A Hellish Past Can Still Have a Heavenly Future: My Personal Journey in Life
Trigger Warning!!!!!!!! This blog post was very difficult to write and will be very difficult to read. I have debated on writing this post for a few weeks and I decided it was time to share the shortened version of my journey through life, so the people who read my blog posts have a better understanding to who I am and why I think the way I do. If you can not handle things that deal with molestation, rape, self-harm, physical abuse, etc. I would stop reading this post right now. I will not hold anything back with this post and it is going to be descriptive and blunt.
I Thought it was Normal
I remember it clear as yesterday; my mom was taking me to a birthday party when she asked a question I did not understand at that time. “Has Sam touched you on your panties?”, she asked with a shaky voice. I remember being confused as I nodded my head yes, even more so when she slammed on the breaks, turned the car around, and flew to the nearest hospital. I remember her calling several people, crying, uncertain on what to do with the answer I had given her. The doctors at the hospital checked to see if Sam had inserted anything inside me. That was the day everything changed.
Sam was my mom’s boyfriend she met through one of her friends. Someone I call Uncle Johnny. Sam is also the father of my youngest brother on my mothers’ side. He was only a year old when all this took place. The court sent Sam to jail on two counts of child molestation instead of three, due to my youngest brother being a baby and not being able to testify. Messed up, I know.
The next few months were filled with court dates, therapy groups, and a lot of questioning for me and my other brother, who was around 4 years old. Honestly, at that point, the court dates and therapy are what scared me the most. If you have ever seen a movie where they make children point to parts of a doll where they were touched, then you know what we went through in therapy. It is not just a scene in a movie, they do that in real life. I remember hating it. I remember wishing I kept my mouth shut, I could not stand seeing my mom cry, nor could I stand going to all the different places that made me explain over and over what happened. It is an experience no child should ever have to go through. I was around 6 or 7 when everything started, I had just turned 8 when my mom found out.
The most unsettling part of all this is the fact that I thought it was normal for grown men to do that. I thought it was how dads showed love. Sickening. It scares me to think about all the children who have their innocence stripped away from them and how can they think it is a part of life, not telling anyone because they do not understand that it is wrong.
To make matters worse, me and my other brother were separated. His biological father received custody of him after everything that had happened.
We Moved into a Worse Situation
Shortly after Sam was sent to jail, my mom packed up a few bags, left the trailer and everything we owned, to move to Mobile, Alabama. Her and a guy named David had been talking on the internet, and he decided to move us in with him and his children. David had four boys and two girls. The boys were 18, 16, 15, and 8. The girls were 5 and 10. I was 8 around this time. Unfortunately, this family had a similar secret to Sam’s. At night the boys would sneak in the girl’s room and hold us down while inserting different objects inside us. They would hold our noses to make us open our mouths and threaten us with knives to stay quiet.
This happened every night for 2 months until my mom and David broke up. I kept everything to myself until later on in life. I had just got out of court and therapy. I was frightened to go back and repeat the entire process.
Another Abusive Relationship
After my mother and David broke up, we moved to Tarrant, Alabama for a very short period of time. This is around the time I met an elderly man who used to take all the neighborhood kids out to eat every Thursday. I believe he was the first man I ever trusted. Sadly, mom found another internet guy and we moved again. I had to leave my new friends and the sweet old man behind. Terrell was the name of the new boyfriend. He was manipulative, physically abusive, and controlling.
The worst incident is when I came home from school and he had been drinking. I sat on the porch petting my dog Taz, a pure black chow mix and my only friend; due to being miles away from other houses and moving around so much. Terrell came out of the house and knocked the trash can down, spilling trash and diapers everywhere. He told me to pick it up. Annoyed I asked, “why do I have to pick it up when you knocked it down?” Terrell went inside and grabbed his gun and threatened to shoot Taz if I did not do as I was told. Panicking I started running down the road, which was a steep hill. I kept screaming for Taz to follow me, but he didn’t. Gunshots were fired, and I just dropped to my knees screaming, hoping it was a bluff. It wasn’t. Terrell ran down the road after me, yanking me up by my hair and dragging me up the hill, and into the house. He twined 3 switches together and beat me with them until I had blood running down my legs. Yelling at me in between hits, telling me it was my fault because I didn’t listen to him.
The next day in school my teachers noticed my legs and DHR got involved. My mom finally left Terrell after he put a gun to his head during an argument between him and her about the incident. I remember sitting on the top bunk with my brother, who was visiting for the summer. We were both crying and panicking, hoping he didn’t shoot himself or our mom.
Life Started to Look Up… For a Little While
After mom left Terrell, she met a guy named Scott. Scott was the best man my mother had been with. He was kind, loving, patient, and most of all he treated us like we were his own. We lived in a small apartment in Fultondale, Al until him and my mom found a beautiful home out in Harpersville, Al. For the first time in a long time, we were stable. My brothers and I had a huge back yard to run and play in and our own rooms. We were finally happy and safe.
