8/10/22 #SameHere Hero: Alexa Von Berg

Today’s SameHere Hero Story: Alexa Von Berg

My heart aches for the version of me that I have outgrown, the Alexa trapped in a domestically violent relationship at ages 13, 14, and 15. I was raped, emotionally abused, mentally abused, verbally abused, hit, manipulated, controlled, but above all, tortured. Although my horrific experience led me to a suicide attempt, self harm, the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, and major depression, I found myself. Through healing my inner child and fighting all demons, I found the girl who had been lost inside of me, a girl who has wanted to help others and spread a smile to anyone who could not find their own. While others have never had to experience my traumatic events and knew what their purpose was the second they began to grow, I had to search for mine. I had to heal parts of myself I did not know needed fixing. I had to grieve the loss of my rape miscarriage alone. I faced every defeat there was to face, but I never once let myself become defeated. 

    I was only 14 when all my friends left me. I was left with just my boyfriend, who was quick to take advantage of my weakness. I quickly fell into depression from losing my best friends. He became my only person, making me attached to him. As soon as he realized I was attached, he manipulated me into believing I needed him. He made me believe I was sick, that I was unwanted. I fell into a cycle of self harming. 

    My story is unlike any other, but it is valid. I learned it was valid through the rotation of skilled therapists. Therapists being plural, I was so lost and hurt making it hard for me to get the exact guidance I needed. The hell he put me through is a trauma I could never wish upon my evilest enemy. 

    I always get asked the same question, “Why didn’t you leave?” The answer is the same every time, I was being abused. I was trauma bonded to my rapist. He made me believe I needed him. I wish I could I explain the excruciating pain he put me through, the terror of waking up each day, the anticipation of which version of him I’d recieve. I was never seen as his girlfriend, I was his property. I was an inanimate object. 
    His voice is engrained into my head. His words replay in my head, “You are nothing.” “You can’t say ‘No’ to me, this relationship doesn’t revolve around you.” Every slur there was to call a girl, I was called. I was degraded to a point where I did not believe I had a reason to live.
    I feel his hands on me holding me down, forcing himself inside me, throwing me into the wall by my shoulders, his hands on my hands as he dragged me across his bedroom floor. I cried for him to just stop. I prayed to God every night asking him to make things be okay.
    We have been apart for barely over a year, and I still get nightmares. I take medicine to relieve the horrors I was placed through. 
June 14, 2022, I attempted suicide. There I was, Tuesday morning, 7:15, trying to hang myself. All I had ever wanted was to be okay, and he had made it so hard for me to find any peace. I am terrified to live in the body I do, and I fear every boy that comes my way, whether his intentions are good, bad, or unknown. The system failed me. My case was reported to Child Youth Services (CYS), and they never investigated it. The mental health system failed me, it was so hard for me to find the help I needed. Places shut me out, denied me, and made a suicidal child wait to receive help. 

I sit here at 652 words now having to explain how this made me, me. Me. Who I am. It all comes from what he did to me. What he put me through. The boy who can’t be named without nausea attached. The boy who cannot be seen without an instant loss of breath. He will never be a man. A man does not tell you he loves you while raping you. While hitting you. While abusing you. No man will make you rely on him just so he can feel whole. No not a man, no not even a human with a heart. Soulless boy, why did you tear me down to the point where I had nothing left but a noose on my neck?

I think of ending my life. More than most people. In the morning. In the evening. At field hockey. In school. In my dreams. Can’t say I haven’t tried. It’s a silent deep feeling. Suicide is deep within me. Something piercing each blood vessel as it runs through my veins. Something stinging each nerve as it runs through my mind. It’s there. Every time of day. Each time of day. Because suicide wants to win. When I think of him, I think of suicide. He tried killing me and to make me kill myself. He is suicide. And suicide is him. My story may fit the domestically violent cycle, but it is not familiar. It is not a story told many times. It is my unique story. My empowerment story. The story of how I survived when I was not supposed to. The story of how I beat the odds. The story of how I was stronger than the demons inside that “boy.” The story of how I met Lucifer. The story of me.  Breathe in. Breathe out. Step forward. Reach up.
You are powerful and capable. You matter. You’re loved and important. Don’t give up. Progress can always be made- you’re never alone.

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