Sorry it's really long!
*NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED
I'm not entirely certain where to begin my story really. A lot of what I remember is blurry and the chronology is slightly off.
I remember no one paying much attention to me as a kid. I remember that I was quite smart but no one seemed to care. I was often called 'stupid' and told to 'shut up'. At school I wasn't particularly popular as I was very academic with a reading age of a 16 year old at 6. I would often sit in a corner of the playground somewhere and just read. I wasn't allowed books at home so I would read flyers, food packaging, the phone book! Literally, anything with words on I'd read it!
The beatings and whatnot don't particularly bother me. My parents got divorced when I was very young, I don't ever remember them actually being together. My dad was always this elusive character who came every so often to shower us [myself and my 3 siblings] with cheap tacky gifts and take us on outings.
The thing that haunts me the most to this day is what happened when I was 13.
I will warn, there is some content that follows about sexual abuse and self harm so please proceed with caution:
My family and the family who lived next door were all very close. There were 2 boys and 1 girl in there family and 2 girls and 2 boys in ours. Our parents were all best friends and us kids were all friends too. I remember at about the age of 10 Robert* asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, I was 10! I had no idea what being someone's girlfriend meant!
For a while, being Robert's girlfriend meant holding hands together, playing "doctors and nurses" together and the occasional peck on the cheek which would be immediately wiped off!!
When I turned 13 however, things became more physical.
I had gone round to see my friend Mary*. Robert told me that she was out but was due back any moment and I was welcome to come in and wait. I thought nothing of this and did so. This was the first time that Robert raped me. It continued for quite some years. It is not clear to me how long it went on for but I know it spanned years. I didn't dare tell anyone as Robert had told me that my mum would get mad at me and also that I was his girlfriend and that's what girlfriends did. He also told me that he'd met this girl Janine* in his own school who was willing to do whatever I wouldn't.
This was when I started self harming. No one ever noticed my cuts, I guess that's because no one paid enough attention to me! I started to become more withdrawn and stopped putting in effort at school. No one seemed to notice this either (My being raped happened to coincide with a rather large news story that took my neighbourhood by surprise and a lot of children were withdrawn as a result).
When I was about 15, my sister came home one evening and walked in as I'd cut myself. There was blood all over my hands. She took one look at me and started freaking out. She was screaming at me and crying. At first, I figured she was worried about me but she kept saying "I can't believe you would be so selfish". This was not a suicide attempt. Those came later in my life.
At 17, I suffered a miscarriage. I was a 'late bloomer' and only started my period at 17. I had been seeing this guy and not using protection. The first I knew about periods was when I stared bleeding on the toilet as my mom didn't care to teach me.
I told Mark* that I was pregnant and he just went crazy. By my calculation I was about 8 weeks. He started going crazy. He was hitting me repeatedly, punching and kicking me, occasionally in the stomach. He told me I was a "disgusting little whore" and that there was no way I was carrying his baby. That night when I got home I started to bleed severely. I'd not had a period in 2 months. At first I tried to kid myself that I'd misread the pregnancy test and this was just a late period. However, there was far more blood than I'd had from any other period and it looked different. Also, it felt like someone was repeatedly sticking a knife in my belly! I started cutting again and drinking heavily.
When I was 18 I left home for the first time. I was back and forth a few times before finally at 21 I moved as far away as I could without leaving the country. My mom didn't believe that I was gone for good. I moved in with this guy who promised me the world on a string! I didn't realise that Peter* had the same dark desires that Robert had some years earlier.
Peter was very possessive of me. Initially, I enjoyed his possessiveness as I'd never had someone pay me so much attention! After a few months, however, his possessiveness became suffocating. Often, he'd proposition me for sex and I would refuse but he would go ahead anyway. I'd try to fight him off but he was bigger and heavier than me. Afterwards he would say "I'm your boyfriend, I can do whatever I like!".
Having not really been in a proper relationship before, I didn't really realise what Peter was doing was exactly the same as what Robert had done. I'd always believed that rape was something that an older man did to a younger girl. Robert had been 2 years older than me and Peter only 3 days younger.
I was stuck in this 'relationship'. I'd stubbornly left home and refused to go back so I endured 2 years of rape, physical and verbal abuse.
I was not cutting at this point. Instead, I'd smash things up, punch walls, break things...
When he and I split, I went on a bit of a bender back at home. It was when I returned back to where I'd been living that everything hit me all at once. I had to move out of the home I shared with Peter and find a place of my own.
Once I'd found a place, the only time I would leave was to go to work. I'd get there in the morning looking all happy and cheerful then slink off home afterwards to sit at home and cry and/or cut.
After about 3 months of living alone, someone very close to me recommended I seek help. It took me a long time to get there but I did eventually. I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. I was told I would need medication and therapy. I refused the medication but accepted the therapy. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER!! Everything came tumbling out in the sessions, things I'd forgotten, things I'd denied, things I'd changed. I saw a psychologist (I think) for 12 sessions. After these sessions I felt MUCH worse!
I was told I'd need "long term" therapy and I was to await their communication. I waited and waited and nothing came through. I started drinking again. Every night I would drink vodka, pernod, absinthe, sambucca... anything that would help me forget who I was and pass out into a better sleep than I'd had in a long time. I've always been quite lucky with hangovers and I learned at an early age that mixing drinks was one of the worst ways to get a hangover. I would get up every morning and still go to work as normal...!
After Peter, I went from relationship to relationship, not caring about myself or anyone else until I met a guy I thought was special! He convinced me that an 'open' relationship would be fun and that it would be "hot" if people paid me for sex. So there I was, selling my body to the highest bidder! I was cutting and drinking again and this time smoking weed. Once whilst I was with this guy I ended up in hospital as he'd marginalised a family event that sent me over some precipice and I drank myself into such a stupor that I knocked myself unconscious and awoke in a hospital bed! I will skip talking about any more of that relationship as the wounds are still too fresh.
I was then diagnosed with several things ranging from 'mild depression' to 'bipolar disorder' and so on.
I am currently back on a waiting list for some form of therapy or another after being told I have Borderline Personality Disorder with Bipolar Tendencies and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I was on medication at the beginning of the year but stopped after 6 months as the doctor wouldn't listen about the side effects. I was cutting and drinking and taking drugs again but have since stopped cutting and taking drugs and I am trying to moderate my drinking. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts.
Sorry that it was so long but it felt SO good to get that out!