Emily had the guts to share with us what her life has been these past 20 years. A story of how she picked herself up.
Opening up about my story, about what made me who I am has always been difficult.
Actually, I’ve never done it fully before. However, I think it’s about time I do because once I was told that once you can talk about it, the past no longer has power over you. I guess it’s best to start at the very beginning.
My name is Emily, I am 20 years old, and I am an ugly duckling. I was born into a very unstable family, my biological father was (and still is) a drunk and my mother has always been a bit of a masochist. It was a very abusive situation for everyone until one night it had gotten so bad that the cops were called. My mother left with my older sister and I with just a bag of clothes and moved in with my grandparents that very night.
My father got off from going to prison because even in the 90s they were still very bias between men and women. Most of the time they thought the woman was asking for it. As far as custody, my father fought my mom and so I still had to go to live with him on the weekends even though time after time he refused to pay child support.
To him we were nothing but objects that he owned; we were his property. Every weekend when it was time to leave, I would attempt to run away the best that a little girl could. Unfortunately, it only delayed the inevitable and once again I would be stuck with the one who could never love me. Given, no one knew what really went on there that would make me run for my life.
Most of the time, he would be watching porn while he did what he could to me. At the time I couldn’t really understand what was happening, but that’s what I thought love was and if that was the case then I didn’t want love at all.
Eventually my mom contacted a guy that she had dated 15 years before and next thing I knew we were moving in with him. I of course wanted nothing to do with him. Even before they got married I knew that this was just another version of my father. However, not only was he a drunk, but he was also a drug user and dealer.
I didn’t take much for him to get violent either. I think I dreaded dinner the most because every night it would end in a new fight that would leave me hiding in a closet for at least an hour. Many people have asked me why I had never told them and the most I could ever give them is that, that is all I had ever known
I thought the chaos was normal and mostly I thought that’s what love was or at least that’s what my mom called it. My mom also helped me break down, all she would ever say is “there is nothing extraordinary about you” and “you’re just plain.” When you hear words like that enough it turns into the voice in your head telling you that.
I thought it was always my fault, I wasn’t good enough, and I was nothing but a mistake that they were stuck with. By the age of 12 I was already starting to develop an eating disorder and I was self harming as well as dabbling with sleeping pills. People at school didn’t care because they wanted nothing to do with me either. I was always kind of nerdy so I was severely bullied the majority of the time.
It had made me kind of a loner too, especially since I couldn’t relate to them since their biggest worry was what the biggest designer trend was at the time. I just kept falling deeper into a black hole that I couldn’t seem to get out of. The eating disorder was mainly what I used to punish myself for not being good enough and a small part of me also thought that maybe it would make me worth being loved, that maybe it would all stop, but it never did.
By the time I was 15 and a sophomore in high school I was beyond running on empty. My eating disorder was full blown and by that time I had given up on being a product of worth. Sleeping pills had also become an addiction which helped fuel my other issues. One night I really did just lose it and I downed a whole container of pills because I was convinced that I wanted to be in an endless dream and never wanted to wake up.
Somehow against all odds, I woke up the next morning with no harm done; I didn’t even need to get my stomach pumped. The one person who found out about what had happened convinced me to go to a party her youth group was having by bragging that there was going to be hot guys there and that she would buy me a soda. I went and nothing happened, but she did convince me to keep going. Finally, during the third time I went I finally found God and He saved me
After that night I stopped abusing drugs and started to heal the damage I had done to my body. Going to church every week was great, but I was still going home to hell. However, I was able to keep my head above water thanks to my newly found grace. I also got out of there as soon as I could.
I took off to college at 17 to a school I knew nothing about, all I knew is that they would take me. For the first time I acquired friends who didn’t judge me and I found that I had potential. However, I transferred schools the next year because I found the classes to be too easy.
At my next school I found an even stronger bond with people who were a lot like me because we had all been pushed away by the rest of the world. That is when I discovered what love really is because they give it to me unconditionally
Right now I am in a good place, but the damage will always be a part of me on some level. Some days are still bad days and I would be lying if I said that during some of those bad days I didn’t starve or cut myself.
What I think is the most important thing is that you pick yourself back up afterwards because at the end of the day we’re just human and we fall between the cracks sometimes.
Most of all make the scars you were given radiate with beauty because you never know who needs to see them to know it’s going to be okay.