STOP TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN

Stop telling me to stay calm!

I was a child that grew up in and out of foster care. I fled from domestic violence, on a Greyhound bus in the middle of the night, found refuge in hiding places, and scrounged for pennies in alleys to help feed my brothers and sister. I found solace in school. It was one place where I felt safe.

Yes, there were bullies in school and I encountered my share. A few bloody noses and black eyes, unkind words, the usual taunting and teasing in elementary school, and an attack in the halls of my high school. These incidents did not define me. I simply found ways to distance myself from the bully. Sometimes this meant walking an extra three blocks to avoid the perpetrator or simply taking it while showing no emotion. I suppressed much of my abuse.

I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This was not due to one incident, but a culmination of many events—much of which was suppressed. With this final incident I learned a valuable lesson. Your past will eventually surface. It can’t stay bottled up forever. It is best to get help as soon as possible. Events from my childhood were used to try to destroy me.

I thought I honed my defensive skills to counter any abuse. You don’t question why you move forward, you just do it to get through the day. Moving forward isn’t easy. It’s not an option, it’s required. In order to truly move forward and cope you need valid professional help.

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