GUEST POST (*Trigger Warning* Child Abuse)

A little while after I started this blog I started talking with another blogger, Zion. I consider him to be a very good friend now, and after exchanging emails for a while I discovered that, although he is only 15 years old, he had a very challenging upbringing. A couple of days ago Zion asked me if he could write a summary of his experiences growing up, and if he could publish them here. The following is just an overview of his childhood and he chose not to talk about some aspects. I would be extremely grateful if you could show some love for this wonderful guy, I know it wasn’t easy for him to do this, so if you could give him all your support it would mean the world. Thank you.

I was born into an abusive household, the abuse wasn’t towards me, but my mom and 5 aunts. Before I was 8 months old my mom left and I was homeless for about 3 years of my life being in and out of motels, or someone’s room for rent that we would be kicked out of for not being able to pay. My mom started staying with “friends” of hers from when she was younger when I was almost 4. They were really controlling and mean to her making her do things because it was “the best choice” when it was really because they wanted her to. My biological dad wasn’t around my life until around then when I spent a grand total of 1 hour with him before he dropped off the face of the earth again.

During this time my mom met her first husband she would marry. His name was Steve. The guy was really creepy and I had just a bad feeling about him. My mom and Him would have sex all the time when I was in the room with them, and they would tell me to just look at the TV. Thankfully I did just that and didn’t see them do anything. They got married about 3 weeks before Christmas  and during their honeymoon my mom got pregnant with my sister.

Now that my they were married they moved into a apartment and that’s where my abuse started. When ever my mom wasn’t home (which was a lot because she was going to school) he would beat me for doing just about anything. I couldn’t breath without the fear of being punched or slapped or kicked. Once my sister was born it got worse, my mom started getting into the abuse. She would lock me in the bedroom for hours and only let me out to eat or for school (I was in 1st grade at this point) or when someone came over to the house. If I had to go to the bathroom I would be hit and yelled at for it and wouldn’t be allowed out for a meal, or something like that.

After less than a year they got a divorce because he cheated, so my mom, sister, and I went to a city a few hours away with her friends.  I was really far behind in school because they tried to “homeschool” me after the school questioned the bruises I was getting. The “homeschool” was really just them keeping me home all day cleaning and getting beaten. While we were living there, the abuse stopped, and her friends took really great care of me. I didn’t get locked in a room, or have the crap beat out of me, or have to do ridiculous amounts of work.

I started 2nd grade there and sadly had to leave only a few weeks into school because my mom moved on with my sisters grandparents. There I started getting treated like crap again. My sisters grandparents treated her as if she was God and me like I was the scum of the earth. After her grandpa had a crazy melt down and got super drunk, my mom moved out and we started staying with the person names heather and her hell spawn of a daughter. Her daughter was 8, and would bite, scratch, kick, yell, cuss out, and just about anything else you can think of on a daily basis. Her mom would just make excuses for her being crazy. At school (I’m now in 3rd grade) some kids would call her the Devil’s daughter because of how she would act.

I had to say with them about a year before we moved into a house with just my mom sister and I. She let her friend from when she was younger move in and his name was Brett, and he started cheating on his girlfriend with my mom. He slowly but surely started making my mom do things for him, making her parent different, and telling her the different things she was and wasn’t allowed to do. We ended up moving from that house to an apartment where Brett moved in a little later, and this is where things went downhill again. Because they were a “couple” he decided to start making the rules for is all. What would happen in a day is: he goes to work my sister and I go to school, I come home get yelled at from my mom because of her mess, she goes and smokes weed (because he also had a drug issue that he passed on to my mom), I clean the entire apartment make dinner and do my homework, do my night chores ( the entire apartment because they made it a mess again), and then stay up until 3 in the morning to finish my homework. Mind you I’m only on 5th grade at the time. Now this goes on and on for years, but ever so slowly getting worse and worse.

