Surviving Life Part 1
This is part of my story. After an amazing blog I read from my colleague about her struggles I feel inspired to write this. Warning this post is going to cover some topics, which may be a trigger to some people.
I have had a very hard life. I have been a victim of sexual abuse, physical, mental and psychological abuse. I had undiagnosed dyslexia and autism. Earliest diagnosis aged 16 and the latest diagnosis of the two aged 31. I have been a victim of attempted rape and diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and developed spinal problems.
I am 34 years old. I have a love-hate relationship with money and society. I guess the money issue comes from my dad. He did not care about saving money. If he had it and saw something he liked he would buy it. I never really found a great way to learn. When you are undiagnosed autistic and this is what you see all the time then you think this is “normal”. I can not count the number of times I got myself into debt.
As a child, I was subjected to sexual abuse. This was from the kids of my parents’ friend. They were in their teens and I was just out of nursery. No child should learn at that age what a 69 is. The abuse that I suffered there was always compounded by the abuse of my family. You may be asking why; I didn’t tell my parents what they were doing to me. Well, the answer I can say is that I didn’t trust them from an early age. It also never helped that my sister, who knew what these teens were doing to me, decided to bribe me any chance she got. If she wanted me to do something she would say “do it or I will tell mum and dad your gay”. I didn’t know at the time what they were doing was abuse but I also knew that my parents were extremely religious, and the idea of a small gay child would cause more problems for me.
Christmas was always a case of “Oh wow it's World War 30”. It is always been the same. The quietest time was when we were opening presents and my family would start arguing. It was horrendous. My sister would find ways in which to get me into trouble. One occasion that I remember vividly is I walked into my living room and my sister was playing around with our piggy banks. I had asked her what she was doing and she told me to go away. Next thing I know my mum was calling me into her bedroom. Both mine and my sister's piggy banks were on the bed and I was being accused of stealing my sister's pocket money. No matter how much I denied it and tried to explain what I had seen they refused to believe me. My mum sent me for “intervention” at my church. Apparently, I am so troubled that I needed this. To this day my sister has not admitted what she did.
On another occasion, my mum had been in hospital and I got out of school to help the family. When she came out of hospital she did not like what I had been doing. She told me that I had let the family down, I must hate the family, and telling me she can put me into care at any point. I was so shocked. I didn’t know what to do. I wish I had told her to put me into care.
In one job that I had a gentleman broke into my accommodation and into my room. I woke up to him kissing me. Luckily he was interrupted by security and I got out of the room and spoke to security. Charges got dropped because I got transferred.
When you have been a victim of abuse especially growing up you tend to send out vibes, unbeknownst to you which attracts abusers. One such person I attracted ended up stalking me over the internet. He kept coming and going in my life and when I finally said enough, he started stalking me. I was not happy about this. I finally realized that it was abuse and entered myself in my own version of witness protection. I had to lose a bunch of friends and I had to change social media. I can only have two social media platforms now and one professional one. If I want to try any other social media platform I have to check his names and possible handles he may have so it can not find me and start stalking me again.
School was horrible for me. I struggled. When I tried to get help from teachers I was told “you're just not trying hard enough”. By the time I entered into the sixth form I finally got told I am dyslexic. I honestly was feeling vindicated. However, I can honestly say I felt that the damage had been done. I was 16 years old and had the reading age of a 5-year-old. I had already failed my exams and did not think I would ever be able to get more than resits. I am lucky, however, I had learning support that really helped me and supported me. I went from not believing that I would even get my exams to getting A levels at grades B and CC.
School was also hard because I struggled with things like friendship. I didn’t really know how to make friends. I was socially awkward. I was a lonely person and I was unable to make lasting friends. In hindsight, this is down to being autistic. Because I was undiagnosed till the age of 31, I had no clue what a real friend was. It wasn’t until I had a therapy session where I walked in confused and said “I think I have friends” where I learned that I actually did. The therapists spent the whole session talking me through friendship and actually told me “you do have friends” I was so happy.
The mental health and spinal problems I will maybe talk about in another post. I know this one has been long and there is a lot of negativity in it. So here is where we get positive.
As you can see just from this post, I have been through a lot of crap in my life. This is only what I have the energy to write about. However, I do not let it get to me now. I have been through this for a reason. I still have my faith in God and know that what I have been through is because it is what he knows I can handle. Sometimes do I think he expects too much from me, HELL YES. But, every time that I survive something I know I am a stronger person.
I use my experiences to blog and hopefully help someone else. I also give my time helping other people. When I got more and more disabled I decided that my goal in life is to “leave the world a nicer place than when I found it”. This is something that not only do I say, I actually act on it. I see someone in need and I help them.
It does not mean it is always easy and there are honestly some times I think what else can go wrong like a pandemic hitting and putting me in such a position that I cant replace the furniture in my flat that is broken, or if my washing machine broke down I would not be able to replace it. I am now having to crowdfund to try and get these items but, I still put on my happy face. I still am there to help people in need. I am still there to write my blogs. I am still there making connections with people, no matter how hard I find it, I am doing it.
Do not let your past define your future. You have to accept what happened and file it away. It happened and you can not change it. What you can do is choose how you react going forward. And it is not for anyone else to tell you how to move forward. It is your personal journey that you are on and how you choose to be on that journey is your choice and no one else's.
If I can implore you to do one thing it is to be kind to yourself. You are as you are and whilst you can change some elements of that you are unique. Unless you are a twin, there is no one in the world who is exactly like you. So just be kind to yourself.