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A girl with with a mind full of dreams, thoughts and loves.

This Is My Story.

So if you ask me how I am doing right now, I'm most likely going to say "I'm okay" or "I'm fine". I'm not sad nor am I happy with who I am. I'm just kind of.. numb and neutral. I've been trying to figure out what was wrong, but I wasn't able to find anything. My life is pretty great right now; I feel as if summer is going steadily, I'm working towards my camera.. it's just me who isn't doing so well.

This post is special and different from any other post because t's a lot more personal since I'm going to be letting it all out, and my "it" I mean all the problems that have been going through my mind since the beginning of this year and my rough past. I'm going to leave some parts out just because I am not fully ready to talk about them. Vulnerability is so important and I don't want to hide what I feel and think about inside. After all, this blog was created to showcase my life journey; ups and downs.

I'm writing this because I want to move on from this. Before reading my story, I would like to let you know that it has effected me a lot because I truly care about the people who have caused me to experience what I have. I'm not trying to show anyone how horrible they are, because I believe that they're just doing or they just did what they thought was best.

"I can hurt, she said, only by people I respect." - Mary Belogh

I'll start with my life around 4 years ago, back in Grade 8 when I first started high school. I broke down when I found out that I had to go to a different school from all my best friends, because of where I lived. At the time, it was really hard for me to make friends. I only had an exclusive small group of friends and I wasn't "popular", but that didn't matter because my friends meant everything to me and they were enough to give me so much happiness in my life. Going into a totally different school, especially into a special program (French Immersion) which had only two main feeding schools and missing the introduction day (I was at Disney World..), I immediately felt out-of-place. I mean, the kids in the program already had "groups" back in elementary school, but missing introduction day sure didn't help me at all. Anyway, not looking forward to eating lunch alone at who knows where, I forced myself to ask a girl in my gym class if I could each lunch with her. She sweetly accepted me to join her and her friends at lunch, and from then on, I felt more secure at my school.

Being in a special program holding a limited amount of people forces you to work with others, so with time, I made friends with the other frenchies. Even though life was treating me well, making my transition better every day, I wasn't really able to be myself because all I really wanted was friends so that I wouldn't feel alone. What I mean is that I would essentially please other people in order to gain friends. I actually turned out to be pretty popular in eighth and ninth grade (or not.. but definitely in my head, because I never had so many people to call "friends"). Basically, the first 2 years of high school, I didn't know what the hell I was doing and who I was. I was naive and said yes to almost anything. I really just flowed with everything. I made friends with people from other schools, I met my best and closest friend for 3 years, I was on the school dance team, I dressed mainstream which people loved.. I was just alllll that. *snaps in a Z formation* LOL

By December of 2011 (still Grade 8), I had this huge group of friends. This was the start of the first huge turning point in my life. So let's just cut it to the big situation this year. In Grade 8, I lost my family's trust. Nope, not my parents, but every.single.person. in my family. I abused the freedom my parents gave me by coming home just before dinner when I'd go to basketball games after dance practice or go out to eat. Maybe other 13 or 14-year-olds can do that, but in my family, no way. First year of high school and you're coming home late every day? Haha. You're probably wondering how I broke their trust, I mean if they trusted me when I told them I had dance practice 'n' all then they should believe me, right? Well the thing is they became worried and suspicious. My mom set my older sister up as some kind of spy at school and she probably noticed this sudden change in me where I .. started trying. I started caring about what I looked like, waking up earlier in the morning (this is when I started straightening my hair), all that. What other reason would a person be acting that way if that reason were because of a boy? Ohhhh, man. My life just started falling apart when I lost my family's trust.

I remember the summer of 2012, I was getting ready to go to a friend's house to celebrate her birthday and I was wearing shorts and a tank top. I remember hearing "Where are you going anyway?" with a tone of anger and disgust. I remember hearing "If you want to go have a baby, then go ahead! Ruin your life!" My room is right beside my parents washroom and I would hear them talking about me; slut-shaming me, talking about me doing some GROSS things. I remember having to hear that before going to sleep, probably crying myself to sleep. I was only 14-years-old. I thought I was depressed that year, but everyone seemed to be as well. I even cut myself. Nothing deep, just scratched a few times until I saw blood. Yeah, it was really sick and horrible and I didn't even know what it meant to be depressed. I had problems, everyone had problems, it was just a "thing" to be depressed. Of course I wouldn't tell anyone. They wouldn't understand.