Unfortunately, that happiness was short-lived. One day after school, I was asked by my mom’s friend Lisa, to have a seat; that something terrible had happened. I remember becoming very panicky and afraid. After I sat down, I was told our house had burned down and there was nothing saveable from the fire. Furthermore, I was told our macaw, Cosmo, died in the fire. She refused to leave her cage even though Scott left it open for her. Heartbroken I cried for hours. I had lost everything again.
Lisa let me live with her while my mom, Scott, and youngest brother went to stay in a hotel until they found a new home. The good news was my youngest brother made it out of the house alive. Scott could not find him when the house was on fire, my brother had hidden inside the kitchen cabinets; afraid of getting into trouble. However, he ran outside and luckily, Scott saw him dart to the door. Losing everything is hard but losing a loved one would have devastating.
It took several months, but Scott and my mom were able to save enough money to move into another house; unfortunately, it was located in Pinson, Al around the area where the first molestation happened. I know the area did not bother me, but it did my mom. She admitted a few years ago she tries to stay away from Pinson, Al due to all the unwelcome memories it has.
A few months had passed by and one night while we were eating dinner, my mom told me she had some good and bad news to tell me. She told me we were getting custody of my brother. I was so overjoyed… at first. The bad news was the reasoning behind my mom regaining custody. My brother was being physically abused. I will not go into detail due to it is not my place to tell his life story.
After my brother came to live with us things were great for about two years. Then everything came crashing down around us. My mother moved Johnny into our home, the guy I call my uncle. They began doing drugs together. They would do weird things like watch the ceiling fan, swearing it was a game. Mom would stay in the bathroom for hours at a time. Once, she left me at my boyfriend’s house for over a week. At the time I thought I was lucky to be able to spend the night at my boyfriend’s house, looking back it saddens me.
Furthermore, the house became a horror show. You couldn’t walk in the kitchen without a thousand fruit flies flying at your face, the sink was full of broken moldy dishes, the bathroom toilet was backed up so it smelled horrible in the house, there was trash and dirty clothes everywhere. Additionally, We also had 2 cats 7 kittens 3 dogs, many fish, and finches. It was like a mini chaotic zoo. You can imagine the mess they all made every day. I tried my best to keep up with everything but only being 13 years old, it became too much to handle.
One day, my grandmother randomly visited the house. I was supposed to be in school, but I had missed the bus trying to get my two brothers up and ready, so they didn’t miss their bus. Unfortunately, my bus usually came before theirs, often resulting in me missing my bus. When my grandmother came into the house and reached the room I was in, she immediately called child protective services (DHR). My mother was given a month to get herself clean. However, she did not.
I remember getting called to the principal’s office a few weeks after the incident with my grandmother. There were two people sitting at a circular table with two happy meals, my brother was also at the table. Happy Meals. Like that was going to make the situation better. Though, I understand they were only trying to soften the harsh news we were about to receive. We were told we were not going home, that we were being split up and sent to different foster homes. Our youngest brother was able to go with our stepdad Scott, but we couldn’t go. Luckily, we were only separated for about a week until our grandmother was able to get custody of us. I will admit, the foster families were full of compassion and caring people. One of my favorite memories was being nicknamed Crystalrella by the husband of the foster mom. He found out I loved Disney and came up with it to cheer me up, it was a sweet gesture during a hard time.
If you have read my other blog posts then you know it was around this time when I started cutting my writs more and more. I kept trying to find a release from all the mental torment I was going through. I was withdrawn, depressed, scared. This is also around the time my brother was sent back to his father, which caused me to spiral into a deeper depression. My self-harm habit got out of hand and I was sent to live in facilities for 5 years.
I spent the ages 14-19 living in two facilities and a group home. The group home was up the hill from one of the facilities, so I usually count that in with the facilities. I went through years of therapy, waking up at 5 am for vital signs, sharing a room with many different people, and being heavily medicated. There was a point in time where I was taking about 12 pills a day. I was zombified and absent-minded. I went into the facilities weighing 116 pounds and left weighing over 260 pounds due to all the medications.
I will admit that it was my fault I stayed in the facilities for so long. I was originally supposed to stay for 3 months, to help me overcome self-harm. However, I kept acting out, prolonging my stay. It was a rough experience, but I was able to get through it.
My Own Relationship Mistakes
After I got out of the facilities I became a magnet for failed relationships. I was physically and mentally abused in several relationships. One guy ended up stabbing me in the face with scissors and another used beer as an excuse for sexually assaulting me. Sadly, I stayed in these relationships for too long thinking it would get better. I found out I was afraid to be alone and I would settle for the abuse rather than be alone.
Additionally, one guy cheated on me and I let him continue to live in my house while listening to him talk to the girl he cheated on me with. Telling her how perfect she was and how his last relationship was crap. It hurt, but I did not want to be alone. Pitiful I know.
