I was a freshman in high school when my mom was incarcerated. I went from caring for my brother while my mom was at work trying to keep a roof over our head and food in our stomachs, to emptying our house of everything we owned and moving away from my brother. My brother and I were very fortunate. We both had fathers (different dads) that took us in. I went with my dad, and he went with his. I didn’t want to move in with my dad for a few different reasons, reasons that really don’t matter now but that I may always hold on to. Being 14 at the time, I didn’t have a choice on where I ended up. Looking back on it now, moving in with my father was what saved me in a roundabout way.

(There is so much I am skipping, mainly because I don’t know how to put it into words. And I’ll get to it one day, but for now I want to get us to where I am today)

My mom never understood depression. To her it was something that worked itself out, and for some people it might.

My dad opened my eyes to seeking help. He did everything that he could to make sure I got the help that I needed. Years of therapy and trials of different medications.

Not only did he save me, he tried his best to understand me.

Understand that I didn’t always understand myself. That I didn’t always understand why I did things the way I did.

Most of all, he understood that I was damaged. I had a “tragic” childhood and there was nothing he could do about that. He couldn’t take away that pain, and he couldn’t have saved me from any of it.

It taught me that if I wanted help, I had to ask. There is no reason for my suffering in silence.

He taught me how to save myself.


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