Monday, November 14, 2011

Nola's Story

 Happiness is an interesting concept and emotion. What does it take for someone to ‘become’ happy? As a person who has suffered with severe depression for 7 years, I have been in some dark places, longing to experience this ‘happiness’.
 Over this past year, at least I began injuring myself to an extent where scars are left, I have cried often, and I frequently looked like I had just rolled out of bed. I felt miserable. I felt my existence was not needed. At home, I was just an extra mouth to feed, at school, I was just another students paper to grade, and to my friends, I was either invincible and could take care of all their problems for I had no emotions, or I was an overload of emotions. The idea of just ending it all was such a beautiful thought for me. For once, I wouldn’t be just baggage, I would be valued by so many, I would be missed, and I would be wanted. Soon I became convinced that happiness was an elusive utopia in the mental mind, it did not actually exist. It was as unattainable as the stars in the night sky. I had a few plans to just end it. I would make it look like an accident so I wouldn’t cause too much guilt (but just enough so people would regret ignoring me or regret taking me for granted). Most likely though a car accident. That seemed random enough right? I don’t know exactly what triggered all my depression and stuff. Maybe it was the death of friends and family members? Or maybe the breaking up with a boyfriend of two years? Or maybe, just the fact of a chemical in balance in my brain. Whatever had started this- was only worsening with time. It was controlling my life. I sat in my room alone for hours upon hours watching TV. Isolating myself from the world. Break off relationships with people. For if you know no one, you will be hurt by no one. In this time, conflict began with my mother and I. Frustration boiled over and a majority of our relationship was demolished. However, if someone gave me the chance to go back and change everything and live a life free of depression, I would kindly refuse.
 Despite the scars, the emotional and mental pain, and the broken relationships, I have become a strong person. And through all of this, I have met the most amazing people. One person who I have become particularly close with is someone who I have known for a majority of my life, we never really talked. And by never really- well- we just never did talk. There is no way getting around that fact. We were from different sides of the track. She was the take control, and do, as I like; I was the quiet and obedient girl. However, 12 years later, we’re practically at the same place. Sharing a common love of ASL, we would go on adventures, we worked a talent show together, and- then she disappeared. 6 months later, she is back in my life- but has changed immensely. She’s become someone I don’t recognize, but I will never forget or regret the memories and fun we had, even if that’s all. I hope that we fix our relationship and can go back to what it was before she disappeared, but- it will be hard. I’m ready however to work at it. The next relationship that I have made is the polar opposite of me. Yet she has become my best friend. She has taught me many things, exposed me to a different life style, and has shown me such strength and determination through her actions. I would never give up my friendship with her, not for a million dollars. We laugh together, cry, scream, and stalk boyfriends together. She is beautiful on the inside and out, I just wish I could show her how lucky I am to have her. Lastly, there is my guardian angel. This person is difficult for me to talk about and explain fully. I can’t really describe the relationship with words- I can’t even do it with painting. I just- can’t. I wrote thank you letters, random letter, ‘whats-up-I’m-bored” letters, but however many letters I write I can’t seem to- or at least don’t feel that I fully communicate the gratitude I have for this person.  Thank you isn’t big enough. I don’t really think there is a word or phrase, which does. But my guardian angel has set an example for me.  She has shown me that you can find happiness in the darkest of nights; she has taught me that I control my life, not my depression.  I guess I could describe her as- Hm, well, I can’t really. She is someone with strength, courage, and insurmountable kindness. She is a lifesaver, someone who will listen, and the one person I trust explicitly. Without her- I’d be lost. Not only in the directional sort of way trying to find my way to TGI Fridays, but the metaphorical way as well. I would be lost in my life, without a goal, with no direction, and the wrong kind of support. These three people are main reasons I would never change my experiences that I have had so far.
The other reason is more of a personal reason. I have developed into a person with understanding, acceptance, and patience. Even if these traits are not always displayed, they’re there somewhere in me. I have faced challenges only a lucky few have. And when I say lucky few-, I’ve experienced life. I have been with the good and the bad, and from that- I know so much more, I understand people and situations so much better. I’d rather be like this than in the dark and thinking everything is fine and perfect. That people suffering was just over dramatic syndrome. That it really isn’t that big of a deal.
Through my depression, I have been stuck in my own personal hell. To me, happiness was something that was a fleeting moment when someone said something funny. Or when I saw a cute picture, or a good TV show. Worthlessness, upset, miserable, sad, angry, those were the constant emotions pulsating through my body. Happiness was a 10-minute high, which would lead you to crash hard.
However, today, the first day in what feels like a long time, I was happy all day. I have not fallen, I stand tall. Now- maybe it was the power of the heels, or the fact my hair was down. But whatever the reason. I experienced happiness today. I have not felt that in a long time. It felt good. I cannot promise that tomorrow will be the same or that in a week I will still be on this high. However, I can promise you- there is a light. Even if it lasts for a day or 5 years. Do not give up. Life is beautiful.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Emily's Story

The first think you need to know is, in general I have a very good life. A loving family, a wonderful best friend, and a life full of privileges I'm thankful for because of my hard working parents. That being said though, no one has a perfect life and everyone has their cross to bare. Mine came along in full force when I was 18, I just didn't know it.

Now flash forward to two years ago. A bright young thing (myself) starts her first year in college. Having hated high school, I was very excited to begin this new chapter in my life. I was rooming with a friend from high school, Kally, and I was going to school in a gorgeous city that I have been in love with since I was young, just a few hours away from home. Sure I cried when I left home, but once I got up to school I started to enjoy myself.

