Alyssa's Story

Well here goes nothing...
Growing up I was an outgoing child, a wild one many would say. I was silly, full of life, always ready to party, brought smiles and laughter to everyone around me. I was the one that commanded attention no matter the room I walked in. I shared a home with my parents, and my older brother (Michael). My childhood from what I recall was “normal” or so I thought. Turns out the life we lived was the furthest thing from normal. But we were good at faking it I guess you could say. My father’s nephew started molesting me when I was around 7-8. The abuse continued right up until I was about 16. Funny thing is, it became such a regular “thing” in my eyes it was normal. I was made to believe that what he was doing to me and making me do was simply what big cousins do with their younger cousins. He made me feel almost happy to be able to spend this time with him, and in my eyes I must have been pretty special to be the “chosen one”. Little did I know that what he was doing was anything but normal. I lived in fear of anyone finding out to be honest. As if I knew in my heart that this wasn’t okay, but also that what was happening to me was my fault or my choice so I would be the one who’d be punished for it. I didn’t ever feel like I could even mention what was going on to my parents. My father was really abusive to my brother and I. We would be beaten for everything, big or small. He would beat my Mum up right in front of me more than I can count on my two hands - again this was normal for me so I don’t think it was wrong. I just assumed this was what love was all about. And as crazy as it sounds I wanted to grow up and be in love with someone that would love me THIS hard to make them so angry. I didn’t always feel like I belonged in my home though, my mum and I were enemy like in my preteen/teen years; but with him (my father) he gave me the sense of “you belong here and you’re safe with me.” I guess you could say I made the best out of an unfortunate situation. At some point I stopped caring about myself. I ran away from home, slept with multiple partners, ended up pregnant at 16 then again at 18 to finally give birth after a 3rd pregnancy when I was 20. My entire pregnancy was hell. I hated myself, I hated being pregnant, I hated what my life was about to become. I mean wtf does a 20 year old broken kid know about becoming a mother? I couldn’t even take care of myself let alone another human being. This poor baby was doomed before he even took his first gasp for air. My son’s father was deployed to Afghanistan just after our son was conceived. So I spent my entire 9 months worried sick about him not making it back home to raise our son with me. My insomnia kicked in full force and I’m more than positive so did my anxiety. Reality set in quickly and I knew I needed to “get ready” to be a mother. 
February 8th 2009 my son Kai was born. I was relieved that he was a healthy baby, because I know in my heart I didn’t take care of myself throughout my entire pregnancy. Right after birth I hemorrhage and endured significant trauma causing the doctors to conclude I may never be able to conceive or carry another baby. This news killed me. I almost felt like I “wasted my one chance to be a mother when I wasn’t even ready to be Kali’s Mum” and now here I am at 20, not even capable of being the right mama to Kai and being told I may never have another opportunity. This was a really hard pill to swallow. But I did my best to look at the positive, my baby - and that gave me some sort of peace. At some point in the early weeks of becoming a mother, I stopped being happy about it though. I was miserable, I couldn’t take care of myself or my son. The hemorrhage left me in so much pain I could barely walk and it would take me forever to get down on the toilet seat. I hated being cooped up alone with him. He didn’t sleep at night and I could barely calm him down. He would just fuss and scream. I felt like he hated me, like my baby knew I sucked and he was doomed. I started resenting him, and his father. How dare they leave me here to suffer like this? I slowly started losing the people I considered were my friends. It was heartbreaking- but it’s how my life kind of continued for a few years. I found myself in a really toxic relationship with a woman I gave all of my power too. She ruined me, well the old me. I won’t divulge on that relationship, but let’s just say I found myself in the same sort of relationship my mother and father had for 16 years. I put on tons of weight, and I mean tons. I had always been an athlete but with the state of my mental health I turned to good to cope. My biggest I was 276 pounds. I’ve gone up and down over the last few years but have managed to keep a significant amount of weight off. I struggle with how I look at times. Some days I feel like the most beautiful and other days I literally get sick with my reflection - and often isolate myself when I feel like that. At 26, I decided I was ready to talk to my parents about the sexual assault that happened all of those years ago, and it backfired in a huge way. Which ultimately lead me to losing the relationship with my father. He didn’t believe me. Instead he called me names, and hit me, than proceeded to throw my son and I out without a care of where we would go or if we would be okay. This wasn’t the first time he’s turned his back on me. I still haven’t forgiven him for threatening me to abort my child when I was pregnant at 16, but that’s what he’s good at, manipulation to get his way. You see what I mean when I say my life was “normal”. All of these situations and experiences were all normal things to me. My life was in literal shambles. I had to figure out a plan to get Kai and I safe and ended up leaning on my Aunt and her Wife who were so kind to let Kai and I crash for a few months until my apartment downtown would be ready. August 6th 2016, the day my life started again. I finally moved out into MY VERY OWN APARTMENT. At some point in all of my quiet days that I was usually alone I found myself in deep reflection, which in turn caused me to have an epiphany. Now you can catch me flaunting my curves, my rolls and showing off all of the cellulite dimples that have made my body their home. I won’t conform to societies idea of what beauty should look like - and quite frankly I have this new fearlessness to be the strong woman that I needed by my side when I was younger. I can only hope that there even just ONE woman needed to hear my story to understand her own, than my work on this planet is done. I made it my duty to no longer call myself a victim to my abuser or a prisoner of my own mind. I promised myself that I would now and forever refer to myself as a survivor, because let’s face it - I survived some really fuxked up stuff - as a child, as a teenager and as an adult. I just got tired of feeling sorry for myself and sitting and wallowing in my self pity. After all, I have this beautiful child looking up to me to guide him in this thing called life. He needs his mama to be strong, to show him how to be brave and to never back down from life no matter how hard it knocks you down. I vowed to wake up, and speak up. I wouldn’t be silenced anymore. I would speak and people would listen. People needed to hear me. People needed to know how far I had come out of the darkness. I needed women of colour everywhere to see how I climbed up from the depths of hell and came out on top. I will always struggle with my anxiety and depression; but the difference now at 31 is that I accept that some days will be a little darker and/or sadder than others and that is alright because I have survived 100% of my darkest of days that I never thought I would make it through. 
Thus, a new version of me is here to stay, Alyssa - The Survivor. 

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