The problem I had is that there was no one around to tell me that I could do better for myself. For five years I was waking up every morning scared to get out of bed because there was always some kind of commotion going on outside of my room. I felt as if the only place I was safe was my bed because there my family could not involve me in their drama. Let it be said now that I was never physically abused, but sometimes I think I would have preferred that rather than all of the emotional abuse I went through. At least a punch would be over in a few seconds, the hurtful things that were said to me and the arguments just lasted forever. Even now some of the things that were said to me ring in my head over and over again.
When a child is being bullied, it is easy to tell them to just ignore the bullies and move forward. But is it that easy when the bullies are the people that are supposed to be your guardians, your supporters, your family? Not really. For whatever reason whenever I was home I always had someone making me feel pathetic, useless. I was always in trouble and never knew why. I always heard “Why can’t you be more like…?”. No one ever told me I was good at anything so I figured I deserved to be treated like I was nothing. Unfortunately, when you are in this situation, the realization point, the time when you say to yourself “I am better than this”, doesn’t come to you until you hit rock bottom, or at least that is what happened to me.
As upset and angry at life that I ever was, the thought of suicide never came to mind until that one night. I had witnessed two of my best friends take a turn for the worse because of drugs and depression so I felt like I had to be better than that to help them. I guess the majority of that time period in my life I was so focused on helping them, that I did not bother to look at myself and realize that I needed help too. If there is one thing that I learned from this is that you cannot change people no matter how much you want to or think that you can. If they need to change, they have to realize it on their own and then if they WANT to change, they will. Regardless, I wanted to be superwoman and when I realized that I couldn’t be, that made me feel like I had nothing to live for. Between that and all of the things I felt like I was not getting from my family, I lost all control.
What I really wanted and needed was for people to appreciate me. I felt like I needed their approval. I constantly looked for ways to get others’ attention and for them to tell me “good job, Ashley!” or “I’m so proud of you!”. But I learned the hard way that you can’t rely on others to make you feel good about yourself. You have to feel good about yourself before others can truly see how wonderful you are. I know that I am not the only person who has felt this way, and to those of you who can relate, this is my message to you. You ARE better than this.