Hello fellow brains!
This is kinda hard for me as I literally have a phobia of talking to strangers online - I always end up paranoid and extremely self-conscious that they know everything about me - but my well, I guess it is shrink in english in swedish it is kurator, has been kind of pushing me to find support in other ways. So I’m gonna ramble a for a while as I just need to get things off my chest. I guess a trigger warning for child abuse, self-harm, and suicide is in order.
So I haven’t technically been diagnosed yet but my shrink is a fellow brain too and she recognised my experiences as ADHD. And all the additional research I have done has just really speak to me in a way nothing else ever has. So, ADHD diagnosis has been there for about 2-3 weeks, but I have been diagnosed with depression and panic disorder since I was twelve.
I didn’t have an easy childhood. My parents divorced when I was small. My mom became extremely sick and later passed away. And I had to watch a large part of my family become ill and die, unable to visit them as my mom was poor and they lived on the other side of the world. My mom was brazilian and my dad is swedish. My mom struggled with depression all through her life on top of her systemic sclerosis and later cancer diagnosis. So she never had a lot of energy so parenting my little sister fell to me. My dad was neglectful, had it not been for my grandfather looking after us my sister and I would have swam unsupervised in the pool. I remember running the streets alone, spending time in the garage doing wood work without an adult, and doing a bunch of stuff that there really should have been an adult present for.
Since a young age I have been verbally, mentally, and physically abused. My mother would hit me and jank my hair really hard when I did something bad. I still sometimes have vivid flashbacks of that happening. My dad is a sexist and racist so he would critique everything I did as a child and told me from a young age that men where better than women, and bullied me relentlessly regarding pronounciation of certain words, the two foremost being the swedish words for “cake” and “table”, it was to the point that I now a days can’t say these words without stuttering. My aunt called me fat and ugly since a young age. I was told that I wasn’t women enough because I wouldn’t wear make-up (which I didn’t as my face would get all itchy) or dresses (I get really bad anxiety wearing skirt and dresses, I need pants to function). Then there was my little sister and she made my life hell. She would chase me with knifes, hit me with pipes, just hit me in general. I remember looking myself in the bathroom to call my dad for help as my mom couldn’t handle her, and he would yell at me in turn.
If you are wondering I’m twenty this July. School has been up and down for me. Early years were hard, as I had a real hard time learning to read to the point I once broke down crying over it. Lucky for me my mom told my teacher and that teacher was nice enough to bring me to the side a few times a week until I became such a pro at reading that I finished reading the 7th Harry Potter book when I was eight (yes, I read them out of order). Maths was also hard, especially multiplication and division - despite that being my favorite subject to date a still struggle a lot with problem solving. I spaced out a lot and so on, but I managed to finish swedish primary school with extremely good grades. The same can not be said for gymnasiet (don’t know what the equivalent is internationally, but I would guess it is somewhat the equivalent of U.S college, I believe it is around the same ages.) As in Sweden we chose what programs we want to study (which then in turn has kind of a rigid system of courses you have to take, though you are free to freely pick 5 - 10, not sure though as I actually didn’t read a swedish program) I picked the IB. In the IB we joke about students be professional procrastinators, it has nothing on how bad it was for me. I couldn’t get anything done. I finished my first year just barely, and the second and third years were even harder. Which was not helped by my mother passing away in the summer of 2017. My depression just balloned and my anxiety got worse, not helped by me dropping the contact with the child psychologist I was going to (though how helpful she was is debatable). At the times I was at school I just couldn’t focus or keep up my school work. I got an extention of a year for the program, so I would be going 4 instead of 3 years, but that was barely any help considering how far behind I was, that half-way through my next to last term I dropped out. Instead I began to study at the swedish komvux, which was done at home. I had hoped it would give me time to focus on myself, but life doesn’t work out that way. I failed at that to, and now my schooling relies soley on whether or not I will be able to succed with the swedish Folkhögskola, which is a school that gives an adult the ability to finish their schooling so that they can continue on to either university or something else that allows you to become a productive member of society. I did at 18 get a drivers license and a car.