Moving onto Grade 9. It was my sister's last year of school with me, but it turned out to be worst than the last year. My relationship with her actually perished gradually when things kept getting worse. I had faith that she would stop being nosy around my life, but eventually, I was let down and back stabbed to the point where I drew myself away from her. My younger sister (who is two years younger than me) also joined in her efforts, so I was constantly being ganged up on. This year was a continuation of what had started the year before, but stepped up a whole new level. I was traumatized from the last year, and I started seeing myself as how my family saw me, this dumb little girl who had no future because of the stupid decisions she was probably making. Yup, that was the big situation of Grade 9; ASSUMPTIONS.

I knew inside that I was not doing anything bad. My friends knew as well, but at the time, I didn't know who I was which is why I believed the judgments of my family. In fact, a few of my friends were doing bad stuff which was maybe why my mom thought I was doing bad things as well. The worst thing I did, despite all the assumptions, was coming home late, only because of dance practice. By the end of the year, when my mom picked me up from the AYCE restaurant my dance team went to after our competition, I remember her saying something like "Do you know what time it is?! It's just going to keep getting worse every year! And what is that smell? So you're putting on perfume now because you want to smell nice for boys?" I replied, "No! _____ just sprayed it because she farted!" (no joke, you know who you are, girl) then she said "Ahh yeah you always mention her. Especially those boys at the dance competition.." *nods head with disappointment* By the end of the year, I just got used to the nasty comments and judgments thrown at me. I started ignoring them and letting the words hurt me. My mental health was being killed.

The end of Grade 9 was also when I was first introduced to what a relationship with God was all about and how it's so important, which helped me so much. Other than that blessing in my life that school year, the rest was just brutal and harsh assumptions. I was slapped that year for the first time in my life. I don't think she remembers, but I do and I'll never forget it. I guess it's okay though because she said sorry and hugged me in the morning, but that's really how bad Grade 9 was for me. I got called "crazy" for crying. Actually I still do. I sometimes felt like I was mental for my family (bringing back the thoughts of depression), when really, they were the clueless ones that didn't know I was acting out BECAUSE of the way they were treating me. Pretty crazy, but I also had thoughts of suicide. I sometimes thought of jumping out my window, which isn't even that high. I never wanted to kill myself, I just wanted to hurt myself so bad that my family would show me that they actually cared. Anyways, they all thought what they were doing was right. Of course, I tried telling them.. that it bothered me how they didn't trust me, but I was still called crazy and the label of a disappointing child shone through my efforts of telling them they're wrong.

Grade 10, family problems calmed down, but it was definitely the loneliest year for me. I distanced myself from my friends for a long time this year, because I was so broken and beaten-up. With what I had to go through from the two previous years that no one knew about, I spent a lot of time alone, working on this new relationship with God and working on myself. By December 2013, I would say that I have matured and grew from the chaos that hit me hard. I became scared of my parents, my family, and I was determined to prove them that they were wrong. At school, I was way less hyped then I was the years before around everything and everyone. I felt as if people thought I was too mature for them or that I was boring, so I didn't even try letting myself in. Instead, I became isolated and independent.

For years, I never shared what has been happening between myself and my family with exceptions of a few people here and there, I just felt like like they wouldn't understand, and I think I may have been too scared to tell people as well.. until now. This is why I felt so much older than everyone else; because I experienced the worst possible version your FAMILY members could ever be to you. It was so sudden too. One day, you're special and you feel loved, and the next, you're questioned of who you are. Near the end of Grade 10, I started getting into Philosophy and Psychology, listening and watching inspiring people like Shameless Maya. I really found out who I was and who I wanted to be in Grade 10. I finally started to come out of the dark times and started seeing real hope. It was an amazing first step to recovery.

