Shelby: She Hated The Person She Was
I always have said I would love to write a book, but it would possibly be labeled science fiction because I’m not sure anyone would believe it to be real... Here’s a condensed version of my story.
I am the oldest of three, actually four (I found out I had a brother from my father at age 27 after I had my youngest child. My father was an alcoholic, and I surely wasn’t my mother’s favorite child and I’ll leave it at that.
At six years old, I witnessed my neighbor being gunned down in the middle of our street on the 4th of July over an argument with another neighbor over fireworks. I don’t think it actually hit me that I witnessed this until I was older and my mind was blown. When I tell people this, they’re a bit shook and rightfully so.
My Dad left on my 12th Birthday, my mother was pregnant with my youngest sister when he decided to drop the news in the wee hours of the morning that he had had a girlfriend for three years. I heard everything and I can remember running to my Gram (who lived next door) to tell her what had happened. Life as I knew it, became an even shittier shit show from that day forward.
We had nothing, no car, no phone, Iiving on government assistance. I remember rolling pennies to go to the corner store to get a snack. Food, clothes, basic necessities like a box of Stayfree pads was a luxury and rationed like we were living in the Great Depression.
I started high school six months later. Our high schools here are 7th through 12th grade. As life went downhill quickly, so did I. I started hanging with an older crowd the first month of school and was totally awestruck when an older guy took interest in me. I was 13, and although I didn’t lie about my age, I looked older for my age. He invited me to a party and I went. I lied to my mother, said I was sleeping over a friends house and off I went. The party was in a wooded area and pure grain alcohol mixed with punch was the drink of the night. My date, gave me a cup and I believe I drank about half of it.
I can remember losing my vision, feeling almost instantly becoming severely disoriented, to being on a concrete slab screaming while being raped. There’s so many pieces missing to that night that I can’t remember due to whatever was in that drink. I do remember being taken to a basement apartment waking up to being raped again and lastly ending up at his home in between being in and out of consciousness being raped on his couch in his family room. I can remember waking up around 11am and his entire family sitting in the living room, his Dad jokingly smiling, saying, “I see you brought home a stray.” I gathered up my strength and walked out and home. I was so dazed, sick, has a huge cut on my hand in which I still have the scar to this day and walking in the door to my house. My mother looked at me, knew I had been drinking and immediately grounded me after about a 2 hour scream fest. I went to my room, stayed there for the rest of the weekend. I don’t even remember eating.
A few years later, at 17 I became pregnant by my longtime boyfriend. I knew immediately I had to grow up and do everything in my power to protect my child. His family had a long history of alcohol and drug abuse and I did not want that life for her so I ended the relationship immediately. I quit school and went on to my GED as soon as I possibly could.
At 21 I became pregnant with my second daughter and suffered severe postpartum depression for almost 2 years. I felt as though I was a terrible person, that I did not deserve my kids and I spiraled into severe anxiety. I ended up admitting myself into a mental health facility for seven days to get myself back for my children. It worked but I had severe generalized anxiety disorder that has lasted to the present time along with PTSD.
It wasn’t but a few years ago that I actually realized that what happened to me was rape. I thought how could I be this kind of person? Which played a huge part in my PPD. I worried so much that even though I loved my kids more than anything on this Earth that they were being raised by a horrible person, which was myself.
I’ve come to terms with what has happened in my life and what had happened to me. My children are all beautiful human beings, my oldest is a nurse, my middle in the last year of her PhD, and my youngest finishing his senior year in college. All I’ve ever wanted for them they have achieved, above and beyond. I am truly grateful and blessed. As for me, I’m battling 3 chronic illnesses since I’ve turned 40, COPD, Diabetes, and RA, and a hysterectomy. But- I’ve studied my ass off, became state licensed as a Property and Casualty Producer in November of 2018, just landed a fantastic part time job with a great agency, and just enrolled to start the course for my life and health state license. "Giving up is not an option" and "fall seven times, stand eight" is my go to mantra.
I came across Beautiful Disaster over a year ago. It’s my “courage in a closet” and I am truly blessed to have found this amazing tribe. One of my biggest priorities in life is helping people and letting them know they’re never alone. The BD tribe is all of this and more. I fought everyday of my life to be the person I am today and that is a Beautiful Disaster, and I am so proud to be one.