A few weeks into school though, I hit the wall, hard. I don't know what happened, but I became a wreck. I spent all of my time in my dorm room basically. And since my roommate had a new boyfriend that she spent all of her time with, I was alone a lot. I was out of contact with my best friend who was dealing with her own issues at her new school, out of state, and I didn't have a boyfriend. So I was lonely.

Then came my one and a half month relationship with Sean. We spent a ton of time together when I was home over winter break, he texted me all the time when I went back to school, called me, I loved it. But soon his life became chaotic with a new job, a new school, moving back home and the calls and text messages stopped. I felt hurt and when I tried to talk to him about it a few times, he said he couldn't change things. So I ended things, and for the first time in my life was heart broken. I spent the rest of the semester hating boys with my roommate (who was recently single as well) and feeling like I wasn't good enough.

I thought when I was home for the summer I would be happier, but I was wrong. Everything seemed too hard, I had times when I literally freaked out about small things. I wouldn't be able to breathe and I didn't understand what was wrong with me. It was at this point that my mom suggested I go see the doctor. She believed I was having problems with anxiety. Sure enough after visiting the doctor, she diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She put me on a medication and gave me a list of counselors in the area. I started seeing a counselor I really liked and by the end of the summer I felt better.

I moved into an apartment in the fall with Kally and two new roommates, Ellie and Sarah. I thought everything was going to be great. But things in my apartment got really stressful and tense really fast. We all started hiding out in our rooms all the time just to avoid each other. It became clear, quite quickly that we weren't exactly compatible as roommates. I spent as much time as a could (which really wasn't that much) hiding out at my boyfriend Jeff's apartment. I fell into a hole that fall semester farther than I ever have before. One that included me ending up in tears at our family Thanksgiving dinner for no reason. My therapist diagnosed me with both severe anxiety and almost severe depression. I had trouble getting to classes, I didn't get all of my work done, and things were really bad. I could barely get out of bed some days. 

At Thanksgiving, my doctor switched my medication and during the 3 weeks I was back at school, it definitely helped. I saw my therapist during winter break, and off and on during the spring when it was really important. I began to crawl out of my hole.

Well in May my boyfriend (who I know now really wasn't very good to me) broke up with me. But I came home for the summer and instead of letting it get me down this time, I decided it was time for a make-over. I cut and colored my hair, got a new ear piercing and got a tattoo (to symbolize the struggle I'd been through.) I started dressing in a way that's more outgoing. I'm seeing a guy friend until the end of the summer who makes me feel really good about myself. I've worked with my therapist all summer. I have an incredible apartment that I only have to share with Kally at school. And I'm actually excited for school to start.

I'm now 20 years old, and can say, I don't think I've ever felt happier in my life. I know the anxiety is always going to be there. But now I know how to deal with it. And I've never felt better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Everything's New!!

...well, not everything. Hello to everyone reading this, my name is Camille and I volunteered to be the co-host of this blog. So that is definitely new. Also, we have a new email - That way we aren't clogging anyone's personal email. I look forward to getting to read all of your stories anonymously and can't wait for the new submissions!

In conclusion - Email The Pages Between the Covers at Thanks all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just an Update

Hey everyone!
I don't know who actually follows this little thing, or who is just humoring me and clicking the link that I attacked you with. Never the less, thank you for viewing! I appreciate it and truly do believe that sharing these stories is beneficial for those writing and reading. I know in my last direct post I mentioned sending this, or showing to a select few, but from encouragement and requests from some people, I've decided to make this a more open thing. I would love it if you sent it to your friends or whatever. Everyone who has posted a story have all said that it was therapeutic for them to let it all out, (ok, maybe no those exact words, but that's the point). The stories on this blog range from being very descripitve, personal, and long, to being short and sweet. Every story is important. I am thinking about setting up a new email specifically only for this site, but I don't want to do so unless I have enough interest. Also, I'd love to have someone, (or some people) kinda co-lead this thing. I'm not really sure what to call it. Project works I guess.

Also, I won't be using every single one of the stories in the movie, (assuming the movie happens) but I still would love any stories. If you're interested in working more with this project email me at or facebook me =]

