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Danielle’s story

Where do I start? I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember… Mental illnesses run on both sides of my family, so it’s not a surprise that I’m depressed “with psychotic features”. My grandpa on my dad’s side is an unmedicated schizophrenic. He gets scared whenever someone mentions satellites or other high-tech things that he thinks people are watching him from. He has the typical schizophrenia “word salad” speech pattern. He’ll go from one topic to another even though they’re not related at all… I do the same thing. My grandma on my mom’s side has severe anxiety. She thinks if she doesn’t lock the doors for ten seconds that someone will come and kill her… So yeah, that’s where I get it from. My dad abused me a lot when I was younger, and his excuse was that I’m “hard to deal with because I’m a spoiled brat”… See, he doesn’t believe in mental illness, because, when he was younger, my schizophrenic grandpa was an alcoholic and beat the crap out of my dad, aunt and grandma everytime he came home. Now where my dad got the notion that mental illness doesn’t exist is beyond me… So I was depressed when I was little, and the first memory I have of life at home was when my brother first came home from the hospital. I was 4, and my parents had explained to me earlier that day that I was to keep plastic bags away from my brother since if one got caught on his head, he would die. My dad later yelled at me and hit me, so I went to my room with a plastic bag and put it over my head. Now, because I was only 4, I had assumed that it would kill me quickly. But my mom walked in and took it off my head and told me not to be stupid. Fast forward to when I was 6… My dad picked up my brother, who had just begun to try out real underwear. My brother, scared of what my dad would do, peed himself. My dad then proceeded to grab my hair and pull me to the wet spot on the ground, using my hair as a way of controlling my head so I’d look at it. My mom sat there, not quite sure of what to do. Then, fast forward to grade 2… I had forgotten my lunch box in my locker on a Tuesday night. My father proceeded to call both my mother and me stupid, very loudly. The screen door was open, and the last thing my mother wants is for the neighbours to realize my dad’s a monster. My mom told my dad to calm down because the neighbours would hear him. My dad responded by opening the door further and screaming “FUCK THE NEIGHBOURS” into our yard. He then went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, and my favourite cup fell out. He whipped the cup right at me and it broke. I spent the night crying. Fast forward to grade 6… The Q20 had just come out. Since my brother couldn’t read,  I decided we would use it as a ball. We rolled it back and forth, increasing speed and velocity each time. Eventually, I went to roll it to my brother and it hit his leg and rolled into the room my dad was working in. I don’t even know if it touched my dad at all, there was a little crack in the door that the “ball” happened to roll through. My dad came storming out, Q20 in hand. He asked who rolled the “ball” into the room, and I admitted to it and apologized. He didn’t care, and threw the Q20 so hard at my knee that it hit off my knee, then the table, then into the glass window of our entertainment centre. Luckily, it didn’t have enough momentum to break anything at that point. He stormed past me, shoving me out of the way, picked up the Q20, walked outside, and threw it over our neighbours’ fence. I had a bruise on my knee for 3 weeks… My dad was 6’3” and 220 lbs at that point, and I was 10 years old. Later, after my sister was born, my brother kept insisting that my dad “wrestle” him. My dad said no, so my brother grabbed onto my dad’s leg and wouldn’t let go. My dad grabbed my brother’s arms and threw my brother clean across the room. My brother peed his pants and went into the bathroom to cry (I heard him). My sister and  I witnessed all this. Half an hour later, my brother was still crying in the bathroom. My dad started to make fun of his 6-year-old son, and saying that if he wanted to wrestle, he would wrestle like a “big boy”. About a year later, my dad started having an affair with a married woman from his work. My mom had recently started working a lot more hours, so once my mom left, my dad would wait an hour and leave me (11), my brother (7), and my sister (1) alone until almost 4 am. At the time, my mom was working 7 am to 7 pm, so he got away with it. Then, 6 months later, he introduced his mistress to my mother and insisted they were just friends. My dad is still with this “lady”… (Lady is in quotes because no real lady would do that… Did I mention she took her mother-in-law’s home-made food to my dad instead of her family?) Naturally, nobody in my family knows about this whole affair, they think that my dad and her got together the moral way. My dad also had the audacity to bring his mistress to his grandfather (my great-grandfather)’s visitation. She had never met him before, and my parents were still married. There has been a lot of lying and sneaking around… Fast forward to September 2011… My dad lets my brother, his mistress’s kids, and me invite a friend on our boat to go swimming for the last time in the year. We swam, then we went back to the marina to eat. All went well, until I made a comment my dad had previously made about how he doesn’t sing unless he’s drunk. This was one of my passive-aggressive slips that happen every once in a while. Anyway, he proceeded to berate and degrade me in front of 10 other  people, 9 of whom were children. My friend sat there, not sure of what to do. She texted her mom to come get us and we waited on the side of the road. My dad told me that I ruin everything for everybody, that I deserve everything he says, and that he’s not abusing me. I’ve lost almost all of my hair from the stress. I also gained 120 pounds in 2 years (from when I was 12 to 14). Food was, and still is, one of my only comforts. I started running occasionally instead of eating, and then occasionally became frequently, and now I have lost 65 lbs. I gained 15 back because I’ve been unable to exercise due to some undiagnosed condition. I told my psychiatrist about everything I just wrote, and he gave me a note that said not to see my dad. While he was writing it, he said that it was the best prescription he could ever write me. I’ve been too scared to tell my dad about the note because I never know what’s going to set him off… Those incidents I named weren’t the only ones, just the ones I find bizarre. Oh, and he tried to strangle me Boxing Day of 2010. I hung up the phone before I was supposed to… So anyway I have a note to get out of this but I can’t give it to him and now it’s been a month… If you just read this, I love you and I will promote you by yourself to all my followers… And yeah, so  my life is pretty messed up. What’s your story?

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