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I am not a statistic.

Posted 09-05-2018 at 10:32 AM by IceMaiden
Updated 09-05-2018 at 04:14 PM by IceMaiden

Warning - this was written for the September writing contest and is not a cheerful read. (But it does have a happy ending. Sort of.)

When a person is asked what their earliest memory is, it is usually something light hearted. Maybe playing with parents or older siblings. Getting up to mischief during their early years or playing with a pet. Mine are not like that. My earliest memories consist of being beaten by the one person who was supposed to love and protect me the most. One of the most vivid ones is being told she was going to kill me while pressing her hand over my mouth and nose and hitting me with her other hand, halfway up the stairs, terrified I was going to die. I was seven years old.

I wondered for years why she hated me so much, what I did wrong, why I deserved this. I still don't know the answer to the first two questions. I know the answer to the third though - I didn't. I was just a child.

I thought when she met a new romantic interest, things would start to get better but they became even worse. Not long after I was introduced to him he did unspeakable things to me sexually. I was nine years old. And not too long after that started, he decided to go all out with her and rape her one night. He was found guilty and sent to prison but home life became worse still. I often wondered if she blamed me for what had happened to her - if I had spoken up sooner maybe he wouldn't have had the chance to hurt her too.

Combine my earliest years with the fact I was shy, reserved, unhappy, untrusting and overweight due to comfort eating and I was a prime target for bullies. I couldn't escape my hell. School was a nightmare, home was even worse. Did the past influence me? Yes. Did it play a part in the decline of my mental health? I have no doubt. I had no idea how to cope with everything that I was feeling inside. I didn't trust anyone anymore. And I was hurting so much. So one night, I don't remember exactly what went through my mind, only that I decided to pick up a razor and cut myself with it. At first I was horrified. What had I done? But I soon felt a sense of calm wash over me and so I made another cut....that was the start of 12 years of self harm. Almost daily for those years I would use my arms as a canvass and hide it from the world. No one had a clue.

At home I would lock myself in my room with a razor and while the self harm gradually became worse, I was stopped being bothered and hurt by someone else. But school was still terrible. One day I decided I had had enough of the weight comments. I was going to lose the extra weight and show everyone. Only it didn't quite work out that way. I went so far with my quest to be skinny, to be "perfect", that I almost killed myself. I went days without eating, exercised for 6 hours or more a day. The weight dropped off, but I fell further down the rabbit hole. That was the start of 15 years worth of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. It wasn't pleasant.

Eventually I left school, moved out into the world on my own, though I was still struggling with my past. I had never dealt with it and it was still destroying me inside all those years later. So I continued to cut, to binge and starve, while telling everyone I was fine.

I started a relationship and after some time we discussed trying for a child. I wanted one so badly...but I was so scared. What if I messed the child up beyond belief? So we discussed some more, my fears were listened to and I was reassured and we began trying for a baby. It didn't take long until I was pregnant.

One day after an argument with my partner I went to find a razor. Even now I was still dealing with pain, anger, conflict this way. But as I placed it on my arm, I halted. I had an innocent baby inside me. My son or daughter. He or she didn't deserve a parent who couldn't look after theirself, just like I hadn't. They deserved to be loved and cared for and protected and treasured. It was like I had an epiphany. My past SUCKED. But I didn't have to repeat it. I didn't have to subject my baby to my pain and grief for everything that was stolen from me.

And for the first time...I put down the razor without hurting myself. The next decision was to eat sensibly and provide for my child. It was so difficult, so often I had to force myself to eat or I would sit crying because I was trying so hard to just eat a small yogurt and couldn't face it. But I did it.

Skip forward a few years and you now have one of the worst break ups in history. Due to violence in the relationship I had finally gathered the courage to walk away, only for him to use my past coping mechanisms against me and get my child taken away. I fought so hard to get him back. I had no one on my side. Social services were firm with their belief everything said was still happening and refused to listen to reason or evidence, until eventually the case worker assigned to the case made things so much worse. Because of her huge fuck up, it meant it took almost a year extra to get my child back. But I did it. I struggled, I had relapses, but I did it. Despite everyone's lack of belief, despite rumours and gossip and bullying, I did it. I still can't believe it sometimes.

So why do I write this? I am not an open person, I do not share my deepest wounds, my agony, or pain. I am still struggling to decide if I should go ahead and post this. Part of me wants to hit delete and pretend I never wrote this, never acknowledged it and tuck it away in my mind again. But I have come to a surprising conclusion. I might not trust easily. I might not cry easily. But I love easily. I laugh easily. And that's how I know that despite the horror I had to endure, I am not broken. I am a work in progess. I am not another statistic, or a victim. I am a survivor.

And if my story helps even one person realize they are not at fault, or they can reach out for help, or that things do get better....then me baring everything will have been worth it.
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  1. Old Comment
    nina@'s Avatar
    I am not another statistic, or a victim. I am a survivor.
    Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing. It is writings like these that make me not quit gD <3
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 10:58 AM by [email protected] nina@ is offline
  2. Old Comment
    MarvHarvey's Avatar
    Oh Icy.
    I wish I was there so I could hug you.

    As for using the name Icy - you are actually a very warm and wonderful person. Never forget that.
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 11:56 AM by MarvHarvey MarvHarvey is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Butterfly's Avatar
    You are a huge inspiration to me! You are so strong and brave and when I read this, I would never think words like broken. You are amazing! Thank you for writing this, and for sharing it.
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 12:00 PM by Butterfly Butterfly is offline
  4. Old Comment
    AbusiveMaster's Avatar
    No, you are not a statistic, you are amazing. And even though you belong on Jeremy Kyle, you are a wonderful person. I love you.
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 02:48 PM by AbusiveMaster AbusiveMaster is offline
  5. Old Comment
    marissa353's Avatar
    <3<3<3 Thank you for sharing with us so deeply. Sending hugs
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 05:07 PM by marissa353 marissa353 is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Jaro's Avatar
    You're brave for sharing and that's good too. You shouldn't dwell on the past but you can't forget it either and nor should you.
    It just shows how brave you really are for moving on in the way that you have.
    You're awesome Miss and indeed, like Miss Butterfly said, an inspiration.
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 07:58 PM by Jaro Jaro is offline
  7. Old Comment
    naked_lego's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing
    Posted 09-05-2018 at 08:10 PM by naked_lego naked_lego is offline
  8. Old Comment
    FrozenWolfGirl's Avatar
    I love you, and am SO proud of how far you've come in life. You're only just at the beginning, you'll get there
    Posted 10-02-2018 at 10:53 AM by FrozenWolfGirl FrozenWolfGirl is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Consensus's Avatar
    Just... woah.

    I have nothing to add. Thank you for sharing it. Thank you for having the courage to still be able to share it.

    Yeah, I got nothing more. Respect.
    Posted 10-10-2018 at 01:57 PM by Consensus Consensus is offline
  10. Old Comment
    IceMaiden's Avatar
    It was hard to come back to this blog for obvious reasons. But I do want to say thank you to everyone who commented here and messaged me privately.
    Posted 10-14-2018 at 02:30 PM by IceMaiden IceMaiden is offline

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