Much love,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tori's Story

I know that in many ways I am a very lucky person. I have a family that loves me, I am doing well in school, and I have everything that I need to live comfortably. But even the luckiest people have skeletons in the closet, and for me, it is the abusive relationships that I have lived through.
Abuse comes in many forms. If he doesn’t hit you, it doesn’t mean it isn’t abusive, which is a point I failed to realize until much later. But I’ll start at the beginning.
 I met Cody the very first time I stepped foot onto my brand new campus, a thousand miles away from anything I had ever known. Bowling Green State was my first choice school because it had really good programs and it was fairly close to Cleveland, without being directly in the city. It was far away from friends and family, though, which meant that for the first time ever I was completely without a support system. That is, until I started dating Cody.
He was so different from anything I had ever known, and more importantly different from the boy who had just recently become my ex. He and I decided that a long distance relationship would not work with the two of us, so despite the strong feelings we had for each other, we ended it. I knew going into college that I was not ready to date anyone who remotely reminded me of him.
Our relationship started off sweetly enough – we stayed up until four in the morning talking about ourselves and about where we were from. He was from Cleveland – a big city like me. That was quite a relief because I knew that I would have a home there if I ever wanted to go visit. Then we stopped at Walmart and grabbed come cookies to eat, and that was when we had sex for the first time. He was a virgin, I was just barely not a virgin, and so it was awkward and sweaty and amazing in the backseat of his pickup. We decided then that we should start dating.
Looking back on the beginning of the relationship, I think I started dating him because I was alone and scared. I was in love with the idea of having someone there for me, and excited about the amount of time I would get to spend now that I didn’t have parents waiting up for me to get home from dates. It was exciting, it was new, and it fit perfectly into my new life as a college student.
I remember when I stayed over the first night in his dorm. Or rather, I remember waking up in his dorm room the next morning and realizing I had spent the night. My new roommate texted me once and Cody had texted her back while I was asleep, telling her not to worry and that I had fallen asleep. I felt so happy that he made sure she didn’t worry and that he woke me up in time for my 8 am class. I had to wear the same clothes that I had worn the day before, but it was all right because no one had seen me in them.
The first time I realized that there was a problem with my relationship was when I got sick. I got a disease that causes necrotic tissue on any part of the body, and mine just happened to be near my vaginal opening. After determining that it was not a symptom of a larger underlying problem, the doctor assigned some heavy medications to treat the disease and told me that I was to refrain from having sex for the next month in order to have the necrotic ulcers fully heal so they would not get infected. It made a lot of sense to me and I agreed. Unfortunately, Cody didn’t take the doctor’s orders as seriously as I did, and that night was the first time we had sex after I told him no. For anyone reading this, THIS IS RAPE. It doesn’t matter that you are in a relationship – what matters is that you need to give your consent each and every time you have sex with someone. I said no, and it happened anyway. And it kept happening: from the time we started dating in the first week of September until winter break the third week of December, we had sex at least once a day, and most days twice. I remember days when I was so sore I could hardly walk.
I was staying over at his dorm almost every night by the time October rolled around. I would go back to my dorm to shower and change and then head back to his. We didn’t really do anything; I remember playing a lot of Viva Piñata, eating lots of junk food, and having lots of sex.  I also stopped texting friends back or returning calls, simply because I spent all my time with Cody and he was impatient while I was on the phone or texting. He also limited who I could talk to. I had one friend in particular, Dan, who Cody refused to let me talk to. Cody said that if I really loved him, I wouldn’t be talking to other men. I wanted to keep Cody in my life so badly that soon the texts to Dan stopped all together.
I can’t remember when the first fight was, but I do remember the scariest ones. The first one I remember was in October. A girl in my dorm had a birthday coming up, and she invited me to go out to dinner with the rest of the girls on my floor. I was so pleased and excited, and agreed to meet up with her on October 29th so we could carpool. That day, at a little after four, I told Cody I was meeting up with the girls in a couple hours, and he got really upset. He started asking if I was cheating on him and why I hadn’t mentioned the party before, and was also upset that he was not invited (as this was a girls only get together). Then he started yelling and saying that I wasn’t allowed to go, at which point I felt truly unsafe and tried to leave. I got up and opened the door, intending to leave, but Cody slammed the door shut and pinned me in between his arms and the door, yelling in my face. I was crying and screaming, begging him to let me leave. I remember screaming “Please Cody just let me go!” I have no idea how I got out of that situation, but I do remember running out of the dorm and taking the stairs to the next floor down, in case he came out of his room while I was waiting for the elevator. I didn’t go back that night to his dorm, and my roommate was really sweet about it. She sat up talking to me about what happened, and helped me sort it out even though she barely knew me. She asked if I was always happy, and I had to answer no. I tried defending him, but I felt like she saw right through my lies.
Then there were roses. A dozen white roses waiting for me when I got out of Marching band practice. He really did love me.
He was also not afraid to get in a fight with other people around, a fact he made perfectly clear at a football game against our biggest rival, the Toledo Rockets. Our band was sitting in the student section, so the Rocket band could sit in our usual spot away from the drunken Falcon fans who may try to hurt them. Cody came up the bleachers to where I was sitting, complaining that band was taking up too much of my time. Then the yelling started. Thankfully it was loud in the stadium, so not a whole lot of people knew what was going on, but the band sure did. Cody started insulting me, and one of the boys in my section stood up for me. I think he offered to switch spots with me so I wasn’t sitting near Cody, and Cody screamed “shut up you fag!!” I remember having a sinking feeling, because I knew that Cody now thought I was cheating on him with the boy from the band, despite the fact that I was spending every waking minute with him; I’d even been skipping classes to be with him.
When winter break rolled around, I was so happy to get away from all the stress. But Cody stressed me out more than anything academic, and I couldn’t relax completely. My grandparents’ house has very little cell service, and Cody freaked out every time he couldn’t get ahold of me, which made for a lot of tears when I returned to my own house. It got so bad that I had trouble sleeping, and I cried the entire week before I was supposed to go back. I even begged my parents to let me stay home and not return to school. I wanted to stay as far away from Cody as possible, but they both just hugged me and told me to be strong.
I realized that I didn’t need to have someone in my life like Cody, and broke up with him the first week of class in January. It was not without tears and of course yelling. He even bought me a cantaloupe because that is one of my favorite fruits in an attempt to win me back. We went on a walk in an attempt to smooth out the breakup, and it ended with me running towards my dorm as fast as I could with Cody yelling at me “you stupid bitch, I hope you get hit by a truck!”
I am not going to pretend that I was able to bounce back from this relationship as soon as I realized that he emotionally abused me. But I am proud to say that I know now what real “grown up” relationships are supposed to be like. I’m with someone now that loves me for who I am, and I plan to stay with him. He’s never called me names, never yelled, and never prevented me from leaving. This is what love should be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sophie's Story

Dumbledore sure knew what he was talking about. Love is the most powerful magic in the world. And of all the magic I have ever witnessed, love has been the greatest. 

I was born on a snowy October morning in Anchorage, Alaska. And, let me tell you, October is not too early to be snowing if you’re that far up north. My parents are two of the most beautiful people I have ever met, to this day. Their beauty is so vast and substantial that sometimes I can see it glowing – radiating from their bodies – shimmering around them like starlight. Their beauty draws people towards them; it lights the way for others, giving them a path to follow. My parent’s beauty comes from the love they have for each other. The more love they share, the more beauty shines through. Though, sometimes, when my parent’s beauty is at its greatest, it can even scare people away.

