🌹 Mental Health: My Journey 🌹

in steemitbloggers •  2 years ago 

Hey Steemit!

Recently I have been so emotionally uplifted, and continuously reminded of how blessed I am to be here (quite literally) after watching certain things on the tv and reading some wonderful posts that I have felt inspired to share a little bit about myself, what shakes my soul and makes me HAPPY!

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'When in South Africa' driving along the coast on the way back from Cape Town, wind in my hair, head out the sun roof struggling to catch my breath! = HAPPY Lauren!

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We all have our stories, and the most amazing thing is that we are still here and able to tell them, perhaps for our own personal growth or to help/guide others that have been, or are in similiar situations. Today I am feeling like I want to share with that hope in mind, for the first time ever.

❤ My story ❤

Growing up was a bit of a rollercoaster, and one that was prone to breaking down. I experienced years of sexual abuse, self-harm, and depression. Despite all this, somehow, I do recall my childhood not always being soley focused on the 'dark side'. I do have good memories that weigh out the bad, but sometimes the scales do tip, and everything isn't so 'perfectly' balanced.

Even now, I find it difficult to express my sadness infront of others, and have to wait for a time when I can be alone to do so. I guess on some level, I feel embarrassed and it would mean knocking down that sky high wall I have crafted so well (it's a pity you can't see it, top marks for stability - ironically!)

I consider myself to be a private person, which for the majority of the time isn't such a bad thing, however I do know that I am infact 'only human', and should just let my emotions flow free. It is something I am working on with myself, though I obviously don't plan on being a snotty mess very often haha!

School was particulary difficult in the beginning. I was an easy target for bullies because of my quiet nature and absolute refusal to conform to be like the 'cool kids'.

Things got heavy and I was sinking further and further which made the cutting all the more easy. It was my coping mechanism for when I felt anger or sadness, it was a release and a reminder that I could infact have an ounce of control over what I felt.

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Things got better as I got older and I was able to remove myself from the abusive environment. I hadn't told anyone what had been going on until I stopped it. I remember being in class one day and my head was so far away from my shoulders I could almost see the stars, a place I found myself quite often.

I chose that that was the day I would tell my parents the agonizing secret I had been keeping. I (in my tactful ways) approached a teacher once the class was finished (a trusted teacher I had confided in about the self-harm) and simply asked if an abuser could be prosecuted for sexual abuse if it had been a couple of years since it happened. Naturally for him, alarm bells started ringing and home was contacted (making the most difficult step done for me).

Of course they wanted to contact the police, however I pleaded until I was blue in the face that they didn't. I was too afraid. However, they say that hindsight is a beautiful thing, but in this case it's a real bitch!

.............

I enrolled to college studying Psychology, Sociology and Health and Social Care, and it was all going so well, I was content with life. Until one day I snapped. I would see my abuser walking the streets, hear his name in conversations from people asking how he was (unknown to them of what a monster he was) etc, it was becoming difficult. He was my grandfather and no matter where I turned, in some form, he was there.

So, I moved to another college in another town, thus meaning less time was spent in my home town, apart from weekends... so I got a job! It was ok to begin with, but then my mental state was going through those sickening loops on that spiraling rollercoaster and I couldn't keep up. The anxiety kicked in and that black hole had swallowed me up. I dropped out of college and was in a funk. A funk that lasted a few years until I reached out and got help. I had counselling which helped me look at life differently and alter my thought patterns (commonly known as Cognitive Behavoural Therapy).

At this point I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do with my life and so figured I would get myself a full time job whilst I decide. I started work and held the job for 2 years, until the depression crept in again, and so I left and went back to part time work at the local chemist. A fresh start, or so I thought!

.............

I thought, stupidly, that I would be ok there, in terms of not facing 'him'. I had previously worked at the local co-op/supermarket and he was a no show, so figured I was safe again. However he made two appearances and I could not cope any longer. I had decided that day was the day I wanted everything to STOP and CHANGE! I later went on to contact the police and FINALLY had the courage to report everything. I wasn't going to let him rule my life.

