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

Inevitable Relasp

Depression is like a drug that your body and mind have become addicted to but instead of it being some narcotic you become addicted to a feeling. The feeling of pain and sorrow. Well, at least that’s how its been for me. For the most part I manage my life to revolve around my depression. But, other times it’s as if everything is out of my control and depression takes over for a few days or a few weeks, sometimes even months. Depression hits me and it becomes hard to shake, so it sticks around and progresses until I can no longer take it and decide that I want out.

The only issue is trying to break up with depression is it’s almost impossible. There are a couple of ways to deal with depression. The first that is pushed for is medication. There are so many types of medication to choose from, but medication doesn’t always work, especially with someone who hasn’t had any treatment and depression isn’t caught early on. I’ve had depression since I was an adolescent and when I asked for help at the age of 9 I didn’t get it. At the age of 20 is when I began taking pills. I was prescribed Zoloft for my depression and it didn’t work for me. Medication made me less emotional, but didn’t help with the thoughts and feelings. It actually made them get stronger. While on zoloft the feelings and suicidal thoughts I had before hand were more pressing. At one  point I had to talk myself out of driving off a bridge. It was a thought I’d had before but never actually acted on it. It was as if the Medication had given me the courage to do What I could never do before, end my life. I didn’t like that at all, and eventually I stopped taking those pills. For me the medicine didn’t help maybe it was just the brand of pills or the fact that before 20 Id never had any help with my mental illness, either way it wasn’t for me.

Another option which was offered to me was counseling. I was fearful at first, the thought of talking to someone who I don’t even know about my life scared me. I couldn’t talk with anyone else at the time but a boyfriend and he could only help so much, so I agreed to the counseling. My first session at the office was my last at the office. I went in and the lady was really sweet and made me feel comfortable. She just asked me questions about my life and we briefly talked before she told me that she wanted to continue the sessions and keep me on the pills my doctor prescribed. After leaving there I ended up joining a network online were I could video chat with a counselor or write to them and they’d give me advice. All professionals were licensed and I chose who I wanted to speak with. One of the doctors was such a great help to me because it seemed he really listened to me and offered me a new alternative.

The alternative  I have been offered was Emdr therapy. Emdr  ( Eye movement desensitization reprocessing)  is a process that helps people with trauma. Emdr Can be done by yourself or with a professional. I never got to do the Emdr but I think I may still try. I’m unsure how effective it is but it’s worth a shot.

With all the treatments to be offered it seems they are just that a treatment not a complete fix. For me, at least I haven’t found my cure for the sunken place of depression. I wish that I could come across the answer. Until then I guess I’ll be stuck with the  doom days that seem they’ll never end. I’m still searching and willing to try something new especially if it’ll help me.

What treatments have you taken up to help cope with your depression?

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Letters from a Pedophile Pt. 3

In my previous letter to Tevrous I ended it asking him 6 questions, he answered them in this 3rd letter to me.

Jade,
Look I know I fucked up but didn’t take advantage of it I was doing what people did to me. I was too young and dumb to catch on to them . So, I know how you feel right now. See people think only women can get hurt but men can too. My little brother big cousin Eric used to rape me in the 90’s. I was so fucked up My mind was not right. I tried to get over it I was like 10 or 11 in 99 I moved back to Tennessee. So one day me Kevin and his big cousin Howard T was out having fun it was getting late so we dropped Kevin off at home. Howard t. Was like we can go to his house to get weed and I was like OK. So we go in and I can never forget it. He asked me if I needed a drink but after I downed it I passed out what he put in it I don’t know. So don’t think you are alone. I never got help because I was afraid of what people would think of me.so I took it out on you. I’m sorry for real jade. I was reading this book called longing to tell by Tricia rose read it if u think I’m lying I feel like shit if you like i can send u my book. I don’t live the street life no more I’m tired of shooting people and beating people up. That was my life because this all I believe in. I’m in the nation of Islam now I’m trying To do good in my life. If we never talk when i get home i will never let no body hurt u. I just want us to be cool. How did u get my name and number? The only reason i ask for your number is because i hate writing and I fucked my hand up beating this guy face in. But for you i will write.

