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I'm gonna tell you about this kid who's life had been traumatized by negative events, how his ego had been crushed, how his confidence had simply diminished into thin air, and how his strive for life itself completely stopped. Then I'm gonna tell you how he came out of all of this burden and how he triumphed.

My life hasn't been an easy one most would say. I grew up with split up parents, which led to an abusive step-father, and probably made the most detrimental mistakes a kid could make along the path to adulthood. I'm gonna go ahead and jump to the abusive step-father part. I had the usual abuse I guess you could say a kid can have. The whippings with the belt for the most simple things (such as breaking a sisters jump-rope on accident), getting pulled by my ears everywhere I went, and more whippings. But this stuff wasn't the things that actually got to me. What I believe got to me was the constant verbal abuse. "You're a dumbass", "you're an Idiot", "what a dumbfuck". Sometimes if I was lucky these comments were said when nobody was around. But when there'd be parties of 50+ people or more the comments were so much worse. To this day (some 10-11 years later) hearing someone call me something as simple as an "idiot" sends me straight into fighting mode.

One night my step-dad decided he'd had enough with me and called me into his room. I knew instantly I was going to be whipped. But when he called me in there he told me to bend over the bed and lift up my shirt. After he said that I was utterly confused but I did as he said. The next thing I remember is a sharp stinging pain from the belt whipping across my lower back. I was in shock. The second whip sent me to the floor.

Now whether this story sounds mild or severe to you, I'm here to tell you now that your opinion is of no use to me, as this was in the past and that's where it needs to stay. I'm not telling you this part of my life or the next parts for your sympathy. I just feel that these events need to be told because I believe they had some influence on my current condition being depersonalization.

To carry on what happened in that last event my father (thank god for him) got the police involved and there hasn't been any abuse since. Throughout middle school I developed terrible acne that caused me to be made fun constantly. Although I still like to think of that as a gift because it not only humbled me and made me like people for who they are, but it also didn't leave any scarring and I turned out to be a pretty good looking guy (personal opinion).

At this point in my life (acne free and a sophmore starting on the varsity football team for the second year in a row) I was on top of the world. Full of confidence with nothing stopping me from what I wanted to achieve. This carried on into my junior year of high school where suddenly all hell broke loose. I was drinking with some friends (basically hammered) and one of the guys decided to record me doing something quite embarrassing. That didn't bother me for the first few days following but in the weeks following the video had been passed along from person to person throughout the whole school. If you didn't have the video, you had seen the video. I was traumatized. My confidence dropped completely, my "friends" took their own side on the matter and left me out to dry by myself. Everyday at school was a nightmare. Yeah I'm a big guy, arguably able to take on every other dude in the whole school but I couldn't take on every body at once and what was the point? More trouble?
I eventually regained my inner strength from this traumatic event and learned to not let it get to me as much anymore. But after this I was forever scared just to be myself around anybody. I found myself doing what other people wanted me to do, whether it was an activity such as smoking pot and drinking or agreeing with them on anything they brought up in conversation because I was scared to be myself and voice my own opinion.

By the end of my senior year of high school I had gained much of my confidence back and was being somewhat more of myself around people. But my junior year had had a profound effect on me.

The last two years I've been attending a community college trying to get a small degree and hopefully pursue far more educational goals. Of course, I've hit some road bumps along the way. My first semester I drank and partied way to much and put myself on academic probation. At the end of that very same semester I was arrested at a friends house for the possession of marijuana. I had no marijuana on me and was actually in the shower when the cops came in but according to Indiana state law if one person has it in the residence, everybody has it. The spring semester of my second year was going pretty smoothly until I started hanging back with old friends and partying towards the end. This little escapade caused me to flunk the whole semester and where am I now? Back on academic probation. I've got an IQ of 120 something and I've always been a student capable of getting straight A's but I guess I just lacked the initiative.

This story now brings me up to the start of the summer we've just recently had. My summer plans weren't anything too exciting. I got a painting job working for the local University to paint dorms. About a month into this routine of painting dorms from 7:30 to 4:00 everyday and drinking/smoking pot afterwards, I was introduced to this drug called "Shrooms". Of course I've heard about it by then and actually had a few chances to try it out. But up to this point I've never done it. Being somewhat curious about this substance I'd looked it up on the internet and researched it a bit. From what I got out of it people were saying it was a "Miracle" drug and in many cases caused "spiritual enlightenment". So I of coarse being a christian, follower of christ, or whatever you want to call it, was basically down to try this thing out.

My first legitimate trip was in the backseat of a friends car. I had just met this guy a month earlier and he seemed pretty cool. He had his old-time friend from high school in the front seat with him which was understandable but being in the backseat of a car with the windows down with guys you really don't know too well can kind of feel like you're in your own world. Especially on Shrooms.
Now during my life as i'd said previously I've had trouble expressing myself as I am rather what people want me to be. I say this because in the backseat of that car, tripping, I started to think to myself "who am I"? I've been lying to myself and my friends for so long I really don't know who I am. I didn't have an answer for myself that day and I kind of haven't had and answer since.

In the following days and weeks, that simple question I asked myself while tripping started to spiral out of control. I began to feel this distance from everyone I knew, friends, family, everyone. I would be in mid conversation with someone at work and suddenly wander why can't I say anything else to this guy. I began to feel this self doubt about my ability to socialize and it was detrimental. I started thinking "what's wrong with me?" "Did the shrooms fry my brain?" "Have the repeated concussions from my years playing football plus the shrooms took a final toll on my ability to function in society?"

All of these questions I had about myself were doing nothing but confusing me to the point where I figured I had to come to an acceptance. But acceptance wasn't the kind most people have as a process to get better. This was the kind that had myself convinced I had a brain abnormality. Do you realize how scary that thought is? Going 20 years of your life functioning just fine and coming to a conclusion that involved you not being able to function correctly in society for the rest of your life? These were the things that were going through my head towards the end of this past summer. I instantly started searching my symptoms online trying to desperately find an answer to this problem. But this wasn't just a problem to me. It was my LIFE. I started looking up diseases and disorders such as lyme disease, neurosyphillius, Brain tumors, and social anxiety in an attempt to find out what was wrong. After days of endless searching I'd gave up hope. Deep depression started to take its part within me because I was convinced that I had an irreversible problem which was gonna cause me to be confined for the rest of my life. It wasn't long before the suicidal ideation kicked in. I figured if I couldn't find a diagnosis to this problem, there surely is one that would take away this immense despair. Some days during this time were better than others but suicide was on my mind daily. I was just at a point where I had to figure out how to do it. Overdosing wasn't an option because I could possibly live and end up with a broken down liver that needed a transplant. Hanging wasn't an option because I could possibly live through that too and I knew through research that the lack of oxygen to the brain would most definitely cause brain damage, which is what the source of my problem was in the first place. Jumping was out of the question as I'm terrified of heights and cutting my wrists just seemed to ordinary I suppose. My final option was guns. I am pretty familiar with guns considering I've hunted most of my life and actually own a couple of my own. I figured a shot to the head with a pistol would do it. No chance for survival. But as soon as I thought about that I started thinking about how I'd have a closed casket and I couldn't do that. I was then led to a shot to the heart.

(My apologies for anyone reading as this story is very descriptive but I don't know a better way to tell it)

After finalizing my decision to commit my form of suicide, a thought came into my head. Now whether this was from god or my conscious speaking to me I don't know. But this thought came to me and I asked myself "What would my fathers reaction to this be?" Instantaneously I pictured my dad weeping over my loss and being in a state that I've never seen him in as he's unquestionably been the strongest character in my life. Now that bothered me. I couldn't take the fact that I'd break the heart of the one true person that's always been there by my side day in and day out. It was overwhelming. I actually started to cry to myself in realization of what I was planning to do and how it would effect my friends and family around me, my dad in particular.

At this moment of my life a I realized I had to talk to somebody. I've been keeping all of these issues, thoughts, and feelings inside way to much. Now keep in mind the thought of this was scary because at this point I had been secluding myself in my room for the better part of at month due to social anxiety, depression, and just the fear of people witnessing my social inability to communicate due to the "brain disability". Even so, I grew enough strength to schedule an appointment with a therapist.

The first therapy session went quite well. I felt a sudden relief from the mere fact that somebody else knew my story. She diagnosed me with social anxiety disorder and major depression and scheduled another appointment for me. On the next appointment she had me fill out a questionnaire and after I was done she shook her head saying "hm, I thought so" I asked what it was and she asked me if I'd heard of this thing called "depersonalization"? I'd definitely heard of this before because I remembered reading about it online on my desperate search for a cure. But I remember this thing, depersonalization, seeming much to simple. I was a complete mess, there was no way this one thing could all of these massive problems which had lead me to suicidal ideation. But the more we talked about this, the more it made sense to me. This belief that I was under, that I had fried my brain, was a cause of this depersonalization. Feeling detached from the world, your family, your friends, and simple conversations was a cause from this one disorder. I wish I could describe the relief I had the day when she told me that. The fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me? It was beautiful. I'm still going to continue working through this disorder with my therapist as there is no instant cure. But learning how to deal with this disorder by recognizing symptoms and learning to ignore those symptoms is good enough for me.

I know this was a long story and I threw a lot of my past life at you but I feel as if a lot of these past experiences were components that added to this current issue I'm going through.

If you've read this story and you feel like you relate to what I've gone threw I'm here to tell you to hold on and that what ever is causing you to be troubled is only a fake belief of your imagination and that everything is going to be alright. Find somebody to talk to, a parent, friend, therapist, anybody and I promise you'll get to feeling better. Accept it, and overcome it. If there's one thing I've learned from this whole expierience, it's that you can overcome any difficulty in life with some positive thinking. Think happy, be happy.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did typing it.

Thanks
 
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