“Happiness and Mourning”
TRIGGER WARNING: THIS IS SOME DEEP STUFF. If you have been raped, molested, or worried that something may be said that may cause you to become overwhelmed emotionally this post is NOT for you!
This morning I woke up in a feeling of deep mourning. I sat with this for a second to understand what I was mourning. It wasn’t a what, but a whom I discovered. I was mourning for a child that never got to be a child. I was sad for a life that I would never get the opportunity to have. The family that I would never technically have because life had dealt me dysfunction. I realize, as I work through therapy, that I am angry and sad. I am mourning what could have been, but I am also processing how to move on from this. How to be happy and find happiness in this profound sense of loss that I am experiencing. Originally when I started this blog, I wanted to read and watch things that I had never gotten the opportunity to do. The reality, however, is that you cannot go back and have these experiences that one should have had. That one should have been at least afforded the opportunity.
There are happy moments that I am trying to cling onto, such as going to Washington D.C. and St. Louis during middle school. Those were wonderful moments of my life, away from the dysfunction. These happy moments were few and far between though. Most occurring during middle school, for some reason. I do not have a lot of these happy joy joy type of moments in my life. When I say I have survived a lot, I have. People think when I discuss these things that it is a simple “one act” type of situation, but this is not the case. This is going to be the post where I kinda just put it out there into the world and say it so I can move on. I did this somewhat during my “Messy Confession” video series in January, but I never completely gave 100% of my timeline and my life. I still don’t want to give everything, but I want it to be understood that I suffer from what is called complex trauma and Post-traumatic stress disorder because of these situations. I tend to depersonalize is how it manifests for me. When I start to think about these horrendous things in any concrete detail my mind tries to fog over and go into what I best can describe as “shut down” mode. My partner has gotten used to these moments and has found a couple of ways to help within those “shut downs.” One of which is placing my cat, Fennel, on me. Reconnecting me to the present helps a lot. Sometimes he just says “you are not there” and then he says where we are and what is going on. This helps usually.
Okay, so let me get into this timeline. Without details. The earliest memories I have are being touched inappropriately by a family member and this same family member took pictures of me. I saw these pictures when I was about 16 years of age because I accidently stumbled upon them in my family members house. I know now that from about the age of 5 and under I was molested. After this, another family member started molesting me. Neither knew of the other. This lasted longer. I was in my teens when it stopped. During this period of my life, I was living with my grandmother. She became fairly abusive physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was also bullied at school for being “gay.” When this was occuring I didn’t even know what that word meant, but I was labeled this before I was able to process any aspect of self. This abuse continued until roughly the age of 18 when I graduated from high school. There was a short period where I lived with my father and this time was when I learned that life wasn’t this dysfunctional outside of this immediate world. I discovered that there was the possibility for something else. I was forced back into my grandmother’s world after this six months of respite because my father was unable to purchase the house we were staying in. When I was there I started getting told I was going to burn in hell and that I was worthless. I wanted out of this world.
I got out of that world. I got out of this dysfunctional family world. This was by getting on a bus and going to Marysville, CA. I lived with a lesbian couple I knew from online. The first day I was there there was violence between one of them and a son of one of theirs that lived there. I had changed one dysfunction for another. I left one day and went to San Francisco because I knew I couldn’t live within this environment. I had already survived it once and I wasn’t sure I would again if I stayed. I went to San Francisco and became homeless for numerous years. I was in and out of homeless youth programming. I also had a bit of time in Los Angeles that I was homeless as well during all this. I was trying to survive and I ended up having to resort to survival sex to do this. This is basically selling yourself in regards to sex to survive. It was rough at times. Near the end of this is when I developed a crystal meth addiction because of a partner I had that introduced it to me. I ended up realizing I needed to be away from a place that had the drug so readily available, so I talked to my biological sister. I lived with her for awhile. Then I moved back into the dysfunction for awhile. I was with someone that wrote bad checks on my checking account and was genuinely the worst for me. I started recognizing again why I had moved away from this family and what is does when I am around them. It was wrong to return, but I wanted what I thought everyone else has: a family. I wanted other people to help and support me that were supposed to do that, but never had. I went back out to the San Francisco area for awhile. I worked on myself as best as possible, but I found out my grandmother had a stroke. I moved back and tried to help to take care of her for a bit. Then I started in school. This is when my life started to change. I couldn’t take classes all online, so I had to move to Muncie. I did. I moved to make sure I had my own life. I had supplemental security income by this point because it was nearly impossible to be around others to work or make an income. I worked my butt off and got an associate’s degree in human services and was the outstanding student of the department at graduation. I then went to Ball State and got a bachelors in sociology with a minor in social work and was magna cum laude at graduation. Now I am at Indiana University School of Social Work for the masters of social work programming online.
During the time I was at Ball State, I had my first taste of stability from the chaos that was my childhood and life. I was with a person that was stable. I started finally being able to process myself. The aspects of myself that I had never been able to do. This started me recognizing that I was having gender issues. I started recognizing I was transgender. I wanted to be a female and had been wanting this my whole life, but I had never had a moment to actually process it. I mentioned it to him and we decided that it was probably best for me to move out and start my own life. This sent me into one of the worst spirals of my life. I was hospitalized and institutionalized a lot during that November after this. I did not know how to be in the world anymore. The people who should have protected me, never did. No one else was going to do it either. I had to start processing how to live for me and on my own. I was eventually put in a program called sub-acute where I was able to start that process. Where I could start to find myself. That was in 2012. I still have a long journey to go.
There is so much more to this story, but this timeline gives you an idea of the reason I have been given a complex trauma diagnosis. From molestation to molestation to abuse to homelessness to drug addiction to so much more. I have not had a lot of even moments. Not a lot of moments to be stable in this life. Chaos has been a constant companion for me. My therapist has been helping me to actually see that this timeline occurred. I never understood completely why I was so sad all the time. He has started me down a path of healing. To see that there can be a light, but he has told me that it is going to take time. Healing will not occur overnight. It will be a long and lengthy process. Healing is like that. These events took place over numerous years of my life, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t just go away with one singular therapy appointment. There is no “just getting over it.” I can’t just move on, but I can start to learn to live in the present and not be so taken down by this past. I can also use this past to talk to others and tell them that they can survive. They can make it through whatever hell they are dealing with. I survived all this, you can make it. There will be days that you may not feel that way. You will feel knocked down to the ground. You will feel that nothing is going to change, but it will. You have to sometimes fight for it, but you can get to a better place. Sometimes it means making hard decisions that others do not understand. My story involves staying clear of most of my family so that I can thrive and be happier. They literally cannot be in my life, if I want to live. It is a hard revelation to take in that the people that should have protected you are the poison that could kill you, if you allowed them. When I made that realization though, I cut them out of my life completely. So hard decisions may have to be made, but your happiness is worth it. Others will still say things like “can’t your family help” because of how most of society is and you will have to say “I don’t have a family” to them. It may sting, but remember there is a reason. There is a reason for making these hard decisions. Please I request if you read through all this, to not comment on this particular post. Simply like it. This like on this one will mean you have a sense of solidarity with me and my life. It will mean to me the world. It will show a sign of respect that life can be better for every individual suffering through anything like I have discussed here today. We all can be so much…
Today, I woke up in mourning for myself, but I want to wake up tomorrow in happiness for sharing part of my truth…