Hope Connection Week 2

By: Kaylyn Teemley

Before I start, I would like to thank Hope For The Day for giving me the chance to share a piece of my life with people who may need it. This foundation is so incredible, and I look forward to being apart of it. When asked to share my story, I wasn’t quite sure how much to include or how to put everything into words. So this is my best attempt at writing out my story.

I can think of a few major moments in my childhood that were huge factors in my mental health. But when I think back on it, all of the smaller moments were only as bad as they were to me, because they were like bonus tracks on the full length album [cheesy simile] of things that were going wrong in my life.

My home situation was the most crucial issue that brought on my depression and anxiety. Before I start, I’d like to say that I don’t share this story for fun and games. I can only hope that I can help at least one, if not many, lives cope and understand what’s going on.

It started when my parents divorced when I was five years old. When the split happened, I mainly lived with my mom since she was the more reliable parent. My mom then moved in with her boyfriend who I’d like to keep nameless for this story. Things were really great for the first few years, and then things drastically took a turn for the worst. Realistically, maybe they were always bad and I was just too young to realize. My mom’s boyfriend became very abusive towards her, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This went on for years, but was mostly hidden. Once he got more comfortable around my brother and I, it happened all of the time. We would constantly watch our mother being beat and verbally abused.

Being as young as we were, it was impossible to know how to handle the problem. Our mother always had some sort of justification for the actions, since I don’t think she wanted to admit to herself the situation she was in. His anger and aggression then slowly switched towards us. It was endless insults and threats. This man made me hate myself, made me feel unwanted, and really made it so I couldn’t see hope for a successful future. If my own mother was in this situation, where would I be in twenty years?

One night, he swung at my little brother, who was maybe ten years old at the time. I don’t remember much from that night, except that we packed up as much as we could while he passed out drunk, and we left. We slept in parking lots for a few nights, and then switched between friends’ guest bedrooms for about a month. We eventually found an old trailer park outside of town that was cheap enough for us to afford. We lived there my entire sophomore and junior years in high school.

At this point in time, I was at my lowest. I had started self-harming myself and I constantly thought about suicide. My brother also suffered from his own mental illnesses, but that’s not my story to tell. Our lives were drastically different, and it definitely seemed like there was no solution.

This was the time in my life that I found the pop-punk/alternative music scene. I started going to a few shows and meeting some amazing people, who surprisingly understood what I was going through. I had never felt more in the right place than I did at these shows. With the help of some amazing friends, and my favorite band, I pulled myself out of the hole I was in. I quit harming myself, and slowly started seeing hope in my life again.

When I was old enough to drive, I dedicated all of my time and money to travelling to different cities and seeing different bands and festivals. I truly, whole-heartedly, believe that I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for the music I listened to. Quite honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even made it this far.

The summer before my senior year we finally moved into our own home. My mothers dream was coming true, and she could finally start the farm that she always wanted. I finally had a home that I felt safe in, and my mental health was getting much better. My senior year I decided to attend college for Music Recording in the fall. I’m now in my second semester at college, I’m a straight A student, I have my own apartment, and I can see a successful future for myself.

I didn’t see it then, but life really does get better. I still have bad days, but that doesn’t mean I have a bad life. It’s always worth staying around for. I can finally say that I’m happy with where I’m at and who I am, and that’s such a great accomplishment, and I hope that everyone reading this can either say that now, and can learn to reach that goal one day.