Rebecca. Pittsburgh, PA.

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“By the time I was 3 years old I was writing stories about the house I grew up in. I loved the way that the trees swayed in the wind, and I adored the sound of thunder.

My mother always had a temper for as long as I can remember. She had outbursts that would scare me to the verge of running away. She would hit me, scream at me, spit on me, throw me down steps, etc. Little did I know, my one and only mommy had a serious drug problem.

It’s not every day that you find a little girl that hates her own mother by the age of 10. My mother and I had a love - hate relationship. By the age of 11, I was self harming. My mother had been (and still is) addicted to pain medication. My step-father is an alcoholic.

There were constant blowouts, ones that would make you cold to the bone. You would find 11 year old me sitting on my bedroom floor blasting Taylor Swift’s “Our Song”. I wrote poems, drew pictures, and occasionally wrote songs (I cannot sing for the life of me). I was in my own little world, and cutting was just my release.

At the age of 14, I was admitted to a psych ward for the first time. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Anxiety. At the time I had counted up to 4 suicide attempts. My mother never acknowledged them. When she found out I was self harming for the first time, she took away my phone and slapped me in the face. “You’re insane! No wonder nobody loves you!”. I was devastated.

My grandmother was (and still is) my rock. When my mother would take my phone, shortly after she would begin abusing me because she knew i wouldn’t be able to call my grandmother and have her come take me away. If my mother would hurt me and leave bruises, cuts, etc., she would tell me to explain these crazy stories and if I didn’t, I would get it worse.

When I was 13, my parents and I were sitting on the couch playing the game called “Guess The Word”. My mother is profoundly deaf, so when my step father and I would talk without signing, she would get very angry. On this very day, she threw her LG Curve smart phone at me 10 feet across the room. It knocked out 2 of my teeth, busted open my bottom lip, and fractured my jaw. I was told to tell the story of “She fell down the steps”.

Today, I am living with my grandmother. I do not let my illnesses stand in front of my way from reaching my goals. I start my freshman year of high school tomorrow and I couldn’t be any happier.

My Labels?: Anorexia, MDD, PTSD, SA, & SIB”