the ground, spread rumors through town about me, and did her best to make sure everyone hated me as much as she hates me. She’s also 10 years older than me, so when I was 8 she was 18. She hates me to this day and really has no reason to, other than the fact that I was born.
My sister would disappear with her kids for 8 months and during that time my mom would mope around and act like I didn’t exist. She would ignore me and constantly say how my sister and her kids weren’t coming back. Then, out of no where my sister would show up, move her and her kids in with my parent and I and disrupt our entire lives. Anything that was mine was given to her and her kids. I would have to give up my room, all of my belongings, privacy and anything they wanted they got. I had to spend the majority of middle school studying underneath the kitchen sink to get away from everyone. It was awful. My sister would stay for 3 months and then disappear again for 8 months. Continuing this perpetuating cycle for YEARS!
While my sister was around and my mom was at work, my dad would sit in his chair and watch TV while my sister would drag me through the house by my hair, bash my face in and anything else she wanted to do. My dad didn’t do anything. No one protected me, no one looked out for me. I was all alone. Anytime I tried to stick up for myself, I was shushed and treated like an awful person because I thought I deserved respect.
My dad would get mad and that was it. He would punch me in the face all the time when he was angry. He threw a shoe and knocked me out one time because it was left in the middle of the floor. I was the family punching bag. IN FACT, My left front tooth is mostly fake from being punched in the face.
What mother actually stays with a man that violently attacks her children?! I never understood it. I spent more of my life hating myself and wanting to die than actually living my life. I have spent over two decades of my life trying to get people to just ‘LIKE’ me, that in reality, actually truly hate me and wish I’d never been born.
During all of this I was bullied in school, rumors were spread about me, and I was treated badly at school because I lived in a trailer. So, not only was I not wanted at home, I was not liked at school either. When I was 14 I took a handful of Tylenol 4’s from the cupboard and went to bed. I remember thinking, ‘This is it, my life is over.’ I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t mad. I WAS JUST DONE.
I tried to get help. I went to a teacher in 8th grade and asked for help. She told Social Services and a case worker came out to the house. This person never even talked to me. They talked to my mom, dad and sister and they all convinced this person that I was mentally unstable. So, it was my fault…. Again. Everything was always my fault. It was my fault the house was always messy, it was my fault we never did anything. IT. WAS. MY. FAULT!
I spent my whole life thinking there was something wrong with me and when I went to my mom during middle school telling her I wanted to die. That was it. Medicated for the next 5 years. Because I was beaten, verbally and mentally abused. There was something wrong with ME. Because I was depressed… Makes sense right?! The medication finally threw me into a seizure and I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. Medication induced Epilepsy.
When I was 17 I had, had enough. My dad had punched me for the last time and ended up being put on probation for it this time. I spent my 18th birthday in a domestic violence shelter. Do you know what it’s like to spend such a monumental birthday in such an awful place? Not the place, but the fact that your mother would rather stay with an abusive man, or that the people who created you, hated you so much they would rather beat you, break you and let you disappear without a trace than to actually care or even help you…
“What doesn’t kill you definitely makes you stronger!”
That year I lived out of a clothes basket and lived at 8 different places. Losing an item I never regained at each place. I was in a relationship with a loser and ended up getting pregnant at 20. I dropped him like a sack of potatoes and pushed myself to succeed.
I worked full time, went to school full time. My dad had left my mom and my mom watched my daughter. That is until I met the love of my life. My knight in shining armor. The person that changed my life for the better and does still everyday to this day.
I am a high school drop out, with a G.E.D. and a Bachelors’ degree in accounting. I own my own photography business and it’s thriving!
I don’t talk to any of them. I don’t need them, and I refuse to let people who hate me, or wish I didn’t exist bring me down anymore. I spent over 25 years of MY life trying to get these people to like me. I will not waste another second!
All I have ever wanted was to feel loved, to be happy and not feel the emptiness that my past has created. I spent so many years thinking about the person I could have become if I would have had a better upbringing. I’ve dealt with so many hardships in such a short lifetime.
There’s more, and maybe some day I will tell the rest. But, for now, this all I am comfortable with telling. It hurts still, and the wounds may never fully heal. But I will look at this emptiness and tell it everyday of my life ‘You will not hurt me anymore, You cannot have me, and I don’t belong here. I belong in the light!’
I honestly, want to dedicate my success to television, movies and TV shows. If it wasn’t for watching ‘Rocky‘ ‘Goonies‘ ‘The Cosby’s‘ ‘Family Matters‘ ‘Full House‘ and ‘Tool Time‘. I don’t think I would have known how awful my life was back then. I knew it wasn’t right, I knew things were off. Because why would all of these TV shows depict decent people doing decent things. Being honest, hardworking all while loving their family, if it wasn’t supposed to be like that.
If you ever thought that movie, or TV show that shows good families hurt or help kids. Then, here’s your answer. I know it was TV that saved me, and wanting that ‘TV Family’.
Because of my rough past it make it so very important to me to be able to capture the happy moments in people’s lives.
While I had an absolutely awful upbringing, and never knew what true love was until I met my husband. I know that my life is better without them. I know that I am destined for great things. And, when I get there, I will wave from the top!
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