1. Why did you do it? : Because I was fucked up in the head i was thinking it was right because it happened to me so i did.
2. How many people have you hurt?: If u don’t believe me only 2 people
3) Do you think you were wrong? : Yes I do look back at it yes i wish i can redo my life and make things right.
4) What have you learned from this? : To think first before i act out because lots of people can be hurt by what i do.
5) Do you think you’ll do it again? :Hell no because I know right from wrong.
6) What are your plans when you get out of prison? : To be a better son, father, brother, husband, and help my pops get this business off and ran the right way. I put all that gang bang shit behind me now.

1. How can I show you I’m a different person now?
2. I wish you would come see me so you can see the hurt in my eyes

Tevrous Bomer

My Reaction:

Reading this letter I kind of laughed to myself because this letter was very hypocritical to me. I didn’t need time to sit and think before responding to this letter at all. In his letter like most he throws out his alliance to Islam and Allah and that he wants to change. But, he then goes on to say he beat a guys face in. How does that make you changed or better in any way? He answered 6 questions that I previously asked him. Of those only 1 of them was most important to me. Question #2 How many people have you hurt? His answer was 2. I asked him questions to see if I would get the correct answer, I sent off the letter giving him the benefit of doubt and hoping that he would. Sadly, he did not. Maybe he “forgot”. I like most people know of 4 people including myself which were victimized by him. And I made sure to let him know that I knew that in my response to him.

I know that both men and women are subject to abuse. Most men don’t speak on their encounter because of fear of how people will judge them. Do I believe he was abused? Honestly, I am not sure. It wouldn’t surprise me at all but that doesn’t give him the right to continue the cycle. I hope that story wasn’t a lie too. If he was abused that helps me better understand why he did the things he did, still doesn’t make them right,

The other 5 questions I asked were merely to see where he stood on his actions and how he planned to change them. In question 5 I asked if he believed he would do it again. His answer was Hell No because he knows right from wrong. That too I believe was a lie. I say that because in previous letters he has gone to show over expression of love for me even admitting to being in love with 5-year-old me. He knows right from wrong but doesn’t know that it isn’t okay to be in love with your cousin, or to love me the way that he does. Truth is, I believe he will get parole and he will eventually hurt someone else. I think he may try to find me, because his attachment is sickening.

In question 6 I asked him what his plans were after being released from prison. His response was ;to be a better son, father, brother, husband, and help my pops get this business off and ran the right way. I put all that gang bang shit behind me now. Do I believe this?, yes and no. He may come out level-headed with the mind-set of I’m going to this and that but get out and things be totally different. If you take someone out of the environment that they are used to living in then they change and they adapt to the new environment. If he gets out and goes back to live with his father like he is planning then he won’t succeed. I know this because that is where he began abusing people and that is where they looked the other way with this behavior. They still think so highly of him, even still have his pictures up around the home. To them he didn’t deserve time for what he did. To them Tevrous should be home and no one should have anything to say about it. That way is wong and to that I disagree. I think if he does get parole he shouldn’t come back to Tennessee, he should stay in Michigan and seclude himself. Will it happen?, I don’t think so He is a pedophile and pedophilia has no cure.

In conclusion, this letter of the 3 thus far brought the least amount of emotions out of me. This letter didn’t make me cry. This letter didn’t make me sad. This letter honestly didn’t even make me angry. It just made me be like, Okay. I had merely no emotion after this letter, I read it and immediately knew what I needed and wanted to say back to him. I believe I sparked a little anger when he read my letter to him because he responded different from he did in the first 2 letters. He got  defensive asking how I got any of his information? I know I poked a few buttons by asking questions too….Moving forward I am hoping to gain more answers from him though.

