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Stigma Fighters : Lindsay Holmes

A handful of pills, alcohol, and a full bathtub. That’s all I need. I had the perfect plan to finally give me peace. I climbed in to relax, tossed my pills in my mouth, drank and relaxed waiting for bliss to take hold, that moment when oblivion would release me from my nightmares.

I’ve always had three friends hanging around since I was little, Depression, Anxiety, and the conjoined twins Addiction and OCD.

Addiction and OCD were always obsessing over the littlest things and leading me on endless tasks that were never complete until they said so. Depression always seemed to be there, helping me cry for no reason, feel like the world was crashing around me, or taking away all the vibrant colors on my palette leaving me black. Then there was Anxiety, the friend I didn’t want, but who wouldn’t go away. He provided me with panic attacks whenever it pleased him, as well as making people or the public the scariest things imaginable. They all robbed me of my common sense and replaced reality with their nightmares.

My friends were the best. They created a barrier around me to keep all away. All I wanted was to end the loneliness, emptiness, and feelings of being unwanted and unloved. I wanted to meet a guy and have my nightmare turn into a fairy tale. I reached new levels of hopelessness with this wish, as each guy I met treated me like his sister. My dreams were dying. It was unbearable.

Until HE walked into my life shortly before my 21st birthday.

He saw me. He actually saw me. Butterflies ignited the moment I spotted him. He made me giddy, and I was never giddy. He gave me life, breathing the oxygen into me that I needed to live. This was the one, I thought, this one might be my chance for a happy ending.

We would hang out after our shifts, grabbing drinks.

Then he asked me back to his place one night to hang out. The naive girl that I was, excitedly said yes, ecstatic that he wanted to spend more time with me. I didn’t want the time to end. He must have felt the same exact way.

That’s when I died.

That bastard, vile monster, evil incarnated, raped me. Mr. Hyde came out to play and stole the innocence that I had, destroyed me. Drugged me and raped me because he could.

That moment changed everything. I was no longer me, I was an empty shell, nothing left. I was robbed of everything that I had. Life, trust, faith, hope, love, even my virginity, stolen. I shut down from that moment forward. I didn’t tell anyone. I cried that night, going through every emotion I knew, and then moved on. I had to go on. No one was to know. Ever. I could do this. I could go on like nothing happened.

Until Mother’s day, when I found out I was carrying my rapist’s baby. Happy Mother’s Day to me, what a great gift. I was now carrying the product of evil inside of me. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t have a reminder of what happened inside and outside of me for the rest of my life. I felt like dying. I never told anyone until much later, good thing too, for a few weeks later, fate made the decision for me. I lost the baby I had finally made the decision to keep.

I felt as though I had lost my one chance at love, my one chance at happiness with that miscarriage.

I shut down. I cried myself to sleep every night. When I closed my eyes, I would relive everything over and over again. It was awful. I couldn’t control it. I was choking on it, the emotions were taking over. I couldn’t let them consume me. So I expelled my emotions. I refused to feel. To be honest, I didn’t think it was possible, but I managed to completely shut off my emotions with the help of my three friends. They took my emotions away, locked them up, hid the key, and burned the map. They also made sure to cover me up, in quilts of darkness, sorrow, and remorse.

I was an emotional zombie. It’s really hard to describe, because I just didn’t feel. I existed. I worked, slept, ate, took care of the animals, went where I was told, but felt nothing. I was a shell, an outline. Here, but not really here. I got to the point that my emotions were so well hidden, that when I wanted to try and feel something, I couldn’t. I didn’t remember how, I didn’t know where my friends buried them. I became desperate. I needed to scratch this itch, I needed to feel.

I took matters into my own hands with what Addiction taught me. Self-harming. I scratched, burned, and hit myself. It wasn’t helping. I wasn’t feeling enough. Then I cut myself by accident. The pain I felt from that was glorious. I felt, I finally felt something. I cried because I felt. It was the best present I had ever gotten- feeling again.

Then it stopped when the wound healed. So I started to cut myself whenever I wanted to feel. Addiction has been such a good friend showing me these releases. I could feel, I was in control of when and how much. I was free. I was finally able to breathe, scratching my emotional itches, and then hiding them when I didn’t need them.

I had finally created my own bliss, or so I had thought, because it felt painfully obvious that actual bliss was never to come. This serene feeling from harming myself and releasing emotions was not enough. I needed something stronger, which is where the bathtub, pills, and alcohol came in.