'He' was arrested and taken in for questioning and was then given a bail date. At last I was feeling as though I was floating high up with the clouds, on top of the mountain and was FREE!

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(Myself taking in the beauty of South Africa's coastal roads)

Until June 14th 2016 happened. The date of his bail. He took himself to the train station to catch the train to the next town where the force was located. He climbed down onto the tracks in time for the through train to speed by and hit him. That was it. Finished. Again, he stole what was mine, and so many others - all hopes of justice had well and truly gone.

.............

Since then my life has got a whole lot better, and I have grown so much. I was able to put my new coping skills I was taught in therapy into practice, and go forward which led to meeting some wonderful people and seeing amazing places. I admit, to this day I still hold a great deal of anger about what happened and how it 'ended', however I refuse to live my life full of resentment. I choose to be HAPPY and am living the life I WANT because it is ME that CAN make that happen.

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As some of you may know, I just LOVE flying out to South Africa on my own and visiting my friends. I find it to be revitalising and on some level, for which I can't explain, it feels like home. The place shakes my soul and makes me HAPPY! As you can probably tell...

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2016 - A stop off somewhere on the way home lol!

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2016 - The day we went up Table Mountain (yes I am wearing flip flops! I had just got a tattoo on my ankle...as you do! And so my trainers were a no go! Ha!

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2016 - Lions Head and Robben Island in the background!

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2016 - One of THE MOST exhilarating things I have ever done! A shark cage dive! Wow! I'd do it all over again! Despite the sea sickness haha! ;)

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2017 - One of the best days of my life!

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2018 - The most HAPPIEST and HEALTHIEST I have EVER been!

Don't ever feel that you are alone, there's ALWAYS someone who wants to listen and help. Write about it, sing, draw, all of this can help express, and get rid of those demons that are stealing your happiness. You DO matter, BELIEVE that and you can achieve anything! Be kind to yourself ❤ #mentalhealthawareness
#allhandsmakelight

Lots of love and warm hugs from England

💋💋💋💋

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Your story is a heart breaking one but also a very familiar one for many people. Im so glad you found your strength and let that demon out. No one needs to live their life with something like that caged inside. While he took the easy way out, its not something you have to deal with the daily reminder anymore. Continue to be strong and fight those negative emotions. And take as many trips to your happy place as possible... I can definitely see why it makes you happy, its beyond beautiful! Keep that smile lovely lady! :D

Thank you so much for your lovely words, they really do mean a lot and you are exactly right. Lots of trips and smiles to be had! 🤗❤

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Very, very brave, @letsgetquirky. I understand how difficult this must have been to write and thank you for doing so. I hope it has been cathartic for you. Also, I think it's quite significant that you chose to post it in what is Child Protection Week in South Africa. Strength and happiness to you.

Lastly, with your permission, I am selecting this as the daily nominated post in @teamsouthafrica for tomorrow.

If you would like to join #teamsouthafrica, please join us on Discord here https://discord.gg/

Thank you for your lovely words. Reading all your replies has really touched me and am beyond grateful for the support. Yes it was difficult to press 'post' and took me a while but am glad I finally did it, for me, and hopefully others.

I hadn't realised! Yes that is fine by me, thank you. And thanks for the invite! I shall join you guys :)

Good. Wonderful. I have shared your post, as promised. See you on Discord in #teamsouthafrica!

Thank you :)
(Having problems searching for #teamsouthafrica on Discord, I'm no doubt doing it wrong lol)

Here is an invitation

https://discord.gg/ -

I thought I had shared it, so it's I who got it wrong, not you!

Hope to "see" you soon!

