Well, where on Earth do I even begin? If I was to look back on my life, it seems like one of those worst-case scenarios you’d hear about in a psychology class. While I might be 27 years old, it feels like I’ve already lived an entire life. Life has been chaos from day 1 but somehow, I’m still here, still kicking. And of course, my mind has to push out there, “Ha. Barely.”

I grew up without my father. I knew nothing about him. Instead, my mother lived with my Grandparents and I definitely grew up Grandpa’s Little Girl, even if he was tough as a rock on us all. He really was my hero.

While my Grandpa was strength for me until we lost him in 2009, our family didn’t talk problems, you didn’t share emotions. You just deal with it. When I couldn’t face the bullies at school, I couldn’t tell anyone. When I was abused by a cousin and later my step-father, nope-don’t you dare talk about it.

At 10, I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know where I belonged, who I could trust. And unfortunately, I didn’t want to be alive to feel the pain anymore. As the doctors started prescribing anti-depressants, this ten year old didn’t understand why she didn’t feel better and decided to swallow as many as I could before I got caught and dragged off to the ER.

Until I turned 18, I was bounced around, home, shelter, foster care. I found myself at one point dating a man that literally terrorized and controlled my every thought but yet, I was completely loyal to him. When police were called to investigate him, nope, I wouldn’t say a word. I was scared to death of him and even had been told if he saw me again he’d “snap my neck”, I wasn’t going to give all the details of my experience, I wanted him to love me.

As I sat in a shelter, one of the counselors finally broke through my head with a journal. He told me to write. Cuss. Get it all out on the paper. I didn’t have to show him if I didn’t want to. But I finally could. And I did. For once, I was able to share what really happened and it was finally acknowledged. No more hiding. And I cried and I cried and cried when it donned on me all that had already been thrown at me.

I’ve found myself in a constant struggle with PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression. I truly am my own worst enemy, constantly picking on myself and why I’m not good enough. Again, I find myself hiding, afraid to share what is going on, afraid those that show their care will take off, unable to handle “the baggage” that comes with.

Three years ago this month, I was sexually assaulted. A month later, I had a positive pregnancy test. Within a month of that, the news of twins. It was time to hide again, my own mother not knowing the potential truth of how my beautiful sons were conceived until after they turned a year old. I love these boys with all of my heart, and either way, I wouldn’t change having them.

After finally figuring out that I again, could not hold in what had happened, I sought help and counseling to try and figure out how to get over this. I remember the first appointment, “So do you want to tell me what happened that night?” Ha. Uh you are kidding right? I don’t know you.

Every day is a battle. Not only do I deal with the mental battle I face every day but I also have found myself battling fibromyalgia. There is no “positive thinking” that stops your mind from racing or intrusive thoughts pushing in. I wish it was an option to snap out of it.

For now, I keep pushing through, trying to find my way. And find the way to bring back the voice I once found. No one should have to hide or feel alone. No one deserves to feel ashamed. We all deserve to live knowing we are loved. No more hiding or holding in.

Do not judge what you do not know. Trust me when I say, if you aren’t supportive, don’t be ignorant. The fight we face inside is far enough.


Jenna Goodwin is a mother of four living in Central Iowa. The owner of MommyJenna.com, Jenna enjoys working in social media and sharing her experiences as a mom of twins and living with Fibromyalgia and chronic illness. You can find Jenna writing about the must-haves for the entire family as well as her personal life experiences. Jenna can be found on Twitter @MommyJenna. For inquiries, Jenna@MommyJenna.com.