1/19/19 #SameHere Hero: Brooke Olsen

Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: @brookesharon_kay All I can say is wow, I am still in awe of her bravery after reading this.
The daughter of teenage parents, she was sexually abused, repeatedly, by a distant non-blood family member starting at the age of 6! Not wanting to hurt anyone in her immediate family w the news or images, she held in the trauma for 2 decades. This led to suicidal ideations & attempts, & has had a lasting impact even now, on her ability to conceive.
That said, she has taken control of her life back, is now speaking out, & will no longer allow the actions of this person to hold her down. An incredible share. So long & so much detail, I linked to it in our profile bio. A must read. Thank you for your bravery, Brooke…you’re going to help so many!
“When you’re sitting at the age of 25 w bits & pieces of your life’s history scattered among those you confided in & finally being able to let go of the entirety of your suffering, the feelings can be liberating & intimidating all at once. We try to start at the beginning, but struggle to even understand ‘the beginning.’
I wouldn’t pinpoint my struggles on my separated teenage (at the time) parents, although I do believe that’s when I first encountered anxiety; being the middle piece between a failing relationship of those trying to just do their best w what they had, naturally will trickle down & cause mental and emotional strain on a child; they did their best…none of my demons will ever be put on them although I know my mother in particular blames herself.
It’s never been her fault, it will never be her fault. I fear that I’m beginning to ramble as a defense mechanism in fear of exposing something that has been concealed for almost 20 years. The ‘beginning.’ When I was 6 years old I was sexually abused by a ‘family’ member. He was the son of my grandfather’s girlfriend. Being so young & not having a grasp on sexuality, I was told to ‘be quiet,’ to ‘just keep hiding because we are playing hide & seek,’ & ‘you don’t want them to find us, do you? then we’d lose the game.’
Of course I didn’t want them to find us. Of course we couldn’t lose the game, it’s hide and seek! I numbly followed suit & my young body was exposed. Over. & over. & over again. Each time we went to grandpa’s it was ‘hide & seek’ time behind that white leather recliner chair. I was 6 years old. As a young child I suffered from countless bladder & UTI issues; my parents never fully understanding why (I too couldn’t connect this until much later in my life).
This went on for years. I traveled through my years denying & telling myself that I was just making it up; that what happened wasn’t ‘really what happened.’ I remember my brain literally blacking out these memories until I was about 13 because that’s how heavily I was denying the events.
I developed severe anxiety paired w depression much earlier than clinically diagnosed, also something I denied chronically, or maybe I couldn’t quite understand. I could never figure out a way to tell my parents. You see I lived a life so full of not wanting to hurt anyone or make them sad, that it overshadowed my own safety & well being. The thought of telling my father what went on while he was under the same roof crushed me more than the pain I had endured. I knew his mind would race, I know the images that would run through his head; I could not & refused to be the hurt that my father would feel for the rest of his life.
But I would tell him one day. I would. I swore of it. Years passed & I remained quiet. It never seemed like ‘the right time.’ I almost told you, Dad. So many times. Thanksgiving of 2014. The day after I got engaged. The drive we took to Milwaukee. I’m so sorry I never did. I promised myself before I got married I’d tell you, but the truth is, I’m not quite sure these words can ever leave my mouth. Currently, I suffer from fertility issues & have faced numerous miscarriages; I don’t want to accept that my future has been impacted by what has happened to me, but my heart knows otherwise. He took away my childhood & he robbed me of a future w my children.
When I was in the age of dating (and being overly medicated), my self worth was reflected in those I chose to date. I found myself in countless abusive relationships; mentally, emotionally, & physically. How I was allowing myself to be treated was a direct relation to my self worth. ‘We accept the love we think we deserve.’ I wore a mask so heavy of false emotions for almost two decades being the ‘outgoing,’ ‘always smiling,’ and ‘happy’ individual that the world thought I was; inside I wanted it all to end. I was so tired of just being tired & so trapped in a mind I couldn’t escape. ‘I’m just tired’ was my go-to phrase & I’m sure my mother has heard that more times than she can count.
As I entered into college & felt like I could finally escape my personal insanity, the truth is, it couldn’t have been any worse. I entered into college as a first generation student-I was going to make something of myself; hey, maybe even be proud of myself. It was my third year of college & it was then that I decided I had enough, not once, not twice, but three times. My first two attempts were impulsive and (luckily) unsuccessful in every way possible. My third attempt was thought out & I was convinced that this was it, I was finally going to have peace. I went to class that morning & didn’t give the slightest inclination of my plans. My day went about as normal. I left class, got in my car & started driving toward the highway- my final resting place.
I got on the highway, turned the radio off & panic started to set it. Could I really do it? Could I really live the rest of my life feeling like this? I battled back & forth but the darkness won. I sped up on the highway w tears so heavy in my eyes & I let go of the wheel & just closed my eyes. Not a half of a second later my phone is on full volume ringing. I caught my breath as it was like I had been drowning & let out the biggest yell imaginable; it was my mother.
I tried to gather myself together because my mom is a saint at hearing the tones in my voice when something isn’t quite right. I picked up the phone & gave the best hello I could give. My mother, in the greatest way possible, started venting so heavily about the less than intelligent customers she had to deal with. Her rants of human stupidity saved my life; my mother’s phone call saved my life.
2015 was the last time I tried to end my existence. 2015 is the same year I ended my 10+ year experience w medication & haven’t looked back since. I have suffered but I am not alone. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can breathe being able to expose such a heavy piece of me.
I was referred to counselors from my doctor & school guidance counselor & thought things couldn’t feel much worse than they did. I sought medication because I lost complete control of my mind and thoughts. I didn’t care what the side effects were I just needed it to stop. This caused a downward spiral that led me into a deeper & darker depression.
After I studied abroad in Mexico, it was there that i decided that I wanted to be able to just feel; no matter if those feelings were negative or hurtful. My medication had shut off my ability to think, act, feel, love, & just be. I was ready to live a life of emotions as opposed to a robotic mindset. When I came home, I spoke to a therapist who suggested lifting to give my mind a break even if it was for an hour. Bodybuilding has literally saved my life & in April 2019 I am competing in my first show. My support system is incredible. My husband to be has more love than I feel like I deserve most days. He has taken every broken part of me & so gently placed me back together. I am whole because of his love.
This is the first time such a huge part of why I am the way I am, is being exposed, my #SameHere🤙 Story. I fear judgment, but even greater, I fear what my family will feel. This isn’t their fault & this isn’t mine. No one asked for any of this. My hopes are that this can become a story of hope for anyone who is so afraid to hurt their loved ones. I wish I told my family sooner. I truly believe it could have lessened my hurt. I hope people are able to look at me as a human & not a statistic. I am more than my demons, more than my past, & more than what has happened to me. I hope this can be a light on someones darkest day.”

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