To answer his 2 questions :

1. How can I show you I’m a different person now? :

My Response: He shouldn’t want to change for someone else he should want to do it for himself that is what matters. And He can’t claim he is changing and better and for Allah and still be doing things like beating people up or being okay with telling me he is in love with me or my 5-year-old self.
2. I wish you would come see me so you can see the hurt in my eyes

My response: I won’t be visiting him. After the second letter all thoughts of visiting flew out the window. His letters seem like he was reminiscing or fantasizing. At this point I don’t want him knowing what I look like right now. If he never gets out of prison, meaning his parole is shot down and his sentence is extended to exceed his life expectancy then I will visit him. If I ever visit him I definitely won’t go alone. I will take My eldest brother, whom is a sergeant in the military. He has been so supportive in this journey for me. He has already stated if I go he will go with me. So, the offer is always open. But, for right now we won’t be seeing face to face. ” To see The hurt in my eyes” That there I must say did make me laugh. I laughed because I don’t think he understands hurt. If we traded places my hurt would definitely exceed his. He doesn’t hurt because he is still reminiscing on the sick things he did and his affection for me is still sickening. I say my hurt  is greater because what he did to me as a child has affected me my entire life I am 22 years old, 22 and still don’t sleep when I am alone at night because I fear someone is coming in the middle of the night to hurt me. I am 22 and I have had depression since I was a kid because I beat myself up everyday wondering why my cousin chose to abuse me. That’s just to name a few.

The 3rd letter was simple and to the point, I’m curious to know if I steered up any more emotions from him in my last letter to him. I am sure I will find out soon, he is very quick to respond. Guess we will see how things unfold in letter number 4.

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

Chain Reaction

Every action comes with a consequence some good and some bad. We are able to control the outcome of our circumstances and have the power to correct the consequences from our own actions. But, when we are faced with consequences as a result of someone else’s doing the end result is not the same. Think before you act, because what you do can have an impact not just on you but also everyone around you. Being subjected to someone else’s wrong choices during my lifespan has left me with many unwanted side effects which have put me in uncomfortable circumstances.

According to American Counseling Association “Childhood sexual abuse has been correlated with higher levels of depression,guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, somatic concerns, anxiety, dissociation patterns, repression, denial, sexual problems, and relationship problems.” And, ” 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.” which means , “There are more than 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the united states.”42 million people walking around with consequences caused by someone else bad decision. 42 million people who may never be able to live a normal life. 42 million people subjected to predators forced to become a victim, forced to join the survivors. I am 1 of those 42 million who was left with bad side effects. I suffer or have suffered from not 1 not 2 but all of the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse listed above.

As stated in a previous blog post I have suffered from depression since the age of 9. Most days are down days for me. Even with treatment taking medication I still had down days and suicidal thoughts. Depression is by far to me the worst on the list because, its something I have never been able to completely shake. I could wake up in the morning after a good nights rest and start off happy and ready but before the day is over I sink into the funk of depression. But, like stated in my blog its grown with me and I have learned to adapt to the mood of the sinking “Big D”. It shouldn’t be that way though, I should be able to enjoy 1 day without feeling down and losing interest in the things I set out wanting to do the most. It just isn’t fair.

For so long I felt that the way I felt was my fault because I allowed those things to happen. But being a young child against a teenage boy I know there was nothing I could do. Guilt eats away at me because often times I wish I had spoken up or tried even harder to get him to stop. For a while I blamed myself for the things he had done and sometimes still do. I gave him a power over me let him strip away my innocence. I wish more would have been done.

Growing up I was always thinner than everyone around me, and I hated it. It made me feel inferior to everyone else. I tried so hard to gain weight for so long it became a obsession. Hearing everyone comment on me being under weight never helped either. Eventually I grew out of feeling my body wasn’t enough and learned to love every pound that I did have. I now love my size, my shape and everything about me physically.

