There have been many times where I thought death was the only option for me. Life didn’t seem like it was worth living anymore. From a young age, I had to start making lists of things and people that were important to me and made my life worth living. Those lists were always very small.

Due to a combination of various bullshittery in the early years of my life, I was very depressed as a teenager. It wasn’t the typical teenage angst that my parents thought it was. It was so much more. There were nightmares, cutting urges, and bouts of suicidal thoughts. I’d been through traumatic things that I didn’t want to talk about with them, yet, the trauma and the memories of them were affecting my day to day life.

The other parts of my teenaged years weren’t a breeze, either. I was often the loner of any given social setting, which only depressed me further. I thought that I was ugly and that no one liked me. And when it came to dealing with my abuser? Sometimes it seemed like they loved me, but other times, it seemed as if I was the scum of the earth to them.

(It’s hard to escape the emotional manipulation and physical abuse when said abuser is one’s parent.)

It was years before the suicidal bouts let up. By the time I was starting to recover mentally, I was a different person. Hardened, but still human. I still had feelings and expressed positive emotions like joy and love. But I had to grow up really fast. Sometimes it feels like I wasn’t really ever a kid at all. I’d dealt with mental health issues and abuse for so long that I barely got to experience the joys of childhood. From the suicidal thoughts to my obsessive compulsions, I led an existence that was more so complicated by the lack of mental health support from my peers and parents.

But you know what? I survived. I did change in many ways, for better or for worse, yet I’m still alive. I’m taking my life one day at a time when things get especially rough, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I have a lot of great things ahead of me if I just keep fighting my way out of the darkness.


Riley Summers is a non-binary boy who loves writing and is often caught dreaming of warmer climates. His loves in life are his boyfriend, pizza, his writings, and donuts.

Riley can be found on his website and Twitterwater