Love can be scary. That’s why it’s so much easier to hate.

Even with such beautiful, loving parents, I have had to learn about love all on my own. Seriously, who doesn’t like love? Personally, I’ve always believed love brings true happiness. But it isn’t always easy to survive in this world of pessimists when you think that way. For me, love has always been greater than just romance. It’s the greatest thing this world has to offer – so why not share as much of it as you can? Yeah, yeah, that’s a great idea . . . as long as you are not starting 6th grade. 6th grade was the biggest reality check I ever had to face. I went into middle school with as much innocence and starry-eyed dreams as you can imagine. I was so blissfully unaware that, at first, I didn’t even notice when people tried to hurt me. I mean, who would want to hurt little old me?

Apparently, a lot of people.

And, after a while, they got their wish. I got hurt. More than hurt, I got maimed – in the most gory, morbid, gruesome way. These people around me, my peers and fellow schoolmates, broke my heart. I felt so wounded and naïve and foolish that my only hope was invisibility. So invisibility is what I became. By 7th grade I was the human equivalent of a “timid little mouse” as my mother so lovingly called it. I would literally go through days where I didn’t speak a word. Life was hard, it was lonely, I felt dreadful, and, worst of all, I had closed my heart to love because I didn’t want to get hurt again.

7th grade was also the year I first read Twilight (and no matter how much I rue the day I first set eyes on those books – I still find myself comparing boys I date to Edward). During that time my heart and I lived in an alternate reality. Only inside that book was I able to feel again. Inside that book I could once again be the starry-eyed optimist I once was, inside that book I could feel love. Yet, no matter how well those silly Twilight books protected me from the pain and suffering of the world, I had to face reality some time.

Reality hit in the most peculiar – yet oddly perfect – way possible, as it often does. I was a freshman in high school, the epitome of my hell. Life in the real world was so brutal and unforgiving at that time that I would have to come home and take naps after school so my body could deal with the stress. The best parts of the day were the bus rides home when I could curl up in the lumpy brown bus seats, open up Twilight, and travel back into my favorite world, my decidedly “real” world.

A friend of mine rode the bus with me. Her name was Dawn and I liked talking to her because she reminded me of my parents. She was kind of a hippy, to put it bluntly, and my parents are kind of hippies, too (I was rocked to sleep listening to The Grateful Dead, for gosh sakes). Sometimes Dawn would bring her boyfriend on the bus. Her boyfriend was an attractive guy – though, at the time, I only had eyes for book characters – with a pair of the most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen. They were a terrible beauty – they scared the hell out of me. Sam was his name and when he and Dawn rode the bus I would always talk to them. I connected to these two rather out-of-place people because they understood me like no body else could. Sam and Dawn knew what it was like being poor in a rich community; they knew what it was like not liking pop music and not wearing the right clothes. They were just like me! But with one glaring difference: they didn’t feel bad about it. 

The most vivid recollection I have of Dawn’s boyfriend, Sam, was one day on the bus when we were discussing music. Sam and I were discussing a musician we both liked and after I finished speaking Sam just stared at me. He stared at me with those terrifyingly beautiful green eyes, half a smile playing across his lips. I’m pretty sure, at that moment, I gulped. He saw right through me with that gaze of his, penetrating my soul, reading the emotions that played through my heart like a scholar reads a nursery rhyme (in other words, very easily). Sam eyed me as though I was a piece of candy, and I knew there was something bawdy going on behind his gaze . . . Ladies and gentlemen, this is also known as “undressing someone with your eyes”. And, oh my gawd, did it freak me out.

I remember days, after that experience on the bus, I would sit around contemplating whether or not I should tell Dawn her boyfriend had looked at me like that. At that time in my life I almost felt like I had been taken advantage of by Sam. It had only taken his gaze to send the defenses I had built up for myself to go flying. Now I understand that it was my own fears that had caused me freak out so much. My fear of love, of getting hurt, of getting my heart broken, caused me to see the intensity and passion in Sam’s eyes as a threat. Only through a look, Sam had forced me to become aware of myself. He had forced me to look at myself honestly. And I really didn’t want to look at myself honestly. Although, I can pretty surely attest that Sam still has the same killer gaze, I realize now that it was my own fear of reality that caused me to feel so intimidated by him.

I ended up leaving high school for a special state-funded school program that I got into. It was a good decision because it gave me time to look back at public school and realize how important those experiences were for me. Though high school did end up forcing me into reclusion and generally took away my ability to feel, in the end I’m thankful because it also taught me how important love is. Sam, and his crazy-yet-beautiful eyes, reminded me of reality and forced me to face my fears of love. After that experience I was finally able to recall the importance of love and I began a search for love in my real life – not just in book world.

Love is scary, but it’s also the most powerful magic this world has to offer.

You may be wondering if I ever talked to Sam again. Three years later I was able to contact him on facebook (now single . . . wink, wink). It’s been a pretty crazy trip since then and I am definitely not the same person I was in my freshmen year of high school. But what’s really important is not just that I have changed, but the journey I went through to get here. All I can wish for now is that I have many more journeys in my future. Maybe, even, a few of them will involve Sam, as well . . .