I tend to suffer from great physical pain over my entire body at times. I’ve learned the cause to be fibromyalgia and depression. These can be connected to somatic symptoms. Our bodies tend to give off pain when in distress. When my mind is under stress from the depression and anxiety and many other things going on my body becomes distressed as well causing pain. Often times before my body becomes taken over I feel fine and then suddenly its as if my world is sinking and my body is under construction. Pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Depression and anxiety are like brother and sister. At times it seems they tend to work together with one another and other times they go against one another. In my most stressful moments anxiety has caused me to go into a panic mode. Before leaving for basic training I was so nervous, more nervous than I had ever been in life. Sitting over a friend’s house one day I was calm sitting and talking when someone told a joke. I  like everyone else laughed at the joke. Only difference is that they stopped laughing. I tried to stop but didn’t I laughed and laughed until I cried until I eventually passed out when I panicked and  realized I couldn’t stop. With my anxiety I also begin to worry about things that aren’t or may never even happen. I worry most about the safety of my family. It’s during those times that I message them long text messages or send pictures and check on them more frequently. It doesn’t sound like a bad thing until it begins to worry them because they begin to believe somethings wrong with me because of my actions.

Growing up whenever faced with reminders of my past I would try erase the thoughts from my mind. For a while I repressed the thoughts until I found a picture or would hear their name. I have tried dissociating things and people with the situation. When I am triggered by words or seeing something I space out and go back to those moments. Moments I wish I was able to forget.

When a cousin of mine came out and publicly admitted being abused by the same predator who attacked me I was in shock. For so long I believed no one ever find out.  I wanted to forget and get over that dark past. When my mother initially asked me I told her no. I was afraid and I didn’t want to talk about what had been done to me. By this time I was in middle school and was on verge of suppressing every bad moment and memory. I Know denial wasn’t the answer.

Growing into a young adult I have gained experience in dating, relationships and what come with them. In my relationships I have learned alot about myself over the years. I dated the same guy for 5 years, he wasn’t my first boyfriend but was my first real love. In being with him I learned that I am hard to love. I’m needy and need constant confirmation that I am enough and that they want to be around. I like to feel wanted and because of that I am often too honest. I speak on probably everything. I am an open book when it comes to love. But, I can also shutdown and shutout loved ones as well. When I am hurt no matter how big or small I shutdown. As a result my relationships with people becomes broken. I’ve had to mend many broken bridges again and again because of the way I feel at times. Because I was subjected to  unwanted actions from others the people I love the most are exposed   to my emotions which put strains on any relationship I try to form.

Sexually I have learned that I have my ups and my downs. After first losing my virginity I believed it would be more, I never received that big “omg” feeling or clingy reaction the first time. My first time was me wanting to get it over with, with someone who was a virgin just like me. I honestly wouldn’t do it again. After finding a suitable partner I learned that I enjoyed sex with him because we had an emotional connection. I learned if I am emotionally in tune with someone I am able to actually enjoy intercourse without being triggered about my past.  I also learned that partners trying to give “wake up calls” isn’t really my thing. Being touched during the night is a trigger because as a child that was what happened. I learned that at times during mid action I can lose interest because although I’m aroused a certain move or a certain look from my partner can change my mood. On the flip side I have learned that overall I love sex and the power it gives me. Sex is about connection and control shared between two people. At a point it seemed I loved it too much, but that has changed.

I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I suffer from many emotional and physical consequences because of it. I know I will never lead a normal life. I may forever suffer from depression and anxiety. My self-esteem may never be where it should. Emotionally I have mood swings that can sometimes be uncontrollable, causing me to hurt those I love. How  I am , and the things I suffer from affect the people around me. Because someone chose to betray me my life will never be “normal. I am not alone, I am just  1 of  42 million people who live with symptoms. No one should have to adjust their life and revolve it around symptoms and characteristics caused by the actions of someone else. Its time to raise awareness on sexual abuse! Its time to stop predators from preying. It’s also time to give recognition to survivors and the day-to-day things they are faced with. The effects of abuse are not easy to live with and no one should be forced to live with them. Its time to Give someone a chance to live without suffering. Break The Silence and Raise Awareness!

