Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Storm Inside


"I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you

But with the beast inside

There's nowhere we can hide
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come"
-Imagine Dragons

Most people think anxiety and depression are phases, and for some that can be true. However, for me, I face a chemical imbalance. I struggle with demons and disorders that have become beyond my control.Some people know about what I battle daily on the inside, but very few know the severity of it. 

In the, almost, twenty-one years that I have been alive, I can't really remember a time that I haven't struggled with the thoughts in my mind. I grew up a lot quicker than most, and unfortunately, in that, I lost a my ability to know how to relax, and let things go. I learned to worry at a very young age... I was worrying about things that children that age shouldn't even be thinking about. 

I was born into what I would call a very confused, and unhappy family. Alcohol, drugs, divorce, significant others who meant more, domestic violence, threats, etc.. How do you learn to cope with such things at such a young age? Luckily for me, I had an older sister who sheltered me from the bullshit the best that she could, but in the end- it was all still there, and I knew that. 

I grew to feel unwanted, and unimportant due to all the arguments I'd overheard and all the things that were said to me. Though, those feelings got much worse once my sister wasn't there to protect me anymore. I didn't have anyone to shield me from what was being said. There I was, right in the middle... Knowing and being told things were my fault. Being ignored by one parent, and bailed on by the other. Living with mom's alcoholic boyfriend,who wanted me put up for adoption or dead. By that point, I had lost my place and had nowhere to belong. 

I found myself turning to journaling to release my emotions. I don't think anything has been more heartbreaking than rereading those journal entries from my 13 yr old self begging God to end my life because I didn't have the strength. No one should ever feel pain to that extent, especially not a child. But back then, NO ONE really knew. If they did know, they didn't understand. There came a point that I couldn't even leave my room once I got home from school because "he" didn't want me in the way...I was given my meals through my door, and when I was done I had to text my mom telling her that the plate was on step for her. 

By then, Mom had turned to bribery to try to make up for everything I was going through. Which in turn, I began to be called spoiled. Little did those who called me such know, that I would've given up EVERY single thing that I was given for a simple "I'm proud of you", "I love you", or "I'm sorry"
For years, I felt I was my mother's mistake, for that's what I had been told, and I was no stranger to being called a little "bitch". 

As far as my dad goes, I have SO many rotten, haunting memories. From punching my mom, being questioned for his arrest, watching him pull out knives and threatening people I loved, restless nights of worrying, not talking for long periods of time, to drunken phone calls. I never felt as though I was apart of his life, or at least not a part that ALWAYS mattered. 

I honestly just wanted to belong. However, that's tough to do when it feels as though, not even your parents want you around. I had become a very angry person, and I chose who I let that show to. To others, I had learned how to fake the best smile. Soon, journaling my pain turned into writing poetry about it, and with that, I had my outlet. Granted, the pain was still there, but the feelings weren't exactly bottled up anymore. I could just sit down with a notebook and pen, write my heart out, and cry. 

I'd have good days, and bad. Days where life wasn't so horrible, and days where I wished I had never been born. But one thing never changed, I HATED being home. I got away anytime I possibly could. Friends made for a distraction, especially the ones that were completely oblivious to how I felt. That's when dating came into play.

I was looking for LOVE, desperately. I took relationship EXTREMELY serious and to heart. But unfortunately, even though all I ever was to be loved, I didn't know how to be loved... or how to love. I allowed guys to do and say things to me that I would honestly hurt them for doing or saying to Marleigh. I put up with exactly what I knew, what I had always been subjected to. Strangely as much as it hurt, I saw nothing wrong with it. Even though I swore I would never put up with such things,it seemed to be that's just how love worked, or that was all I was worth. 

I allowed myself to be put down to the point that I LOATHED every single quality about myself. I was back to the place of finding myself ugly, stupid, fat, unlovable, crazy, and unworthy of life. I turned to starving myself, obsessively weighing myself, the occasional cut here and there, scalding my body with water in the shower, anything I could that would take my mind off of the mental pain. The pain of feeling as if I was never going to be good enough for anyone, not even myself. 