When I was in 7th grade they moved to a new house, and things got worse. They started drinking really hard alcohol and drugs so the screaming got worse, the fighting between them got worse, my punishments got bigger (if the stove wasn’t perfect then I would have everything I owned taken from my room and usually only half of it would get back to me), and the workload even bigger. This new house had an acre of land now so I had to take care of all of it myself, on top of the massive size of the house (4500 sq feet) and school all made life impossible. After being in the house about a year Brett started to shove me and threaten to beat me. I told people about that and when my mom and Brett found out said I lied and made this huge thing of none of that happened, then threatened that if anyone else heard of it I would be put into a  juvenile facility.

My mom left Brett and I went and stayed with my aunt and uncle (who I am now with permanently). My mom went back to him a couple of times, but I never went back. She is now homeless because he threatens to kill her and so she left, and she has a “boyfriend” from the mental hospital she went to in the last couple months because of her bipolar and other mental health issues. My sister is with her grandparents, and I haven’t seen or talked to them in almost 3 months. My sister because I don’t have a way to talk to her, and my mom because I want nothing to do with her.

I’m currently in 10th grade (for America not sure of its different around the world), and have been with my aunt and uncle for almost 6 months. They are helping me with all that in processing and dealing with like my nightmares and aggression. I’m also with my 2 cousins (5 and 1.5 years old) who are the main reasons that I work through what I went through. So as of now I’m finally out of the 15 years of abuse and in a place that is safe.

I know this is a tough read, but Zion is such an amazing person and is now starting to deal with his past. If anyone reading this wants to talk to me about this post, or if you just want to have a chat, please email me. Or if you would like to speak to Zion about his experiences, or if you have been through something similar please feel free to get in touch with him (ziondutro@gmail.com). Thank you for reading.

GUEST POST: Have Faith In The Universe – by Sean

I’ve been in touch with a lovely blogger, Sean, and I want to say a big thank you to him for allowing me to post this wonderful piece.

Hello everyone…

Let’s discuss Depression today. I’ve been in that dark place before and it’s not something I ever want to go back to, actually I’ve been there twice. Once when my mother passed away then in my Sophomore year in High school. These would have to be the hardest times in my life and I’m thankful I was able to come out of the dark cave. Let me dive deeper.

I was nine years old when I lost my Mom to Breast Cancer. It was horrific and sad, but the thing that depressed me was that, neither of my parents would be around. My father, I can only guess what he’s doing right now but anyway, I didn’t have either of my parents. I ended up living with my older sister who is great but the thing was, my mother was gone as well as my father. I fell into a depression because I felt like a burden on my older sisters. One was working and the other already had a family of her own so what was a Sean suppose to do? I remained depressed for the next two years. I never thought about killing myself but I didn’t want to be alive. I was 11 now and I was more mature. I had to grow up and come to the harsh realization that the world did not owe me anything. The universe took my mother and I had to deal with that. Once I came to terms with my mother’s passing, I got better. Things got better. For a while I had to fake my own happiness until I eventually was happy and it wasn’t until I was 13 when I realized I was finally better and my laughter and smiles were actually genuine.

It was my Sophomore year in High school and it felt like I was losing my mind. Not only were my grades sub par but I felt as if I wasn’t sleeping or enjoying myself. No matter what I did I was not happy. (Again with the theme of happiness.) I felt this way until the summer going into my junior year. During the summer I lived on a college campus as part of this program I am involved in, isolated from everything I knew was troubling me. My friends within the program helped me through this tough time. They believed they were just being my friends but little did they know, they helped me through and out of my depressed phase. Along with coming out of my depressed phase, I also grew into my own body. I used to always say I was a 9 year old in a 22 year old’s body, (I have the body of a 22 year old college football player) but I finally grew into myself. My personality evolved, I became the Sean I was born to be.

Depression can be tricky. Depending on if the issue is internal or external there are different ways of handling it. The depression with my Mom was dealt with internally, it just happened that I molded into being happy. The depression during my 10th grade year was dealt with externally. My friends helped me through it. If you’re depressed or someone you know, tell them that it gets better. TRUST ME. It does. Have faith in the universe.

