If you’re anything like me, you are very skeptical about bloggers, youtubers, and, well, anybody when they say that they know what you’re going through when you mention you struggle with mental health. You’re constantly looking for somebody to relate to, but then end up finding these seemingly perfect people with problems that are smaller than the penny in your pocket. You always seem to ask the same questions, “What kind of problems does this person have? What do they know about mental health? Why should I listen to them?” So why should I be any different? Well unlike the others you may happen to come across, I am open about my struggles and past in hopes that other will be too. I think the only way to make mental health okay to talk about is to, well, talk about it!
So, this is my story:
When I was little, I had a hard working mother that loved every inch of her kids. She was always trying to take care of us, work, and go to school to be a medical assistant, all at the same time. My father was in the Marine Corp but was never really in my life. He wasn’t gone because of work or because he was doing anything important, but because he loved to do drugs with his buddies much more than he seemed to love his family. There was only one time were I remember him trying to be a good dad and stop using, but, unfortunately, this didn’t come without the side effects. One day, he was outside on the porch and he started to seize. The only thing I remember was showing the EMTs and firefighters where my mom was holding his convulsing body. I was about 6.
Eventually he got medically discharged from the military and we moved to Texas. I finally found a friend that lived right next door to me, we’ll call her Bethany. I was always an outcast so meet somebody like Bethany was a really big deal for me. We would always be together, walk to school, and hang out at her house all weekend. In the meantime, my father loved to fuck shit up. He started stealing my mother’s money and buying drugs with it. He would always scream throughout the night and punch holes in the wall when she confronted him about stealing money and cheating on her (which he’d do both). Eventually it got to the point to were the police were called and he got arrested, where they advised my mom to leave the state. So my mom called a good family friend of ours (who was later my step dad (if I say dad from now on, it’s my step dad, and father is the fucker from above). I was ripped away from Bethany and moved to South Dakota.
My father promised to call me every Wednesday, and that he would call me; I shouldn’t call him since he would he busy with his new girlfriend. He called me twice and that was the last I’ve ever heard from him. I was 8.
It wasn’t all bad though. My dad (remember actually my step-dad) ended up being very loving and caring to my family and he protected us from everything. The only thing was that he was very strict on chores and school work. This taught me how to be responsible and put work before play… this taught my younger sister how to lie. My dad would get so frustrated with her because she would never get her shit done and then lie about it. My grandma (Mom’s mom) would see this and think that my dad was abusive. She hated him. She called me evil for standing up for my dad and I’ve always felt like she hated me for growing up to be like him. Her calling me evil caused me to feel like I wanted to kill myself for the very first time. I figured if my own father and grandmother hated me, then I must be truly evil. I was 12.
Around this time, I was obviously in middle school. I don’t remember very much about middle school, but I do remember this one kid, we’ll call him Kevin. He would always try to grab me, whispering gross shit in my ear, like how I got him hard, and that one day he would have sex with me, whether I would want him to or not. I stopped wearing tight clothes; I would only wear huge, overly baggy sweatshirts to hide every inch of myself, but that didn’t seem to matter to him. One day, he made one of his gross comments and my best friend at the time heard it. They got into a fight. All of our parents were called into the principal’s and I didn’t see Kevin at school anymore. I thought it was because he was suspended or expelled, but it was really because he was going through chemotherapy for a cancer that later killed him that year. I wanted to tell somebody about what he did to me and my self-esteem, but what kind of monster would talk ill of a kid that died from cancer. So I never told anybody. Even my mom only thinks it was a one-time comment. I got through it. I had no choice but to just get through it.
In high school, I joined cheerleading. I was a state-wide competition cheerleader. I tried to be the best at it in every way. One year, I guess I was. I was elected to go to London to cheer in the New Year’s parade during my junior year. My team also won conference one year, and first in our division twice! I loved it. I found my niche. I felt important… Then I left high school. I joined the air force because I had panic attacks a couple times daily about not knowing what I wanted to do in college. I then landed a job in intel.