PS I'll also DM you on Discord

I must applaud your courage for writing this out and posting it on the blockchain. Hope you got some therapy for yourself for doing this too. I'm so sorry what you have gone through. It must have been so difficult. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this with us @letsgetquirky! I am glad to read that you chose to be powerful and not let this define you. Bless your soul with healing from all these traumatic experiences. Sending you some hugs :)

#steemitbloggers

Thanks so much for your lovely reply. I am so moved by all your generous words, and can't thank you enough for your support. It feels as though a massive weight has been lifted and I can be me! :) Thanks for the hugs, greatly appreciated! Sending hugs right back! :)

You are so brave, especially when you went into the shark cage. You are an inspiration!! Congratulations on being curied, that's big!!! :)

Thank you! ❤ Yes I was surprised! :) Thanks again for your kind support.

Thank you for sharing your personal story in order to bless others that are in the same boat and to give them hope. You are so amazing. Greater years ahead gurl!

Thank you lovely ❤

Yes most definitely! :)

Wow, I was hooked on your story and truly inspired by your positive outlook and determination in life. It must have been difficult for you to write this, but by doing so you have just given tons of individuals out there the strenght and courage to tell their own stories, seek justice and simply ask for help.

"I choose to be HAPPY and am living the life I WANT because it is ME that CAN make that happen."

You are one inspiring lady! Resteeming just in case your words can help heal someone else out there xx

Thank you for your kind words and support! Yes it was difficult - have had the post saved for a few days but couldn't bring myself to press the 'post' button until now.

It is such a relief now that I've shared and got it out. I've never really spoke about it all like this before, and after reading some touching posts it was all that I thought about doing, and with the hope of it having the same effect on someone else.

Thank you for kindly resteeming, very much appreciated xx

Such a deep and emotional journey. So happy to see you come out the other side happier and healthier than ever. Also, TOTALLY didn't see that huge twist in the middle (with the train) coming - WOW!

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Thank you @randomwanderings for stopping by, is very much appreciated and thank you for your support. Yeah, a twist that was definitely not part of the plan for me! But yes, life goes on and am fortunate to be enjoying it :) And thank you to @curie curators also!

Brilliant read. Just keep at it :)

Thank you :)

Your a pillar of strength that has endured more than your fair share. You appear to not only weathered it but made your life something magnificent in spite of it. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

Very brave steps you've taken, including writing about these. Thank you for sharing @letsgetquirky and stay happy & healthy! ☀️

Thank you, I will 🌞

Congratulations @letsgetquirky!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade for newcomers in the following category:

  • Upvotes - Ranked 3 with 466 upvotes

I also upvoted your post to increase its reward
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I appreciate your self love and courage

Thank you

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Thank you for sharing your story @letgetquirky. It is incredible how you managed to pull yourself out and are where you are today both emotionally and physically. It was a difficult and impossible situation. I pray that you will continue to thrive and be a great blessing to many others who might have the same challenges as you. #steemitbloggers

Thank you, that really means a lot! You are all so amazing - thank you for your kind support ❤

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I am impressed by your story and your openness / honesty. I think it is a privilege to be able to read your story and I am very happy that you have succeeded in feeling like you are feeling now. An example for many but above all an inspiration. Thank you for sharing

Hey there @anitanoot thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read, it is very much appreciated! Thank you for your lovely words, I am blown away by everyones support here!

Oh my.. Teary eyed as i read your post but I'm very happy knowing you're finally set free and doing better now. And also it's just so comforting to know that you are not alone. There are people out there who are just like you, been on the same road and been fighting just like you. What a courageous heart you have. May you always be an inspiration and light to the same people. Thank you for you inspired me too. :-)

Thank you for those wonderful words. I am so pleased I inspired you also, that has made posting my story all the more worthwhile ❤ Thank you for your support, it is truly appreciated :)

Amazing story! I have a sort-of similar one. My Dad emotionally abused me for most of my adult life and a good part of my childhood. He'd do things that would make me feel worthless; I've never been hugged by my real Dad. I write a lot about him

Yet when he died in 201(1?) - I grew immeasurably. Blossomed like a little summer flower blooming on a beautiful hot day :)

I relate to a lot of what you said - well done for sharing your truth :)

Thank you @raymondspeaks! I have come to the conclusion that you are a bundle of greatness! :)

Thank you for sharing with me also! Am sorry you had to go through that, and am so glad you are able to tell your story and continue to inspire us with your fabulous work!

