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Shannon’s story

“No matter how bad things are, there is help.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

Family and classmates seemed to never understand why I reacted so differently. I had virtually no friends and took solace in my pets as a child. My mother and I constantly fought; and she would get furious when I could not stop crying. I had no identity of my own because I spent all of my time trying to please my family but I always seemed to mess things up. I had trouble remembering things that I had done; it was like my brain had left the building for a while without me noticing. I was raped at age 12 and never told anyone until I was 30 years old. I felt that I would be blamed for playing in a bad area.

As I grew older I had a daughter and before she was a year old I had left her father and moved in with another man. My relationships were like roller-coasters. At first I would worship whomever I was with but within three months I would grow to hate them, then I would move onto someone else.

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in my late twenties, but no one ever explained what that meant to me. I destroyed every relationship I ever had. I spent time in at least fourteen psych units but never received the therapy that I needed.

How did you overcome this experience?

I ended up homeless and moved back in with my parents. One day I got angry with my mother and picked up a weapon without realizing what I was doing. When I looked down and saw what was in my hand, I asked for help. I now am in a support group and went to another psych ward where a social worker provided me with the resources that are available to me. Now I am researching my illness in my free time and life is much easier.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

No matter how bad things are, there is help. All you have to do is ask for it. If it is really serious, go to an emergency room and tell them what is going on. They are there to help you no matter how bad you may think things are.

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