We head into Grade 11, and there's not much to say because nothing huge and dramatic has happened (compared to the years before), just me growing up. The past, however, continues to linger off me. This is my situation recently and right now. I'm now neglected at home. Sometimes, I feel like they actually care about what I tell them, but most of the time, it feels like a pat on the back, good for you feeling towards everything I do. You have two jobs now? Awesome. You got this mark? Great. That's why I am not worried about my family members reading this, because they really don't care. My best bud at home is my little brother, just because I feel like he's the only one who cares and he was too little to backstab me. Sometimes, I feel like I isolated myself so much from my family, I became so independent, managed to do things on my own, that they just don't bother to pay attention to me because they leave it to me. I honestly feel like I raised myself with the help of friends, positive influences, and God from Grade 8 until now, but mostly myself and God. It all just kind of happened, though. It was either I choose to change my life back in Grade 10, or continue going through horrible treatment without doing anything about it. It's super hard for me to restart with my family. I want to, I try to, but the memories are so strong that it makes it really difficult. People tell me to move on, but you don't even know how easy it is to say that compared to actually taking action.

On a more serious subject, the first few months of 2015, I felt sad, frustrated, confused, and lonely. It effected the who I was. It effected my ability to do homework, which is why my marks this year dropped from the years before. I couldn't do the things I love and I had no idea why. The feeling even followed me when I went to France with my school. In April, when I stopped feeling that way with the help of God, I realized that I might have been in depression. The feeling came back again in June for a month and so I started talking to one of my older friends who has been through depression before and helped me sort out my confusion.

I always avoided the thoughts of possibly being depressed because once I knew what it really was, I didn't want to know that I've been diagnosed with the very real condition. In fact, I still kind of am avoiding it. I start crying when I think about it. I don't want to find out something is seriously wrong with me, but at the same time, I kind of do so that my family would start taking me seriously. Yes I managed to get through so much almost all by myself, but I realized that I may be lacking love from my family. When I look back at what I've been through.. I feel like if I am depressed, it has just been building up for years to the real thing. I wouldn't be surprised if I was, but I also hope I am not. Because the truth is, I'm still traumatized, I'm still carrying the harsh words with me and it's still effecting me. I still feel like I can't wear certain things because I'll be shamed again. I'm still so scared. I'm going to my doctor this week though, so that is good news!

With the depressive thoughts, I also have felt guilty numerous times because I didn't want God feeling that His love and care isn't enough. I tried reading the bible more and more, I kept praying and reminding myself that His love should suffice. Unfortunately, it didn't always work. I read that a strong spiritual relationship won't always fix what may be a real mental issue and I felt a lot more comfortable in my situation. I was trying the best I could to lean on God, and I was.. I am, but sometimes, the feelings of sadness and loneliness remain planted in me.

Moving on.. I recently lost my best friend 2 months ago. They didn't die.. they just aren't in my life anymore. That was the one person who was the only one to know about all these things. Also, I had a huge fight with my mom at Disneyland, when we drove there last month. Pretty much, she's still confused with who I am and lots of bad things were said which I do not want to get into. It was so bad that it reminded me of Grade 9. Yup, that's right. I'm still working towards proving my family, especially my mom and my sister wrong.

So that is all. This is the story that led me into being who I am today.

Please don't tell me "You shouldn't be feeling this way because my problems are way worse" and please don't feel like your situations don't matter, because they do. I've heard it all and the last thing I want to feel is guilty for either being ungrateful or guilty for making others pity me. I've made it! And I'm proud of myself.

The reason I decided to share my story was because I'm just lost right now and I believe this is the start of a new journey of self-discovery. I have a chance to renew my love for myself, to rebuild relationships, but most importantly, to finally let go of the past and move forward, because I only want to move forward from here.

With big experiences comes big changes in our life. Shameless Maya's journey is what pushed me to pursue this new change in my life. It's something I'm going to make happen, something I am choosing to do. I want to be the best person I can be for myself and for others. If first I am not happy with myself then I am not yet ready to spread good vibes to people around me. Alone time is essential at this point. Don't move forward from a big experience until you are fully recovered, because you're just going to end up saying things you don't mean and doing things you know aren't good for you. I'm taking all the time I need and I'M GONNA WORK IT. I'll be posting updates and stuff about what I'm doing to recover from my chaotic past. Don't worry, I'm also going to write about more fun things like the trip to France.

One last note. Everyone has a story, everyone has problems going on, big or small, which is why you should always be nice to others! Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

I hope you are all well and that you enjoyed reading my story. It took hours to write and it is now 5:15 AM, but it's all worth it! I really needed to let this out in order for me to let go and move onto better things.

"Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give our surplus, our abundance." - Jennifer Loudon

Thank you,

Lindsey