no longer silenced movement

Empowering Child Abuse Survivors and Promoting Awareness

Tag: child abuse survivors

High School Drop Out To College Graduate

This story is by a guest writer, that we would like to keep anonymous.

My story may be familiar to some of you who are reading it or completely foreign to others, I am a high school drop out. There is a certain stigma associated with being a high school drop out. Some people will say we are stupid, worthless, and that we are going nowhere in life. While the decision I made to drop out of high school seemed like the only option at the time, it is one I have truly regretted for a very long time. However, I no longer have regrets or self-pity. The choice was mine to make, but it was not a choice that defined me as a person. This is my story.
Growing up, I came from a poor family. Most people in my family dropped out of high school. From my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, most of them never finished high school. As a result of this, my parents held low-income jobs. There were times that our power got shut off, there wasn’t much food in the fridge, and there was never much at Christmas. While my childhood was mostly ok by emotional standards, the financial standards were less than favorable.
While attending school, I was very active in different sports and clubs. I was a cheerleader and on the student council. I was a very upbeat and social person that enjoyed spending time with my friends. However, this is when the unraveling began. My parents got divorced when I was 16-years old. My Mother had been setting up plans to divorce my Father for several years prior to the actual day she left. When I was in middle school she took me to see some apartments with her. For several years previous to this, she also set up plans for us to see a male friend of hers out of town periodically, all while reminding me not to tell my Father. After these awkward encounters, I harbored a huge amount of guilt and feelings of remorse that I had no control over.
After my Mother left when I was 16, it was just my Father and I in an empty house, and my depression began to set it. My Father was in a depressive state because his wife had left him and I felt as if I contributed to his feelings of sadness because I did not speak up and say anything to him about the man my Mother was taking me to see. Looking at my Father, I felt that I betrayed him and caused him a huge amount of sadness. My depression worsened and I was prescribed medication.
As I wrestled with these feelings of what I felt that I had done, my depression worsened to the point where I tried to commit suicide. I was hospitalized and treated at a youth facility where I completed a program for depression. When I was released, I found out people in my high school were spreading horrible rumors about me and I began to become more depressed and developed intense anxiety. Finally, after all the rumors, the giggles, and the staring, I decided that I could not handle the walls of my high school and I decided to drop out at 18 years old, with only one semester left of my high school career. Even though my family tried to convince me otherwise, there was no way that I was going back to school.
After dropping out of high school, I started partying intensely and hanging out with people that I should not have been. Fortunately, my sister offered to let me come live with her in another city so I could start fresh. The stipulations that she had were that I get my GED and find a job. Finally, after getting a good retail job and obtaining my GED, I felt like my life was finally getting back on track. I was happy because I had a wonderful support system with my sister and her family and I felt like I was talking care of myself. My sister then pushed me to pursue college because she knew I could make something of myself.
When I moved away for college, I found new opportunities and great friends. Unfortunately the freedom and the extra student loan money got the best of me and I was now a college dropout. At 18, I simply was not mature enough to attend classes because I was too busy being social and having fun. I did however, learn the hard way that life is not easy on your own. After having a part-time retail job, I found myself working full-time in a call center second shift.
The depression began to sink in because I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life and I felt very disconnected from the world and my family. At the age of 19, I found myself back into psychiatric treatments staying in-patient and in group therapy. This is where I really learned valuable coping skills and decided that I did not want to live a depressed life anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage, but I wanted to change and become a more positive, less depressed person.
My life completely changed when I met my now-husband. He comes from a very tight-knit family. His parents were very good to me and let me move in with them and they started to feel like family. With the support of my husband, he pushed me to go back to school. The night before I started m first math class, I bawled my eyes out because I thought I was going to fail. The funny thing is, I aced that class, along with every other subsequent math class that I have taken.
My life did a complete 180. I went from being someone who got poor grades in high school to becoming a woman who made the Dean’s list every semester in college. With every class, there were many challenges but the rewards were huge. Through this college experience, I have gained so much confidence and happiness within myself that I never thought was possible. Overcoming the obstacles of remedial math and science classes and being another poverty student statistic, were extremely hard obstacles for me to overcome. The self-doubt I also carried within myself was also another huge hurdle for me to cross over.
But, I made it. Now I can finally say, at the age of 25, I proved the statistics wrong. Mostly, I am finally happy with myself. Sure, I still battle depression but I have learned that there are ways to manage these feelings. The biggest thing I have learned is that we really can do whatever we put our minds to. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to attend college and have a chance to change my life around. What is important in life is how we go forward after we make a mistake. I truly regretted dropping out of high school and college but I found the motivation within myself to go back and face my fears. Now, I am happier than ever and will never have to face poverty again.

If You Ever Need Someone To Talk To

Since it’s a Friday night, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. If you ever need somebody to talk to, never feel bad about reaching out. We’re here to support you. We’re here to help you. No matter who you are. No matter what you’re going through, don’t ever think you’re alone.

No tragedy is the same, no bad childhood can be compared, and nobody can really say they understand your depression and anxiety exactly as is…while all that is true, we still can support each other. We can lend a listening ear, when it feels like you’re world is falling apart. When you feel so unloved, getting out of bed is too difficult to bear, read some posts and remind yourself, that there are people out there…people you’ve never met, who want you to know how special you are, and how much you are not alone, even though it may feel that way.

You get this life, and you’re handed a deck of cards, and sometimes, no matter how great of a person you are, you’re deck can and will royally suck…and what’s worse is the people who put themselves above all will get the most incredible and unfair deck, and it will make you feel worse, it’ll make you want to give up…but that’s when you need to try harder. No matter what you’re experiencing, I promise, there’s somebody out there that understands how you feel. Don’t give up on yourself. never ever give up on yourself.

Regardless of how you feel in this moment, remember all of this, and make your life the most beautiful comeback story anyone has ever seen.

Emotions Behind Abuse

When asked how she felt right before she left her abuser on http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2013/03/quotes-on-abuse-from-survivors/ ….”Guilt, relief, and pity. I told myself there was nothing else I could do for him, because he would either kill me or I’d kill myself before I even graduated high school.” ~Alexandra

People who look at abuse on the outside, can’t understand how people endure it for so long. They can’t understand why victims feel guilt, about the world gaining knowledge that someone they loved and looked up to, is an abuser. The world is not black and white, and abuse is not so simple. Outsiders might see it as weakness, but I assure you, it’s not.

The reason a victim feels the way they do comes from a number of things, but they have a much better understanding on what goes on in the human mind than you think. They understand concepts you have to experience to even consider. They see their abuser, and they realize, there’s something wrong with them, and they need help. More times than not, an abuser has been abused themselves, and the vicious cycle grows and continue to mark an ugly family tradition.

It’s not to make an excuse for their abuser, or any abuser…in life we all have experiences that lead us to decisions, and no matter what it is that happened to us, we make that decision, and will be the ones to face the consequences of that decision. To be clear, I’m not writing this in the hopes that an outsider will understand, though I wish they would…I’m instead, writing this for any and all victims of abuse. If you’ve ever felt pathetic or weak based on society’s opinion, I’m here to tell you, you’re not. Never for a second, forget that you’re anything but strong and courageous, and people around the World do understand you. You’re never alone in this.