world topics

Children’s Mental Health

In the words of nelson Mandela “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” It is our job to help shape the young minds of our time. Children will one day be our future doctors, nurses, teachers, policeman etc. The young children of today will one day replace us  expected to keep the world running. To be able to do that they need to be raised right, especially when it comes to their mental health. A person’s mental state of mind determines their behavior and their future.

“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health”A person’s state of mind plays an important role in the choices that we make as human beings. An unstable mind can be detrimental to a person’s prosperity. Having mental issues left untreated especially beginning at a young age will have a major impact on them leading all the way into their adult lives.

I grew up mentally and physically damaged. Since childhood I’ve had depression and anxiety. I’ve always understood what most my age can not and I always knew that something was indeed wrong. I wanted help and so I went and asked for it. But, because I was a child it was put off as if I didn’t know what I was saying. That I was too young to know what that meant. But, I did. The key is to listen. You may think your child is wrong, or that your child doesn’t know but sometimes they do. We know our body better than anyone else ever could, even in childhood. “An estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the united states have had at least one major depressive episode.”  Depression  is real and if left untreated can lead to so many other issues; suicide being a major one.

Children can be faced with so many other mental conditions. A common condition is ADHD which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This was something that I personally never had an issue with but  I watched as my younger brother did. “6.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2011. If left untreated ADHD can lead to lifelong problems ; including adult ADHD or add in their adult hood. ADHD disrupts concentration, and enhances hyperactivity. ADHD is now so common among children and must not be ignored. Treatment is necessary in the growth of our future leaders.  It’s the simple things like Concentration that most people often take for granted because to us it comes so natural. But, that isn’t the case for everyone. No matter how much people with  ADHD try to settle down and be less hyperactive they can’t. With treatment and constructive outlets to channel this extra energy and sometimes behavior it helps to shape and prepare them for understanding and control as they grow older into adult hood.

Autism is another illness that also begins in young children. Autism can begin to manifest and show itself as young as the age of two. Autism like other mental illnesses must be caught early on and treated properly in order for the child to have a chance at leading a normal independent life. This disorder affects the mind of the child. It slows the development of speech and learning disability as well as makes social interaction, communication, and obsessive interests difficult. There is no current cure, but treatment gives people with autism a fair chance at being successful in their adult lives without being dependent on someone else to be able to do so.

There are so many other illness’ that affect children. Children are who will one day take over and teach the future generations to come. If mentally they are unstable they will be incapable of success and taking care of the world. In order for humanity to thrive we have to be ensure that our future leaders are mentally stable and prepared to do so. To my parents; Listen, Pay attention and Take care of your children. These young people are the ones you expect to look after you when you become too old to look after yourself. So, take care of them so that they may be able to one day take care of you. If you hold guardianship over an adolescent my test for you is to Listen to your child, to pay attention  and lastly; learn. To learn the signs to be able to notice when something is wrong.” Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children.”Take care of our children as they are young so that they will lead our future to be prosperous when they become adults.

Breaking The Silence, Letters From A Pedophile, Wake up

The conclusion

Beginning my journey of reaching out to my first attacker I was unsure how things would go and if I actually wanted to do it. I usually go to my older brother when I need to talk because I know he’s blunt and will tell me the truth. He told me that he was proud of me for confronting Tevrous but I needed to prepare myself for everything, me reaching out could go many ways and I could end up not getting what I wanted. Initially I wrote my attacker because I wanted to visit and tell him off for hurting me, I needed him to add me to his visitation. I wanted him to see me, see the pain I feel, and I wanted to tell him that I forgive him to his face so that I could be done with all of this. So, I reached out to him via letter and since November 2017 I have learned so much more about myself. After writing back and forth with my abuser, I have come to 3 conclusions.