Ryan's Story

When I was six years old, I was on track to be what I thought was the best athlete in the world. I played soccer, tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, I swam a little bit and I really wanted to join some sort of track and field. I was pretty good at everything I played, and my coaches, mom and dad were all very proud of me. Right as I was turning seven, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Slowly but surely I quit every sport I played. Some diabetics can make it work. For whatever reason, I couldn't. By the time I was 10 I was done with every sport, and now, looking back, it's as if I never played them. I'm completely athletically incompetent. Around the age of eight, I found theater. I knew it was a good alternative and a good omen when I auditioned for my first professional show and got in. I performed flawlessly until the age of 15, sometimes without even a week's break because theaters kept calling me. Right before I turned 15, I was diagnosed with my second roadblock called dysphonia, a vocal conditions up there in severity with nodes. I was told there was a slight chance I'd never sing again. Much like with diabetes and sports, theater moved to the background and I was suddenly far more interested in things like becoming a doctor, then a lawyer, then an English teacher. These thoughts pushed theater out of my mind, and I ended up applying to schools to be an English teacher, refusing to apply at any theater schools. During the fall of my senior year, after being accepted at the University of Minnesota, I decided I should use my talents as a singer and actor to apply for some music scholarships. I sent a tape to a scholarship program called "YoungArts" hoping to maybe get a small merit scholarship. I was very surprised when instead I was called and awarded with an all expenses paid trip to Miami to work with professional actors and hone my craft. It was there that I realized I gave up to easily on everything. I could have stuck with sports if I really tried, and I could pursue my dreams as a performing artist if I wasn't too busy being scared. Since then I've been awarded on a national level twice, and have performed internationally. I'm going to the University of Minnesota as a Theater major and plan to pursue my art.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kathryn's Story

Growing up was not easy for me. Most of my childhood memories are not your typical happy-go-lucky, fun, fantastic memories that most people have. Most of my memories are full of turmoil and fighting. I can still hear the screaming wars my parents would have back and forth for hours on end even when my older brother and I were in the same room.

Third grade was the first time they told us they were getting divorced… It tore me apart from the inside out. My father began packing his things and looking for somewhere else to live. I knew that I was going to become one of “those kids”. You know the kids who had to travel between homes and explain their broken selves to the world. I was ashamed of the thought of being one of those kids. I couldn’t stand to think about it. So no one ever knew. I never told a single friend about it and that worried my parents. They sent me to a shrink for the first time when I was 8 years old… I was terrified of the idea of some stranger trying to get into my head and I still am to this day.

She tried to talk to me and tell me that speaking my mind was good for me and that holding in my feelings was not. I didn’t say a single word that day because it hurt too much to talk about. The two people in the whole world who loved me enough to die for me were leaving each other… my sense of security and trust vanished into nothing.

At least until they called the whole thing off…

They decided they could “work it out” and that things would be okay. So I suffered in pain for months and months for a “just kidding” divorce. It could be a children’s story… the parents who cried divorce. But of course how could a story with that title have a happy ending?

It doesn’t.

            The next few years went by and things seemed to be alright. My memories from this time are far more enjoyable to think about yet they are still scattered with pain and fighting. By the time high school came around things were getting bad again. My older brother left for college the year I went into high school. So there I was, alone, with my ever feuding parents. I didn’t know how to handle the pain anymore. I was 14 and lost beyond all reason. My brother was my savior, my light, my hope, my everything and now he was 6 hours away. I remember crying myself to sleep every night for month and months listening to songs that reminded me of him and trying to make things seem like they would turn out alright.

But of course things weren’t alright. They would never be alright.

            I woke up many mornings for school to the sound of my parents screaming. They became my new alarm clock. I can still hear my mom yelling “Kathryn, Kathryn! Call the cops! Your son of a bitch father has me cornered!” When I ran out of my bedroom my dads rage had over powered my mother and he towered over her looking violently down at her. Mom grabbed anything she could to defend herself. This time it was a knife. She pulled it on him and threatened to stab him if he didn’t “back the fuck off.” I screamed and begged them to stop, tears streaming down my face the entire time. Here they were in a fight that could be life or death and I was yelling at the top of my lungs but no one could even hear me. I was hopeless. I was ready for it all to be over.

            That’s when the cutting began. It started off as nothing serious, small cuts here and there that lined my arms but would be gone before I knew it. But as my pain grew so did my cutting. Looking down at my arms I could barely see unwounded or unscathed flesh. I became quickly addicted to the rush of pain and the quick relief that I felt when I saw my own blood trickle down my arm. But the relief never lasted longer enough. There were days that I would sit in my room for hours playing with razors and cutting and getting my hands on anything sharp that could possibly harm me. I was looking for hope in my wrists. I was dead inside and starting to show it on the outside.

            I knew that my dad wasn’t being faithful. I could feel it and it was rather clear to me that he couldn’t give a shit about my mother any longer. He would come in at 3 in the morning almost every night, never giving an explanation of his whereabouts. When finally I saw something that was not meant for me to see. I was on our family computer and when I got on an email to my dad from some women named “Christina” was open for the world to see as if he wanted to get caught. I read it and immediately felt immense hatred for that man and for the woman whom I had never met. The email read:

Gary, I’m still very uncomfortable with the idea that your wife is still living in your house. She shouldn’t be. –Christina”

            I was sick. Sick to my stomach with loathing of this woman who was trying to tare apart what little hope I had left for any sort of real family. I hated her. More then I had ever hated anything in my life. I wanted her dead and I would have done so myself had I been given the opportunity. I could no longer look at my father with any sort of respect. I could not un-know what I had just discovered even though I tried with all of my might to get those heart breaking words to stop running around in my head. I was consumed with grief and hurt for what was once my family.

            After four long months of being alone with the people I called family, Matt finally came home for winter break. I couldn’t have been more elated to see him. He had come just in time for the blow up. I had told him what had been happening with our parents but nothing about my secret addiction.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

Imagine if you will, the most uncomfortable moment you have ever experienced. Now multiply it by 15. That is the level of uncomfortable we all felt on Christmas Eve 2007.