Thanks again for your kind support. Here's to blossoming flowers! 🌻

@letsgetquirky Thank you - that was a lovely thing to say - how is my flower? :)

Most welcome! :) Your flower is growing well - and fast!

Thank you for sharing.

It get so hard to make sense of these things when they happen.

My father was not a good man, and I have learned at least for me I don't need to forgive or forget, I don't need vengeance or justice for what he did in our family because I understand that he was a broken person, that his behaviour is an illness of mind.

I believe that partly because the alternative is believing those behaviours as part of the normal human process.

Thank you for you words, and yes 'an illness of mind' - you are right about that.

Am pleased you know what it is you need and believe, that's a big step in itself. ❤

Best wishes to you!

Hi letsgetquirky,

Your post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Keep creating awesome stuff! Have a great day :)

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This post was upvoted by curie and it's trail as a result of a submission by @markangeltrueman

Hey well done that you have progressed so far on your journey, and the direction is the right one!!
I cant imagine how difficult that must have been for you, and how frustrating and scary it must have been to have such a horrible load of baggage and weight from someone that should have uplifted and supported you on your journey.
BUT it does seem like you have taken what good you can get from those experiences and made it something that you can now use to help others.
Well done!
Hope it keeps moving in the right direction for you.

Cheers

Hey there @towjam thanks for stopping by! :) Thank you, yes it was a struggle and would sometimes just avoid going out completely, however I didn't want to keep going in 'that' direction and am now at my best with the hope of things to only get better :) Thank you for your kind support!

Anytime.....good luck on your journey!!

Well done on taking the step to writing something so personal. It is extremely difficult to write about something like this. I know, I've written a very personal story a little while back and couldn't bring myself to write it from my own perspective so wrote it from a third party perspective.

Kudos to you and I'm glad you've found your happy place :)

Thank you @therneau! Yes it was difficult and did take me a while. Oh really! I actually did the same thing before writing this post but I never posted that. Well done to you too for having the courage to do so! I found it to be quite liberating.
Is a beautiful place :) Thanks again for your support.

A real touching story. Hope that you are fine now and are able to enjoy life at the fullest!
#steemitbloggers

Thank you! Yes am feeling the best I have ever felt & have lots of wonderful memories to make ❤


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

Loved the GIF that you posted.
It simply shows the ups and downs of life.
But one thing that we know there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks for sharing! Smile! :)

Thank you! :D

Wow what a story, kept me right to the end, you are a survivor indeed @letsgetquirky!

Thank you, and thanks for your support ❤

Wonderful to hear a positive note to your life has been found, in all that turmoil of youth, your story will inspire many @letsgetquirky

Appreciation for the land of your birth, where you find peace emphasizes a deep love of nature. Being with elephants was a highlight in my life as well, deep rooted love for these kind beasts, the honour of being allowed to hug no words can capture the emotion.

#teamsouthafrica
https://discord.gg/9KVccPH Come Connect

Beautiful words, for once I am speechless! Thank you. It was a something quite amazing and a place that will always have a place in my heart. Thank you for the invite, looking forward to 'meeting' with you all :)
Thanks again for your kind support!

Wow great article, very inspiring. Glad that you managed to find some peace and happiness.

It is very sad when you see people living in fear and pain, when the people that abused or hurt them go about their daily lives like nothing happened.

I hope your story inspire other people to takes steps to free them from this emotional abuse.

Thank you! Yes it most definitely is! And I hope so too. Thank you for your kind support :)