Welcome to my blog: Trauma Transparency. In this series, you will have the opportunity to read about the experiences I have endured, while also having a front-row seat to observe what repetitive trauma can do to a person’s daily life - even years down the line. Every piece of content and each story told within this series is my own.
Growing up with a sociopathic mother and an absent father was detrimental to me. Combine this with being both a bystander and witness of abuse, bullied at school and dealing with the state of confusion I was constantly left in, and I was bound to be in rough shape.
Nowadays, I suffer from borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, complex childhood trauma disorder (a diagnosis that is not found in the DSM-5) and psychosis. I have disordered eating from my mother feeding me sweets constantly so that when she would make me step on the scale at the doctor’s office, the number that displayed would be higher than hers. I was medically and emotionally neglected, and even when I was brought to a healthcare professional, my mother dictated what I could speak about. I have a phobia of alcohol due to the negative that I associate with it which has resulted in me losing out on numerous friendship opportunities. I’m forced to tolerate the aftermath of their actions, and this is something I have yet to fully come to terms with.
As much as I love my mom, she played a major role in my destruction. She isolated me from extended family and friends in order for her to gain full control over me, ignored the early signs of mental illness, triggered my psychosis on purpose and encouraged my suicidality. She allowed me to be locked in a bedroom by her boyfriend all day while she worked and never listened to me when I told her what was happening. She raised me to not have emotions, and because I’m not sociopathic, that isn’t possible.
She played no role in my G1, my first tax form, my university applications or acceptances. Even when I was hospitalized back in January for a suicide attempt, her biggest concern was me being laid off from work. These events, among others, have broken my heart. In early childhood education, they teach you about ‘Nature vs Nurture’ and tell you how parents are supposed to be, but they never discuss the impacts of abuse, nor do they act upon the signs.
Regardless of the bad she has done, I struggled to let go of her. As a kid, I cried every time she’d go to work, stayed up until 4am wondering when she’d be home, and constantly begged for her attention. I couldn’t bring myself to sleep anywhere else other than her bed, and she chose to get angry at me for my clinginess. Even though I'm 19, I still struggle with this anxiety. She’s all I want, even though she has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with me unless I’m doing something she told me to.
These days, my mom and I barely see each other and my father remains absent. There have been many days where I wished I was an orphan. But while my upbringing gave me some permanent weaknesses, it also gifted me with some beautiful strengths that the average person cannot hold.
I have devoted this past year to intense amounts of volunteering in efforts to better the lives of those around me. I have done crisis responding, fed the homeless, wrote articles about my life experiences to help those in situations similar to mine, raised money for mental health research, advocated for children in abused homes, and played a ‘big sister’ role for children from across the globe. I am an executive member at several organizations, as well. The goal of this work is to make the world what I always wished it was, and be for others what I prayed to have in my life.
I am everything my mom didn’t want me to be. I am empathetic, I am understanding, I am patient, I am loving, and I want to bring hope into the world for those who feel like suicide is their only escape. For this, I am proud to say that I’m successfully recovering from the trauma.
If you’ll take one thing from my story, have it be this:
Biology and psychology are two different concepts. Though you are biologically related to your parents, you’re not obligated to call them anything more than your biological parents. You have the power to surround yourself with people - whether it be an individual or a large group - who love you for you, and help you be your best. Having parents who aren’t there, or who have chosen to harm you, isn’t a death sentence. I promise you’ll get through this, and I am proof of just that.