So, who am I, truly? This question… Oh, this question is so hard. It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out my entire dang life, and even more so now that I’m a momma. My entire childhood, I knew I was different. I didn’t fit in with really anyone. I was smart. I was in accelerated reading from the moment I think I could read. Math bored me because it wasn’t enough to keep my brain busy. My hobbies included books and art, basically. Funny thing, they still do LOL! But, because of this, the other kids didn’t really care for me. I was some foreign entity that was dropped down from space, I swear. I was bullied. A lot. Looking back, it could have been much worse.. But, when you see all the other kids laughing and playing on the playground while you’re sitting on the sidelines with a book or, literally, just staring, you realize you aren’t the same. You start thinking you aren’t good enough. And, as time goes on, you start believing all those things. Let me tell you, that will destroy a child.
I had my first real panic attack when I was 10 years old. I’ll never forget Jake and Kyle (boys who I actually thought were my friends) making fun of me in the lunch line for the boys Jenco jeans I was wearing. 1. I was a huge tomboy. 2. Jenco jeans were the bomb.com and they were missing out by NOT wanting them (HA). 3. I don’t come from a place of tons of money. My parents worked their @$$ off to give us what we had, and what we had was enough. So what if my jeans were from the thrift store, or even boys ones, at that? I liked them, and that’s all that should have mattered. Unfortunately, at 10 years old, I didn’t see it that way. My life was already imploding at home. My parents were in the midst of a separation. My mom had just gotten out of rehab for her alcohol addiction, and my dad had just left to go stay with his sister in Florida for a while. You guys, my life felt like it was over. School was supposed to be my escape from the chaos. My “friends” were supposed to be there for me… Instead, they tore me down even further. I marched home from school that day with only one thing on my mind: suicide.
Now, don’t get squirmy on me here. Even just typing that word, I get all in my feelings. I need you to know this if you are going to relate at all to me and things I will be writing about. Suicide is such a huge issue, along with mental illness, and it isn’t discussed enough. This specific post is about being warriors, right? I am a mom, a spouse, a friend, a cousin, a sister- that struggles every single day with mental illness. And it all started when I was just 10 years old.
Sure, my mental illness does not DEFINE me as a person, but it does hinder me to do all the things I want, or even need, to do in a day. I’ve experienced so much in my 26 years, more than some have in their 40s or 50s. I know this because they have literally told me. I’ve been told by people twice my age that I am courageous, that I am a survivor, that I am a WARRIOR. I don’t always feel this way. Much of the time, in fact, I feel the exact opposite. Over and over I feel like I’m failing, especially to my little girl and my spouse. But, then I’m reminded: NO ONE IS PERFECT. There are going to be good days and bad, and that’s okay. I am on the path that was laid out for me, and so are you, no matter what you are dealing with!
This is me, raw and real. I am a mom. I am a spouse. I am a friend. But I have Borderline Personality Disorder. Let me tell you, when I was diagnosed in October 2018, I was devastated. I felt like I was failing all over again. But, with some really tough therapy and a whole lot of self love, I can tell you that I am doing much better. I can tell you that I love my life, BPD or not, and my diagnosis actually HELPED me! I get to do research to understand what’s going on in my brain. I get to learn specific tools to help me get through the worst moments. Do they always help? No, but I am still here to tell the tale.
Everyone experiences trauma at some point in there life. Some experience more than others, and that’s okay. I happen to have experienced a lot in a short time, and at a young age, so maybe it did fry my brain too much. But, the fact that I can sit here on my couch today telling my story, in hope of helping someone else get through something they aren’t sure they’ll survive, is enough for me to keep going.
You are a WARRIOR, my friends. You will survive, and you will be stronger than you were before it. Looking back at my 10 year old self, I just wish someone would have taken the time to remind me of that. But, just because they didn’t do that for me, does NOT mean that I will let that hold me back from reminding you. You, my soul sister, are a bad ass warrior.