This is my story—of oppression, of getting through, of moving on—my survival story.
Looking back on the events of my life, I realize that the hurt I’ve dealt with was due to extreme neglect as a child. Our parents’ loved their children to the best of their ability; however, my mother suffered from major depression, to the point where she was slowly giving up on life. And, in my father’s case, his own father had left him when he was young.
A Survivor of Neglect
No one had taught my mother and father how to be good parents. As a child, I had very little to no supervision. My mother was very carefree with us. One memory I retain was when I was four years old. I was swimming in a lake, and a neighbor frantically called my mom to let her know I was out there.
My mother’s response was to ask her to just send me home. To this day, my family and I laugh about it, but looking back, it was extremely neglectful on my mother’s part.
As I started school, kids were very mean. I was teased, spat on; I was not picked for teams in gym, and I often sat alone at lunch. Teachers would not say anything to stop it. I felt scared to go to school and terrified to ride the bus. I truly hated elementary and middle school. I hardly had any friends, and the ones I thought were my friends were often two-faced.
In seventh grade, I was at a friend’s house, in her basement, and a girl with rings on physically beat me up, holding me down and punching me repeatedly in the face. There was a boy watching and swinging a knife around, laughing. Then I had to walk two miles home in the dark, alone, after being beat up. When I got home, my mother was lying in bed, asleep, with no idea I hadn’t been home.
Inner Strength In Spite of Her Bullied Past
Looking back, I was severely neglected, and it wasn’t a nurturing, caring living environment. When my mother was not working, she was sleeping. Now and then she did things to take care of us, but most of the time, we ran the streets and fended for ourselves.
Sadly, she passed away from breast cancer when I was thirteen.
Over the years of neglect, I developed many insecurities.
I now realize the trauma I dealt with made it difficult to socialize with other children as well. My sisters and I came from a poor upbringing, and I truly believe that is one of the reasons as to why I was made fun of and rejected growing up.
Many years later, I was diagnosed with ADD/OCD and anxiety. I had these brain-based challenges my entire life but did not realize it at the time.
The Effects of Trauma
OCD/ADD causes individuals to be impulsive, to have less patience around others, and to overthink everything. These tendencies can cause people to react to you in a way you may not deserve, but it’s unfortunately a result of struggling with mental health issues.
These issues were key as to why I heavily grieved over losing my mother, why I chose relationships that kept me feeling “vulnerable,” and why I always felt so alone.
I even allowed my ex-husband to control everything in our marriage. I wanted to feel safe, but this led to various forms of abuse. In 2015, I became a single mother, and even though I was scared of failing and struggled financially, I had to learn how to do everything on my own. Though difficult, I became a strong woman and a mother, and I was finally happy.
These foundations of my identity, as well as my faith, helped me feel secure and that true hope could be fulfilled. To this day, I still struggle with self-esteem issues, anxiety, and some seasonal depression; however, I choose to see other people’s needs instead of focusing on my own negative emotions.
The Courage to Leave an Abusive Marriage
My goal is to use my past hurts to bring them hope. I have a motto for myself: “I’m the glass half full kinda girl.”
Year ago, when I shared my story, others would often say, “I don’t remember you being bullied, when/who bullied you?” Questions like these caused me to question the validity of the pain I felt and made me think I had no right to use the word “abuse/bullied” to describe my pain.
However, as I dealt with all of the denial, anger, blame, sadness, and grief over the years, I realized I indeed had the right to feel everything I did, and no person could take that away from me.
That emotional strength and security has made me want to make a positive out of EVERY negative. Recently, I reached out to the girl that beat me up in the seventh grade and I reminded her of the events that happened. She did not even remember and explained how much hurt she was going through at the time.
She apologized, I told her I forgave her, and now we are friends and talk from time to time. So you see, I chose to use my pain to inspire others and show them that there IS hope, no matter what you go through in life.
Sometime it is as simple as saying hello to random people on the street, calling others by their names, making sure to wear a smile often, and going out of my way to be a friend to ANYONE who needs one. This is especially important to me, since I lost my brother in 2018 to suicide.
I know I suffered a lot of loss and hardships in life, but I know that others have suffered quite a lot more. We all experience different things, and what’s important is not how others think we’ve lived, but instead how we ourselves experience life.
I TRULY believe if I can share—or sing, a passion of mine—my story and save a life or even inspire one person, then it makes it worth going through all of this pain and coming out the other side.
A Passion for Music
Heide has a lovely singing voice! You can check out her single, “Bulletproof,” here!
0 thoughts on “Heide’s Story of Survival”
A truly inspirational story, thank you and Heidi for sharing it.
She’s amazing, isn’t she, Michael? 💖💖💖
Jesus is the ultimate healer. He is why I am that way I am. God gets all the glory. 😊🌹🙏🏼
Luv u Cherie..you are AMAZING!!
Yes He sure is! 💖🌺💐🌻
If you wanna pin this to my story or share.. I made this over a year ago in honor of my brother. It can be part of my story as you share that. 💜🙏🤗
This is so precious! I most definitely will! 💖💖💖
Thank you metalman.. lol
I appreciate it.
