My name is [REDACTED]. When I came across this on my Instagram discovery page, I felt a sense of hope knowing I can share my story. Growing up in a family with 5 other siblings, 2 parents, and a grandparent all sharing a 3 bedroom apartment, I never knew the meaning of personal belongings or personal space. All of the possessions I would come to collect came from my older sister and brother, things left behind when they found an opportunity to leave.
We were a poor family, we scattered our rations between each other with hopes that the love in which it was made with from my mother would fill us up inside. Unfortunately, being poor was not the only battle my family fought, there was also domestic violence. My father and mother put on this show where they took their frustrations out on each other and then sometimes on us. My depression was merely smoke at this point, not yet ignited into a flame, but showing potential for such.
The battle went on for years, eventually a pattern of getting evicted and becoming homeless developed and we were stuck in a lot of hard places. After my older siblings found their escapes to a better life they took it before I could blink, sometimes I envied them, convinced that the youngest three were left in the dark. After the constant moving I finally reached high school and that is when things truly took a turn for the worse.
A spark was triggered , and then the small flame was ignited. We were living in a government provided house, still unable to pay each month. I had no more than 1 pair of shoes that would become my school shoes for the next 3 years. I never looked forward to going to school, I was always sad and could not express this to my family. The fighting never stopped, the violence was worse.
Having black parents with traditional views and Christian beliefs I could not come to them and openly say that sometimes I wanted to die. It was an absurd idea to them, I was a sinner and I was ungrateful for what they have provided. What they provided in question was abandonment due to their own sadness, mental and physical abuse to maintain their power, a life so difficult that it was going to affect me years after I’ve escaped.
I had to conceal this for a while. The sadness I’ve felt knowing that at just 14 years old I knew that I was better off dead, because at least then I had nothing else to feel. Soon after I was becoming bad at concealing this pain. I attempted suicide. This becoming a failed attempt sent me to a hospital where I was evaluated for weeks. The reaction I received from my parents was as expected. They were angry and resentful. Confused as to why I felt this way, and why I thought this was the way to solve things.
I was so voiceless at the time I could not explain myself and I could not make them understand. My depression remained the same for many years to come. I spent my teen years in and out of mental hospitals in search of answers or solutions. Yes I can say I’ve collected some good advice and good friends, but it is only now at my age of 19 that I came to realize that my only way out is through. I still struggle to this day but I have managed to drag myself even through the darkest of times out of my depression pit to get where I am now. I am now one of the “older siblings” I found my light and I went straight to it. I will never abandon my little brother and sister and I’m helping them search for their light in order to escape the hell we had to live with.
I do not hate my parents, I feel bad for them. They were not ready for this life, but at one point, were so certain they wanted this. I am a survivor, but the story does not end here. I plan on defeating my predetermined fate, life has been unfair, but I will work until I get everything I deserve. Thank you for hearing me; thank you for a chance at being heard.