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I’ve never spoken about any of this. I’ve always been afraid that my secrets, the ones I knew I’d take to the grave would get out and tear my world apart. But as I get older I’m starting to see that my world is falling apart anyway, so here goes nothing.

I think there’s something wrong with me (I’m so annoyed that it sounds cliche). What I mean is that, while growing up, things happened, things that I was never helped with and things that I didn’t deal with. Now that I’m older, I feel like my walls are closing in on me and I don’t know what to do. I come from a family of 12. I’ve never been the one to give my parents any trouble. This means that they don’t have the time to know whats going on in my life and I’m so glad I’m not a burden to them. Sometimes though I wish I had a bit of guidance on the more trivial things.

When I was younger my older brother used me to masturbate. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I know I felt sick writing that sentence, but I think I’m just scared that people will know. I don’t talk about it, I’ve never told anyone. I’m not really sure if that’s abuse or not. I’ve heard stories far worse then that and I don’t think it would be fair to say that I’ve been through the same thing.

I guess I’m a little angry at my family. I know they all knew. I remember telling my older sisters and watching them giggle. (they were young so I don’t blame them). The problem is life went on like nothing happened. To this day. That wont change because if I tore my family apart like that, I don’t think they would ever forgive me, I would never forgive me. In spite of everything I still love my brother and I think that’s enough.

Next was primary school. I didn’t have a single friend, I remember trying to hide from the girls who used to hunt me down for fun. They were always coming up with new names and new games, they picked on the way I looked mostly. At home it was the same, I have four sisters and for some reason I didn’t fit in, when I was home they used to play tricks on me like tying me up in our bedroom and leaving me there for hours or pretending to make me a drink when I was sick only to spit and put detergents in it. They would tease me about my weight a lot, about how I was getting bullied at school, about how I was different, odd and disgusting. What I never understood is why. I would always try to be so nice, why was that the thing that made me so vulnerable. These were the worst years of my life.

High school was pretty much the same right up to year 9. I was the outsider. In year 10 I thought “Screw it!” I’d rather not have friends then surround myself with people that would bring me down. Ironically, while alone, I made some pretty wonderful friends that year.

Now I’m 22, still living at home and I feel riddled with insecurity. I’m embarrassed to be seen in public, I try not to be noticed, when I do get out and socialize, I’m awkward, nervous and my words get jumbled up.

I’ve been dieting since primary school and in spite of all my good and bad choices I’ve only ever gained weight. I’m a size 12 now. I don’t wear clothes that show my figure or skin above my fore arm or even my legs. That is something that has gotten worse in the last year. I used to at the very least wear dresses. It was over 40 degrees yesterday and I couldn’t take off my jumper because I didn’t want people to notice me. I don’t go swimming anymore and I tend to avoid parties. I have the most wonderful friends in the world but I find it hard to get close to them, or to feel entirely comfortable around them.

I study Architecture at university. Its a grueling course that requires me to present my work to people who will exploit my weaknesses. I should be getting stronger and developing a thicker skin shouldn’t I? Instead I feel like my confidence in presenting is getting worse. I’ve developed a stutter and I always go blank.

I’m scared that I’m spiraling, I’ve researched psychologists but the ones I’ve found are expensive and I’m worried someone will find out. I don’t wont to be the girl with “emotional baggage”, but I don’t want to be completely shut out either. This is all I think about now.

I’m sure I’ll work it out but if you have read this, thanks, and I wish you so much happiness and healing on your own journey. God bless.