My suicide attempt happened at a party surrounded by people that I felt invisible around. My former boss and his girlfriend saved my life by forcing me to vomit. Had I realized this, I would have been humiliated, however I was too far gone in an attempt to find bliss.

It was not long after that I decided to get assistance. It seemed as though my friends had taken over my life and I needed assistance with managing them. So off to the clinic and counseling services I went. That’s when I learned the true names of my friends. I just thought until that time that they were friends, they cared about me. They lied to me. They were leeches and were sucking the life out of me and filling the void they created with shadows, hopelessness, and everything creepy crawly.

I was put on medication and thrown into Intensive Therapy. Three days a week for four hours at a time sitting in a group. It was torture to go through about thirteen different drug cocktails to find what worked for me. I was moody, nauseated, dizzy, felt like I was free falling into nothing as they searched for the right combination. Finally a mixture was found.

I was okay for a while, then relapsed. I was back to self-harming, crying uncontrollably and at the most random inappropriate times. I did not know how to emote. I would laugh at funerals. I cried whenever something was funny. Reactions that required emotions took days to decide how to respond. It took me four days before I cried for my grandmother when she passed.

I was breaking down little by little. I was scared at my own shadow, I would have waking nightmares, flashbacks to the rape, little things were setting me off into hysterics. I had a nervous breakdown. It was then that I finally, after 8.5 years, told my family what had happened to me. The rape, the pregnancy, and the resulting miscarriage.

I sought out the local rape crisis center and therapy started. I realized I had never addressed the cause of my problems. I was diagnosed with PTSD – a new friend to add to my collection. I never shared my rape or miscarriage with my previous doctors. Afraid and humiliated, I didn’t want to be judged further than I felt I already was.

Being the victim was so ingrained in me, that the PTSD therapy that I was in, took eight extra weeks, to get through. I became stuck on points and could not get past them. I held onto that victim mindset. I must have somehow invited him, asked him to do that to me. It was my fault. I am a slut, I am dirty. No one is going to want me now. Finally, with a lot of work, I was able to push through this and move on.

In my experience, most people categorize those who have been raped as either ‘victim’ or ‘survivor. I cannot accept either label. I fought back. I gave my soul to the devil, then fought to regain it. I’m a warrior. I will not take anything less than that title, for now that I have been working on conquering the devil, the monster that haunts me each day, I am trying to teach others, to complete the circle, so that they may become warriors too.

My friends are still with me, but we’re now trying to work as a team. I’m always battling PTSD and Depression, but they are starting to listen a bit. Anxiety stays quiet as long as PTSD and Depression are not in control. The same goes for OCD and Addiction. I’m always battling against the need and want to harm myself, or lose myself . I’m a warrior though. I am going to win this war, even if a few battles are lost along the way.

1 in 5 people are affected by mental illness; I want to make them all warriors with me.

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pictureCWarrior.
Lindsay is a rather artsy, easy going, weird, and eccentric Geek girl who loves animals and is the mommy to 4 of them (2 rabbits, cat, and ferret). She considers herself a connoisseur of whiskey drinking and video game playing, as well as having the beginnings of a tattoo collection. Most days she is bumbling around with software and hardware, whilst at night she is a ninja munching on gummi bears and dancing to music. She enjoys blogging as a way of dealing with the aftermath of rape: PTSD, a miscarriage, abuse, depression, and a suicide attempt; as well as trying to find more Warriors to battle along side.

Lindsay can be found on her website, Facebook and Twitter

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  • Erin King

    Warrior you are indeed, m’love. <3

    • Lindsay Holmes

      Thanks hun. 🙂 <3

  • Jeanette Holmes

    The strength you show every day and in sharing this speaks volumes. You are a warrior and leader for those battling today and in the future.

    • Lindsay Holmes

      Thank you Jeanette. You are amazing in your own right as well. Love you.

  • http://www.aussalorens.com/ HackerNinjaHookerSpy

    Powerful story, Lindsay. I’m glad you shared it with us.

    • Lindsay Holmes

      Thanks hun. 🙂 I’ve decided that I need to share, hopefully it helps others.

  • Anna Steinberg

    You are strong. Keep going 🙂

    • Lindsay Holmes

      Thank you 🙂 I appreciate it greatly.

  • Jillian

    Amazing story, it is great to see strength in other people, makes me stronger in my battle. <3

    • Lindsay Holmes

      Thank you! <3 That's why we are all warriors, we strengthen others.