So during all of this, my dad also dumps his fiancé of over 10 years and gets together with the mother of one of my childhood friends, and suddenly he is the dad to seven more children. I am so mad at him. Because he treats them as he is their own and he gives them the love and attention he never gave me or my sister. There was so much fighting with the new girlfriend now wife, over cleaning and so on. The usual. Only to the extreme, they wanted me to clean up after them and that is not something I was going to do. We had gone from being 3 people in that house to 11. It was not easy. But I loved the kids and got well on with them. But she would get really mad when I bought them gifts and presents for their birthdays and the holidays. They (my dad and his wife) kept blaming the instability of their relationship on me and my sister. The wife flat out ignored me completely for four months, acted as if I didn’t exist. And at night I could hear them talking bad things about me and my sister. Five day before christmas he threw me out and I headed to my aunts place. My dad wanted us to come back for christmas and we were okay with that, but he then the day before christmas told us that it was better we spent christmas seperately, and he commemorated it with his new family instead. I decided that I wouldn’t return and I stayed with my aunt instead. Should be noted that I got an inheritance of 750k swedish kr, about 75k american dollars, and my father loaned a substansial amount 250k swedish kr, or 25k american dollars. I don’t have anything left of that money anymore as I either loaned it out to people or later had to pay to feed three mouths plus rent.
The first few months with my aunt were okay, because she was so depressed she couldn’t take care of herself so everything fell on to me. I cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, did the shopping, and made sure she was well fed. She had to be hospitalized for a time and when she came back better, everything went down hill from there. She would constantly criticise me, I couldn’t do anything right. The food I made was bad. The laundry was to wet when it was hung up to dry. The dishes weren’t clean enough. The apartment was dirty or messy. She is one of those persons that has to have everything pristine and I wasn’t like that. So when I began to give up and withdraw she began to complain about that as well. She would give these subtle comments about my weight implying that I was fat, she told me I smellt bad, and she kept saying bad things about me to people we knew. She claimed that she now understood why my dad threw me out, I was a lazy good for nothing worthless human being and I felt it from January to March I began to self-harm, I would cut my right leg deep enough to draw blood and sit there starring transfixed on the blood. I had begun seeing a shrink during this time, and he made me promise to stop that, so I did and began to pull my hair out instead. From March to June things became worse and I seriously atempted to take my life around 30 times. Most times I didn’t have the guts to pull through, and one time when I tried to choke myself to death it became to hard. During this time I finally managed to get in contact with the psychiatry and things were a bit better. But my aunt would repeatedly throw me out during this time and force me to spend my night in my car. I remember one time specifically, I had a bad stomach, couldn’t hold myself and was forced to clean up in a McDonald’s toilet. I remember feeling disgusting and worthless, but I clung to the new found hope of the school I got in to as I would also be allowed to live on campus. So I hung on, but things was hard. My aunt once called 112 (911 or 999) on me . Nothing had happened, I had just wanted to be alone and tried my best to signal this to them, I put on my headphones, turned up music, turned away from them, and even locked myself in the bathroom (my sister was living with us at this point). They said I was suicidal, I wasn’t then as I had just returned from meeting my new shrink - the one that recognised me as having ADHD. The ambulance came and I heard my aunt repeatedly calling me crazy and explaining to them how mad I was. They had to bring me to the emergency psychiatric unit, but I was later released. My aunt from that point on didn’t hold back on what she thought about my mental health. Whenever she threw me out she called me crazy, ugly fat, a whale, a liar, and so on. The last time she threw me out was 3 weeks ago. The first two night I got to stay at a hotel, first paid by child services as that first night my sister was with me, and the second night by my psychiatric unit. There after I was written in to emergency housing were I will be staying until school starts in August. Four days ago I also started on some ADHD medication - Bupropion - officially for my depression and anxiety - unofficially for my undiagnosed ADHD. I haven’t thought about killing myself or tried to do so since getting the emergency housing. As for my sister she got her own apartment from child services where I spend most of my days with her and my beautiful little doggo that we got from our mother (the last thing she got us). I’ll be 20 next week on Thursday and we are going to celebrate with strawberries.
I still struggle with everything. A big part of me really do believe everything was my fault, as I was the only constant in both situations. Maybe I didn’t clean enough or do it right. Maybe I was too introverted and should have socialised more. Maybe I really did smell, I know I’m fat and I want to work on that, but I just can’t at the moment, I need my comfort sodas and chocolates too much right now to give them up. I feel in part as if I deserve everything that has happened to me. And honestly the only thing that really keeps me going is my doggy, as I want to give him a wonderful life with me at the school (yes, he gets to tag along).
Thank you if you read through this whole mess. I would love to hear about your experiences, and you are more than welcome to share anything with me. I genuinely hope that you have a wonderful and beautiful day where ever you are. And if you can take something away from my story, is that getting rid of toxic people is really important and that you can get through anything. I believe in all of you fellow brains out there and I sincerly hope that none of you ever give up.