I left for basic training and and that was way too easy for my own good. But when I got to tech school to learn how to do my job as an Intel Analysis… it was a-whole-nother beast. I was lucky in high school, schoolwork came easy to me. I was used to being the smart kid in class, but then when I got to tech school, I struggled constantly to barely pass every unit. I had daily panic attacks and felt so dumb and ridiculous that I should just give up. The only thing in tech school that came easy was the relationship I made there. Well call him Jason, and he was everything I could have hoped for. He was my everything. He was my reason to live, honestly. Then, tech school was over. I got stationed in New Mexico… he got stationed in Germany. If he was 2 time zones West, we would be exactly half a world away. I missed him way too much. My will to live: half way around the world.
I had to two more training sessions in New Mexico after tech school. Without Jason, my stress and depression got so high, I failed them. I felt so stupid. Like a failure to my family, friends, and my dream. My leadership at the time didn’t care about my mental health. They told me that if I would have tried, I would have passed the class. I was begging for a reclassment for a different job, but they told me it was impossible.
I was so overwhelmed and exhausted from feeling trapped in this hell, that in January of 2019, I took an entire bottle of pain killers. I regretted it instantly. I called 911 and was sent to the ER where they charcoal-ed me and I stayed there over night. It wasn’t the crazy stomach pains, the six IV pokes, or the squeezing in my chest that hurt the most, it was calling my mom and hearing her cry. That will always be the most painful this I’ve ever felt. The next day, I went to a mental asylum for 10 days called The Pavillion. They put me on anti-depressants and started me on therapy. The day after I got out, I had to go to work, where my leadership told me that my suicide attempted was a scam to try to get out of then military, even though I was begging them to stay in.
After that, I turned to drugs and lots of alcohol to make myself as numb as I possibly could. This cause a shit ton of problems between Jason and I. He didn’t trust me. How could he? I was constantly around all these guys giving me all these drugs and bottles of alcohol. I gave up. I gave up on begging to stay in the military, I gave up trying to impress anybody, I gave up wanting to be perfect, I gave up on life, I gave up on Jason, and I gave up on me. Nothing mattered, but I didn’t want to hear my mom cry again, so I kept taking the pills that didn’t work, going to the therapy that didn’t help, and pretending I was fine. This worked for a while.
But then in September of 2019, I snapped. I was on my way to pick up supplies to kill myself, but then a friend back home called me. I didn’t want to answer but I did. She told me to go to the ER and I listened. They sent me to The Pavillion again. I was there for 7 days. I started to genuinely feel better after, I got on some mood stabilizers and started therapy that was actually helping me. I got out on a Wednesday. The Saturday after that, I went to a party where I was raped by a good friend of mine. I felt like I cheated on Jason and I was such a shitty person. That nobody should love me. I didn’t deserve to live anymore.
The Tuesday after that, I OD-ed on all my sleeping pills. My friends, we’ll call them James and Frank, found me the next day. They were banging on my window and door and I wasn’t answering. James broke into my window, Frank call the ambulance and my mom, and they sent me to the ER. I couldn’t walk on my own for two days. I was in The Pavillion for almost 20 days and I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. They sent me a to different hospital in San Antonio to help me learn coping skills for BPD (that didn’t include substance use like I loved to do before). I was there for 28 days. I got back and felt amazing and like I could actually be my self again, but Jason and I were still having problems. One time we had the worst fight we’ve ever had. I felt like I was ruining his life so I tried to push him away the only way I now would work. I cheated on him intentionally. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted him to hate me. I wouldn’t be able to stand it if he left me first. But he didn’t leave me, he stayed with me. I never knew why. I still don’t.
But then later I was raped again by a different friend of mine. The worse part; he promised to never hurt me and to never take advantage of me like that. I learned that I just can’t trust everybody, but that is okay. I don’t need to be friends with everybody. I was 19.
After that, I got a brand new leadership that cares about me and their people, and they kicked off my out-processing so I could leave the military and actually have my life back. I got out of the military honorably due to mental health, sobered up, started a blog to share my process on the road to happiness, worked out the kinks of my relationship with Jason, and I am planning going to school to make something out of myself that I can be proud of. I starting to actually be happy again and can I see a bright future ahead of me. I refuse to let the pain eat me alive like it did before.
Now that you know my story, I hope you can talk my advice and promises in my other blogs a bit more personally. I think that’s why I wanted to start this blog, to prove to both myself and to others that your past shouldn’t define you, but rather, shape you. I’m done letting my bumps in the road convince me that I’ve reached the end of it, and so can you!