My Life Before Therapy
2021 is going to be the year that I share vulnerable, honest, and hidden parts of myself. And that’s scary, so why would anyone do that?
Because I want at least one person out there to know that they are not alone- your story is important. The things that happened to you are significant and real and there is hope. I hope that I can bring some of that to you this year.
Before I start on my own journey towards peace, I need to give you a little background.
I was born in 1996 to two married parents. When I was born, I had four older siblings. At this time in my life though, I have six older siblings. I’ll get to that.
I have 7 siblings: one brother and six sisters. We are all mixed, though! I’ll explain, because it’s important to my story. Bear with me!
My two oldest siblings, my brother and sister, are half-blood related to me. My older brother was 20 when I was born, and my older sister was 18. They were so much older than I was because they are from my biological mom’s previous marriage. Then there was my other two older sisters, my fully biological sisters, who were 7 and 4 when I was born.
My bio mom was 42 when I was born, and my dad was 25. My bio mom had left her previous marriage for a younger man (my dad) and they had three girls (me and my two biological sisters). So that explains my two older siblings that are half siblings. Confused yet?
When I was 2, my dad moved out. They were having problems in their marriage, and I’m still not completely sure what happened. When my dad left, my bio mom went a little crazy. This would eventually lead to my dad getting full custody of the three of us girls. I was 4 when the real craziness started happening.
We moved to another city to be near to my dad. It was just the three of us girls in the house with my bio mom, and my older two siblings were off living their own lives. The three of us were 11, 8 and 4. My dad saw us every other weekend.
It was at this time that my bio mom got into drugs. She became violent and abusive, both emotionally and physically
I don’t remember that much, as I was only 4. I do remember men coming in and out of our house. I remember watching TV and my bio mom yelling a lot.
Since there was physical abuse, CPS got called at one point, but this wasn’t the point when my dad got full custody of us.
My dad got full custody of us when my bio mom got evicted out of her rental house. The cops showed up at our house while we were there, and my bio mom tried to fight them. They took her to jail, so my dad came to pick us up.
I had spent that last year or two with yelling, cursing, strange men in my house, drug paraphernalia laying around, and living with my biological mom. And then suddenly it was done. I didn’t see my mom again until I was 7, and then not again until I was 17, and not since then.
Flash forward the next few years, and my life was much happier, but still hard at times.
My dad found who I call my mom (and that’s who I’ll be referring to as my mom in the rest of this blog) when I was 4. I was 5 when they got married. She had two daughters already, so here is the part when my two older sisters come into the picture. That made 5 girls. When I was 6 years old, my dad and (step) mom had one more baby. It was another girl. That made 6 girls total being raised together, and we are all best friends.
My parents got married in 2001 when I was 5 years old. When our parents got married, all 6 of us were under 12. Now I’m 24 and all 6 of us are adults.
Our childhood was good. We had our ups and downs just like every other family, and in some ways it was a little more difficult than most. I think the reason it was hard is because there were 6 of us, and my parents had a hard time juggling that. We had amazing Christmases and birthdays, and we lived in a big house in southern California. Everything really seemed great on the surface, but, when I was 13, my dad and step mom told us that they were splitting up. The next day, though, they told us they were going to try to make it work. The year after was tough on our family. My parents were really having to focus on their marriage, and that was hard on my sisters and I because we were still young. We had to grow up a lot that year and learn to take care of ourselves more. In retrospect, I know I’m a pretty mature person because of this time.
When I was 14, my parents separated after the year of trying to work it out. My sisters and I got scattered apart from each other. Two of us were in college, my step sister moved across the country to live with her biological dad, my little sister went with my mom a few hours away, and I had one sister living with me and my dad.
My dad had lost his job and was working in retail to make ends meet, and my sister and I lived in an apartment with him. I had to switch schools right before my 10th grade year, which was very hard because I loved my school. In this whole year, I built up a numbness to protect myself. This would be my barrier so that I wouldn’t get hurt. As the new school year approached, however, my parents began talking again.
