"So. A lot of you know part of my story. But none of you know all of it. I'm young, but I've been through a lot of hardships, heart break and pain over my last few years of life. I guess the best beginning to my story would be March, 1997. I was two and a half years old then. My sister was almost exactly 4. My father was driving in his pickup truck when he was hit head on by a drunk tractor trailer driver. He died instantly. Because I was so young when my father died, I really don't remember him much. He was a Marine who served in the first Gulf Storm conflict in the Middle East. I do remember doing arts & crafts projects with him and "cleaning." I often wonder if my life would be this way if he had never passed. It was a tragic accident and it changed my world forever. From that point on, my father figure was my grandfather. He was always there for me and my sister, no matter what. I loved him like he was my own father and he loved me like a daughter. He was there for me consistently until October, 2009, when he passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack. I have two Nightingales and know they will always be there for me, even though they aren't here on earth.
A few years after my dad's passing, we moved towns to be closer to my mom's job. When we were moving in, our neighbor, noticed a single mom moving in with two young girls. He approached and introduced himself. He was very friendly, caring, and gentle. He helped us move in. Gradually my mom became friends with him, then they dated. Then he moved in with us, and they got married. Soon after, things went downhill. He showed his "true colors." He was an alcoholic, drug addict, and verbally/emotionally abusive to me, my mom, and sister. Finally my mom saw his true colors and divorced him. Later, we found out he died when his house exploded into flames (meth).
After that, my mom began dating another man. Again, he seemed caring, friendly, and kind. He was so nice and my sister and I became friends with his slightly older son. My mom and him began dating, then they got engaged. Then he moved in with us. They got married in Hawaii. Shortly after..the same thing happened. Abuse, but this time also physical. Drugs, alcohol. They divorced after a really nasty fight. He later died in a gun shootout over drugs.
After that, things were pretty good. Money's always been tight, but my mom always scarified for me and my sister. She did everything she could to get us to take our yearly trips to our "happy place" at Walt Disney World. My middle school years were great.
My freshman year of high school was when it all fell apart, 2009. I went to a smaller private high school because my mom thought it would be a good fit for me. Academically, it was. But that's when my anxiety and panic attacks got worse. I had panic attacks nearly every single day. I was severely bullied, both cyber bullied through twitter & formspring, and in person. It was all over my love for Disney, the Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato. I was told I deserved to die, to fuck off, and more. My locker was destroyed. This went on for an entire year and the staff did NOTHING. The principal actually told me "this isn't bullying." This year was when my depression started. I cried myself to sleep every single night. I started self harming, by bruising. I would hit myself with hammers, ram myself into walls and doors, anything I could to make physical scars to match the emotional pain I was feeling. I was so low that year, that if it weren't for God, Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers, and two special friends, I wouldn't be here, still fighting.
That summer, my mom took me to my doctor because she was worried about the bruising. I had bloodwork done to check for a clotting problem but of course nothing was wrong. It was at this point that I switched to cutting, first with scissors, then blades. Always in places that were hidden. The bruises faded and my mom never once seemed concerned at all. She didn't see the wounds, so her in her eyes, I was "fine." Sophomore year the bullying started up again, not as bad, but still pretty bad. Most of it was done anonymously so the staff still refused to do anything at all. I lasted through the first semester, then transferred to a bigger public school.
I am doing well at my new school. I have some friends and I'm not bullied. But the damage has already been done. My mom and sister refuse to help or understand my issues. They look straight in my face and call me stupid, worthless, ugly, and crazy. They think mental illnesses are things you can just get over. My sister pretends to cut her arms and cracks jokes using YOLO about suicide, overdosing, cutting, hanging, and using pills. They hate Demi and that hurts. She's the one thing that keeps me here. Without her music, her smile, her laugh, and strength, I wouldn't be here. The other really difficult thing in my family is that I am the only Christian/believer in my family. I go to church with a friend and God is my rock. I lean heavily on Him and wouldn't be here without Him in my life. My sister is atheist and my mom is agnostic and they constantly crack jokes about my religion.
I started cutting summer of 2009 and have been cutting off and on since. My longest clean streak to date was 70 days, which I broke in April. April 18,2013, I was having a hard night. I was suicidal and crying and praying. I watched Demi's Stay Strong Documentary for the millionth time, and sobbed and dropped the blade and pills. That night, I went to my mom's room, breaking down. I thought that if Demi's family supported her and got her help, my mom would too. But she didn't. I admitted I had bruised myself and was cutting, and that I was depressed. Her response was to laugh.
Finally in May I went to my doctor and got put on medication for my anxiety/depression/and panic attacks. These medications keep me afloat. They keep me alive and allow me to function relatively okay. I'm able to fake it at work and school. To this day, only four friends, plus my mom and sister in real life know my full story. Everyone at work/school sees me as the happy, bubbly, always smiling girl with the perfect life. Their view of me couldn't be further from the truth.
Suicide is constantly on my mind. When I was clean from cutting, I turned to pills and restricting and purging for control. I was clean from cutting for 7 straight weeks, but I simply replaced one addiction for two others. I now battle self harm (cutting mostly, but sometimes bruising and burning) along with self medication and an ED. I still do it all alone, but finally in September I will be starting outpatient therapy/counseling.
I've lived through a hell of a lot, but the most important thing is I haven't given up. Suicide is on my mind a lot and I attempted once and almost attempted again a few weeks ago, but I know God is with me. He gave me this life because I am strong enough to handle it. I know that with God, Demi, and my friends, I will beat my demons, no matter how long it takes. One day, I will be happy, healthy, and unbroken because I AM A WARRIOR."
To the person that wrote this, thank you again for letting us share your story. You are a true depiction of God's grace. I love you to the moon and back.
~ Diana :)