Kitty Bradshaw: Surviving Abuse and Depression #DayOfLight
I am participating in #DayOfLight. #DayOfLight was created to shine a light on depression, and share resources for those who are struggling with the mental illness. Bloggers from all over the country are collaborating on Wednesday, February 5th to flood social media with personal stories about living with depression, and accurate information on managing and living with the mental illness.
My various stages through depression can be seen on my site here, here, and here. Honestly, I don’t know how I clawed my way out of it… actually I do; God, and God alone! I spent a lot of my 20s depressed, crying, frustrated, without a voice. Most people don’t talk about being depressed, because they don’t want to be labeled as being crazy… well guess what, we are all crazy! I, for one, appreciate a person who can own up to their crazy, as oppose to a person who denies it. That baggage festers and manifest into other things such as anxiety, hoarding, hair loss…. yep I went through all of those things because I was a child, could not deal with the challenges in front of me, and therefore became depressed.
I had an abusive parent who used the Bible to manipulate me. With everything going on, I was also trying to be the “Perfect Christian“. As a child there were times when I wanted to die. I remember actually wanting to die around ages of 10-12. I couldn’t speak up for myself, I didn’t have an advocate… I was just lost. My next phase was to stop all communication with God. I stopped praying… I felt as if I had these adults who weren’t there for me, maybe God wasn’t there for me either. I spent a lot of my time crying as a child. Not because I was a cry baby, but because I was unhappy. This is when the hoarding started… messy child? NO! I started bringing things into my room, never taking them back out. The things would never spill outside of my room; I would keep everything locked up.
When I was in my early 20s, I started having anxiety attacks to the point where I felt as if I were having a heart attack. Christians don’t get depressed, and even if they do… we are not allowed to. In my darkest hour, I remember silently crying in my bed, amongst the mountain of stuff in my room… pleading to God for change. I didn’t know what to pray for, I just begged for a change.
“Just please God release me from this… please give me a change”
It was the purest thing that ever came out of my mouth… I swear I was so deep in, I don’t even know how I found enough clarity to plead to God for help. Within 7 days, I got laid off from my job, lolll. Honestly, I was so deep into depression and at rock bottom…. while most people would have went postal, I just accepted it along with everything else. During that time, I think that God must have sent an Angel to posses me. I don’t remember the how, but I do know that the impossible happened. On paper, this doesn’t make sense… so please understand that I was so far gone… beyond hopeless… without light. Something beyond me, outside of me decided that I was going to move to the east coast without having a friend there. I moved to Maryland and didn’t know one single person. I have no clue why I did that, nor remember the decision making process, loll. It was decided for me. That same power cleaned up my room. I can say this out loud, because I have been delivered from it…. I WAS A HOARDER. That same power wasn’t ashamed to ask for people to come and help me. That same power told the person I fear the most, my abuser, that I was leaving, and was ready to fight her- my mother.
*sighs* I am tearing up as I write this… Thank You Father for saving me. Thank You Father for releasing me.
Unfortunately that worst was yet to come… and during that time I began to lose my hair. I moved to the east coast, but still didn’t know what the root of the problem was. Although, I can say that my mom is an abuser…. when she was in my life, I didn’t see her as that. She was my mom. Christians don’t have abusive parents; we are supposed to honor our parents so that our days will be long. No one talks about abuse in the Christian church because it simply just doesn’t happen. Once again, I pleaded to God while sobbing.
“If you are the God that everyone talks about, that loves me… please accept my decision to remove her from my life. I can’t take this anymore, my hair is falling out, I have knots in my stomach, I am having anxiety attacks, she is making me physically sick…. I can’t do this anymore”
I have not spoken to my mom since 2010, and the moment that I made that decision I felt this incredible burden lift from my shoulders. The knots went away, my hair stopped falling out. The anxiety attacks stopped, and the sense of hopelessness lifted which in turn made my struggles with Hoarding go away. Once I removed the toxic person in my life, the sickness went away. Additionally, I have not been back to church since removing my mom. Don’t get me wrong, my relationship with God is the strongest that it has ever been; I have my own independent relationship with him. I am not telling anyone else to follow suit… I am just doing what is best for me. When I have children, I will attend church to set an example. My moral foundation came from attending church, and I want my kids to have the same…. but for right now It is just not in me to attend.
Last year was full of test for me… there is still one final test which is finding out the true identity of my biological father… but I am more prepared, and most importantly have a voice. God and I are like BFF’s… I don’t pray, we converse. We talk out all my issues and he answers. I can honestly say that I am HAPPY! I am on this path, and know that my purpose is to be a light to others as much as I possibly can. I am writing a book on being a bastard, and finding father. I am not a victim, I am a survivor of abuse and depression. I am a rose that grew from concrete.