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Living with the enemy

“Mans worst fear is being found out”. A quote my step-father recited regularly as if his life depended on it. I guess we are going to see if that is true, is mans worst fear being found out? I guess we will find out now because, Aldrick Kyles(Drico) this post is about you. 2009 my mother introduced us to Drico as they began dating. I was hesitant at first, as stated before I’m good with figuring out who to distance myself from. Eventually he won me over, me and my two brothers. He seemed the perfect “father figure.” My mother was happy and so were all of us. We as a family decided to move back to Arizona. Drico moving along with us, him and his 2 dogs. Aldrick started off as a sweet guy but he was nice until we moved. My siblings and I soon learned he liked control.

After moving back to Arizona my family and I moved into a 2 story home in Avondale. I was in 8th grade at the time. It was the middle of summer and our air conditioning had went out, Drico spent the summer complaining. I being a young lady had started my cycle during this time and disposed of my items in a bag, that went out side. As I was taking my trash outside one-day he stopped me ripped the bag from my hand and opened it up. He then cussed me because he wanted to see what I had. He told my mother that he shouldn’t have seen that and I’ll have to figure out another way. This was only the beginning of his petty moments.

My siblings and I had a ritual of washing dishes on a set schedule. My family cooked, one night and it was my night to do the dishes. I washed all the dishes except 1, it was a pan that I left to soak. Later that night Drico came home in a rage and that night he decided to take it out on me. He came yelling saying that I needed to wash that dish and I explained to him that the food wasn’t coming up and I was leaving it to soak. Any other night we would leave dishes to soak but for some reason this night it wasn’t right. He went upstairs yelling at my mother before leaving out the house his last words were “If I leave its going to be your fault”. All over 1 dish left in the sink to soak, I don’t think so. Looking back I believe that was a test of his power to see how much power he held not over me or my siblings, but my mother. I say that because not to soon after he had left she called me into her room and asked if I wanted him to leave. I just stared at her. She then repeated the same thing he had earlier; ” If he leaves, it will be your fault”.After returning home and calming down he told me I didn’t deserve to sleep in my room. So, I gathered my cover and went to our game room and laid on the couch. He then told me I can’t sleep on his furniture or use his cover. So, I was left to sleep on the floor in an unfurnished bedroom, with no cover or pillows. For a month I did this until he felt I deserved to share my bed with my little brother. That I had earned it. This was only touching surface at what Aldrick would do. We later moved to a different home this year.

In 2010 I was beginning high school. Summer of 2010 Aldrick made a wager with me and my siblings, in order for us to all get new shoes for school we would have to do something he wanted us to do. I hate tea, it makes me sick. In order to get my 2 pair of shoes I would have to drink a glass of tea. My younger brother doesn’t eat any form of condiments on anything. In order to get shoes for school he would have to eat a tuna fish sandwich. And my older brother was made to run around the block in the nude. Humor for Drico really. We got 2 pair of shoes, ones we had no say so over. Driko picked out which shoes we could have. October of 2010 my older brother went to the Army which left me, my younger brother, mother and Aldrick. By march of 2011 my dogs had made puppies, 3 survived; white girl, Cocoa and Phoenix. Puppies were being puppies one day running around the house playing. Aldrick frustrated with this grabbed Phoenix and slung him against the wall breaking his leg. As he whined, we tried to go to help him he told us not to touch him. For hours he wined, the puppies were eventually given away to neighbors and the pound.

At this time Aldrick had begun going down a mentally abusive path. My 10-year-old brother was told on a daily basis that he was stupid. Like cats and dogs they would argue everyday until my mother intervened. In summer of 2011 my grandmother had gotten sick and my younger brother flew down to be with my dad during this time. I was volunteering at a doctor’s office so was unable to go. It was June 2011 when my mother and Aldrick had gotten into an argument. Aldrick grew a rage and began trashing the house breaking everything insight. Blood dripped from his hands as he busted glass and broke TV’s and tables. If you had walked into the home it looked like a murder scene. My mother and I sat watching as he paced back and forth holding his hand like a little child. My mother and I grabbed Gator and we left and went to the park. This was the first of many episodes we would witness from Aldrick.