When I turned 15, my parents decided to give it another shot. My little sister would not be so far from me anymore, and this made me very happy. It was at this time that my dad found a job opportunity in Texas. We put in our notice at our apartment, and started packing. Unfortunately, the job offer fell through. It was too late though, we already put in our notice and my dad had quit his job. With nothing else lined up, we had to move to Missouri to live with my grandparents.
I spent my sophomore year in high school there, and it was one of the hardest times in my life. I was so confused as to why I wasn’t happy. My parents got back together, I should be happy, right? I think it was this time that all the numbness that I had built started to fade. The previous two years of my life were so hard, and I suddenly felt it all crashing down on top of me. Add that in with having no friends at a new school and across the country from home, and you have a recipe for a very depressed 15 year old.
I had suicidal thoughts nearly every day. I wrote really sad poems. I had dried tears on my face every morning. I started trying to date boys to make myself feel better (though I believe that God was protecting me because I never went too far with these unhealthy relationships).
This one year in Missouri was enough for all of us, and Texas didn’t leave my parents mind. They loved it when they visited it for my dad’s previous job opportunity. So the summer that I turned 16, we moved to Texas. That summer was very lonely because school hadn’t started and I again didn’t have friends. Luckily though, my little sister and I had each other. Even though she was 6 years younger than me, we hung out and went to the pool every day.
When I started my junior year, I entered a school that was bigger than I could even imagine. I was terrified of getting lost every day. I slowly (very slowly) made a couple friends, and I found a boyfriend. By the end of my junior year, me and my boyfriend were over and since I was in a relationship the whole year, I didn’t have a lot of girl friends.
I got invited to a church from a girl at my high school who saw me crying over my breakup. I went to it once, and decided I didn’t like it. But then, 2 months later, I randomly decided to go again. And thank God I did, because it was at this church where I met my husband.
When I went again, the youth ministry was about to go on a summer camp. The pastor told me I could go on scholarship, and I was really excited. I made a lot of friends at that camp, including my husband.
I started my senior year with a bunch of new friends and feeling happy for the first time in years. I was 17 and ready to take on my last year of high school.
That year was really fun, and I grew closer to my friends. Kyle (my husband) and I were friends but didn’t really talk much. We saw each other every day though, because we were in the same group of friends. We all went to youth group together every Wednesday night, and this became my second home. I gave my life fully and wholeheartedly to Jesus at this time, and I haven’t been the same since.
I went to camp again with the church after my senior year ended. Kyle and I got put in the same group to work on painting a fence, and we talked the entire time. We laughed at the same jokes, and he painted paint on my nose. I saw him worshipping with his hands in the air when we went to group worship that night. I knew right then that he was someone really special. I was actually dating someone else at this time, and when I got home from camp, I broke up with him. Kyle and I started dating three weeks later, in the summer of 2014. I was 18 and he was 17.
We’ve been together for 6 1/2 years now, and married for 3. We still live in Texas, and so do my parents and two of my sisters. My other siblings are scattered all over the country, and one is in Canada. Even though we don’t all live close, we talk almost every day. I’m even close to my older two half-siblings, who are in their 40s now.
Kyle and I have two kids; Ezra (my son) is 2 and Harper (my daughter) is 2 months old. We bought our first house in 2020. Things are good for us, but I still don’t feel okay.
I realized recently that I have shoved things down for so many years. I think I fully “woke up” when I had my daughter, because I see so much of myself in her, it makes me think of my relationship with my biological mom. That relationship is non existent, and I get sad when I look at Harper because I wish that I had my biological mom in my life like Harper does.
The thing is, I COULD have my bio mom in my life if I wanted to. She calls all the time (she got my number from another family member). I just can’t work past the weirdness of knowing that she doesn’t know who I am at all, and I don’t know who she is. We are strangers, so how could we just randomly talk on the phone? I also harbor some resentment, and that is something I would like to work through.
So in comes my therapy. I’m calling on Monday to make my first appointment. I’m anxious to see how it goes and what progress I make in my mental health.
Currently I struggle with depression that comes in waves, and major anxiety. I sometimes feel like I have OCD, but I’m not sure. I’m hoping to learn some coping mechanisms, work through anger, work towards forgiveness, and just become more stable. I want to be the best mom and wife I can be, and I’m hoping this helps. Here goes nothing!