Take the time to truly listen.

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My Story and Testimony

Recently I have began to see the light. Not the light as in death, but rather, the light at the end of the tunnel. But first I need to rewind and tell the entire story or at least what I remember.

I have always had abandonment issues. That probably has something to do with the fact that my biological father signed over his rights to me when I was two years old. Even though I have no idea who he is now, I have no doubt that I used to know who he was. More than likely I called him ‘daddy’. Even though him and my mom were split up, I still went over to his house with him and his new wife. But then ‘daddy’ abandoned me and my brother and moved to California. Already I had issues with men and abandonment.

I was always bullied as a child. It never failed to happen. From the early days of day care all the way through the 8th grade, I was bullied. I was abused from the time I was around 6 years old until the time I was 14 years old. I was extremely glad when my mom and dad divorced because the abuse was finally over. When I say dad I mean my mom’s husband for 12 years who adopted me and my brother, not my biological dad. I was bullied, I was abused, and I never seemed to have friends. Let’s just say my childhood wasn’t a very happy one…

Throughout my childhood I always noticed that I was sadder than the other kids and I worried much more than they ever did. When I got older and started developing severe depression, I wasn’t really surprised because those feelings weren’t new to me. I think I started seeing a shift in ‘mostly sad’ to ‘severe depression’ around the 5th or 6th grade. In the 5th grade, I was bullied nonstop. There was a group of girls in my class (about 5 or 6 of them) that would never leave me alone. I was constantly being harassed. It literally never, ever ended that entire year.

When I started middle school, I noticed a huge change in my mood and behavior. I had literally lost all of my friends and I seemed to have just given up. I gave up on school, on friends, and on life. I didn’t expect anything to ever get better. I remember that I just felt done with the world, so I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I would literally go all day at school and not speak. I would skip lunch just so I could be alone. I would plug in earphones on the bus, so I could be alone.

I think it was the second semester of 6th grade when I finally broke down. All of those bullies from the 5th grade were in my art class and believe me, if that class wasn’t a requirement, then I would have dropped it in an instant. Those girls were so mean. I remember one day I couldn’t take it anymore and I just started crying after this one girl wouldn’t leave me alone. Luckily the teacher’s assistant saw me and pulled me into the hallway and asked me what was wrong. I told her that that girl just wouldn’t leave me alone. I never had a problem from her again in that class because the teacher pulled her out of class and yelled at her.

By the 7th grade, I was tired of being alone. I ventured out to new friends again. My depression was much, much worse. Everyday I wanted to die. I got to a point where I would just fake a smile every single day, that way no one would ask me what’s wrong. Every morning before school I would put in my earphones and listen to music, it was pretty much my meditation time. I was mentally preparing myself for a day of fake smiles, fake laughs, and a fake life. At the time, I was being abused worse than I ever had been before. Most of the abuse I endured was mental/emotional, but that isn’t any less than physical or sexual abuse. Studies show that emotional abuse is actually worse than just physical or sexual abuse. Don’t get me wrong, my dad did hit me, a lot actually, but I would much rather take the physical abuse than the emotional.

I believe I was in the 7th grade the first time I cut myself. The first time I did it was more for experimental reasons than anything else and I didn’t do it again for several months. The second time I did it, I was hooked. I started doing it every time after my dad would hurt me. So pretty much I was cutting myself several times a week. I was running out of places to do it, I had cut so much. I would never cut deep, I just wanted to see blood and I wanted it to be enough for a scar. I wanted to see my emotional pain and I wanted to let off some of the pain I was feeling. I was so miserable.

At the beginning of my 8th grade year, my mom found out I was cutting. I was terrified. The next day she took me to the doctor to get on medicine and that started a long battle of med adjustment. None of the medicines were working and they were actually making me feel worse. Neither the medicines or her finding out stopped me from cutting. I was going to cut no matter what anyone did. I just found different places to do it and better ways to hide it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was starting to circle the drain.

The next few years were a jumbled up mess. I can’t tell the difference in the years because they blended in really well. I know that I was suicidal from the 6th grade till the 11th grade. At some points I was nonstop suicidal, at other times the feelings would come and go. I know that I didn’t start therapy until I was almost in the 9th grade. All I remember was it didn’t last long. Pretty much from 8th grade till the 11th grade, I was out of control.

I had tons of anxiety all of the time, I was super depressed, I had really bad mood swings, I was suicidal, and I was hurting myself. At the beginning of my 9th grade year, I started burning myself. I fell in love with the sensation. I managed to keep the burning a secret much longer because my mom and doctor just assumed the marks on my wrist was from cuts. I instantly became addicted to burning myself. After a few weeks of doing it, I was so addicted that I had to do it every night before I could fall asleep. Every time I burned myself, I would do it about 40 times in a row.

