I'm new to these forums. I've known about them for a while, but never brought myself to actually join until now. I'm going to type a blog about my life and what I went through. I hope that my blog inspires some of you and reassures you that you are not alone.
I had my first panic attack when I was 8 years old. I had no idea what was happening. I just remember that I was playing up the street from my house and started feeling extremely uneasy. I ran back home and fell on the couch crying. My mom was on the phone and had to get off because I was hysterical at that point. She asked me what was wrong and I told her I didn't know. A few minutes later I told her I thought I hated God. Bizarre, I know. It came out of nowhere and in my heart I knew it wasn't true, but my mind kept telling me it was. Earlier that day I had watched a movie called Voyage of Terror. It scared me so much. I was in the living room doing a book report and my mom was watching it. I told her to turn it off because it was scaring me, but she told me to just ignore it. She wouldn't let me go into another room because she thought I wouldn't get my report finished. That movie triggered my first panic attack. And to this day, I will not watch it, lol.
I suffered for years after that, touching things a certain amount of times and certain ways. I constantly washed my hands because I thought most things were poisonous or dirty. My dad had a lot to do with that. He told me mushrooms were poisonous and that if I touched one, I would die. I spent a lot of days inside fearing that I would accidentally touch a mushroom. He never let me use Windex or any house cleaning material because it was poisonous. So for years I wouldn't touch that stuff.
When I was 10 I got really sick and was prescribed medicine in a tiny pink pill form. I had never taken pills before. When I tried, they wouldn't go down. My body would not let me swallow a pill. My mom tried crushing them, but they tasted horrible. She told me I wouldn't choke on them because they were too small. She told me a story of someone she used to know who choked on a piece of steak and died. I think she was trying to make me feel better, but it actually made things so much worse. Not only could I not swallow pills, but I stopped eating as well. I became very thin, weighing 50lbs at age 10, and my ribs started to become visible. My mother became very frustrated and harsh and would say things like, "If you don't eat, they're going to have to feed you through your skin." This terrified me. So one day at my cousin's birthday party, I forced food down my throat. I started to choke but I was too afraid to go to the hospital. I swallowed it down with sprite and everything was better.
I have to say age 11 is when things started to become unbearable. I was excited to finally be in middle school. Things started to seem like they were turning around for me. One night I was doing homework on the couch and the news was on. One of the reporters was doing an interview on a man who said he knew what Hell looked like and what it takes to evade going there. It then showed a picture of demons over a lost soul. And that's when I lost it. I started crying and screaming. I told my mom I thought I wanted to go to Hell, and that I deserved to go there. She was able to calm me down for the night. The next night came and I had another panic attack. We were just driving up to our house and I jumped out of the car crying. My mom was trying to calm me down but nothing worked. I then jumped on top of the car and wouldn't come down until I realized our neighbors could probably hear me. I ran inside and stood by the sink while my mom was putting away the dishes. I then started to panic again and grabbed at the dishes in the dish drainer. Realizing what I was trying to do, I fainted. My mom was screaming at that point and I came to. We went to her room so she could calm me down. I told her I was looking for a knife in the dish drainer. I was wanting to kill myself to escape the torturing thoughts. I told her I was a bad person and that I didn't deserve to live. She broke down into tears. She had no idea why I felt this way, and neither did I. All she could do was blame my dad. I give my mom full credit for saving my life that night. She cleaned out the dish drainer before I had the chance to make a huge mistake.
When I was 12, I changed. I went through an angry stage and started wearing all black. My mom sold our old house which forced me to move to another school. I didn't want to make new friends. The custody rights also changed with my dad. Instead of seeing him every other Saturday, I had to see him every other Saturday and Sunday. I hated visiting him. He was always drunk and tried to make me believe lies about my mom. He made me feel very uncomfortable most times. I did love him very much, but he couldn't change. When I was a child he would do inappropriate things that a dad should never do with their child. It was very hard for me to trust him after that. He also used to beat up his parents and cuss them out. He taught me how to drive when I was 12. It was a lot of fun and it felt good to know he trusted me. But there were several nights that I became his designated driver because he was too drunk to drive. I also hated being at his house because it was always filthy. Most times all I smelled was beer and cigarettes.
When I turned 13, I had my first boyfriend. It was a lot of fun to date someone. I was young, but I saw him almost everyday. During that time period I got a visit at school by a man who wanted to speak to me and my sister. He wanted to talk to us about my dad. He asked us questions about how we feel when we go there. I told him I didn't feel safe going there. He then asked me if my dad was ever inappropriate with me. I lied at first, but then I told the truth. He told me I wouldn't have to see my dad anymore. I felt relief and guilt at the same time. My dad constantly called and wanted to talk to us. He stopped asking the judge to see us, I guess out of fear of getting in trouble. I never answered his calls.
I turned 14 and became a freshman in highschool. I got a call to the office one day and was told that my dad bled to death that morning. It broke my heart. I called my grandmother and she told me that he died because I wouldn't come see him. I don't think she meant to word it that way. But I blamed myself for years. I have to say 15 was when I met my breaking point. I had a panic attack so bad that I snapped. I felt no emotions except fear. I have never felt more horrible in my life. I was emotionally exhausted and numb. For years I lied to psychologists about what was wrong with me out of fear of being put in a mental hospital. But at that point, I was so emotionally drained that I didn't care anymore. I finally told my psychologist and she referred me to a psychiatrist. He gave me a test to take and asked me some questions. He then diagnosed me with OCD, panic disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. He prescribed me with Lexapro and within a week I had my emotions back. Not only that, but I had less panic attacks. My panic attacks went from 2-5 a day to 1-2 a month.
Telling someone was the best thing I ever did. I still have my days, but I'm proud to say that my life is worth living. I have control and it feels amazing.

  1. jive 9 years ago

    That actually terrifies me. I don’t think it’s possible for me to deal with my OCD without medication. I’ve tried therapy, and it does help for the moment, but I go right back to where I was. I’m a nervous wreck without my medication. I’ll ask my doctor next time I see him and see what he thinks about slowly taking me off my meds. I guess I could try a therapy only treatment, since I haven’t tried in a few years.
    Thanks for your comment, by the way! 🙂

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  2. emorym 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for your honesty, you have been through so much, and look at how you are persevering. Welcome to this site and I know you have much to offer others from your life experience.

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  3. jive 9 years ago

    In response to Unknowable: I’m so sorry, I guess I misunderstood you, lol! XD A few people have actually told me I should probably replace medication with therapy and see how it affects me. I’m actually able to talk about my past while on medication. But I do find it very hard for me to talk about it while off my medication. I’m not sure why.

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