Sean (forever hopeful)

Thanks again, Sean, and if anyone reading this would like to talk or would like to write a guest post please get in touch!

I avoid the elderly.

That makes me sound like an awful person, right? And it is awful, but unfortunately it’s true. If I see an elderly customer I will be polite to them, but I will finish the transaction as soon as possible. I visit elderly relatives as little as I can. And I absolutely refuse to go to funerals. Why? Because I’m terrified of death and everything that reminds me of it.

When I look at someone so fragile and tired, it just makes me so sad. I’m sure they’ve lived such a wonderful life, it’s just not fair that it has to end. I have quite a few elderly relatives. (My family seem to live forever.) I have two great nans who are still alive, but both of them are very ill, and can hardly walk or eat by themselves. For the past year I’ve made so many excuses to avoid visiting them- I’m sick, I’ve got coursework, I’m seeing friends etc. Anything I can do.

I have never been to a funeral. I want my last memories of my friends and family to be good ones, where they were alive and free and happy. I would hate my last memories of that person to be cold, and filled with sadness. But sometimes I feel so guilty too. I’ve missed out on so many of my loved one’s funerals, and although my parents haven’t said anything about it, I’m so scared they’ll think I don’t care when really it’s the opposite.

It just scares me so much that every memory I have, all my hopes and dreams and achievements will one day not matter. How fair is that?

So, what can I do? Is there any way to get over this fear? Is there anyone out there who feels this way too? I know I can’t keep going on like this forever.

Thank you for reading, and as always I encourage anyone reading this to get in touch with me if they need someone to talk to.

How to deal with being ill, like a pro.

My immune system is a piece of junk, so if someone even sneezes within a 100 mile radius of me I know I’m going to get ill! Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, but that’s fine I can handle it so I babysat as usual. But last night I just felt like crap, so tired and my throat was burning. Then when I woke up this morning (at 5am) I was not a pretty sight. So here I am, laying in bed surrounded by pillows and three blankets, coughing, sneezing, and feeling like I’m going to be sick. But the worse thing, the thing that makes me so sad, is that I don’t have enough energy to make myself a cup of tea. It’s 3pm here and I have only had one pathetic cup of tea which was begrudgingly made by my brother, and the only reason he made it is because I recorded myself saying “Please bring tea” on my phone then played it at full volume  about 300 times until he made me one. What can I say, desperate times call for desperate measures!

So here’s my top three tips on how to deal with being ill, like a pro:

  • Make sure everyone around you knows how ill you are. Cough loudly and dramatically, especially during crucial moments of people’s favourite TV shows. Call up all your friends and let them know you won’t be available today, because you are ridiculously ill, it would also be helpful to make your voice as deep and hoarse as possible and cough as much as possible during the phone call.
  • Neglect all personal hygiene. You’re ill, and the shower is so far away! Take my advice, keep a pack of wet wipes near your bed and you won’t need to shower for days, even weeks! Plus, the grosser you look (and smell) the more sympathy you get!
  • Watch DVD’s. You know those movie’s you’ve seen 1000 times, the ones where you can quote every single line? Watch them. Watch them all! So far today I have had a movie marathon consisting of Mean Girls, Mrs. Doubtfire, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and The Princess Diaries.

Good luck! And if any of you could send me some love, it would be much appreciated! Thanks for reading 🙂

Harassment on WordPress.

Yesterday I wrote a post called The British Tag, which was just a jokey post where I answer questions about my Britishness. I never thought it would lead to me be harassed.

A few minutes after I’d published my post it was rebogged. Yay! Right? So I clicked on the site who had reblogged it and that’s where I saw that the only other posts this person had were pictures of his penis and posts asking people, specifically young British teens, to text him. This made me really uncomfortable, and I didn’t want my post being linked to someone like this. I commented on the post and asked him why he posted it, and if he could take it down, and that he needs to label his content as mature because anyone could visit his site.

