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Megan’s story of abuse, trauma and hardship

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Self-help fictional story with SBL self-help answer

“No, don’t! Get off me! Go away. I hate you.”

She feels her stepfather pin her down on the bed and struggles as she tries to get away. How dare he?! How could he do this to me? With a hopeless and desperate feeling, these words resound over and over in her mind. I don’t deserve this, she thinks. She struggles with all her might, she tries to scream out, but his big, heavy hand covers her mouth. She tries to break free, thrashing her arms and legs all about but it’s hopeless – she knows she can never stop this strong and tall man forcing himself over the top of her. So she lies on the bed and just lets it happen.

Megan woke up with a start, breathing deeply and sweating profusely. This was a regular night-time occurrence; it was becoming the norm for her to dream intense nightmares and to toss and turn. She doesn’t known what restful sleep feels like anymore. She shows ‘symptoms of PTSD’, according to her psychologist, whom she’d only visited once because she couldn’t afford ongoing sessions. She had been given pills to help her sleep, but no type of drug could stop the emotional torment that plays over and over in her mind.

Megan is a young, single mum with two young girls. She lives in an apartment in the suburbs with her children and her sister. She works day and night just trying to make ends meet, to pay the rent and feed her kids.

Every day she feels like a robot. She also suffers from depression and low energy levels. The only saving grace to her black and white life is her love for her kids and her sister. They keep her alive, make her strive to keep going, to not quit on life. She can’t remember a day in her life when she ever felt happy or content; to her that was just a fairy tale.

She grew up in an average middle-class family which was, on the most part, dysfunctional. A day didn’t go by where there wasn’t one form of bad luck or drama happening around her. She knew deep down that her parents and siblings cared about her, but they were too caught up in their own lives and dramas to take note of what was happening in her life.

Her mother and stepfather liked to drink; her stepdad was the most problematic. He was an alcoholic and daily he always took his drink too far. It was a standard practice between her parents that after a few drinks there’d be an argument, and it usually involved verbal or physical abuse. Her stepdad would let out his pent-up stress by calling her mum names and putting her down verbally, or physically hitting her with his fists.

Her natural father had left her mother when Megan was just a baby, leaving the responsibility of raising the kids all on her. They had never met him, nor has he ever tried to contact her mother.

Being the eldest of the two siblings, it was Megan’s natural role to look after her younger sister. She would always try and keep Brenda away from her parent’s abuse. Of course, she couldn’t fully protect her from her stepfather, but she did the best she could.

Her mother handled things the only way she knew how – by pretending the abuse didn’t happen. She acted as though everything was okay just the way it was. This made it extremely hard on young Megan because her mother’s denial stopped her from ever taking any constructive action to better their situation. She didn’t have the courage to move away from her stepdad. As Megan grew, there were many arguments between her and her mother because of this. She couldn’t live with her stepfather any longer and although she’d told her mother many times that he was ruining their entire lives, Megan’s mother was never strong enough to take charge of the situation, nor did she have any intention of leaving him. She believed she needed her ‘husband’ and always ended up defending or forgiving him.

The abuse inevitably turned on Megan when she was sexually and physically abused at just 14. Time went by and when she turned 18 she so desperately wanted to leave, but couldn’t leave her younger sister to be solely targeted by their stepfather. If she was there, she could protect Brenda to some degree. She promised Brenda she would stay another two years longer and then both would move out together, when Brenda turned 18. This plan gave them hope. With determination, she found a job and worked and saved enough money to move out and support herself and her sister, and by the time Brenda was 18 they both managed to move out of home. But this didn’t happen without protest from her mother and stepfather. The stepfather, full of rage and anger, ordered both to stay home, but his anger couldn’t stir Megan as her decision had been made. With a last effort attempt, he intended to cause guilt in order to manipulate the situation his way. He told them that her mother would suffer deeply and would try to kill herself without them around. He told them that they would be to blame if that situation eventuated.

Megan’s mind stayed strong through his mental manipulations, although it still took her utmost courage to stand up to him. When the day finally came and after she and Brenda packed their bags in secret, they had to face him one last time. Her mother was too distraught and although they tried to console her, they had to remind her one last time why they had to do this – to save their own lives. She wouldn’t hear it, and hid away in her room whilst they carried the last of their bags out of the house.  He stepfather wouldn’t give up so easily as he blocked the front door entrance. Although she was trembling with fear, Megan stood up to him with full eye contact and found the confidence to tell him to back down or she would call for the help of authorities. She was surprised that her display of confidence worked as he unblocked their path and freely walked out with Brenda behind her.

To this day, she hasn’t seen either of them since.

Brenda and Megan now live in a small apartment together in the suburbs, where Megan is continually working to make ends meet. Brenda is still traumatised by her upbringing, and leaving home highlighted her problems even further. She battled depression and anxiety and she resorted to cutting and alcohol to get her through her mental trauma. Megan, who was coping with enough pressure just getting through the day with her work commitment, couldn’t give Brenda the help she needed.

She tried everything to try to snap Brenda out of her depressive state. The soft approach didn’t work; she’d tried to console her lovingly, but she could see no improvement. Then she’d tried yelling and screaming at her, but this had only made matters worse. When Megan found Brenda in her darkest moments of despair, she would remind her, “You’ve got to get your act together. What is wrong with you? I helped you escape that place, but maybe I should have let you stay there, you might have been better off. The least you can do is support me. Help me out, don’t let me do this on my own. We’re both hurt. I’m hurt, too, but I can’t afford to be self-destructive.”