The first conclusion is that he can’t change. I will be posting the letters’ that he has written to me and some of the things he says is like whoa. The first 2 letters are the ones that really made me feel some type of way. The second letter in general is what made me wish I hadn’t reached out in the first place. After he wrote me back the first time, I didn’t know how to respond so for a while I didn’t. In the process of thinking and waiting I received a second letter from him asking why I hadn’t responded yet. Truthfully, I never anticipated a response from him. I was expecting to not hear from him at all. Before sending off my first letter I had it in my head that he wasn’t even going to reply to me, I think because if I were in his position that’s what I would have done. I would be too ashamed to reply, but that’s the difference between he and I because he’s been very persistent in writing me. I say he can’t change because in the letters you will see his overly expressive affection for me. He wrote to me as if I were his wife or girlfriend not his cousin or the girl whose innocence he stripped away

The second is that I no longer needed to go visit. After reading his letters I know me going to see him would be just a win for him. He feels he has me back in his life, and I believe he thinks of me as his girlfriend or lover. It’s bad enough he’s comfortable enough writing me the things that he has. I don’t need to go meet him face to face so that he knows what I look like. He actually asked me for a picture in his letter. Wanted to know what I looked like now, of course that request was shot down. But, me sending him a letter brought many emotions for him all of which he didn’t mind sharing in his letters. He’s overly eager to take care of me, see me and make sure no one else hurts me. Mentally I don’t believe he understands how I feel or think about him. To him what he did is long gone and we are supposed to communicate like nothing ever happened. After his second letter I decided I would no longer be visiting but I would keep writing him because I wanted answers from him and was hoping for a meaningful apology. Let’s just say I realized I won’t be getting that either.

Lastly, Reaching out to my abuser helped me realize what I wanted to be in life. It’s crazy it took for me to talk to the guy who hurt me for me to be like boom! This is what i want to do and this is who I want to be. I juggled for a while with what i wanted to go to school for; social work or psychology. The deadline to enroll for school was approaching and after talking with him I decided on a major in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Psychology is defined as “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.” I am already a very observant person, so I feel I would be great at this. I love learning about people and reading people. I specifically want to be a victim advocate. I enjoy helping people and I know victims don’t always have anyone they can go to but, I want to change that. I guess in a way communicating with him helped me remove the cloud in my head and I became able to think clearer. I have since enrolled in school and have began to develop the idea of getting young girls together on weekends and taking them on trips. I have been in the position of being abused and not feeling like I can tell everyone. So, I want to create a safe place for girls where they can escape whatever they are facing and can talk freely without feeling like they have no one. I want girls and boys to grow up better than I did, no one should experience being abused. Everyone should be able to go somewhere where they feel free and can be themselves. The children are our future leaders, They will be our future voice so, we should treat them as such.

Overall I am split in the middle; between this was a good idea and I shouldn’t have done this. I am proud of myself because I did what I said I would do. Never in a million years did I think I would actually write him and he would actually respond, but I did and he replied. I definitely wasn’t prepared for his letters. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for that. Not knowing what he will say or how he will respond is probably the hardest part in this. None of his letters have given me anything I have wanted verbally from him. But, they have made me want to go harder. Every letter I have received I have cried and talked to my brother about. In every one of his letters he says something that irritates me more than anything. After every letter my mind goes to the same place, this has to be stopped. I think no child or adult should ever have to go through this. I begin brainstorming and to myself I always say my children will not go through what I went through. For so long I feared having children and wanting children because I have been afraid that they would go through what I went through. Family hurt me, and I can’t protect them from everyone, that’s been my thought process. But, after his letters I am no longer fearful for my future children because I know in my heart I will one day Break The Silence and Break The Cycle. That’s truthfully the reason I started my blog. Victims need to be heard and Abusers need to be prosecuted.

The world has become filled with too many victims and it’s sickening. Children should never know what it means to be molested, Never. Yet, too many do and that really hurts me more than anything. After communicating with the man who molested me beginning at 5 years old, after reading and feeling him not being remorseful I need there to be a change. I can’t change the things that happened to me but I can make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. My letters are proof that a pedophile can’t change or feel. Tevrous is scheduled for parole in 2022. That is a few years away but I’m not ready. The fact that I could walk into the grocery store and he be there is something I don’t believe I will ever be ready for. Honestly, I do believe he will hurt someone again I pray he doesn’t but I am not his first victim, nor was I his last. Reading his letters made things so real for me. Made me realize how strong I am now and also how weak I had been. I gained insight to myself that I may have never seen if I hadn’t reached out to him. It helped me realize hat he won’t change not to hold my breath. Also helped me realize I need to go harder so that I could make a difference. I know it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth the effort. Going forward any letter I receive I will be posting it to my blog and writing how I reacted and feel reading it. Some are painful to read and others aren’t. I know one thing for sure no matter how painful it may be, I won’t let him win. He doesn’t deserve to. Have any of you ever reached out to your abuser? If so how did it turn out?