February of my 9th grade year was the first time I went to the hospital. My doctor thought it was about time to go because he found out about the burning and I was suicidal all of the time and there was no controlling my mood– none of the medicines had worked. I was in an acute psychiatric inpatient hospital for 7 days. I felt better when I left and promised I would never be back. Less than a month later, I was back. Then less than a month after that I went to another hospital. At that point, my mom decided it would be best for me to go to a long term facility.

The place I went to was nice, but it broke me. I needed to be broke though. My anxiety was so bad that I was puking everyday, I was suicidal, the depression was worse than ever, my mood swings were outrageous, I was hallucinating and having delusions,and I still hadn’t responded (well) to any medications. I learned a lot about myself at that facility. If it wasn’t for them I would have probably killed myself. They taught me social skills, they actually wouldn’t let me leave until I talked to my peers ( I never talked to anyone before I got there and I didn’t speak to anyone while I was there for 2 months.) Slowly, I started learning how to communicate with my peers again and I learned how to cope with my anxiety and depression.

For the first few months I did really good after I left there ( I was there 4.5 months). I quickly withdrew and stopped speaking to people, but my mood and anxiety were manageable. I lost my best friend almost as soon as I got out ( she didn’t die, we just had enough of each other). I was back to having no friends. I was so used to having no friends that I just didn’t care.

I never let myself hurt myself the way I did before I went into treatment. I still did it every now and then, but it was no where near as much or as often. My sophomore year is pretty much a blur. I remember that I got out of the hospital in the beginning of October, so that’s when I started school. The counselor put me in credit recovery 5 periods a day to help with my anxiety.

11th grade was by far my hardest year. I don’t deal with stress very easily. Because I have mental illness, the stress amplifies the mental illness. I literally shut down when I get stressed out. In February of Junior year I completely shut down. I had been on this one medicine forever that had never worked and I was sick of it. I decided before I went to the doctor again that I would write down my mood swings, so I could actually explain them to him. Apparently the description of the mood swings I had been having for the past 5 years was scary because he sent me to the hospital that night. He actually told me when I got out of the hospital that my mood swings were scary. The description I gave him was how my mood swings had been for YEARS, but I guess I was never able to explain it clearly enough to him.

While in the hospital for 7 days, I reached my breaking point multiple times. On the bright side, I met someone who had anxiety as bad as me. It took 5 hospital stays for me to finally find someone like me! I was so happy, me and her are still friends! 🙂 We had each other’s backs in the hospital. We were both depressed, we both had mood swings, we both had severe anxiety, and we both had ADD. I actually found out when I left the hospital that I have OCD and I was genuinely surprised.

I guess I needed that final breakdown or maybe it’s the new meds they gave me, but something finally did the trick. Yes, I still get depressed and have anxiety and mood swings and I have self-harmed a few times, but I am changed. Since the day I’ve left the hospital the final time, I have been different. I have been happy for the first time, ever.

Wait. No. I was better but I wasn’t fixed yet. I made the decision to go to church camp this year. On the third night of camp I was filled with the holy ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues! I spoke in tongues for well over two hours. I couldn’t stop laughing and singing in the spirit. That was the first time I experienced happiness. When Jesus came into my life, I was changed! I’m a completely different person now.  I am happy!

I still have my rough days, but overall I am still doing good and it has been almost 6 months since that night at church camp! I know that I am mentally ill and that will never go away, but I also know that the Lord will continue to heal me and guide me and protect me. I know that I would not be alive if it were not for Him. He has broken the chains that bounded me for years! He has done so much for me and I cannot tell it all!

This is my story. Yes, I have had some rough times over the past several years, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know that if I wouldn’t have struggled like I did, then I never would have given my life to Jesus. He made me new and I am forever grateful. I am saved. He set me free, yes He set me free! He broke the bonds of prison for me! My childhood wasn’t that great, but thanks be to the Lord, my adulthood doesn’t have to be that bad. I have a mental illness, but I also have a God that can do anything and everything. He will not leave me nor forsake me. He is always by my side. All I have to do is whisper the sweet name of Jesus and He shows up!

Thank you God for turning my life around and showing me the light! 🙂

An introduction…

Hey, my  name is Sam and I am 17 years old. I am a senior in high school.

Most of my posts are probably going to be aimed at being Pentecostal, God, or life in general. In previous blogs I’ve had I have talked about everything going on in my life. I am more than likely going to do that here too. My goal is to give insight to the Pentecostal life and to write. I love writing, it is one of the few things I am good at. I am the news/op-ed editor for my school newspaper and I am about to start running the blog for that also.

I am pretty much going to write about anything, but I am going to emphasize religion in my blogs.

If you have any questions or comments just hit me up! 🙂

p.s. I have ADD so my posts may be a little unorganized! 🙂