Luckily, she had met a man named Pete, whom she’d thought was the love of her life. He supported her through her struggles. She felt constantly overworked at her job and on top of this, overwhelmed because of Brenda’s situation. They met at work, started off as good friends and eventually began a relationship. Pete visited her apartment and helped to take care of Brenda. He helped her with housekeeping and with paying the rent, giving Megan extra cash when she needed it. He was a great guy and Megan fell head over heels quicker than she knew.

One day, Megan got a call at work from Pete. With urgency in his voice, he told her that Brenda had taken too many pills and was bleeding, unconscious, on her bed. He had called the ambulance and was going over to the hospital to monitor the situation. Megan discovered that Brenda had tried to kill herself with too many drugs and by cutting her wrists. Megan will never forget the mental image that was imprinted in her mind: her sister, lying in the hospital bed looking ghostly pale and close to death, Pete by her side looking forlorn and drained. Questions filled her mind as she processed her dark feelings. How could life possibly get any worse? Had she not gone through enough trauma just to escape her dark past? Would her and Brenda’s past demons ever leave them? How could she possibly be happy? For once in her life, why couldn’t she be happy? Was life meant to be so cruel and harsh?

She loved Brenda, but she knew she needed special help – something Megan didn’t feel she could provide her on her own. The only answer she had in the moment was rehab. She would have to work extra shifts to pay for her sister’s stay, but it’d be worth it. After Brenda recovered and returned from the hospital, she found a place that was close enough to her apartment. Her sister’s initial reaction was one of refutation and dissent, but eventually both Megan and Pete convinced her to go. Megan told her it would only be for a while until she got back on her feet.

Months turned into years and Megan gave birth to two beautiful children. Brenda did get out of rehab a year later, and although she didn’t try any more suicide attempts, she continually cycled into deep depression. The prescription drugs she was taking only seemed to intensify her destructive behaviour and mood swings. Brenda managed to be there for the birth of the children, and watched the children grow up, but she still lacked ambition and meaning in life. She couldn’t possibly work, as every job she tried she couldn’t stick to. She had trouble concentrating and employers always ended up letting her go after a few months’ trial.

Pete and Megan’s relationship broke up after two years. Megan found Pete straying and found out he was seeing other women behind her back. She was absolutely devastated. She knew his long weekend trips and late-night arrivals, along with the smell of lingering perfume could only mean one thing. Pete was her rock, her whole world, how could he do this to her? How could he leave her feeling all alone? She fell into the pits of despair and anguish. She felt so alone, so miserable. How could she possibly find the strength to take care of her family on her own?

She was inevitably left to care for her two children and her sister on her own salary, although she still received a small amount of child-care from Pete but it still wasn’t enough. Her sister still battled depression and suicide attempts, and after a few years, Megan had to book her into rehab again after she found her drinking, mixing drugs and cutting herself.

To this day, Megan remains in a constant state of mental pain and struggle. She still suffers from PTSD, struggles with looking after her sister and making ends meet.

She only wants what’s best for herself and her family. She has many unanswered questions that continually rotate in her thoughts. She is a loving and kind person, so why do all these bad things happen to her? Does God hold a grudge against her? She often wonders: why am I here? What is this life all about?

It’s only thanks to her children, who keep her seeking answers to her hard life. She has looked to self-help, other cultures and religions for answers but, although inspiring Megan in some ways, there is nothing she has found that has tangibly changed her life for the better. How does she get to happiness, peace and tranquillity? Is it even possible for her?

End

self-help, trauma, depression, hardship

Answer to Megan’s plight

The following is our answer to Megan’s plight in her fictional story and for all others suffering severe trauma.
Many may not agree with our answer but it’s just us sharing what works for us.
Always find and seek what works for you in your world.

Imagine an entire group of people who agreed absolutely that you have a right to be happy and that everyone is equal to each other, as we are all children of the universe – imagine that.

Such a group mind causes real change in the individual to live life on purpose instead of living life as a victim to the purpose of others.

Nothing is more powerful than a group mind that sees every member as having inalienable rights to express themselves blissfully and to allow others to do so.

It’s impossible to live this life effectively on your own or among people who are separate to your ideals of happiness.

Imagine that you are the most important person on earth and you saw others that way also. Now there are no fences, no divisions, and no barriers. Now there is unity and the brotherhood, or sisterhood, of man.

When the individual is just as important as the group and the group is just as important as the individual, then the miracles of fellowship, trust, and love can flourish.

The world is not so, but what stops you from making your world – your experience – this way?

Imagine forming a group, or joining a group, that has no vanity within it, only sharing, caring, and results-driven unity.

Your environment reflects you, so change the environment to match your ultimate direction of bliss and do so with the help of others who see you as important as themselves.

Everyone needs help sometimes, we all do – life can be hell – but we are meant to help one another raise above it with unconditional love.

A victim of life may never find the solution to freedom, but imagine everybody around you seeking the solution with you, isn’t that powerful? Already you would feel supported, loved, and cared for, as we all should feel in our times of need.

When humble people get together, miracles of life is the result.

Join people who love you for you, and such people do not have opinions, charge money, have an agenda, or think they are better than you. They want nothing from you except your happiness and freedom.

When your gift to the world is the happiness you share, imagine just how great you will feel.

It is so important that you are happy, that I am happy, that the world is happy.

Let’s work on this together.

There are people in this world who agree that your happiness is as important as theirs; seek such people out and you will be so thankful you did.

Let’s start a brand new world of dreams and possibilities; your life is so worth it.

Our community is just beginning, and our vision is for people worldwide to unconditionally help and love one another.

We’ll do the best we can to help another, but only if the other wants to be truly helped; we should all help one another.

We hope we have inspired you and if we have done so, then please do visit our site often and if you wish to share with us, please visit our contact page and let’s all of us make the world a better place.

Together we all win.

By Helen and Kai

This article appears in the first edition of Expose Magazine


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