April

April

I couldn’t believe I had let this person do this to me. I couldn’t believe this man that I loved could treat me this way. I was smart and strong and I considered myself a good person; how could I be in this situation?! And then it got worse. When I started fighting back and his controlling and manipulation were not working as well, the emotional abuse expanded to physical.

Deborah

Deborah

You do not need to know the horrors I went through; I did not even want to know. My brain got too good at compartmentalizing the damage. I went through periods of forgetting the abuse and pretending I had a real dad and “normal” family. I rebelled a lot against the abuse as I got older and it got much, much worse. But he had too much leverage. When I was small, pain worked. Then, I did not care about pain.

Betsy

Betsy

Furthermore, at least in my case, I felt like I always had to walk on eggshells. I needed people to think I was perfect because I was aware that I was already “disposable” to one set of parents, and what would keep this family from getting rid of me, too? I felt like I was a mistake who brought sadness and destruction with me when I entered this world. For most of my life, I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere, and even though I acted happy and was always a bit of a class clown, I walked around with this indescribable hole inside of me.

Mikayla

Mikayla

I have a tendency to act like everything is fine and move ahead without addressing issues. I can’t recall the number of times I broke down crying that month, and in front of people, which isn’t like me. I bawled my eyes out sitting in the passenger seat of my best friend’s car. I felt bad because I knew she had no clue how to help or what to say. So few people know what to say or do for a woman losing her baby. I found what I needed most was just to be heard. I had anger and sadness and bitterness that needed let out. I was trying to grieve someone I hadn’t even gotten to meet, and the hormonal drop definitely did not help.

Sheryl

Sheryl

I have always been artistic, but my family and friends were the only ones who saw my art.

I liked being hidden. 

But maybe there was something I could do to show people kindness.  It did not have to be something big. It could be something small. It could be something I could make and give to people.