Between the years of a toxic home life, and toxic relationships, I finally cracked. I broke down and I spoke to my doctor. Granted, I only told my doctor that I was depressed over my Mimi's death, which in part, was very true. I was too ashamed to tell her the truth, afraid that she'd see so much wrong with me, as I did myself. She prescribed me a medicine, that I still take to this day, and suggested therapy.

Therapy? I didn't want to go... Then that would really mean there WAS something wrong with ME, it was bad enough I was on medication. It also didn't help that I had people close to my heart who treated me like a nut, and if I got the slightest bit upset, their response always was "Have you taken your meds today?". So if they treated me crazy then, what would they do with me seeing a shrink? That or I had my some family that liked to tell me that I only wanted attention.

Yes, positive attention would've been nice. But, I wanted something so much more. I wanted to be able to turn my mind off, to have balance in my thoughts, to act my age... I wanted to love myself, and I wanted to love life. Those are all things, I still want today. S

ome days my mind creeps back into the darkness. My mind constantly obsesses, and worries. It truly takes over my life, and I can't help it. After awhile, I get overwhelmed and that is what brings all the darkness back. The feeling of a failure, the pain of the past, and utter fear of the future. 



The other day, something gave me strength, that in prior years I would've called a weakness. I made a phone call to help change my life. I called to make my very first therapy appointment. I need to be a better me now, not only for me, but for my daughter. I never found myself worth helping, but I know I need to help myself to help her. 

Therapy and medication may never change the past, or take everything away, but I have hopes that it can teach me to manage, and maybe even how to relax. Life is only so long, and you only get one. I don't want to waste the one I have in the nasty cycle that I've grown up in. I want to break that cycle, and I want my daughter to never feel the way I have, especially not because of me. 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Where My Demons Hide

Some people judge depression and anxiety as a phase, and for some I believe it can be. However, I battle with something much stronger than a "phase". From my earliest memory at the age of four, until now, I've struggled with the thoughts in my head, and the way things around me make me feel.

I was born into what I would consider a very confused and unhappy family, one that subjected me to things that most shouldn't have to witness, especially starting at such a young age. 

-alcohol.verbal-mental-emotional-physical abuse.drugs.having significant others chosen over me. feeling unwanted. feeling hated. abandon. neglect. bribery. . my list could go on-

I'm gonna try to start way back at the beginning, forgive me if I ramble or lose you. 

We'll start with my Father:

At a very young age, I was subjected to violence, alcohol, and so much more simply from my father. My earliest memory is coming out onto the porch just in time to see him hit my mom. He was a very unhappy man when I was younger... At age 5 or six, I was questioned for his arrest after abandoning me in an apartment with my Mimi, who was having a severe allergic reaction. . . I vividly remember being in my white RUGRATS pajamas, standing with my mom while an African American police officer questioned me about my "daddy". Meanwhile, they had him propped against a police car, taking a breath-a-lizer test. My dad went to jail for a little while, and once he got out he started dating again. I remember locking myself in the bathroom when him and his girlfriend's would fight... I didn't really see him often at that point anyway... he was kind of in and out of my life. But then he met, Susan, the woman he later married. They both drank way more than they should have. They fought worse than anyone I've ever seen. Throwing beer bottles, threatening, having the cops called.. I remember locking myself in their bedroom to call my step sister to warn her not to come over because Dad had pulled a knife out and went outside with it... Through all of this, and so much more, somehow I always found it in my heart to forgive my dad... still to this day I have SO much hurt and anxiety over the things he has done, and continues to do. 

