Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero: Lindsey Daggett, is the definition of strong.
Lindsey is the victim of intense sexual abuse for yrs on end, perpetrated by her step father. Her story get a little graphic, but it’s for the purposes of explaining just what she had to endure. And now, her perspective is incredible, as she realizes she went through these awful periods & had parts of her innocent childhood ripped from her, so she can positive impact the lives of others, by being so open. Please welcome Lindsey to the Heroes:
“Normalcy ended for me when I was six years old. My parents had a nasty divorce & they both moved on with abusive partners. My stepmother didn’t like me & harassed my mother. My mom’s boyfriend seemed like a wonderful guy: funny, childlike, a nice house by the lake, always giving me presents. However, he was sexually abusive towards me around six years old.
He would touch me, but it felt good so I didn’t realize what he was doing to me was wrong. As graphic as this is, he taught me how to actually perform sexual acts, what pornography was, & how to keep secrets.
He abused me until I was 15. When he wasn’t abusing me, he was verbally abusive towards my mother & brother. He controlled the house. When I finally resisted his touch, he started verbally hurting me as well, anything to keep his power over me. When I finally told my family what had been going on, life changed forever. I’ve become so anxious & depressed, & I struggle with ptsd.
Anxiety runs in my family, but childhood trauma was what really set it off in my teen years. Sleepless nights of insomnia, not being able to control my thoughts, I felt like I was being held under water struggling for air. Depression is also in my genes & sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed & just want to sleep my life away.
I either feel weighed down by my depression or I feel fight or flight with my anxiety…it’s hard to feel an in-between. As you can imagine, my abuse triggered ptsd. It comes & goes. Some days I let the abuse roll off my back, other days I have debilitating flashbacks. Alcoholism & drug addiction also runs in my family, but fortunately I haven’t indulged in either…it’s too risky. I also used to be a skin picker, constantly picking at flaws on my body (scabs, bug bites), as a way to try to make myself ‘perfect.’ I didn’t realize it was a form of self-harm until 2018 when I did research on it. I was clean for about seven months until having a minor relapse in 2019, but now I’m about two months clean from any skin picking.
It took me time to accept my past wouldn’t ever be changed…that I had to accept what had happened to me & that it wasn’t my fault. Most abuse victims destroy themselves by self-medicating, & some we unfortunately lose to suicide. I became determined to break that cycle & be a positive example. I don’t ever want my abuser to win, he already stole my childhood, I won’t let him have anything else. My mental health conditions are part of who I am. My brain may not be wired like most, but becoming aware & educated has made all the difference. It’s okay for me to have bad days, it’s okay for me to be vulnerable. I’m human, I’m supposed to feel.
After yet another sleepless night, I finally got on medication to take the edge off of my anxiety. I’ve been on Paxil since 2012 & it’s made a big difference. I feel like I have control over my anxiety & I sleep better at night. I walk a lot, it helps keep my anxiety at bay, it keeps me motivated on days when I feel too depressed to leave the house. To stop my skin picking, I would put Band-Aids on my wounds to stop the urge. Singing dark, raw songs has helped me connect to artists that understood what I’ve gone through – music is my best friend.
On nights when I can’t sleep, my iPod is my best friend, lulling me to sleep. Writing is my biggest outlet, & I hope to be a successful writer someday. It’s my voice to the world & it keeps me sane & gives me a sense of control, creating my own world & deciding to have happy endings.
I first went public with my struggles when I spoke at my high school about my sexual abuse. Many people came up to me & disclosed their own abuse. I’ve become an unofficial advocate helping other survivors mostly by just listening to them. Since I went public w my #SameHere story, it’s become impossible for me to be silent…I had been silent for so long. I want to save the world & maybe by reaching out & sharing my story, maybe I can. With all the pain & trauma I’ve endured, it has to have been for something – somehow I guess it fits in with my purpose in life. I survived & I’m alive for a reason.”