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Going back to Day 4- An event I can remember and when it all started.

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by sacolucci23, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. sacolucci23

    sacolucci23 Peer Supporter

    Although I came from a broken home and my mother had many dysfunctional relationships, I was generally a very happy child. I was unreserved and people knew me for my ear-to-ear smile and bold humor.

    My father remarried and had other children but I was the only child from my parent's marriage. When I started high school, it was particularly difficult for me. I didn't have any older siblings to pave the way and unfortunately, I went through a lot of bullying in the 9th grade. "Initiation" was part and parcel of entering high school and was highly distressing for those like me who didn't have so-called "protection" from their older brother and sisters whom also attended the school.

    The first day of grade 9 was quite overwhelming. The High school was a big building that housed many older girls fond of giving smutty looks and whispering hateful nothings. Being pretty, I immediately gained enemies. Those who wanted to demean me and make me scared tried to do so every single day. Friends I had gone to elementary school with had started to separate from me out of fear they, too, would be victimized.

    My stomach started to ache in the mornings, sometimes the pain was so wicked I couldn't eat breakfast. I had lost many friends and it seemed I was in the battle alone. One day, walking home from school, a boy who was a year older than me who had gone to my elementary school, threw an apple at my back. All I could do was laugh with him, even though he was laughing at me and the joke was clearly on me. What I really wanted to do was pick that apple up and whip it right at his head, knocking him unconscious. But, there seemed to be a part of me that was extremely insecure. In fact, for the first time in my life, at 13 years old, I realized I was insecure and scared to stick up for myself.

    Days went on like this until one day in homeroom, I had had enough of two girls talking nastily about me as I sat in front of them. I turned around and said, "do you have a problem? why don't you say it out loud so everyone can hear." In that moment, my fate turned around and the bullies turned into respecting aquaintances. But, I still hadn't gotten over my insecurities.

    From that year on, I developed this idea that I wasn't good enough. I started to skip school once I found things too difficult to learn and didn't spend time studying because I didn't want to miss out on being popular. So, I started smoking weed and hanging out with the people who weren't straight A students. After all, I held some rage in my heart against all those who abandoned me when I was at my low point. They turned into being "goody two shoes" and I suddenly turned into the rebel. This wasn't my initial plan. When I graduated grade 8 I had plans to do well, go to University and then to law school. My dreams were beautiful. But somehow, the idea of myself as being this wonderful person with all these possibilities turned into being a less-than-average student, who needed to be popular. There was a shift in my vision of myself.

    In grade 11, I started to smoke weed a lot. I loved it because I often felt like I could say things I wouldn't dare say when I was sober. I gained more friends and more popularity and it felt good. I could escape that boring me and be someone amazing, that everyone loved.

    Until that one day that changed my life. My friend and I decided to purchase a joint off of someone I went to elementary school with. In fact, it was the boy who threw an apple at me that day. He started selling weed. On the way back to my friend's house, we smoked it.

    In about five minutes, we were both laughing hysterically. I was having a great time until nothing seemed funny. I tried to laugh but a feeling of apprehension came over me. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. I ran to the bathroom and I looked malaise. My heart was racing, my throat was closing up and terrifying thoughts were running through my head. Next things you know, I was scared that I may die. All of these emotions and physical feelings while being high. I was having a panic attack although I didn't know it.

    I remember praying to God, thinking I was a bad person that needed to be forgiven. I was thinking about how I had somehow ended up in a living hell. My friend told me to sleep it off, but I couldn't shake the panic! It seemed as though I entered a different reality - one of fear, panic, terror. I called my aunt and told her I had inhaled cleaning products after cleaning my friend's bathroom. I was only 16 and the thought of telling my highly judgemental family what happened scared me even more than the panic attack I was having. (At the time, I didn't know I was having a panic attack. I had never heard of the phrase and had never experienced anything like this in my life before).

    This was the beginning of all my troubles. I woke up the next morning, the feeling had gone but I was not the same person as the day before.

    From that night, I realized my comparisons to right and wrong, good and evil, had a lot to do with the guilt my family used to control me. In that moment, at 16, I thought I would go to hell! Could you imagine? I am saddened that in that moment, I had no one to call who would understand me and could help me work through some emotions and fear I was feeling. Instead, I was even more scared because of how my choices would be interpreted. And this was the beginning....
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi sacolucci23,
    Reading your story, I feel tenderness toward your suffering. I also feel this tenderness in you, in your telling of this. I hope this sense of self-compassion and understanding grows in you. It is a great comfort to know that somehow, deep inside us, there is a loving presence which accepts and loves all we have experienced, and all the ways we have suffered or are suffering. In my experience, we tap into this presence by becoming more clear about our experiences, feelings, without shame or rejection. And, like in your story, grief and sadness about how things have been is often a doorway into our own loving nature. I hope this acceptance and love grows in you.
    Andy B
     

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