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Life Journey

Cristina L.

If I could describe my life up until 2012 I would say I was trying to connect with the little girl inside me who was lost inside a dark deep hole screaming for help.

My struggle began when I was raped at 15 years old by a guy that I knew for a short time. I had been a virgin and this was my first sexual experience. I didn’t open up about it until a few years later mostly due to the fact that these things were not to be spoken about. A part of me knew that if I opened up at the time I may have been criticized by my peers and or really hurt my parents. I went on living with this secret festering inside me until I had my first mental breakdown at 20 years old. Which led me to a series of detrimental behavior. Anger, pain, sadness and confusion attracted the wrong people in my life. I like to say that I was attracting broken pieces of myself. I had met an old acquaintance of mine and developed a relationship in a hurry. I was looking for comfort and someone to runaway to.

With this new found love I felt on top of the world, in no time it turned into a vicious cycle of abuse. At that point in my life I felt that I deserved it because I had been so promiscuous in the past due to repercussions of my rape, which I felt I deserved as well. I felt that God was punishing me and I had to do the time. During that time I didn’t eat properly, I neglected to take care of myself. My family thought I was just exhausted from work. Until one day my boss/mentor asked me if he had ever laid a hand on me, the look on my face gave it away. She said “Get out tonight!” Later that evening I went to our apartment and packed up everything and called my brother. My ex came home and was apologetic and crying. I was brave enough to overlook the same old pattern and walked out with no hesitation. Up until a few months ago I summoned the courage to block him on Facebook, mainly because a part of me was still healing (5 Years)

That night I moved back in with my parents, which was a complete shock because I left an abusive environment to a loving environment. The difference scared me and I didn’t know how to cope with it. A few months down the line I lost plenty hours of precious sleep and developed mixed episodes of mania and depression. I was dealing with this unaware of what was going on in my brain and how my body was deteriorating. I had lost 40lbs, I didn’t eat, sleep and barely stepped foot outside my bedroom door. I was lost in my own mind. A year later in 2012 I had a complete mental breakdown. I locked myself in the bathroom and told my mom that if I stay in here I will kill myself and if I go outside I will hurt someone. I called my best friend who came to my rescue and my doctors were contacted and luckily I was seen by a psychiatrist who put me on a low dose medication and followed up with me every week until some improvement was shown. Since then I have been thriving. It took some time to gain my confidence back and feel whole again. It was a long time coming but here I am!

I now work as a special events coordinator and I feel so blessed to be alive. I feel like I’m gaining the Cristina I was before all of the hardships I’ve gone through.

My mission in life is to help young kids and adults deal with their past pain and confront their demons with the power of music, art, poetry and therapy to help reach their true potential just like I did.

Before >>> After…

CRISTINA_1

 

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