We all knew in our hearts what was coming. It was the large white elephant in the room that no one would acknowledge. We sat for two painfully awkward hours trying to be cheery and trying to keep on our happy faces while opening presents and trying to enjoy the Holiday. When my mom tried to give my dad the present that she had ordered him months ago he looked at her in disgust and got up from the living room and drove off. We all went to bed that night with sad hearts on what was suppose to be the happiest day of the year.

I will never forget the setting of Christmas morning 2007. The shittiest Christmas ever. When I woke up my father was still not home. My mom and brother sat in the guest room on the bed with heavy saddened faces. I walked into the room knowing full well what I was about to hear but trying not to believe it.

“Merry Christmas Kathryn,” my mom said trying to be strong. I sat next to her and she held me as she gently whispered “I’m sorry Kathryn, but this time it’s happening. Your father and I are getting a divorce.”

Any sort of hope I had left for my family was destroyed in those words. My world came crashing down on top of me and I was helpless to do anything about it. I sat in her arms and we cried together trying to comfort one another with little success. Even now as I write this four years later I can still feel my heart breaking.

The next morning my mom left to be with her family in her time of pain and my dad finally came back home. He never once said a word about what my mother had told us. He just continued on as if nothing had changed.

I will never forget the next few days after Christmas. My father and brother had never seen eye to eye and often fought about the smallest things. I don’t even remember what caused the fight that almost took my life but I can remember the pain of it. I was in my room when I heard them start to fight. I walked into the living room expecting the fight to die down once I entered but I was wrong. It only grew with harsh words being thrown back and forth to injure the opponent in any way possible. I screamed at them begging them to stop and to remember why they were fighting and who they were hurting but they wouldn’t.

If I thought my life was completely hopeless before I was wrong. The two most important men in my life were trying to kill each other with words. Finally I ran off crying and I locked myself in the bathroom screaming trying to drown out the sounds of the war taking place in my living room. I grabbed the closest razor and the self inflicted blood bath began. I screamed and sliced my wrists open over and over until I couldn’t find more space to do so. So I moved onto my legs and ankles cutting and crying and wishing it could all just be over. That night was the first time I seriously considered killing myself. I was in so much pain and I couldn’t handle it any longer. I cried so hard for so long that I started getting physically ill. I threw up into the toilet but I couldn’t stop crying even while trying to compose myself. I had been crying for so long that I lost track of time and the fight had still continued. Finally I heard my brother yell:

“You don’t even realize what you’ve done to her! You’ve completely destroyed her! This isn’t even a home anymore, it’s a battle field!”

“Then get the fuck out of my house!!” I heard screamed in reply from my now drunk father.

And then I heard it.

A slap echoed through the now silent house. Then the door slammed and all was quit except the small cries I heard coming from my brother. I couldn’t move. I could feel myself getting sick again as the reality of what had just happened came to me. My dad had finally hit him. He hit my brother. Hard. With all his anger. I heard Matt stand up and run down stairs. I was done. I was ready to cut one last time for it all to be over. I could hardly see through my tears anymore while I searched for my razor in silence. Before I could find it there was a pounding on the bathroom door. Someone was trying to get in and I feared for my life it would be my dad coming to hit me as he had just hit Matt. But luckily it wasn’t him.

I heard his sad gentle voice through the door begging me to let him in. I quickly covered every part of me that was bleeding and I opened the door. Mat had a suitcase in his hand and tears falling from his face. He grabbed onto me and held me tight crying like I had never seen him cry before. He didn’t let go for what felt like hours as we sat in the bathroom crying together. He finally let me go but grabbed onto my face, looked me straight in the eye and simply said:

“Kathryn, you’re all I have left now. I love you.”

I knew I couldn’t take myself from him after all he had been through. My brother saved me from taking myself away that night and I knew I could never hurt him like that. He kissed my forehead and told me he had to leave but he would call me in the morning and come and get me. I was afraid that my dad would be back and that he would take out his left over anger on me. When he was angry it consumed him and he hardly even knew himself anymore. It was more terrifying then anything I could think of.

After Matt had left I sat alone in the house, waiting. Not totally sure what I was waiting for but I simply waited. I didn’t sleep that night and my father didn’t come home for days afterward. I finally realized I was safe when Matt came back for me and my mom came home from her trip. We never told her what had happened that night and I don’t expect we ever will.

When my father finally came home he was sober and apologetic. Any sympathy I once had for him was long gone. Once winter break was over and Matt was back at school nothing really changed. I still woke up to constant fighting and my dad still stayed out all hours of the night. My mom was going to be the one to move out this time. For the next 6 months she searched for a house. She couldn’t find one and that made my life even more unbearable. Living with my divorced parents in the same house from December 25, 2007 until June 6, 2008 was the hardest experience I’ve ever had. I was mostly alone for that 6 months and I have never felt more angry, depressed, or afraid in my entire life. I came home to an empty house every day not knowing when either parent would be home if they would even come home that night. I spent many nights alone and unsure of where my parents were still cutting myself in grief. The tension when they were even near each other was so extreme you could cut it in half with a knife. I heard empty threats from my father to my mother almost daily about her “getting the hell out of his house.” Those months were hard. I dealt with many things that no 14 year old girl should have to deal with.
Finally a little light of hope came in the form of a new house. June 6, 2008 my mom finally moved out for good and my new life as “one of those kids” began.

As I started to grow use to the idea of being a “divorced” kid I grew accustom to all the baggage that came with it. Going from house to house every week, spending time with both parents and meeting their new “significant others” every now and then. Its been hard to watch these two people try and form new relationships with others. I watched them be in love with each other and I watched them fall out of love with each other very hard. I knew I couldn’t let that happen to me.

Because of all that I had endured I suffered a lot with trust issues. Trusting new friends and possibly boyfriends did not come easy to me. Then I met him. Stuart. One of the kindest souls I had ever met. I felt immediately attached to him and I couldn’t help but fall head over heals in love with the boy. I grew to trust him so much more quickly then I ever thought I could. He understood me and helped me gain the confidence I had lost over the years. I felt safe and secure with him. Of course high school relationships can’t last forever. And this one was not excused from that rule. We were together for almost a year when he broke it to me. One week before our 1 year anniversary he told me he wasn’t in love with me any more.

I felt hallow. Cold. Devastated. Empty…

I had let this boy come into my life and make it wonderful. And then I watched him destroy everything that he had helped me build. As pathetic as it is, I had lost my sense of self all over again. My heart was ripped out of my body and smashed, then handed back to me to try and be put together once more. It was like trying to put together a 2000 piece puzzle with missing and broken pieces in the dark. The healing process from my first real relationship heart break took much longer then I had hoped.

It still stings remembering the hurt he caused me. After a year of going without a single cutting incident it started again. He hated it and I knew that. I used it against him because I wanted him to hurt as badly as I did. And I knew that my cutting would hurt him. I did it out of spite and pain and loss. I didn’t speak with him for months and slowly the love I had for him slipped away. How could I have gone from loving him, to hating him, to loathing him, to missing him all in a matter of a few months? My emotions we’re off the charts. I became impulsive and wild. I partied and didn’t care what I was doing to myself.

 I was hurt and I had rediscovered my destructive ways of dealing. Soon enough I realized how stupid he was and more so how stupid I was. I knew that cutting myself would not bring him back to me but the addiction had come back. I knew it needed to end once and for all. A revelation came over me and finally I realized that I was worth so much more then he would ever know and if he didn’t see it, then fuck him. It felt good to say that to myself. I hadn’t been so confident in who I was for a long time. I was finally over what he had done to me and I was bringing myself back to who I was before I had met him.

I have suffered through somethings that most people could not imagine. I’ve watched my family crumble from underneath me, I’ve felt the sting of loss and the pain of heartbreak but it has formed the person I am now. I am a survivor of self-injury and I am still on my way to recovering from this addiction. It is a daily process. I have been clean from cutting now for almost 7 months and it feels amazing to be set free from such a dark place. I am a broken girl with a broken family. I am lost but that does not mean I am a lost cause. I am stronger today because of the hell hole that I endured. I survived, and that’s what matters. 

Grace's Story

I have always been known to be dramatic. Those who know me best often will say dramatic is an understatement. When I asked friends for words that describe me, I have gotten dramatic (of course), Caring, Kind, a complete Bitch, and Compassionate. All of which have been true on many occasions.  It is funny though how words which “describe you” really only begin to scratch the surface of who you are. I have been a happy camper. Through my childhood, all was good and right in the world. Sure, it was hard when my dad traveled for his job, but it did not bother me too much. I had my babies, what more did I need?  When I was older however, and we moved to a different state, things got back into a normal routine of Dad always being home for dinner. It was typical. Life was good for this 9 year old. I had the best friends in the whole world on my block, and everything was perfect.

This is the part of the story when things go sour, like all stories do.

Around 5th grade, I began having extreme anxiety attacks. No one knew what was causing them. I was only in 5th grade for goodness sake! I visited a shrink and was declared “better” around a month or so later. Moreover, I appeared to be until 6th grade. After the musical in my 6th grade year, something funky happened with me. For 3 days, straight I did not eat and just cried. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. This, for a 6th grader, makes you an outcast, a reject, and a weak failure. I was so ashamed of myself. I am proud to say however, with the help from my parents, and school guidance counselor, I have become confident in whom I am, and no longer let myself punish me for something I cannot control.

I got better and then was able to go off my “Happy Pills” and all was good in the world.

As years went on, things changed again. My dad went traveling for his job, and we saw less and less. One time he was gone for 4 months straight. No longer could I be distracted by Barbies, I knew he was gone, I felt his absence. I saw my Mom’s face as she tried to deal with her children as a single parent. Life happens like this sometimes though. It can be a pain. However, its how you move on that defines you right?

High school came; my 9th grade year was a year of firsts for me. First time NOT making it into a musical, First Kiss, First boyfriend, First time driving a car, oh! And first time in New York! There were so many different experiences that year, and really, it was a great year. However, sophomore year was a pain in the ass. My boyfriend left high school, along with my best friend, and things just changed.

I cried for 3 weeks. Then I knew it was time to go back and visit the doctor. As you can imagine, I started once again on my happy pills, but I was ok with it.

My story is not all about the negatives; I had some amazing times that summer of sophomore year. I made friendships that were unimaginable, and I remain close to all of them today.

Junior year is my year of hell, as I like to call it however. I guess my year of hell really started at the end of my sophomore year when my friend died. That was the beginning of what felt like the end.

When I was at my computer one day after school my junior year, (September 15th to be exact) I saw on face book many people saying, ‘RIP’ and then my best friend from 5th – 7th grades name. I remember that moment so clearly. I screamed bloody murder and I remember my mom grabbing me and holding me. I also remember going to my bedroom and just crying and calling my steady boyfriend of over a year and a half for help and support, well, let us just say he was a little too caught up in some schoolwork and was unable to talk.

The year went on, and I was still reeling after the death of now two friends. My depression was getting the better of me, and things were becoming too stressful. I broke up with that boyfriend of mine, and it was not because he was not 100% faithful (although that did not help), it was more of he was not there to provide the right kind of support I needed during that time.

