I told myself a long time ago that I would never publicly share my feelings, or my life, from the past year. And then over a year later, I found myself writing this.
I have been told that there are moments in which your world turns upside down, moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into 2 parts - before this, and after this. When everything you thought you knew is obliterated.
And in my case, when a simple, everyday life instead becomes terrifying, confusing, and publicized.
414 days ago, that exact moment happened to me. And my mind went blank. The person I had trusted the most, the person I looked up to in every way, the person I thought I knew, was not that person. I can honestly say that I do not remember the majority of the three months of my life after finding out that everything I thought I knew was a lie. I spent that time questioning everything, wondering how and why, in between the numerous door bells and incessant phone calls.
I was numb. Absolutely, completely numb.
I have always been someone that holds things in, which I have come to realize may not be the healthiest. So naturally I bottled up, I smiled, and I moved right along. I pretended to not hear the rumors, the side comments, the jabs that people would make to my face, but mostly behind my back. You see, when things like this happen, very few people understand what it does to the people who were left to pick up the pieces.
It is said that during the worst times of your life, you will get to see the true colors of the people who say they care for you. And boy, is that statement true. It has been - interesting - to see the amount of people who have so easily lost touch with my mom and I. The family friends who used to have us over for barbecues or get togethers, are now the people who will sporadically ask how we are only when they see us by convenience. Some of our family that vanished into thin air, without ever offering to be there when we needed them the most. The people who I cared so deeply for, who turned around and chose to use words of hate rather than words of comfort. Those losses sting, but they are now merely reminders of the family and friends we do have; the ones that have always been there.
I can post photos on social media of my nights out with friends, or update my blog with style tips. But what I don't post for everyone to see are the days trying to remember the last time my life was simple. Or the last time our "family" spoke to us. Or the last time I didn't feel unbearably overwhelmed. Because as much as people would like to think, you don't bounce right back. I lost my home, my parent, friends, family, trust, and in the midst of it all...I lost myself.
I have learned more in the last 414 days than I have in the last 21 years combined. I have learned that life is definitely not fair, and can kick your ass. But I believe in the person I want to become. I believe that a series of terrible, life changing events in someone's life does not define them. And I believe that just because I do not have everything together does not mean I am broken.
And I understand that there are situations that are far worse than mine. I understand that there are losses and tragedies and circumstances that far exceed the one I have experienced.
But I wanted to share my story.
I wanted to remind even just one person, that what someone else does does not define you.
That not everyone who says they will be there for you will actually stick around.
That not everything can be fixed and put back together.
That sometimes, it always rains the hardest on the people who deserve the sun.
The ones that do stay are the ones you hold on tight to.
And you are allowed to wake up and change for the better, for yourself.
Very little is needed to make a happy life.
I wanted to give even just one person reading this a sense of hope.
Because 414 days later, I know how strong I am. And I am proud of that.
To my best friend, who is the strongest, most amazing person I know.