Next is my mother:

Mom dated a lot. Her men came first, that was a rule my sister and I knew well. I remember always wondering what made her boyfriends more lovable than me. . . Mom's first boyfriend that I can remember, Joe, was the first man to hit me. He smacked me hard enough, that the print was still there when I went to dad's for my Christmas exchange with him. Dad flipped, and it almost progressed into a fight after a few threats... Joe always wanted me to call him daddy but, I refused, which of course pissed him off. . . Luckily, one winter, he left mom for another woman..The guy to follow, Dave, became the first person that I grew to HATE. He was an alcoholic who hated kids... He would write my mom notes begging her to give me up for adoption. He HATED me, and he made sure I knew it. When I was ten, He came into my room and told me I needed to make a decision, either I accepted him as my father, or I got out of his house. Neither of which happened, of course. .. My sister tried her best to shelter me from him, I spent most of my nights sleeping in her bed, out of fear. We're talking about a man who would down a thirty pack in one night, a man who called me "that fucking kid", a man who told me he wanted to "punch my brains out against a brick wall" because I wouldn't hug him. . . a man who wouldn't allow me to watch tv upstairs... That man became the reason that I had to be in my room by four o'clock, and mom would open my door and hand me my plate of dinner... I ate alone.. would return my plate to the step and text her that I was done. At that time, my room was the refurnished basement, I spent many night curled up in a ball listening to his drunken complaint about everything about me. . . That's when I first turned to journaling. . . I began journaling about how unwanted and unloved I felt... those entries turned into entries that begged God to end my life because I couldn't find the strength to do so. . . Nobody should be made feel that way... especially not a 13 year old. . . but no one had a clue how I felt. . No one seemed to care quite honestly. Mom didn't quite know how to handle me, or what to do... she wanted to be loved. She began to buy me whatever I wanted thinking that would make me happy. . . people began to call me spoiled. .  but they had no idea that I would've traded everything my mother had bought me for just one "I'm proud of you". . I never have felt good enough for her. . . She took her frustration out on me, calling me a " bitch" and a "mistake". . . My self hatred grew more with those words than anyone would ever know. I put up with that environment and abuse from age 7 until I was 17. Mom finally found a new man to move on to. Luckily though, since then, our chapter has gotten a little better, and more so after Mar was born. However, the mental damage is still there.

Then there is my ex:

At first everything seemed perfect, but that's how it usually is, right? It didn't take long for things to take a turn. The emotional abuse I endured drove me over the edge.Then the cheating began.. I became constantly anxious, found even more flaws in myself, I didn't want to eat, I weighed myself obsessively, and I revolved my whole world around him. I was constantly worrying about who he was texting, who he was really hanging out with, if he was cheating again. . . I could no longer turn the anxiety off. I had no friends, and I felt I had no where to turn. I found myself in a place of wanting to die again. 

 Unfortunately, at that weak point, I got even weaker.. I lost the only person I held on for, my Mimi. I became numb, I hated everyone and everything, with the exception of my boyfriend at the time. That is when I finally had enough of the pain, enough of the anger.. I wanted to live and be a better me.. I went and talked to my doctor, who prescribed me the medicine I still take today.

I got better for a little while, was able to push it all to the back of my mind, and the medicine could give me a fake "happy". I was covering my problems, not dealing with them. Don't get me wrong, the medicine is and was a big help, but it does not solve the issues that are still there. The feelings that I still need to come to terms with. Everytime things get stressful, I'm overwhelmed and flooded by everything. Every thought and feeling; all that hatred; all that failure. The constant worrying, and fear. I'm overtaken by my mine. I obsess, and I have no control over it. I make plans, and lists for EVERYTHING, obsessively. I have a mind that I can't turn off,I can't sleep, and I don't KNOW HOW to relax. I just can't...

Though with all of this, even though I have no idea where to begin after this, I took a huge step. . . I finally got in touch with a therapist. 

For those of you reading this,
If you feel this way, you are not alone. 
If you don't understand, don't judge. 
If you don't know what it is truly like to have a mental disorder of any kind, do NOT treat a person like it's something they can just turn off, they can't. . .  It's not silly, it's not funny, it's not for attention. .  it is serious. Getting help through medication, therapy, or both is nothing to be ashamed of, and it's certainly nothing to be made fun of.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

F A T

 "Never call a girl fat
..Even if you're joking"

I have always been self-conscious about my weight. I tried any fad diet I could get my hands on, diet pills, exercises, self-starvation... you name it- I've tried it or at least thought about trying it. I've hated myself for a horrid number on the scale for years...

