Letter #66

Content Warnings: Self-harm, suicidal tendencies, major depressive disorder (with psychotic features), rape, sexual assault, physical abuse, emotional abuse, therapy, medication, parental trauma, loss of a loved one


Dear reader, 


I have many psychiatric disorders. It was hard to pick one or even a few to focus on in this letter because my many mental health struggles have characterized my life. This will all sound bleak at first, but please read until the end.


When I was younger, I remember always being sad. I feel as if I was born sad. I grew up in an abusive and neglectful household. I always felt disconnected from my parents; their actions angered me from a young age. I can’t recall them ever hugging me or me ever wanting to be hugged by them.


While I was sad for a long time, things plummeted when I turned 13. During that time, I was physically and verbally bullied. Kids at school called me emo, told me to self-harm, and told me to kill myself. I found myself agreeing with them and fantasizing about not being around.


My parents hated how I looked. They were strict Christians and thought I was a Satan worshiper for liking alternative music and wearing black. Thus, my relationship with them plummeted even further.


During this time, I was sexually assaulted by my much older boyfriend as well. At that point, he had been regularly hitting me only to buy me things afterward and apologize, swearing he’d never do it again. When I broke up with him, he tried to rape and kill me. I ended up surviving because I fought back.


Not long after that, my best friend committed suicide. He was the definition of brightness, and the world is forever a darker place with him not in it. I still miss him terribly, and it’s been 11 years since.


I began hearing voices and seeing things some months before I tried breaking up with my boyfriend. They would tell me to kill myself, to hurt the people hurting me, they would tell me these things were all my fault, etc., etc.


Yet, the death of my best friend was the last straw for me. With the encouragement of the voices and what I saw, I attempted suicide. But it failed. I was committed to a psychiatric hospital after that. This saved me. I would be dead if I did not get that help. 


The following years entailed me getting therapist after therapist and trying medication after medication. No medication stopped the voices of me seeing things, nor stopped the crippling depression I felt every day, yet therapy revolutionized my life. Therapy gave me the tools to learn to live with my trauma, my depression, and what I heard and saw. Although it was not easy, over the years, I have gotten into two more abusive relationships, developed more psychiatric disorders, became estranged from my parents, and had many more bad days.


It took professionals a very long time to diagnose me properly. I eventually received a proper diagnosis when I turned 18. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder with psychotic features.


I recently turned 24. I have another therapist now, and we work on managing everything I’ve mentioned, in addition to the newer psychiatric illnesses I have developed, as well as the last abusive relationship I got out of not long ago. It has not been remotely easy, but it has been worth it. I realized that there is this instilled worthlessness in me, where I think that I’m not worthy of a good partner. Sometimes healing requires looking hard at ourselves and our roles in our trauma. It can be beyond difficult and uncomfortable to acknowledge the most wounded and grim parts of ourselves, but that’s how healing begins.


I always thought I would commit suicide before the age of 18, but I have accomplished more than I could ever dream of. I’m now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, which I have such a passion for. Psychology comes rather naturally to me, and I’m on the Dean’s List. I work extremely hard in everything I do. I volunteer for different causes as well. Helping people is something that brings me such happiness.


I am fortunate enough to have great people in my circle. I have my sister, my beloved friends, other family members, and even my parents, who have since apologized and have been supportive of me. Although I am not entirely close with them, it has been nice to address that trauma and call them from time to time.


What I hear, what I see, and what I feel does not define me and does not dictate what I will do with my life. If you read my story, which isn’t even the entirety of it, many would see how bleak it is. For many of us, the odds were stacked against us early on from things out of our control. But I am a firm believer that we can make our lives beautiful, no matter where we come from or what has happened to us.


I know now that there is beauty and happiness in this world. I see this when I laugh with my friends, when I watch my favorite movie, when I go to concerts, when I spend any time with my sister, and when I do so many other things. The world is so much bigger than the bad things we have experienced. I know that happiness is meant for me and for all of us, but we’ll never get there if we stop trying.

Thank you for reading.

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