For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be someone else. The earliest memory I have, is of my 11/12 year old female cousin playing “doctor” with me while babysitting me, when I was 5 years old. I remember her touching me, then freaking out when she heard Mum and Dad’s car pull up and telling me that this is our little secret.
The earliest memory I have of being depressed is when I was about 7 years old. I can remember crying in my room and not being able to figure out why. I remember telling my dad that I felt like I didn’t belong.
I was badly bullied in primary school. I can remember being horribly mean to my friends because I wanted to be a part of the “popular” group. I wanted to be friends with the very people who had made me feel like I didn’t deserve to exist. That was the beginning for me. One of my friends from that time has told me many stories about things that I did, that I don’t even remember. Such as standing on the outside of the balcony fence of the second story and threatening to jump off because I wanted to kill myself. Why my parents were never notified is beyond me.
Fast forward to 15 years old. I don’t remember the first time I cut myself. But I do remember the worst time I did. And more importantly I can remember why. I can remember constantly feeling like I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Honestly, I still feel that way. But I’m older and wiser now.
I always judged people, so I think I assumed that they judged me too. Ninety percent of my friendships were superficial. And, still, I always wanted to be popular. By age 16 I’d managed to gain popularity, but I still wasn’t happy, so I quickly changed “friendship groups”, to the group that would essentially affect me the most in the coming years.
In Grade 11, at 17 years old, I was drinking every weekend, my self harm got worse, I had used marijuana several times, I was sexually abused (not that I admitted it) and I’m pretty sure I lost a “friend” over “sleeping with” the guy who did it because she liked him.
The night I was abused I’d downed a 4-pack of Vodka Double Blacks (so 8 standard drinks). I’d overheard the guy I was seeing at the time laughing about me “lying” to him about miscarrying his child. In hindsight, I’m not 100% positive I did but at the time I knew nothing about cycles and I had been a week late, then had a very painful and heavy period, so I assumed I had. Anyway, I decided to drink more and when a guy offered my friend and I a bong, I agreed to smoke it.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night with this guy, Cory, on top of me, kissing me. I couldn’t move or speak so when he started having sex with me, I couldn’t say no or push him off. The next morning I called a guy, Jeremy, who I truly hated and he gave me a lift home.
Not long after that I left school and started working at a pharmacy. I hated it, and was even bullied by the staff, who otherwise pretended I didn’t exist. I started sleeping with a 24-year-old (I was still 17). It wasn’t long before I stopped seeing him (particularly after downing half a bottle of vodka straight at his 24th birthday celebration) and my family decided to move to Queensland for Dad’s work. Before I moved, I had the one good relationship that came from that town, Brendan. He was a true friend and we connected strongly… Then came the day we moved. I remember using my Dad’s phone within those first nights and become “Psycho Sarah”. I must’ve called and messaged Brendan over 50 times. Needless to say, that was the end of that relationship. I started school not long after that and I started self-harming again. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as bad as it used to be. My drinking was still pretty serious, and I can remember in around April, throwing a party. I remember the beginning of the party well, however after 10 straight vodka shots (at 17 & 65kg) I don’t remember much else. The next thing I remember is my boss at the time holding my hair back while I threw up. The only other thing I have memory of is my crush at the time having sex with me in a half built house. I was in absolutely no position to consent and he lied to my face about it the following morning.
That year, for me, was full of insecurity and unhappiness. Eventually I quit school with my boyfriend (half-built-house guy), started working with Mum and moved in with my boyfriends dysfunctional family. After wasting 2 years of my life and thousands of dollars on this controlling douchebag, I finally left.
This point now, at 20 years old, is where things with my dad started to amp up. Dad has been an alcoholic my entire life. At this stage in my life, things got intense. Dad began to get more violent, he and Mum fought more and one night things got very heated. My brothers, my ex, my sister boyfriend and one of the boys’ friends were over. Dad was unhappy about something and started a fight. I thought that if I got involved and stood between them, then he wouldn’t be able to hit me. I was wrong. I was just lucky that he was drunk enough to stumble and miss my face. He blamed me for a long time for Mum kicking him out. Things haven’t exactly been easier with him since then. A few months ago he threatened suicide for the third time. He was serious. My brothers and I went over to his house. I called an ambulance. He was extremely drunk. As the ambulance and 5 police arrived, my brothers left and I was there with him alone, aside from the emergency services. Once Dad realised what was happening, he was being escorted by the police to the ambulance. And throwing insults at me. I followed emergency services to the hospital, where his Doctor informed me that I had to leave because he was making threats to my life. The next day I went in and all Dad could care about was getting back to work. He says he’s ok now but I don’t believe what he says.
Ok, so between the ages of 21 and 24, I spent years in an abusive relationship. Here’s how it began:
I met the most charming man. He worked full-time, was in to the same music that I was, and has piercings. He was a beautiful man, he was funny and laid-back. 3 months in to the relationship I fell pregnant, and things went from bad to work. I had to give up working at the time, and he didn’t like that. He forced me to book an abortion. He wouldn’t let me talk about the baby or the possibility of keeping it. His ex before me had an abortion, and he tried using the same line that convinced her, to try and convince me to kill my baby. The day before my appointment I decided I couldn’t let him make this choice for me.
Things went ok, until I was 32 weeks, when after a week long hospital stay, I had to stop working indefinitely. I was forced to stay in the home alone aside from hospital appointments because I didn’t work so I wasn’t allowed to do anything or see anyone.
When I was finally in labour enough to stay in the delivery rooms, he dropped me in to the ward and went home because he didn’t believe I was in labour.
Things from that point just got worse and worse. Over the next year and a half I wasn’t allowed to see family unless he was there, I wasn’t allowed to have any money, and what money I did get from Centrelink, he forced me to transfer in to his account immediately. It got worse and worse. If I made too much noise putting the dishes away in the kitchen, I got screamed at. If I went out during the day and didn’t close the blinds, I got screamed at. If I drank a can of Pepsi during the day, I got yelled at because I say at home “doing nothing” and he counted the cans in the box so he’d know if any were missing. When we’d fight, he’d get in to a fit of rage and hit himself in the head over, and over, and over. Everything I did was wrong, and everything he did was right, and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to leave him 5 times, before successfully leaving when Autumn was 20 months old.
And that brings us to now, or at least the most recent phase of my life. Things went well for a while. I moved in with Mum, I did a Cert 3 in Aged Care, got a job, joined and constantly went to the gym, and I was happy. Until April 2013. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease.
Once I recieved my diagnosis things changed. I couldn’t go to the gym anymore, and I was exhausted constantly. Things fell apart a little. After a year, my relationship with “the one” fell apart. I wasn’t working so money for tighter and tighter. Emotionally I’ve been a wreck.
The last year has been awful. My anxiety and depression has been unbearable, money has been impossible. My phone bill is about to get cancelled and I’m skipping payments on my personal loan. On top of things my daughters dad is constantly trying to make things difficult for me. I’ve also been diagnosed with PCOS and haven’t had a cycle in a year. I’ve dealt with the loss of a few good “friends”, I’ve dealt with HUGE serious fights with my sister who I will never be able to trust again. I’ve gone from hoping to have another baby to finding out I won’t be able to, especially on my own. I hate leaving my house, I live with my mum and my 2 brothers. My “new” car has cost me $1250 since getting it. My bank is constantly at least -$100.
All I want is to have my own life, my own place. That’s it. But it just seems impossible.