 Guys in high school used to comment about my weight; so, I'd hide in hoodies, or baggy t shirts (but, the sleeves couldn't be too short because God forbid I showed my fat arms). I would see other girls and instantly think "I wish I had her body". I don't even wear swim suits, still to this day, in fear of looking "too fat" and someone pointing it out.

My weight became an obsession, and still is. Gaining a pound, or having someone say something sends me over the edge and I can't shake it. I stare at myself in disgust, I weigh myself a LOT, I don't eat as much, and begin to try to work my ass off. However, last time I went overboard. I began starving myself, walking, doing 5000 stair steppers a day, and doing squats... Granted, I got to a weight I was some-what happy with for the first time in my life.

I got so many good reactions, and I was THRILLED. Only problem was, I tried to start eating normally again and found that my body would attack the food when it finally got it. I would literally be curled up in the fetal position in the shower because I was in so much pain. It wasn't worth it. Somehow, I pulled myself out of that and still managed to (kinda) like my new body in a healthier form.

Then once I got pregnant, I was excited to be having a baby but, absolutely TERRIFIED about gaining weight. As my pregnancy moved along, I was so proud of myself. I had made it to 28 weeks, and only gained EIGHT pounds. Unfortunately, that's when I got sick. I ended up developing severe pre eclampsia and my body retained about forty pounds of fluid... I had BALLOONED. I was a little devastated but more concerned about my baby's safety.

After a couple of weeks, I had lost 33 pounds, which I was thrilled about. However, that was all I lost. From there I noticed I was starting to gain a little again. Up went my self-consciousness... I started hiding in clothes again.

Today maximized those old thoughts and feelings for the first time in a year... All because I was once again told that I am F A T.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Dark Places I've Been

"No matter how hard the past, 
You can ALWAYS begin again."
-Buddha 
From a pretty young age, I had learned to hate myself and everything about me. I exposed myself to horrible self ridicule, and allowed WAY too many people to succeed in bringing me down. I had felt I deserved nothing less than things or people whom only brought pain. I forgave too often, and too easily, but never have I forgotten. I allowed people to walk over me, to lie to me, to use me, and in some cases, even to abuse me- myself included.
Why expect others to respect and like me if I couldn't even do that for myself? I didn't seeing anything wrong with being degraded, because in my eyes, I felt they were just being honest. Truth hurts, right? There were times that I truly just wanted to end my life, or to just not wake up. I felt THAT alone.
At that point, I so badly wanted to be loved that I put up with just about anything and everything. I was called names, told how difficult I was, told how lucky I was to have someone to actually put up with me, told I wouldn't find anyone else, that I was a whore, that I was the reason they felt the need to lie and cheat. I felt I deserved that emotional, verbal, and physical abuse... because, that's what I was use too.
Then after that came the anxiety and panic attacks. I was terrified of everything! I was scared to lose what I thought was love because that was the love I had known most of my life. I began to truly believe everything I was being told. I LOATHED myself. I started to distance myself from family and friends, I lost my passion for things I once adored, and I became obsessed with keeping that "love" alive. I was convinced that the only thing I had going for me, was my relationship.
I lived and breathed keeping my relationship going, learning to hate myself more and more as time went on...I was an empty shell. I literally had NOTHING going for me. I had my whole life engulfed by one thing; which was one of the major things bringing me down.
I had reached a point where my panic attacks were out of control, and I wasn't eating. I began losing weight, and becoming obsessed with the results. There were days that I weighed myself at LEAST 10 times; I'd wake up- weigh myself, eat- weigh myself, use the bathroom- weigh myself, exercise- weigh myself. If I went up even a single pound, I'd beat myself up and wouldn't allow myself to eat anymore that day. Looking back, I assume this was my outlet and my punishment to myself.
 I finally confided in my doctor, and got put on the medication that I still take to this day. Slowly my anger, and anxiety started to get better. I didn't have such a short fuse and I started to see more clearly. Following not too far after this was the big break up, which granted I was shattered- completely broken hearted, I somehow knew it was for the best. I learned to pick up the pieces, and for the first time in my life, I started to see good qualities within MYSELF.
I had lost weight, I was eating right, I had a job, and I finally had no more CONSTANT worrying. I learned to smile, a real smile. That's when I realized what I needed out of my life. I didn't need someone else to "love me" I needed to love, respect, and accept myself. I could FINALLY be honest with myself, and realize I wasn't as bad as I had thought.
I still struggle with my self-worth and self-image from time-to-time but, I can proudly say I haven't been back to a place THAT dark in well over a year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I really hate storms

