mental health

‘Wow, he really cares about me.’ His scheme to butter me up to lose his virginity worked.’: Domestic violence survivor reveals she’s been ‘scared to speak my truth’ for years, but finally realizes ‘I’m stronger for what I’ve been through’

“I was sitting in my room doing homework. His ex-girlfriend called. He was caught red handed. He drove to my house with flowers and sobbed. ‘I’m so sorry. I’m just so insecure because you’re so out of my league – I got nervous and cheated.’ I was so angry. My relationship was destroying my family. Nevertheless, I went to Disney with him anyway. I stood in the middle of Magic Kingdom crying, alone and terrified.”

‘I was not a virgin. BUT I was in my own home. I took my rape and buried it. For 21 years.’: Teenager raped at her own party in high school says she was a ‘broken spirit,’ but learned to ‘survive, be strong’

“When I was 18, I threw a party at my house. I convinced my parents I was grown enough to stay home alone. Enter the sweaty keg in the living room that left a ring on the floor permanently. And the collection of teddy bears my mom kept in the living room drowned in the pool. It was devastating. That night I drank too much and let people I thought were friends, destroy parts of my childhood.”

‘At 13, there was blood on the counter, a strange calm on my mom’s face. She tried to get help.’: Woman candidly shares effects of mother’s suicide, reminds us ‘healing comes in waves’

“I’ve been to my mom’s grave twice. In 20 years. You won’t find a single photo of her in my home. I know this wasn’t her fault. It doesn’t change the effects her illnesses have had on me. None of it changes that her 60th birthday is not a birthday at all, because she is dead. I want to honor her, I really do. But I can’t face the woman who tried to break me.”

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘I had a hard time clothing her. I was sure I’d break her neck.’: New mom recalls ‘mean, vicious cold days’ in throes of postpartum anxiety

“I had been placed in a small, windowless hospital room that was 80 degrees. I was rotating between sweating because I was warm to shivering from having cold sweats. The medicines from labor were messing with me. I tried to keep it together but whenever a nurse left my room, I burst out crying. There was so much paperwork to fill out. I was alone.”

‘We had a big fight. I took a bath to rinse off the negative energy. You wrote your goodbye letter.’: Woman loses veteran husband to suicide, ‘you were excited for our baby to be born, you didn’t make it this far’

“I heard our bedroom door shut. I thought you were just going to shower. I tried to find my phone and heard your body hit the floor. You were struggling. I ran upstairs, the door was locked. I tried to kick it in. ‘How the hell do people do this?!’ Throwing my body into the door, I begged you with all of my might to let me in.”

‘No one can take this pain away, so I must take it away myself. Lay me next to my daughter.’: Mom speaks candidly of ‘suicidal thoughts’ in wake of stillbirth, ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone’

“There are no visible wounds, but the pain courses through my entire being. I breathe in through my nose, blow out of my mouth. I’m alive, but being alive without my daughter hurts. I can’t wipe the tears away. It’s too much effort. I can’t move, even if I wanted to. I don’t want to pee. Eat. Shower. Brush my teeth. I see my dad’s face, and he wants me here. To hold on. To live.”

‘Eff the PTO!’ I wanted to throw my computer against the wall. I was DONE. AA meetings? I stopped going altogether.’: Mom quits PTO to focus on sobriety, now works on ‘being present with kids’ instead of ‘giving too much’ to make up for ‘past failures’

“For 20 years, I drank. I missed birthdays, sports, parent-teacher conferences. My kids never knew if they were getting the calm, sober mom or the angry-drunk mom. Guilt ate me alive and my sobriety turned me into a new person: the yes mom. Volunteer as a coach for my daughter’s softball team? Sure thing! Soccer team needs a manager? Oh, me, me. I’ll do it! I was in over my head. I thought this PTO gig would make it up to my kids, but I was DONE.”

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