He then apologised, and I thought that would be the end of it. Until he sent me three comments in a row asking what I thought of his pictures, and whether I’d be impressed. I felt disgusted. I was Skyping my friend, Zack, at the time and I asked him what to do. He helped me message the guy back and basically we told him to stop. But in the time we had replied to his comment, he had already sent me four more and all of them were asking about my friends and whether my friends were girls and if I knew any teenage girls. At this point I reported him.

I reported him for a few reasons:

  1. He kept sending me explicit messages/comments on my posts. I won’t post them here but seriously, it was actually disgusting and very threatening.
  2. His blog was not labelled as mature, so anyone could go on it without verifying their age.
  3. He had no idea how old I was. I could have been a 10 year old girl for all he knew, and to send me messages asking for me to send/receive explicit images was not okay because although I am a big girl and I can handle it, there are young children on this site and they could be put in upsetting situations through this.
I am so glad I had my friend to talk me through this, because the whole situation made me feel really uncomfortable and upset. Many of you know I have had a rough past with things like this, and I have been sexually abused before. Although this was nowhere near as upsetting as my past, it still really affected me.
In the end I messaged the guy and I told him that if he didn’t stop messaging me/commenting on my posts, I would call the police, and since he had conveniently left his mobile number on the site it wouldn’t be too hard to find him. A few minutes later Zack let me know that the guy had deleted his account! We won!
However, there are still countless blogs and websites and people out there that are encouraging young people to put themselves in sexually compromising situations. So please, if any of you reading this have had something similar, or has friends who are in a similar situation, go tell someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a teacher, friend, doctor, therapist, parent, or a trusted family member. Or come tell me! Because although this story had a happy ending, I know that is very rarely the case. You do not have to do anything you are not comfortable with, and if anyone says anything or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable that is not okay. You do not have to put up with it. Even if you have had a relationship with that person, or if you are currently in a relationship with that person, or if that person is someone you trust, you still do not have to do something that makes you feel upset. And if any of you want to speak to me about this, or anything else that’s bothering you, my door (or should I say my inbox) is always open.
Thank you for reading.

Well, that really didn’t go very well…

Many of you will know I’ve been struggling lately, and my anxiety is starting to get overwhelming. I’ve been feeling stressed and have recently self harmed again and had a major panic attack, the worse one I’ve ever experienced.

My parents are aware I have anxiety and get stressed, but they don’t know the true extent and they don’t know I self harm and have panic attacks. The reason for this is that my parents are very busy people, they work full time during the week then part time during the evenings and at weekends. Then any spare time they have is either spent doing errands or sleeping. They do an incredible job of keeping our family afloat, and I have so much respect for the work they do. However, I feel as though I have no right to tell them I’m struggling because it’s not fair for me to add another burden to their load. So, for the last eight years I’ve downplayed my anxiety.

But lately, my situation has got worse and a major reason for this is my fifteen year old brother. It’s the Summer holidays so both my brother and I are off school. The Summer holidays means that I have to start babysitting my cousin from 7am-7pm one day a week, I have to tutor twice a week and I also have to start ‘tutoring’ my brother too, I still work delivering Chinese takeaway three nights a week from 5pm-10pm, and I also have to do a large portion of the housework. What does my brother have to do? Karate lessons. That’s it, that’s his only commitment. So it would make sense for him to help me with the housework, right? Nope. According to my parents, they can’t force him to do the housework so I’ll just have to do it all until he decides he wants to. This just adds to my stress because not only do I now have to do all of it by myself, it makes me feel like my parents  value my brother’s happiness over mine. All of this can get overwhelming sometimes.

I decided to speak to my dad first, and I told him I’d been feeling upset and stressed lately. Before I’d even had a chance to explain why he said this gem: “It’s probably the amount of time you spend on that pathetic blog, it’s just sad.”. First of all, ouch! This really cut deep because I’m so proud of this blog, and there’s an amazing sense of community here. I told him he’d upset me and that he should apologise, and he just said that you only say sorry when you don’t mean something, and he meant it. He then went on to say that I’m just being silly, and that I don’t have anxiety and I’m clearly just looking for attention.

