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Real Story

Surviving a difficult family and becoming stronger


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How I overcame my painful past

I was always that really quiet shy girl who would never smile. I had no friends. I was an outcast. I ended up in homeschool because I couldn’t deal with public school anymore. I was alone. Also, I didn’t really get along with my family because my emotional problems would make me lash out, scream, cry and say awful things. I went through a period during which I hated myself, my body and couldn’t think of any reason to live. I would hurt myself to relieve the pain and stress of everyday.

I knew I was emotionally messed up because I couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone. I had no confidence or self-esteem, and I knew why. The way I grew up, the family I grew up in was probably one of the worst things anyone could go through. The few friends I had knew something was wrong with me. I used to change in the bathrooms in high school, because my family would force me to wear clothes much too big. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I just wanted to be happy. I never got what I wanted, and I never thought I would.

I had eating problems since 3rd grade because weight was always such a big deal in my family. My little sister was always chunky and always bullied for it by family. My father would make us weigh ourselves in front of each other in the kitchen, telling all of us if my little sister would lose weight, he’d take us to Disneyland. Her childhood nickname was “Gordy,” meaning fat or pig. I was always really skinny, and my father would always tell me “You need to get fat so boys won’t like you.” To this day, I cannot eat in front of people. I always feel like they are watching and judging me, just like my father.

As we got older, our “spankings” got worse, and he stopped using the belt. On different occasions, he gave me a black eye, a welt on my arms and legs from swinging a big ab rocket at me, and an 8-inch bruise on my forearm with a belt. He kicked both me and my brother out. My brother was 15 at the time (now 19), and I was 17 (now 18).

Everyone in my family is alive. Things are okay. My brother worked things out with my father and is in his second year at Cal State.  I always try to remember the saying that got me through the hardest years of my life: “The bad things happen to make us strong.”

Currently, I live with my family.  I work and go to school. I wish things had worked out differently, but I’m alive. I made it. And I know my past is horrible and painful, but it made me who I am. I am strong, mature and have been through more in my 18 years than most people go through in their whole lives. Stay Strong. You’ll Survive.



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    Kayla Lindquist

    Very touching. Made me cry but that is very true about the bad things and becoming stronger through them.

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    I understand.  I’ve been there over 20 years ago.  Surviving is a good start.  I encourage you to thrive!  Thrive because you made it through and then some.

  • avatar2

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    wow what an amazing story and your very brave for sharing it with other people. smile
    People like yourself inspire me to live my life and stay strong even though times get really tough.

    • avatar1

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      Thanks for commenting too!

  • avatar2

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    I know how u feel

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    Katherine Irene

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am blown away at all you went through and the poise you have in narrating your story. You are an inspiring voice smile

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