Summer of 2011 my grandmother passed away and I spent the summer in Tennessee with my father. After my brother and I returned to Arizona it was as if Aldrick had turned a new leaf. He was a new man, but only when my mother was around. I don’t believe he wanted children. He had begun turning off the hot water whenever we went to shower. We were timed only 5 minute showers. He turned the hot water back on when he or my mother were showering though. Whenever my older brother came home he would sneak outside and cut the hot water on for my brother and I. We had to sneak to shower in our own home. It seemed Driko would only get worse.

One night Aldrick and my mother had an altercation and he was outraged again. She asked if he had taken his medicine. This night my younger brother would see the uglier side of him that I saw earlier that summer. This night Aldrick began yelling at the top of his lungs. He stayed up yelling until 3am ; just yelling. He paced back and forth breaking things from room to room. My mother, Brother and I locked ourselves in my brother’s bedroom. He had a bunk bed. I took the top bunk while they shared the bottom. Aldrick came banging on the door threatening to kill us, saying that he would kill us. ” I’m going to kill you with a string”. We stayed up all night long listening as he exclaimed that he didn’t need us and wanted us dead. That night was one of the scariest nights of my life because I know he meant every thing he said. He was serious. This night my brother and I decided we wanted to move away. That was not the last time that year that we were tested by this man.

Aldrick was a kind man, until he wasn’t. Aldrick was mentally abusive and unsafe to live with. I have several stories to tell involving him and I want people to know him for who he truly is. This is only a glimpse of the hell we endured under the roof with him. It may be bombshells to some but everyone isn’t who they seem to be. I tell these small stories to shine light on Domestic Violence. Many families suffer from Domestic violence and abuse daily yet for fear it isn’t spoken on. I had several moments where I should have spoken on the things that were happening in my home but I was scared of consequences. The consequences not for me but for my family. I never told anyone and as a result for years we endeared life under the rule of Aldrick. Abuse whether physical or mental is something that affects everyone. There are many People out there like Aldrick and they need to be stopped! All forms of abuse needs to be stopped.

Break The Silence!!!

( The featured image is the 1 image I have from the first night Aldrick wrecked our home).

Breaking The Silence

Growing in Depression

It was at the age of 9 I told my mother I was depressed. Her response “You don’t even know what that is”, but I did. See , I cried myself to sleep every night. Some nights I didn’t sleep at (and still don’t). My depression began at a very young age. After moving to Arizona I was no longer in a position where my abuser could get to me, I was free. Well I thought I was. Although physically he could no longer touch me, in my head he was coming in my room. When the lights went out and everyone was asleep I was up staring at the ceiling asking God “why me?” My body had adjusted to being woken up throughout the night. So every night from childhood til now I have woken up or haven’t gotten a full nights rest. When asked if I slept okay?, I always say “what’s sleep”. A joke to those greeted with my answer, but to me it’s a real question. Sleep is something I have never gotten the ability to enjoy. Sleep deprivation is like my best friend next to insomnia, and I really wish we could go our separate ways!After that occurrence of being told I wasn’t depressed due to being so young , I never brought it up anymore. I am one of those people if you don’t believe me the first time you wont believe me the second. If something so real wasn’t taken serious when I spoke on it then there was no need for me to press the issue.

As a result at the age I began doing things which put me in unsafe situations. It was a moment in which I was tired of crying and worrying. No one believed me or would. Suicidal thoughts began for me during my adolescence. At one moment I remember playing with knives and my older brother caught me. We are 4 years apart so he couldn’t help me. He told my mother and grandfather whom we lived with at the time. I remember them sitting me down and telling me no to play with knives. I don’t believe anyone knew the severity of my situation back then.

Being someone dealing with depression you never feel happy. In the moments that you want to feel and show emotion it’s as if you can’t. My dad and stepmother flew out to Arizona to spend time with me and my brother when I was in elementary school. I hadn’t seen him in years and I’m definitely a Daddy’s girl. That week they spent there would’ve been one of happiest moments as a child but, it wasn’t. I spent the week going to the zoo, the mall, movies out to eat ; getting out of school early. Things every young child loves, but I couldn’t enjoy myself, not like a child should. To me depression mentally hinders emotion. I can say in my 22 years of life I’ve never been able to truly express myself how I’d like.

