You are not alone: Living and Spreading Awareness of Family Trauma


I wrote this piece in order for others to not feel as alone, because you aren’t. While hard to write this piece, I am choosing to share anonymously because of incidents that have gone on. If you relate to this piece in any way whether it be neglect, depression, suicidal thoughts/actions, abuse, or PTSD, I offer you a trigger warning as well as some resources at the end of the article.

The first time I came to know that something was wrong with how my father acted was when I was around five years old. He and my mother had been fighting brutally about a topic unknown to me. My mother was crying in the bathroom as he pounded on the door yelling at her. I remember feeling stunned. Not knowing what to do. Wanting to help–but not wanting to get hurt. I can vaguely recall my grandmother being there and just hugging me as I cried. She was covering my ears. I had no idea what was going on, only a feeling that something was wrong and that it would continue to go wrong.

In around fifth grade I came to realize that fathers shouldn’t tell their children that they are crazy and should be sent to the psych ward. I knew that this wasn’t how things should be. But yet, kept telling myself it was. It got to the point where I only knew what was happening to me after he had pushed me. All of the “I’m sorry”, “I love you’s”, and “I’m going to change” excuses started to get old. I started to push back when challenged or talked to harshly, which would only get me deeper in frustration. Why would someone that has it so good want to do this to someone they claimed to love?

I knew I had become depressed after I stopped talking to people. I would cry in my room alone for hours thinking about what was happening to me. Why? This question I would ponder. I started to go to therapy. It was more therapist shopping actually because I didn’t like anyone I met. I was always in a bad mood. To be honest I still am today. It was a cry out for help. I just wanted to blame something. Someone. Anything but what had happened. I was grieving. How could someone as good as me have such an awful thing happen? Why me? I couldn’t accept what had happened to me, so I avoided it entirely. Even though I was still living through it, I acted as though nothing had ever happened. I went about my day, still hung out with my father, and didn’t talk about it. I was as numb as you could get.

My parents often wouldn’t believe me when I said I wanted to hurt myself and that I had. This only fueled those thoughts. On September 3 of last year, I overdosed. I knew that my family would miss me. But I had to do it. They always told me that they knew I would never. But I think that’s what fueled me to do it even more. I had to prove myself yet again. This time, I thought, would be the last.

I felt very scared. Shattered, I couldn’t believe I had finally done it. The only thing holding me on earth had betrayed me. So why stay? Everything started to blur. I sat down. My tears were getting in the way of what I could see. I couldn’t see. My chest suddenly felt heavy. As if every breath was being weighed down more than the last. Suddenly I had a quiver of regret. The coming events felt like a dream. As if I was just in a deep slumber. I can now even only picture this experience as a list in my head. To the hospital. To the ICU. To the pediatric floor. To another hospital. And surprise surprise, to another hospital. You would think by now I knew how to take my own blood–I mean, if I’m being honest I probably could. This is besides the point. I needed to heal. To cope. In these environments, I could do none of that. In my case, the psychiatric floor was not a good experience for me.

My parents got divorced around the same time as my overdose. They thought it would be better for the family. We ended up moving three times in one year because of it. Feeling my most vulnerable in months after my incident.

I thought that my father would at least now be more understanding and loving. Less harsh. Oh, how I was wrong. He would then threaten me with going back to the hospital and would continually call me a liar when I had one of my “episodes.” I don’t go over to his house anymore because it is so triggering. Even though he wasn’t physically hurting me anymore, it was almost worse mentally. His relationship with me has drastically changed. I only see him about once a week now, which I’m okay with. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t see him at all.

I experience severe PTSD as well. It mainly originates with how my father has continued to treat me, so the most common trigger of it is a male yelling or using an annoyed/harsh tone.
Today, my support system consists of people such as my therapist, my psychiatrist, a school counselor, and my best friend. I wrote this piece to reflect on myself and how much I have grown and progressed from these incidents and how they don’t define me for who I am.

If you have a similar story and/or are going through trauma, please reach out to someone you trust. And also check out the following resources:


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: