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Learning To Live Again

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My name is Emily; for confidentiality and all that, we will just keep it at my first name. I’m sixteen years old, and I’m what some call a “treatment-kid.”  I’m writing this blog to clear up some of the rumors about therapeutic care, raise awareness about how empowering yet challenging the process is, and to share my story. 

Treatment saved my life, and I want to do everything I can to give back. This first post will be a little bit of my backstory and my life before treatment. The rest of the posts will be focused on specific topics. This will be posted weekly, on Tuesdays at 10:00 AM (MST).  If there are any questions or topics you would like me to address, please comment! I will try to get to everything I can.

I grew up in a supportive yet complicated home in California. My parents have always tried their best to help me and show me they care, but things got complicated early on. 

I was four years old the first time I was molested. I was beyond confused, and I had no idea what had happened. I was way too young to comprehend it. I blocked it out of my memory completely. I didn’t tell my family, and I forgot it happened for the most part. From kindergarten through fifth grade, I was always struggling with respecting authority and keeping friends, but nothing extreme happened. I was seeking negative attention, and I changed myself to mirror whoever I was with at the time, but I managed to get through. 

In fifth grade, things took a turn for the worse. I had my first flashback—I felt like I was reliving my abuse all over again. I was terrified. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was embarrassed. I blamed myself. 

I thought that by causing physical pain to myself, the emotional pain would be easier to handle. I began self-harming, and I believed it was the best thing for me. A month or so later, I attempted suicide for the first time. I continued to self-harm, but things calmed down a little. Then summer started, going into sixth grade. My extended family and I went on a cruise together, which was a pretty fun cruise for the most part. 

I was molested again; it happened several times over the cruise. I was positive that since it had happened to me twice, it had to be my fault. I told myself that that was all I was good for, so I tried to numb everything. 

The cutting continued, but things were relatively calm, I didn’t get in too much trouble, until the middle of seventh grade when I started to drink. It started with just once or twice a weekend. Then it got worse. In eighth grade, I went to a party, and I was drugged and raped. Things really spiraled down after that. I could not have cared any less about myself. I started drinking constantly and started taking painkillers. I got kicked out of my school and started hanging out with really dangerous people. I was only thirteen, and I thought it was so cool that I was breaking all the rules. 

I got myself into a relationship with a guy who was six years older than me and was in a very serious gang. I thought bad boys were so cool; I was so wrong. He was physically and emotionally abusive, yet I truly thought I loved him. I thought that when he hit me it was because I had let him down that it was all my fault. I put myself between him and a gun. He mattered more to me that my life. 

Then I saw a bit of hope and thought I could be safe. I made a deal with him to get out of the relationship; although, he didn’t let me out easily. I started at a new school, and daily life got better for a little bit. I thought I was on the right track. However, the whole time all of this was going on, I had successfully pushed away everyone that cared about me. My parents had no idea what I was going through. I had no relationship with them, and I thought it was better that way. Things started to get out of control again as the using and self-harm continued. When ninth grade started, my grades began to slip, and I started spending much of my time in detention. I still didn’t care.

I was drinking at school and taking money from my parents to buy. I decided that if I was going to die one day, I should make the most of it. I couldn’t be the best of the best, so I decided to be the worst of the worst. I wanted to be more troubled and crazier than everyone else. I honestly believed there was no way to be healthy and happy. For me, happiness was unrealistic. The next best thing was being numb. I had lost myself and had given up. I didn’t care what happened to me, and I truly believed I was worthless. 

I’m very proud to say, this is no longer the case. Everything changed December 11th, 2012 at 4:00 AM. 

Next Tuesday will be the continuation of my story, bringing us to the next step in my journey—a wilderness program. Keep reading and comment any questions or thoughts you have!



2 Responses to Learning To Live Again

  1. Emily,
    Your experience is incredibly profound, but sadly as you have learned through your journey, not unique. Other girls have suffered the same abuse from troubled individuals, and have failed to find the strength to seek help. They have lost all hope for a better life. You are extraordinary. Your strength and fortitude serves as a beacon of hope for any girl who is suffering like you were. I hope that your story lives on far beyond your blog, and into the lives of others who so desperately need the inspiration of your success. Your hard work and commitment to being healthy inspires me everyday.

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