This hits home. Barely no one in my family gave a damn that I was being bullied at school. Everything I went through, I was on my own 90% of the time. If I was to tell people who knew me back then, their reaction would be “You were bullied?? I can’t remember”. People don’t stop to think how their actions or words affect others. And I’m glad for everyone who managed to find healing from all the pain.
You don’t know how I hurt for you, sweetie. 💔I’ve been where you are, so I feel your pain. Your bullies, including their enablers, and yes- in a sense, your family are your bullies’ enablers simply because they don’t support you. But know this. Their behavior and neglect doesn’t say anything about you but everything about them. Know that there’s nothing wrong with you. Know that you matter and you have value. You are worthy of love and friendship, no matter how they may treat you. Always know that deep in your heart! 💖💖💖
I’ve forgiven anyone who’s hurt me emotionally, physically, throughout my life. That’s how you heal. Then taking that hurt and turning it into hope for others. The more who hear, the more who share, the more who heal. 🤗💚🙏🏼🌈
I’m so proud of you! You don’t know how much! 💖💖💖
Here’s a rose for you. 🌹
Love you too! 😍 Thank you so much! ❤️🌺💐🌻
I am not a victim any longer. I am a warrior out helping those who are hurting. It’s not just bullying. It’s domestic violence, any form of abuse, bullying takes on many forms may it be a parent, in-law, boss, “friend”. It’s what you do with that hurt that determines how you will live the rest of your life.
I choose to help heal.
Seeing others smile, laugh, knowing I’ve made a difference is what brings me joy. 🤗💜🙏🏼🌈🌹😊
You’ve come so far and you are to be commended! 💖🌺💐🌻
God gets the glory! 🤗🙏🏼
Amen on that, sweetie! 💯👍💯👍💯
I just realized you were responding to Inner Musings post. I’m not used to blogs yet lol. I posted comments to everyone who posted but idk if I can view them or do they send privately? 🙃🤣💙
I completely understand dear. 😊🤗
You are here to share your story today. This helped shape you who you are. Now take that hurt and help others. 🤗🙏🏼💙
I am sorry for what you’ve experienced. That must hurt being dismissed. You can take that and use it for good. Don’t allow others to steal your joy. You are worthy of everything life has to offer. God bless you. 🤗🌹💙🙏🏼
Your life shows how much stress and ignorance you underwent. I am able to understand and feel the pain. But now the better part is you have overcome with your self confidence and good will. Very much positive approach. Very nice 🙂👍🌹
It’s all about helping bring hope to others. Thank you. 🤗🙏🏼
Thank you for sharing. It’s amazing that we can go through unthinkable things but then come out stronger and more compassionate on the other side. Beautiful.
Heide truly is a warrioress and I know she will read and appreciate your comment! I’ll definitely let her know. Thank you so much for your kindness! ❤️
Thank you for reading. PLEASE share my story of hope and my song Bulletproof.
Thank you so much, Heide! I sure will! I’ve already shared it with several anti-bullying groups. And will definitely keep sharing as I go.
Hello Cherie, I liked the story. It is really touching. I wrote an article on my blog in which I gave some advice. I hope that will help some one to avoid such experience. https://wildernesshero.com/protect-yourself/ , thanks cherie.
Thank you so much! You don’t know how much I appreciate it. 💖 I just read your post and commented. I really love your tips, especially hugging the tree and running to a nearby car. I have added your website to my blog roll because, at the moment, my blog is Unjustly flagged and I am unable to like nor follow other bloggers. Automattic has disabled those buttons. But I can put you in my blog roll and follow you that way, keep up with your posts. Keep teach those survival skills. Because you never know when an emergency could arrive. I have no doubt you will save many lives! 💖🤗💖🤗
Absolutely Cherie 🤗
You using dog as a metaphor for people? Insight. 🤗
Through everything I’ve gone through knowing Jesus is the ultimate healer and Hope in this world.
People looking out for each other and being that support is what this world needs. 💜🙏🤗
Thank you very much, cherry. I am very happy that you liked the article, and I am also very lucky because I found a valuable blog like yours, and of course I will become a loyal follower. thankyou so much.
You’re most welcome! 💖 And I so appreciate you.
I stumbled upon this moving post and while reading your experiences almost moved me to tears since I remember the days I suffered being bullied by my workmates three years ago. They constantly pointed out my acne and rosacea in my face which would mortify and embarrass me everyday at work. My family and friends did not know about it, they just noticed a lot of inflamed lesion under my cheek and around my neck, and I had an abrupt loss of weight. I believed that my depression caused emotional distress drained my whole me and it appeared on my skin and body. I decided to leave my work and start doing things I really love writing, playing piano, and enrolled again in college. There’s still a along way to go, and though my some painful memories still haunt me, I continue to believe that there are reasons why I experienced such awful things, and one of those is to firm in my faith. thank you!
Thank you so much, Kelvin. This means a lot. 🤗I’m so sorry you endured such horrible treatment from your coworkers, Kelvin. I’m so proud of you for leaving that toxic workplace and doing things that fulfill you. Know that there was something wrong with your bullies, not you. Because anyone who has to bully other people obviously has a mental disorder that hasn’t been addressed.
Keep your faith and keep doing the things you enjoy. Know that you are more awesome than you know. And know that Heide will appreciate this too when she sees it.