My name is Channing and I am currently 26 years old. I have spent most of my life as a target because of instances that were completely out of my control. My parents divorced when I was 5 and to make ends meet my mother moved another woman into the house who worked with her. Everyone at school would pick on me and call my mother a lesbian. I had kids try to beat me up, but my mother was a police officer and always told me to fight back, and I always did. The teasing never stopped, but the other kids stopped trying to physically attack me. When I was 11 I developed psoriasis that was very visible and people would call me leper and no one would sit with me, and everyone thought I was contagious, and just people were horrible; kids, parents, even some teachers. As I grew up I shut down. Some of my own family seemed to treat me differently because all they saw was a sullen girl with "problems" when really the only problem I had was not being able to understand what it was about me that made me so different. I excelled on the Varsity field hockey team at school and none of my team mates ever accepted me. Always the outcast, always alone. To this day I am saddened that I don't have a solid group of friends. I have lived in the same place all my life and I virtually have no one that I can really say is my best friend. I still have hope in people, but it seems people who don't go through this never really understand or know how it makes us feel. The unnoticed death in my case was my innocence and possible future. Every mean word that stings to the core, every time I thought of suicide, every tear that sheds from abuse....each one kills you a little more inside. Who could I have been without all of that? When you are used to essentially being stomped into the ground day after day to the point when your own thoughts turn against you and you stomp thinking you are worth anything.....You are officially broken and dead inside. Today, I have finally found someone who loves me for me and is truly supportive and actually sees me; everything I could accomplish and be. He is bothered a little by the lack of self worth I have and helps me every day try to regain some of myself that I thought was gone forever. I feel blessed, and for the first time in my life, I feel that the hope I have always held so tightly may be realized in my future.
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