“Ever since I was a little girl, I have struggled with who I am as a person. You think as a young child we’re supposed to be filled with memories that are fun, giggly, and perfect. My memories as a child are worrisome, anxiety and depression-filled, and dark. I’m not saying everything was horrible, but everything had a ‘what if’ behind it. My parents – they always fought. They never seemed happy together. There was nothing good there. I tried to ignore the arguments and hoped my daddy would come home, but some nights he didn’t. My dad and I have never had a strong bond as most fathers have with their daughters. We always bumped heads, and the fact I was 110% completely a mama’s girl made things harder.
Both sides of my family never got along. My parents divorced when I was in 4th grade. I surrounded myself with all of my mom’s things for security as I thought every day to myself… ‘Daddy is going to take me from mommy and I will never see her again.’ My anxiety was so horrible that my school counselor didn’t give my parents an option to take me to a family counselor (therapist). They threw me on some medication, and some things improved.
I always wondered what I could have done to make my parents stay together, but the mental abuse is what I didn’t see as a child nor did I understand. As a child up until high school, I was so heavily bullied. It was one of the hardest things a big girl faces growing up. School bullies, divorce, not having the mental support from both parents like I should have was so heartbreaking. The older I grew, the more I expressed my love for both parents. I only lived with my mom and stepdad up until the beginning of high school, due to them living in a fifth-wheel camper moving from state to state for my stepdad’s career. I moved in with my dad for freshman year. We lived with his parents. Money was so tight for my dad that we both had to stay in the same room. It was like that for two years.
High school was very hard. I’m not good at education, at all. Sophomore year, my daddy finally found a house for us to move to but that required moving schools and making new friends. Fast forward to senior year…the hardest of all years. I lived a lie. I woke up, went to school, put a smile on my face for my peers, my teachers, and anyone I could make laugh, I tried! I then came home and it was just like I was falling into a hole of darkness. A hole I couldn’t get out of. I was on dance team senior year and I felt like it was my only escape. Then when I felt like I had to beg for support from family at my home games, it pulled me into that hole deeper. My family would say I was ‘crying wolf, I was fine.’ ‘I wasn’t depressed. To stop faking it.’ I was spiraling. I wasn’t happy… from the outside, you may not believe I’ve had such a hard life, but I have. The dark times have been so hard, the bond I have longed for with my dad and the rest of my family wasn’t happening at all. I felt sad. Alone. Depressed. Anxious.
I called my mom every day. Screaming crying, I just wanted to get out. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t know who I was as a person.
Fast forward, I moved in with my mom, back on the road. I got my license, my first job, my first car. I have worked since the day I turned 18. I have worked on a better relationship with my dad since I was 18. Fast forward to 2015. I moved home – I missed it so much in Georgia. I missed my family. I moved in with my mom’s mom. I lived with her and was supported with my dreams for two years. After two years, I was left with an unfortunate decision and needed help. I asked my dad if I could move back in with him. It was me and my rescue baby, Samson. Dad agreed and I finally thought things were finally headed up.
I got a job at an amazing family-owned car dealership, the number one dealership in Augusta, Georgia. I worked, paid my bills, had a few rules at my dad’s. After a little while living with my dad, he made me rehome my rescue baby. I rehomed him with my sister for the time being, then my nana. Then my mom. This cat was and still is MY security blanket and I am his. Our bond is unbreakable and any of those people above would agree. Fast forward to April 2019, my dad finally made me start paying rent to live with him. I didn’t mind, because I’m an adult, I can uphold my own. I really, really wanted to move out. I started spiraling into depression again. The only thing to help was to remove myself from my situation. I was diagnosed with chronic depression and major anxiety. Luckily my stepmom found a place on Facebook that had a room for rent. I was against living with someone. I didn’t know it at the time, but I really needed it. I took the chance, met the girl. She was and is awesome.
June 15th was my first day in my new apartment. I was finally free. Free to be me. Free to breathe. Free to do as I pleased and not feel judged. No negativity. No mental abuse. Ever since I’ve moved, out my relationship has improved with my dad. We talk when we talk, and I know I don’t have to answer to anyone anymore. I no longer have to be the people-pleaser. I put my key in my apartment door and just sighed with relief. With my baby boy. I was free. I still am free. And I am working on me. Growing, thriving, and being the best me I can be.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Breana Welch of Easy Breezy Photography. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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