Growing up like every other issue in my life I never discussed my depression with anyone. Over the years I learned to adapt. When things went wrong in my life I just prepared myself to sink within the Deep D. In 2011 my Grandmother “B” passed away from a diabetic stroke. My grandmother was my favorite person out of everyone in the world, because she never changed who she was. You walk into her home and she always greeted you with a huge hug, smile and asked how her “bugaboo” was doing, and then proceeded to tell you to fix you a plate. My grandmother wasn’t rich she was very far from it, but no matter what she always made sure me and my little brother were okay. Maybe cliché, but my dream growing up was to make it so that I could take care of her like she did me. I saw her as my second mother. So, losing her hurt very deeply, and to this day still does. I lost my Great Grandmother in march of 2011, and then my Grandmother in July of 2011. I was 15 at the time but felt as if I had lost everything. I sunk into a terrible depression that year. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, so I bottled it up.I tried telling myself that everything would be okay, but it wasn’t. At the time I was living in a broken home. As a result, I began searching for love and attention in all the wrong places and people.

In 2014, I joined the Army! In 2015 I was discharged from the army. This was something I prided myself in, something I wanted and loved. I was proud o be the 1% and having that taken away was devastating. After returning home, I put myself into a bubble. The person who left in 2014 wasn’t the same person in 2015. My depression became more severe, and the suicidal thoughts became more constant. I slept almost all day long, I didn’t want to go out and do anything with anyone(family included). I had shut myself out from the world. Again when reaching out for help, I was shot down. I tried talking about how I felt concerning my military discharge but no-one was listening. Here was when I learned that no-one had me like I did them.At this point, I stopped and began to write.

In 2015, I discussed with my doctor my habits and thoughts and feelings. As a result, she diagnosed me with Depression. This never came as a surprise to me because, I knew long ago. Each time something terrible has happened to me I haven’t spoken on it, I’ve kept it locked inside. Each time I sunk lower and lower. Every depressive episode from childhood until now has progressed from small and controlled to edgy and dangerous. I say I have grown in depression because from adolescence up until now depression has stuck with me, whether I wanted it to or not. I have learned to adapt to my depressive episodes. I used to search in the wrong places as an outlet to ease the process.Now, I search for a positive release. In my years of living with the “Big D’ I’ve learned that holding things in doesn’t help the cause. Also, that depression isn’t going anywhere. I can’t get rid of it because, it’s a part of me. It has been here with me through the good and the bad, all I can do is adapt. I’ve learned to turn my bad situations into positive vibes, and energy. When I feel the “Big D” closing in on me I do the opposite of what I’m feeling. I get up, I go out and I talk. I talk to anyone I know will listen. Depression is where I do most of my deep thinking and brainstorming. I can’t change my diagnosis but I can change how I approach it! How do you deal with your depression?

Breaking The Silence

The beggining

As a young female who has faced so many obstacles, I believe its time for me to tell my story! That is why I created this blogging site. I want to tell my story and hopefully help someone else to tell theirs. My life was never ordinary, I never got the chance to live a “normal” life. During my 22 years of living I have endured several acts of molestation by multiple family members, I have lived in an abusive home, dealt with toxic relationships and people.  I have  also battled self-love due to the belief that I wasn’t enough and would never be.

Growing up I never got to tell my story, I was afraid to. I feared opening up to anyone; so  friends were left int the dark. Those close to me who knew of my story never asked, so I never spoke on it. Not speaking on things was not the best idea. Holding everything in led me to have Anxiety. I frequently worry about everything and everyone. Holding  everything in has also led me to have very bad depression. I have not been able to show interest in the things or people who mean the most to me. Depression and Anxiety  work together one is usually triggered by the other, At times it can be Hell! I’m tired of holding onto things that are only hindering me. The longer you hold onto something the deeper it hurts, the more you worry, the more the pain lingers.

