Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: “Lexi”
She’s sharing semi-anonymously bc of her psychotherapy practice. That said, she opens up in an incredibly powerful way, here. This story is long (in a good, detailed way), so I won’t add too much, other than, for someone to overcome sexual abuse at home, at the hands of a man she idolized (an experience she’d blacked out throughout her childhood bc of the pain it brought), shows how incredibly strong she is, & how she’s sharing as much as she can now, altruistically, to help others.
“I remember I started self harming at age 7, although I can’t pinpoint why. I know I’d experienced verbal & emotional abuse by my mom. However, truthfully, I can’t remember much else about my childhood.
My teenage years were filled w pain between suffering w depression, anxiety & self harm – I felt completely alone & helpless. When you suffer from abuse, everything is your fault. I can vividly remember my parents marriage going through turmoil & blaming myself as well as pretty much everything else. It was all my fault. I was considered ‘dramatic,’ ‘too sensitive,’ etc.
I eventually I turned to substances to dull my pain – I was drinking & partying. Growing up religious, I felt immense guilt for this, but I just needed a brief period of numbness. Eventually, I purposely overdosed to end it all. I was found & hospitalized. I never thought I would make it past HS but I went to college & through my darkness I graduated w a degree in psychology.
I decided to pursue a career in counseling. I thought, ‘maybe the things I went through were for a reason.’ As I entered graduate school a lot started to unfold for me. You see, a lot of my childhood was blocked from my memory. That was my brain’s way of protecting me. But, talking about painful things in graduate school, a lot starting to come up for me. I started to have flashbacks – not only of emotional & verbal abuse that I’d endured but now sexual.
This was too much now. My life turned upside down because I lived w this man. He was my idol, someone that adored me & truly something I never suspected. Looking back I see there were signs though. I see how possible it could have been – sleeping in the same bed, my constant nightmares & fear, my sadness & anger & so many other red flags.
Now, I was in denial because I needed to survive, I needed to a place to stay & truthfully I didn’t want to believe this happened. It’s hard to wrap your head around something like this. The flashback were few & far between but I felt it was real in my bones. My mood swings were all over, I was irritable, anxious, depressed, & so hurt & confused.
Just when I thought things were getting brighter. As the years went on it’s been a battle to find the right medication, right therapist & proper support. Well I’m still standing & I’m still fighting. I have now moved out & attended an intensive trauma program. I graduated two years ago & serve as a psychotherapist. I’m still in the works of processing my trauma. It’s been a lot, I’ve accomplished a lot, but I still have a long way to go.
I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. Once it came to light that what I was struggling w was actually CPTSD, my depression subsided a bit. Now it’s more about managing symptoms of CPTSD like flashbacks, nightmares & many panic attacks…as well as severe anxiety. And in the winter months I brace myself because I know seasonal depression may come.
It’s been on & off that I’ve received help. I always thought my case had been too far gone or too severe. It has only been recently that I’ve been consistently receiving help. I don’t know what I’d do w/o my support system.
Staying consistent with medications & therapy even when I don’t want to be has been key. Being truthful w my support system & teaching them about what I need has been so important, as has journaling & getting things out of my head & down on paper.
I chose to go public, yet spare many details, because I always thought I was ‘too far gone’ or ‘too severe’ of a case. At times I still feel that way. I don’t want others to feel like this. I want to open up conversation through my #SameHere🤙Story & normalize the topic of mental health.”