Teenage Trauma Almost Made Me Give Up On Life

One of the few pics of me from that time. Not too many happy memories.

I went through a lot of trauma between the ages of 15-19. I had already been through prior trauma, losing my dad to a heart attack at the age of 12, getting hit by a delivery truck while crossing the street when I was 10, living with an abusive, dysfunctional family dynamic from birth, etc.

But from the ages of 15 to 19, a lot of other bad stuff happened in short sequence:

  • My mother married my first boy friend that I brought home from school. They married on his 18th birthday. I was 15 and had to go to school with my new “stepdad”. It was humiliating. I started skipping school constantly and went from a straight A honors student to just not caring.
  • I started working a rather dangerous and technically illegal 3rd shift job when I was 16. There was one really threatening experience where a drunk guy was physically threatening me and I had to call the cops. Scary stuff at that age.
  • When I was 17, I was robbed at gunpoint after a shift at Burger King (after leaving the above job obviously).
  • When I was 16, we moved from Georgia, back to Indiana (where I was born), which meant leaving all my friends and the school I had been attending for the past five years. I found it very hard to integrate into my new school.
  • Being dumped on family and friends unceremoniously when my mother and her husband wanted to go away. I had to stay with people I really didn’t like, in living conditions that were pretty nasty at times. Places I knew my mother would have never stayed herself, but she left me there so she could go away and have fun.
  • I developed my first “real” feelings for a guy around 17-18. Unfortunately, he led me on, made me think we might have a future together, then lied to me, moved another girl in with him, told me they were just friends, then when I found out they were together and expressed anger about it, he wrote me a nasty letter saying I was obsessive and pretty much accused me of being crazy.

Looking back now, I really wish I could have known then what I know now. I wish my adult self could have been there to comfort myself. I wish that instead of giving up on education and school, that I would have embraced it as a way out. At the time, I was just so humiliated and depressed, that skipping school and not caring seemed the only way.

Before all this happened, I had big plans. I wanted to go to college to study journalism. I had dreams of being a foreign correspondent, or even just a regular reporter. At the age of 12, I was studying college course catalogs and trying to figure out which college would be best for journalism. I would also regularly write practice made up “news articles” just for fun. I wish I had kept those. I’d imagine they would give me quite a kick now. My other dream was to own a used bookstore.

The trauma made me give up on all that. I stopped caring about my future at all. I couldn’t see that I HAD much of a future at all. It is really a wonder that I never attempted suicide. I think my fear of hell (because I was religious at the time) is probably what stopped me.

I guess in the end, my determination and stubbornness has helped me fix some of the errors made back then. I have become a writer, even if I’m not a journalist. I write a fairly successful blog here, have published and even won awards for books I’ve written, share my poetry here and on social media, have worked freelance jobs as a copywriter, ghostwriter, editor, and reviewer – so I’ve come a long way for someone who didn’t take the traditional path and get a college degree.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if things seem like they can never get better, they can. Don’t give up. I still have to tell myself that today on my bad days and in my bad moments. And if you are young, don’t give up on the things that could be your way out (like education).

43 thoughts on “Teenage Trauma Almost Made Me Give Up On Life

  1. I am shocked to hear what your mother did to you. Did you ever repair your relationship with her? Or rather, did she stop acting like a child? So tramautic, really. I think you’ve done great!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm that sucks. My mom is like my rock so I just cant imagine. Its really not fair either imo. Moms struggle too but jeez not quite like that ya know? I wouldve gave up on school too tbh

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. I wish it hadn’t left the PTSD lol, but I often wonder if I hadn’t gone through all that stuff, who I would be, because I honestly don’t see how I could even be close to the same person. Weird to think about.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have strength and have taken action

    I threw all family pics away, nothing on my walls

    Memories are not good for me so I try not to visit childhood or college ever

    I applaud you for your journey

    U have survived and help others

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The fact that you survived all of that and are thriving as a person speaks of the strength and courage you have inside you. I’ve considered ending my life (seriously considered, that is) only once – and what stopped me was the fear that I’d fail at it and be forever chastised for the failure. I had my share of traumas in my childhood, but I’m able to recognize that everything life has handed – and continues to hand – me all work to shape and form who I am. I pretty much like who I am, so I’m able to see them as necessary tools in my growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ♡ Thank you for courageously sharing; you may not SEE (Soulful Emotional Energy) it but countless folk have taken heart from your angelic sharing 😇

    …♡♡♡…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it’s filled with hope, resilence and tenacity! When we can view each other from our struggles to triumphs that’s when our human connection is not only realized but strengthened. Today I celebrate you my friend! Much love to you always on your healing journey❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Parental neglect, abuse and betrayal is the worst trauma, it is so painful and destructive. You have transcended the behaviour of others, and at least the scars are reminders of your positive self, your courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Maranda, my heart hurts for how much you’ve been through. You’ve certainly had more than enough trauma to last a lifetime. I think you’ve not just ‘survived’ and overcome, but you’ve done it with aplomb. You’re a beautiful soul and you’ve done brilliantly with writing and your blog, so you have much to be proud of  ♥ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s great that you survived your trauma.

    A psychologically sound as well as a physically healthy future should be all children’s foremost right, especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.

    It angers me that society continues to erroneously perceive thus practice our reproductive ‘rights’ as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs.

    By not teaching child development science to high school students, to me it’s as though societally we’re implying that anyone can comfortably enough go forth with unconditionally bearing children with whatever minute amount, if any at all, of such vital knowledge they happen to have acquired over time.
    _________

    “It’s only after children have been discovered to be severely battered that their parents are forced to take a childrearing course as a condition of regaining custody. That’s much like requiring no license or driver’s ed[ucation] to drive a car, then waiting until drivers injure or kill someone before demanding that they learn how to drive.” Myriam Miedzian, Ph.D.

    Liked by 1 person

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