I wrote all of that to say this; to anyone with a story, a memory or just someone afraid of letting go, it inst worth losing who you are. It took me 17 years to speak on my journey and the obstacles I have faced along the way,I wish I had said something sooner. After opening up to close friends and immediate family I have felt so much better. I have felt better about myself, my life, and my past. I gained confidence, which is something I didn’t quite have before. To anyone faced with a troubling journey; past or present don’t let it hinder you. Tell your Story!!

I have found that talking about the obstacles I was faced with I gained better understanding about myself. I no longer want to be held back, I’m choosing to tell my truth, telling the stories which have made me who I am. Although they weren’t positive things they were just obstacles that I conquered! The issues I’ve faced I will be detailing in my future blog posts. I’m doing it this way because I don’t want to hide the things I have been through anymore because I know my story does not stand alone. Everyone has their own journey faced with different obstacles, I want people to not be afraid to discuss them freely.I support Breaking the Silence. This is just the beginning. I am telling my story, You should too!

Breaking The Silence

Searching for Closure

In my 22 years of life, I could never figure out why I felt the way I did. Why in what should have been my happiest moments were the exact opposite. Day in and out I have fought with the inability to feel or share like I’d wish to. I have wondered why every new memory still came with a reminder of the past. I’ve merely tried to avoid new memories, thoughts and people to suppress the pain of just remembering. I have ran from confrontation, avoided any uncomfortable situation and tried to remain under the radar for as long as possible. But, I have realized that wasn’t the answer! That was never the answer. Running doesn’t solve your problems, and definitely doesn’t make them go away. So, I decided to face my problems head on; Get answers, Get Closure,and Gain peace of mind. ‘You are strong enough to face it all, Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now”

From what I am able to recall at the age of 5 I began being molested by a cousin; Tevrous Bomer. This continued up until the age of 8 when my family and I relocated to Arizona in 2004. During the time of this abuse I never tried to tell anyone, because as a child you believe you will be faced with consequences because to you its your fault. There is one occurrence that sticks with me the most because, looking back I know I was very strong. Being so young I know there was nothing I could have done,and that he definitely wasn’t going to stop on his own.Through it all I know I was strong.

82 Dairy street was our home at the time. On this day Tevrous was left to watch My siblings, my cousins, and I. I’m unsure where our parents were but, I know Tevrous was the one left in charge since he was the eldest. The day started off ordinary without any issues,us kids watched television and played outside. It was like any normal day, until it wasn’t. It was when I was running around with my cousins that I was grabbed and placed in a room for him to return to when everyone else had returned out doors. During this moment I remember just crying, balling my eyes out until I had an idea (Not Today). I ran to my bedroom and I locked the door. I then turned my radio all the way up.I could hear him banging on the door to get in, and yelling for me to open it. I sat there with my chair facing the door, I held onto one of my teddy bears and cried praying today would not be the day.For so long it seemed as if I had won, he wouldn’t get what he wanted. I began to hear the others voices, as I turned down the music. He began to try and use my siblings so that he could get what he wanted having them to ask me to open the door. As the tears strolled down my eyes I shook my head yelled NO and I turned my music back up. For a while I held my own, I was alone in a home full of people. No one knew my reason for locking myself in my room except him, and he wasn’t letting that stop him. He used a knife to unlock my door, turned down my music and he just stared at me. He stared at me with a different look on his face, a confused look and then walked away.That Day I won. That night he didn’t touch me. I am unsure if it is because he feared that I would tell or if he felt remorse. Either way that day I won because, I was strong.

At the age of 22 I have so many obstacles in my way all relating back to my molestation. Growing up I figured if I tried to forget it would all just go away. I know now that suppressing all these memories has done nothing but hinder my progress. November 2017 I reached out to my abuser whom is now in prison. I searched for him for weeks, gathering All the information that I could. I then sent him a letter hoping to gain some closure, and some answers. It took me 17 years to speak openly on my abuse, and to face my abuser. Just reaching out and writing that letter helped me feel better, as if a weight was lifted off of me. For so long I didn’t speak on things, Now that all that I want to do. I hope that me sharing My life, My stories, and My obstacles will help others speak freely on theirs.I want to Break the Silence!