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Fear

” The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Throughout life I have had many things which have motivated me to move forward. On the other hand I have had so many things to hold me back.  Fear being one of them, I have for the most part always remained in my comfort zone because I feared veering out  doing something different. To this day I still have many fears most of which I have planned to tackle head on.  I have always feared losing myself , feared failing, feared  having children, and  Presently, I have been afraid to post my video telling my story.

” When you lose touch with  yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”  Losing myself could mean so many things for me.  Growing up I feared I would lose myself and I’d go on to become like the men who hurt me and eventually I’d go on to ruin someone else’s life.  For so long I feared turning this way because many victims do turn into predators as well but I made a promise to myself  early on that I wouldn’t and I didn’t. I feared that I would lose my kind heart and I would become this evil person always wishing bad upon everyone, being rude but I haven’t. I feared I would turn into a delinquent, tarnishing my character, name and hurting any future chances for me to succeed, but I never took that path instead I just bottled everything up. I feared losing myself because I had seen so many people like me do so. I seen so many people lose themselves while trying to deal with something that was bigger than them. But, I kept word to myself that I would always find a better outlet for myself and I have always kept word to myself because I want to be somebody, and want to remain true to myself in the process.

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough” Becoming stuck like most of the people in my city tend to do has always been a fear of mine. I don’t want to get stuck working a job that I don’t like living in a city that I don’t want to be in. Most people I come across are always tired and unhappy. I don’t want to end up that way. I don’t want to give up on my dreams and not accomplish anything I set out to do. To me that would be failing. When it is time for me to pass away I don’t want regrets, I want to say I was glad I went ahead and did that or I knew I could do it and I’d do it all over again. Life is what you make of it and I want to live my life in a way that I can be proud of.

” Let us Sacrifice today so that our children can have a better tomorrow”. The fear of having children has always scared me. As a child my innocence was stripped away from me more than once and I still pay for the consequences of their actions to this day. I don’t want children to ever have to experience the things that I went through. Of course no parent does but I know that I won’t always be around them at every moment and I won’t be able to shield them from the people or the  troubles of the world. My greatest fear is that my future child or children comes to me telling me that someone touched them inappropriately or did anything to make them feel that trust was broken. Family, friends and strangers are all suspects when it comes to this to me. You never know who’s the bad guy until it’s too late. For that I fear having children. I want to have children and one day hope that I will but the thought of what if will always haunt me. As a precaution I have decided that I will educate my children as much as I can and hope that the people around them make the right choices.

I have decided to post my #MeToo video telling my story. on April 30th of 2018. I chose this date because for so long I have been going back and forth on whether I should or shouldn’t and decided I wont let myself down its time to tell my story. I also picked this day because April is sexual assault awareness month, the 30th is the last day  of the month and by  that time I will have everything in order so that I could do this in a manner that I want. I’m scared to post this video because it would mean me becoming vulnerable allowing everyone from family and friends to strangers into my life. Allowing people to judge my life. Allowing people in. I am also fearful because I do not know how people will react, if they will support me or hate me. I don’t know if this will lead to violence or understanding. The thought of not knowing scares me. I pray that in posting my story even if people disagree they still try to understand.

Fear is often our greatest set back because it hinders us from reaching our full potential. I have accepted my fears and am now working on ways to over come them as a whole. Fear was once my enabler now it is my motivator because if I let fear take over me, I allow myself to fail and with all I have been through failure isn’t an option. I have to succeed and be the voice to people like me, I want to be able to say ” I made it, and you can too!” What are some of your fears and how are you working towards overcoming them?