I then decided to speak to my mum. Again, I started off by telling her I was feeling stressed lately. She asked me why, and I said I felt like I had a lot of responsibilities and it would help a little if my brother could share some of those. She got really defensive and basically just told me to either suck it up or just stop doing the housework then, if I was going to complain about it so much. I felt like she was being so childish. She then told me to leave.

The next morning I woke up at 6am so I could go visit my boyfriend, and they both pretended like nothing had happened! It made me feel like I was going crazy! When I came home after seeing my boyfriend, my mum came up to my room and she asked me what was wrong. Seriously. Parents. Come on! I told her nothing, and she kept repeating “Tell me” until I eventually told her they’d both upset me and I didn’t want to talk to them right now. So she left and I haven’t spoken to them since.

Perhaps I could have approached the topic differently? Or maybe I am just being silly and I do just need to get on with it? I just feel my parents could have handled this whole situation better, because now I’m not going to tell them when I’m in trouble. Why would I? If they’re not going to take my concerns seriously about little things like this, then there’s no way I’m going to talk to them about the more important things. I feel as though this has pushed us even further apart than we already are. I hate feeling like I’m the only adult here, and I hate feeling worthless. This really didn’t go very well…

Blogger Recognition Award and a HUGE thank you!

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Excuse me, WordPress? What do you think you’re doing?

Before I start my award post, I’d like to address an incident that occurred a couple of days ago. Do you see the picture above? I had what WordPress called “A spike” and it’s all thanks to this wonderful man here. I wrote a post, inspired by a post he had previously written, and you can see my post here and this man posted it to his Facebook page which you can see here. Within hours my view counter shot up from about 100 views (which is roughly what I aim for each day) to 200, then to 300, and it didn’t stop! It felt amazing to know that not only was I spreading awareness of anxiety, but so many lovely people commented and messaged me saying they’re going through the same thing and to know that I’m not alone in this was wonderful. And since writing this, my post has been seen over 1200 times!! Thank you again Chris, and thank you to everyone who read my post!

Now onto another huge thank you…

Thank you to Brighton Bipolar for the Blogger Recognition Award!

Here’s the rules:

  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you. Oh gosh, there are so many bloggers who have made me feel so welcome here and who inspire me but I’ve got to narrow it down to 15, so here goes…
  1. Aiden
  2. 21 And Sensory
  3. A Little Daydreamer
  4. Sophie Speaks Up
  5. Jasmine Honey Adams
  6. Three Hands One Heart
  7. Daydreamer 52
  8. Mon
  9. Luna
  10. Drifting Lexi
  11. Sheetal
  12. A Teenage Diary Online
  13. Everything And Nothing
  14. The Crazy Perfectionist
  15. Elm
  • Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post. Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).

How did my blog start?

My blog started because I was an invisible 17 year old girl. I had so many thoughts and opinions and ideas, but no one to listen to them. So I started talking to myself on here…And nothing happened. Nobody liked my posts or commented and  felt so defeated, and then lightning struck! People started to listen to me and it was such an incredible feeling that since I started, my blog has been viewed nearly 7000 times! So thank you, you all truly do mean the world to me.

My advice:

I’m still a complete newbie at this, I’ve only been blogging for 3 months! However, if I had to give some pieces of advice this would be it:

Network. Go like, follow, and comment on amazing blogs! Not only will you get to read some interesting posts, you’ll be making fellow bloggers happy, and it’ll help bring people to your site if they see you as a genuinely supportive person.

Write about what you love. We can tell if a blogger is passionate about what they write, and if you show emotion in your posts it just makes for a more interesting and engaging read.

Don’t blog for fame. There are millions (possibly billions) of blogs out there. The chances your blog will give you any kind of fortune or fame is slim. Blog because it makes you happy, because it’s cheaper than a therapist, because you love to write, because you get to talk to amazing people, because you have a story that just has to be told.

  • Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created if you want.
  •  Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night . That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!

Thank you again for everything, you all mean so much to me 🙂