Eventually, I became the one who became physically violent and mentally abusive. I became what I hated because I was afraid. I would lash out and become defensive. I became paranoid, overly jealous, and withdrawn. I would sit alone for hours listening to music and distant myself from everyone. I was tired of being hurt.
However, I found someone I fell deeply in love with. I became more of myself around him. I changed my ways and tried to be the best person I could be. I was happy for the first time in a long time. Though I don’t think my brain processed being happy as a good thing. I became overly stressed and mentally snapped, ending back up in one of the facilities I spent my teenage years in. Losing the guy I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with and my mind.
Diagnosed With an Unsound Mind
When I mentally snapped I lost the majority of my memories for about 6 months. I did not recognize my family, I kept asking my mom if she was a foster mom. I did not know who my roommates were, even though I just spent 5-6 months living with them. My brain kept trying to merge the past and present. I also kept having flashbacks of the past and it caused me to become very confused. My boyfriend at the time did not know what to do, so he called 911 and my mom one night when I was acting crazy.
I remember an ambulance showing up and many EMT’S surrounding me trying to figure out what was wrong. My mom said I kept saying I did not trust anyone who did not have brown eyes, which were the color of my boyfriend’s eyes at the time. People had to con me into the car and when I got to the hospital I refused to get out. Eventually, they gave up trying to get me into the hospital and drove me back to my roommate’s house.
Desperate, my mom filed a petition to get me into a hospital to get the help I needed. I was not in control of my thoughts or actions. I did not understand why I needed help. The night before I went back to the hospital, my mother came and picked me up from my roommate’s house. However, I refused to leave her truck when we got to the half-way house she was living in. My mom and some of the girls living at the half-way home tried for hours to convince me to go into the house, but I refused and started panicking. So my mom brought a blanket out for me to wrap up in since it was the middle of October and told me if I needed in to knock on the door.
However, I ended up wandering around the streets of Bessemer, Al all night. For some reason, I kept hearing a tapping noise. I thought someone was playing a Halloween trick on me by tapping on things. I followed the tapping noise for hours, luckily I was lead back to the half-way home. Somehow, I managed to make a neighborhood watch alarm go off. (More things happened, but I do not want to go into detail.) After I got back to the half-way home, I got back into my mom’s car and fell asleep. I woke up to my mom tapping on the truck window, checking on me. I went inside and took a shower. I was still under psychosis and I tried rearranging all the soap bottles, thinking I had to have them in a certain order and color. It was absurd. After my 2 hour shower, my mom gave me some clothes, but they were too big for me. About an hour went by and the police showed up at the half-way house to pick me up and take me to the facility to get help. They forced me into the police car, I never resisted, my pants kept falling and I kept trying to pull them up. The police took it the wrong way and kept jerking me to the car. It was horrible. I did not understand what was going on or why any of this was happening.
At first, the doctors nor the therapist could understand why I was acting so crazy. My doctor was the doctor who treated me as a teen, he was baffled by my strange behavior. He came to the conclusion I had become overly stressed and my mind simply snapped from all the pressure, causing me to go into psychosis. I stayed at the hospital for 3 months before being released. It was one of the worst experiences in my life. I could not recognize people I knew for years, I was paranoid, and I was completely out of my mind.
It was like the rational part of me was sitting in the back of my mind screaming at me that this was not right, that I needed to wake up. I was in a daze and not in control. It was the scariest thing I had been through. There is a lot more to this, however, it’s hard to write about.
You Should Know
These events are what happened from the age of 6-22. I am 27 now and have reclaimed my sanity. I enrolled in college in 2016 and took psychology and sociology as electives. Computer Science and Graphic Design are my majors, however, I decided to take electives that could help me understand the human brain. I have recovered most of my memory, though, I have trouble with short-term memory.
Yes, I have been through some really rough times, though I know many people have had it a lot harder. I am not ashamed of my past, I know I am in control of my future. I use the present to help others who have been in similar situations.
This world can be cruel, unfair, and dark. However, it can also be beautiful, loving, and full of light. I chose to rise above the hurt and not let it control me. You can rise above the pain too. It is hard and it hurts emotionally, but it is worth it in the end. Don’t let your past make you bitter, angry, or revengeful. Use it to make your future shine bright.
There is a lot more to everything, I might write a book about my experiences in the near future. This was not an easy post to write, but the need to help others realize they are the ones with the power to change their future, no matter what hand life dealt them, is stronger than me sitting back on the sidelines keeping quiet. I truly want to help those who feel as if there is no hope, I promise there is, you just have to be willing to seek it.
There is no need to feel sorry for me or become upset with some of the things you read about in this post. This post is not for attention or pity. This post is to help others realize that good can come out of bad situations. My whole life has not been doom and gloom, this post focuses on the darker aspects of my life to let others know everything happens for a reason. I believe the reason why I went through the things I did was to help guide others through similar situations and to be a light through darker times.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It was very difficult to write. I apologize if some of it sounds choppy, memories I am trying to heal from kept popping up.
Together We Will Make A Difference and Overcome the Impossible