Thunderstorms, especially at night, have ALWAYS freaked me out. I love rain, don't mind the thunder, but the lightning scares the living hell out of me. I am always so afraid if I fall asleep, lightning will end up catching the house on fire, or a tree will get struck and fall on the house.I know, it's absolutely ridiculous to be almost 21 with anxiety about storms. It's something I can't help. I REALLY hate storms.

Why I blog

"Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and
tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter."
-Neil Gaiman, English author of graphic novels and science
fiction

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit 
down at a typewriter and open a vein."
-Walter "Red" Smith, American Sportswriter

Writing has been a crucial outlet for me since a rather young age. It has allowed me to be open, honest, and let everything out, without ridicule. It has allowed me to escape my reality; to escape the yelling & the drunken threats.The ability to open that vein and just write, honestly saved my life more than once. I was able to be me, and vent without anyone telling me I was wrong, or seeking attention. Those blank pages accepted my anger, hostility and allowed me to free my mind of that, even if just for awhile. No matter if it were just a sentence or a couple of pages, it ALWAYS helped.

Sadly, a few years ago, I let someone take over my life and make me lose my passion for everything, unfortunately, writing included. I abandoned my writing, and soon my life had spiraled out of control from a mental stand point. I had hit my breaking point. With not being able to express myself freely in the only way I knew, I had been overtaken by depression, anxiety, and just plain hatred. Honestly, and not for the first time, I had wanted to die. I couldn't handle not having some sort of outlet.

Luckily, with the help of medication, Brett, and my daughter, I have found my passion again; a passion for many things at that. With that being said, I have also recently made a vow to myself to keep writing, no matter how silly it may seem to find relief in a pen and a sheet of paper. 

With love,
Rachel Nicole <3

Monday, June 30, 2014

Peanut to Sweet Girl


"Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up"
-Taylor Swift
It's hard to believe my four pound, six ounce, peanut is now my 12 pound, 3 ounce, sweet girl.
 In the last three months, I've learned so much more than I ever imagined possible. One thing being that time goes way TOO fast. In almost a blink of an eye, or so it feels, Marleigh has grown and changed so much already. It's honestly a bittersweet feeling. I love knowing that she is excelling from her premature birth but, I hate thinking how soon the "baby days" will be over. 
 I vow to cherish every second with my daughter in THAT moment. I don't want to look back and regret not appreciating the moments of each milestone. She makes my life, and I want to help make hers. I have always wanted one thing out of life, to make a positive impact on at least one person's life. I want her to be that person. I want her to look back fondly on childhood memories. I know she will grow up, quickly. I just wish I could keep her little.  I won't be able to protect her from EVERYTHING forever, and that truly scares me. There will come a day that she doesn't NEED me, or even WANT me. However,  I do hope when she is grown,  she looks back and knows just how much she is loved. She my miracle, my lifechanger, my hero, and I can only hope that I get to be the same for her. ♡


 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Saving Grace

 I stumbled across some old journals, from elementary school up to about two years ago. Until this point, I never quite realized just how much of an angry person I was. Granted, with the childhood I had, who could blame me? It's scary that I had no idea how out of control my emotions were until looking back on it. I'm not proud of who I was but, with the help of my daughter, I'm learning to be proud of who I have become.
I still have days where I feel like I'm nothing, and that my life is going no where.. Just to have a wonderful miracle remind me I've done at least ONE thing right. I made my own miracle; my saving grace. I would hate to imagine where my life would be without her. She has made me a better person; a more caring and giving person. For the first time in my life, I have a reason to look forward to tomorrow. I have someone that would miss me if I were gone. That's a feeling that amounts to no other.