Stigma Fighters: LJ Astoria

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Stigma Fighters: LJ Astoria

*Trigger Warning – sexual abuse
My name is LJ, I was born and raised in New York. I was born into pure chaos, the youngest of five to two dysfunctional parents. I have had PTSD since the age of 4. During the course of my childhood I was tortured, neglected, starved, and sexually abused my various adults…including family. Every day was torture..unless I was with my Grandma.

I had two panic attacks at school, once in 1st grade, and the other in 2nd. The teacher left the room to go down the hall for something. I went into full panic mode, I couldn’t breathe, I ran to the door to see if the teacher was coming back. I freaked out my class; they gathered around me trying to figure out what was happening. My legs collapsed and I went down to the floor. I started grabbing on other kids begging them to take me to the nurse because I felt like I was going to die. Just then the Teacher came back and told everyone to go back to their seats, she gave me a dirty look and said “you too!” She proceeded to tell the whole class that  I was “crying wolf.” She then told the story a “little boy that cried wolf.” I was humiliated! From that day on…I hid every symptom of PTSD that I could. I was afraid of not appearing “normal.”

I was made fun of and tormented during the course of my years in School. In 3rd grade I had a boy threaten to make fun of me if I didn’t give him my snack, so I handed it over. Little did he know I wasn’t eating at home and that snack meant everything to me. I had another boy look at me and tell me I was so ugly that I should just kill myself because nobody would ever want me. I never defended myself. I would do my best to ignore it until I would get home to cry. Half the time my mom didn’t make me go to school. My Mother recently told me she didn’t take care of me because she “had too many kids.” Being the youngest of five, I got the brunt of everything. I remember being nine years old and wishing I was 16 so I could drop out..and at 16 I did just that. Without any disputing from my family I simply signed out of school.

I started working at an ice cream shop straight away after dropping out of school. During my teens I had padlocks on my bedroom door because my brothers started using heroin and they would steal and sell whatever I had, which was not much. Suffering inside with all the symptoms of PTSD and depression I still kept all those secrets of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks inside of me.

Then came 9/11- this  added to my trauma being so close to NYC and witnessing the chaos. I saw the buildings smoking. I wanted to escape NY cause it made all my PTSD symptoms even worse. I ended up moving in with a male friend in North Carolina in January 2002. He came to NY,  helped load up my bed, clothes, everything I had. He bought a huge house and I was going to be his roommate. I was so excited to start a new life out of NY, I thought it would make all the things in my brain STOP. It didn’t. When I was setting up my room in the house he stood their and watched. Then bedtime came, I went to go in my room. He asked me “Where I was going?” Then he said “Oh no you’re sleeping in bed with me.” I was held there with no communication, no car keys, I was cut off from everyone. I was raped and had various other traumas occur while I was there. February 4th 2002 my Mom called the male I was with, he handed the phone to me..My brother had committed suicide.

Sadly I had many more traumas that came over the course of the next 14 years. But in 2014 I caved and told a therapist EVERYTHING I was experiencing mentally.I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD. What tortured my every thought had a name. I went for years of treatment and most of it was healed in January 2016 through various treatments and my own research. I was inspired to write about healing to help encourage others that healing IS possible. You can read my writings on PTSDchat.org My goal is to raise awareness for PTSD and to help stop the stigma of ALL mental illness’s. I hope my writings can be used to help others.

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LJ can be found on her website and Twitter

By | 2016-04-21T06:43:32+00:00 April 21st, 2016|Categories: Stigma Fighters|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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