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To say that my twenties were turbulent would be putting it mildly but to put it bluntly, I was an emotional mess. My life was out of control and the prospects of it getting better seemed slim to none. There were several things that happened in my mind that created the chaos and ultimately, my mind became my enemy.
I had always been that person who looked at the floor when she walked in front of a group. I don’t know, I just felt like they were all judging me. Was I walking funny or what if I fall and embarrass myself? In my mind, I was inferior to all of the people around me. Those thoughts and those actions were a part of who I was and I do not remember it ever being different.
My senior year in high school it all began to snowball into a large cravat that I would soon be falling into. Emotionally I was weak and I suddenly had a difficult time handling school and work. The fact that I had gotten married over the summer only added to this pressure. It just seemed like the emotions of past abandonment and past abuse were rising to the surface and I didn’t know how to cope.
It would be 3 years before things would escalate into thoughts of panic, destruction and self harm. My marriage split up and I quickly found that my life had no focus. I decided that my best option was to join the military. I could learn a trade and get away from all of the things I thought were causing me to be emotionally overwhelmed.
In doing that, I just piled one mistake over another. The first mistake was getting married at 17 and the second was joining the military as a way to escape the hard things in my life. Now, to be honest, I had no real clue that basic training would only enhance my emotions. I had no idea that in breaking me down, basic training would open up wounds that it would take a decade to close.
How My Mind became My Enemy
My mind was not ready for the stress of basic training but by the time I realized this it was way too late. The combination of little sleep, 14-16 hour training days and the pressure of being yelled all day simply broke me. I tried hard to succeed and I was good at weapons, marching drill, orienteering and other various tasks but I was horrible at all of the other things. To explain things in a simple way, I had a breakdown one night during a training exercise.
My mind had become my enemy and it would play this role really well for many years. Ultimately, I was discharged from the military before basic training was completed. I was back at square one and I had no idea what to do. All I knew was that I was not going back home. I was still running away from the pain of my past.
Strangely, I ran straight toward one of the biggest hurts of my life…my father. My father had abandoned me, my sister and my mom when I was 5. I wanted any kind of a relationship possible with him so I made arrangements to move to South Carolina to try to be a daughter and to get my Daddy back. He once again denied me the love that I had desperately fought for. My mind did not handle this last blow very well.
After my father, once again, refused to be in my life I started coming a part at the seams. That night started with large amounts of alcohol and ended with a bottle of pills.