childhood

‘Just give her time. She’ll come around.’ My mom has yet to use my correct pronouns. To her, I’ll always be her first ‘daughter.’: Trans man finds courage to live his truth, ‘Transitioning was the biggest act of self-love’

“Everyone kept telling me I was a girl. When my mom would take me clothes shopping, I found myself cutting looks to the male section, wishing I could cross aisles and pick something I’d feel confident in. I struggled so much with trying to feel ‘pretty.’ Now, I miss being able to pick up the phone and just say ‘hi’ to my mom. Years pass, with little to no communication. I’ll always be her ‘daughter.’ No amount of hormones or surgeries will ever change that.”

‘Who are you hiding from?’ I was forbidden from closing the door while I showered or used the restroom. I wasn’t daddy’s little girl anymore.’: Woman overcomes childhood abuse, ‘You will survive. Your life is worth saving and fighting for’

“My dad was a dangerous man. After I was born, he endeared himself to me. ‘I’ve seen 100 girls like you,’ he said. He found my diary. He read it. Humiliated me. They tracked my periods. They would time how long it took me to walk from the bus stop to the apartment. I hid who I really was. I got smarter. I knew how long it took to go from the bedroom window to the front door, which I’d deadbolt when he left. I hid notes in menstrual pad packaging. I tell myself, ‘You tried to break me. You told me to kill myself. But YOU WON’T WIN.’”

‘He loved me for who I am, I want everyone to see exactly who I am! I will never be ashamed again.’: Woman with prosthetic leg learns to love herself after tragic loss of husband, ‘If you live with a disability, a malformation, a birthmark–DON’T feel like you need to hide it!’

“When I was about 23, I got my robot leg. I did wear dresses but I didn’t like to wear anything too tight on my butt because you can see the edge of the prosthetic. I hated it. I was so ashamed of showing that part of my body. The shamefulness slowly disappeared, this summer when I lost my husband in a motorcycle accident.”

‘They whispered to each other. ‘How can that be?’ My heart sank. ‘He doesn’t seem THAT different. It must be a mistake.’: Mom surprised by son’s autism diagnosis, ‘We just chalked it up to ‘every kid is different and learns at their own pace.’

“He was a super chill baby and we thought we had it MADE. I started to notice the other little boys’ interactions with their moms. I began to get worried. I didn’t think anything was different about Landon at first, I just thought I was not a good enough mom. I thought I wasn’t teaching him these little things well enough. This was our first child and we didn’t know any different.”

‘I’m too scared to tell you because you’ll get mad.’ They’ve been cowering every time I ask, ‘what happened here?’ They’ve been lying!’: Mom implements ‘safe zone’ for kids after realizing she’s been bullying them for bad behavior

“I erupted like a volcano, spewing anger at her tiny 4-year-old body. I can hear the bully I am being. Then she matter-of-factly said, ‘I was too scared to ask you for a piece of paper so I colored on the table instead.’ The very first thing I said was, ‘thank you for telling me the truth.’ I noticed how mean I’ve been. I have realized I’m being unfair. I needed a change.”

‘If we waited 2 more weeks, you would’ve been paralyzed from the neck down.’ I was in and out of consciousness. Death wasn’t the only thing on my mind.’: 15-year-old undergoes brain surgery after feeling dizzy, discovers rare chronic brain condition, Type 1 Chiari Malformation

“I knew something was very wrong. I was barely able to hold myself up. ‘Really Jen? Pull it together.’ No one had answers. All I heard was, ‘I think you’re depressed.’ I felt like someone had filled my head with cement. At this point, I had given up. I convinced myself I was out of my mind. I laid in that MRI machine and lost track of time. I felt like my life was over at 15. The tech pulled up the images on the computer. ‘You’re going to need a neurosurgeon.’”

‘Karen didn’t make it.’ My heart dropped. The day I planned to kill myself, I lost my friend to a motorcycle wreck.’: Man battling suicide vows to ‘keep going’ after friend’s unexpected death

“I went to work like normal. I put on my ‘happy face.’ Nobody knew what I planned to do after my shift. Living alone, I didn’t have anyone to stop me this time. When I went back to the service desk, the phone rang. I could tell Pam had been crying. ‘She didn’t make it.’ I fell up against the wall. I couldn’t breathe or swallow. I had to break the news to my co-workers. That night, I sat on my porch. I blurted out, ‘I don’t want to die anymore.’ As soon as I said it, this huge amount of pressure was just taken off of my chest. I had to keep going.”

‘This is clearly a case of anorexia. You’re a teenage ballerina refusing food.’: Woman with MALS is misdiagnosed for 20 years, ‘I was now convinced. They were doctors. They had to be right, right?’

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been nauseous. I had lost 40 pounds. I started to find that the harder I worked, the more stamina I lost. The weaker I got. My body would physically swell. Then the horribly loud and embarrassing belching developed. ‘I really don’t think you need these tests. I believe your symptoms are psychosomatic.’ The doctors all told me it was anxiety. It was ‘in my head’ and I needed to ‘push past it and challenge myself.’ I would remain misdiagnosed, dismissed, and passed off, for another full year.”

‘Are you ok? You’re bleeding.’ He turned to me with the scariest eyes. ‘You want to see blood? I’ll show you blood.’: Woman embraces Bipolar disorder, ‘Life isn’t easy, but I’m living it to the fullest!’

“My stepdad screamed at me to call my dad and demand money. I said no. He started smashing the phone on the kitchen table. In my little pajamas, I ran for blocks without stopping and just hid. After my parents lost their jobs, there wasn’t enough money for drugs. I was scared to go home. The school knew, but did nothing. I was ‘trouble’ and wasn’t allowed to hang out with any kids in school.”

‘How about you actually help? Since you know, my nipples are inside the mouths of 2 of their sisters.’ Awkward silence.’: Mom urges empathy for parents of young kids, ‘This stage is hard too’

“I’ll never forget visiting my dying father with my 4 daughters. My 18-month-old wanted to play with a doll her 2-year-old sister was playing with. It turned into tug-o-war, both girls screaming at the top of their lungs. I was nursing their 3-month-old twin sisters, struggling to figure out what to do. A family member proudly stated, ‘Just wait until they’re teenagers!’ How is that helpful? I couldn’t even hold back my smart mouth.”

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