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Not everyone would understand why I want to do this, to open up about a subject that has kept me – at times literally – mute.  But the truth is my past was so horrifically abusive, so terrifying and unimaginable, I feel getting it out will in some way help. And if, along the way, I can manage to help someone else I will be happy something positive has come out of the darkness and misery.

Hope isn’t my real name, but it’s what I cling to as I go through this very difficult period of cognitive and drug therapy, to combat my lifelong depression and help me, bit by bit, come to terms with childhood abuse that started when I was four or five, and went on until my admittance into an institution four or five years later.

I suffered over 40 years before I finally admitted my past was having a dramatic, and devastating, affect on my life. Then I sought help. I started seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. I see my therapist once a week, and I’m on a drug regimine to keep me level, partly so I don’t “check out” from the horror of having to deal with it all.

I am a writer, blogger, librarian, wife and mother. I’ve never been drug-addicted, never an alcoholic, never in trouble legally. I survived by shoving everything down, pretending my life was fine, that I’d gotten beyond my childhood trauma. But it wasn’t fine. Everything exploded in my life in 2007. I asked my husband for a divorce. I thought I was in love with another man. I hit rock bottom.

A few months later I checked myself into a psychiatric day program. I started seeing the therapist I continue to see, and a psychiatrist started me on a drug regimine. Almost two years later, here I am.

I have made some progress. My marriage is back on track. Therapy is going well. My meds are pretty stable. I keep a written journal that really helps.

I don’t practice enough self care. Sometimes I slip back and feel I don’t deserve to exist. Some days I stand staring at my meds and think, “It would be so easy …” Many days I scratch and claw to get through, to push the demon off my shoulder.

But I’m working on it, slowly, day by day. This is my journey, what I deal with every, single day. Some days are better than others, but so far I am making it. With a lot of help, but still. I’m a survivor.