Anyways, life once again went on and then the week that I hate came. In short what happened, my birthday, another friend died, and my grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I felt like I was being dragged into this dark hole with no escape, no evacuation plan, and no exit strategy. This dark place continued to “hang over me” as my mother would say, for a very long time.

Many things happened during that winter, 3 friends ended their friendships with me, and they were always the “best friends” and it hurt a lot. Nothing really seemed to be going right. My mom was tied down with the musical, and I felt like I had nowhere else to turn. I did find someone however, in the most unlikely of places. I was able to talk to them and just be honest and I got no judgment, or belittlement, or anything back from them, only support. To this day, they are my go to person, whether I just need a shoulder to cry on, or a swift kick in the butt to get me to stop moping, they are my person. Moreover, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

My grandpa died peacefully April 16th at 11:45. I didn’t find out until 12:33 exactly. Things were hard and by the end of the school year, I was in a hole deeper than you can imagine. I had suicide plans, I had been hurting myself, and I was lost. The world was out to get me, I was convinced.

I finally talked to my mom, I told her, and she got me help. I have my first appointment tomorrow.

I had a tough year. My anxieties grew a bazillion times more than they had before. I was convinced I was better off dead.

But here I am.

Telling you my story. I’m still here. Still living. Still breathing.

I am happy.

I cannot say I do not have those moments where I just fall flat on my face into this depression again. I can’t say that I one day will never have it again. And, I can’t say that I have such awful depression everyone should pity me.

What I can say though, I have depression and anxiety. I am 17. I am alive. I can still smile. In addition, I am determined to live my life to the happiest extent possible.

Oh. And I love hugs. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Casey's Story

I was one of those stupid college mistakes that my parents ended up loving. My life started out like everyone elses, though I was always smart for my age. Of course, both of my parents are pretty brilliant so it's kind of expected. Anyway, when I was three I spent just about a year in the hospital with a virus that screwed with my stomach and throat and when from being about thirty pounds to 19 pounds at 4 years old, though I somehow managed to stay happy most of the time despite not seeing my father the entire time. See, the guy was a druggie and "couldn't leave work" to go to Puerto Rico and visit me, even when the doctor told my mother I would be lucky to survive another night with a fever of 105 Farenheit. Obviously, after that my parents got divorced. I lived with my mom, though I still visited my grandparents on my dad's side (who lived in town) every Wednesday since my father was in Ohio. I loved the years he was in Ohio. Sure, I rarely spoke to him, but I didn't mind. I was never really that attached to anyone where I had to speak to them everyday. My mom started dating, it wasn't long before she met a guy who was living with us and I happily called him "Dad" by the time I was six. I knew he wasn't my father, but I loved him like he was anyway.
It seems that some of the first bad things in life happen at eight, have you noticed that?
That was the year my step-uncle raped me. Of course, I didn't know what was going on and (thank God) I can barely remember it now. He tried lots of other times as I got older, but I confronted him by simply telling him that it was wrong. It was strange, how the man was like a big brother to me around everyone else, but in private the man was a monster, but I still loved him like a brother. Now, years after he's even tried anything, I almost think that I simply imagined everything and that none of it ever really happened. I don't know, all I know is that I'm glad that its over if it did happen. Maybe that's why I've always been so strong and mature, why so many adults praise my parents on raising such a fine young child. I never did tell them about that though, I didn't want my mom to know simply because I know her. She'll blame herself, and I don't want that. Especially because then I'd have to tell her the other bit....
See, the last year or two every morning my step-father has come in to say good morning to me before he left for work. He tried to rape me almost every morning, and I never even dared breathe a word to my mother. She loved him, and I didn't want to break her heart and tell her that she married a monster who had monsters in his family as well. And she worried about me when I go over to visit my now ex-druggie dad, step-mom, step-sister, and half-sister. I hate going over to their house because of the evil steps, but for almost two years, it was the only place I could ever sleep in peace. One morning, my step-father got very close. Very, very close. I was scared out of my wits, my mother was in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy, and I didn't know if it was a girl or a boy (Lord knows, I was praying for a boy so my sibling would be safe from its father) I didn't want to tell her that my step-dad had raped me, though I had sworn that if he ever did I would tell her. So, that morning, I prayed for God to help me, to save me.
Apperently, the big man up there heard me.
At four o'clock in the morning on the 27th of October, 2010, my mother woke me up to tell me that my step-father was dead. I was devastated that my step-father was dead and my mother was a heart-broken widow with my half-brother (born four months ago, as cute as can be!) on the way, but I was also so happy, as horrible as I felt for it. I was SAFE. He couldn't hurt me anymore, and I would never have to worry about what would happen when I woke up ever again. Ever since than, everything seems to have gone uphill. The fact that he's gone doesn't hurt, and I have gotten good sleep for the first time in almost two years and now I don't have to be at my father's house to get any rest.
I'm alive, and I can write this without worrying that tomorrow I will be raped.

If you're reading this...

If you're reading this, it's probably because I sent you this link and asked you to check it out. I'm working on a project. I want to make a story, or in this case, a movie that affects someone and will change some outlooks on life. I want to break down some barriers that the world has built up. If I asked you to come and read this, it's because you have a story. An interesting one. One that makes you different and in a way, isolated from others who don't understand and will judge you because of what you've been through.

My idea here is to get different stories, take these stories and then change a few details and make it into 10 or so minute part of a movie. How do I want to get your story, well there are two ways, depending on what you're most comfortable with. You can email me at and just tell me your story, what  makes you 'interesting' or, you can ask me and I can give you the log in and you can post your story here. I want these to all be anonymous, so posting here, no one would know who is who and I would ask you to all change names. Same as Emails.

If you don't want to do this, that's fine, but! I would love it if you did.