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In life, we just never know what paths we may cross or the storms we may encounter. I certainly never thought at 17 years old that I would be a young author of “A Heart of Hope” the book and voice for the prevention of suicide, self-harm and ending the many different stigmas surrounding mental health. I consider myself a 3D girl(driven, determined, destined) not only because I give so much of myself to the world, but because I made a decision to turn my pain into power and through that power, I found my God-given purpose. Most importantly, I kept hope alive!
Read more: I was Sexually Assaulted by a Superior
At age 7 to about 9 years old I began to experience sexual abuse by my step dad and a family friend. The thought of my family being destroyed hit me like a ton of bricks! So, silent I remained for 8 whole years, it was a painful silence. I began to self-harm in odd ways, such as stick tacks and staples into my skin, bang my head on whatever I could, burn myself, give myself a black eye, I’d bust my lip purposely, and sometimes I would even whip myself with belts. Harming myself was the only time I could focus on physical pain and not having to deal with those seemingly endless flashbacks of the horrific abuse that haunted me daily. I then began to use actual razors to cut with. It simply started with the front of my wrist. It progressed rapidly to the other side of my wrist, then my neck, and eventually my ankles. It became an addiction. I craved for it 24/7.
The more I did it, the less I felt human. That’s how I wanted to feel. I became a fragile living statue. My heart was cold blue, my mind was gone, and my soul felt like it had been tarnished, but somehow I was still alive. After a while, self-harm wasn’t enough for me, I wanted more. I wanted to rid myself of the pain I was feeling completely. I planned suicide attempts and attempted many times. I’d been hospitalized constantly forcing psychologists to do further evaluation on me.
Read more: I have PTSD Symptoms since I was Assaulted
After months of evaluation, I was later diagnosed with mood disorder and depression. I went home still feeling like a psycho, miserable, bitter, and defeated. That day was my last attempt that changed my life forever. I wrote suicide letter with this message, “Today is the day that I’m going to take my life by splitting my wrist and drinking bleach. I’ll finally be at peace and so will the world…are you guys happy now?”
Immediately after writing that letter, I put it under my pillow and I remember taking the razor apart as fast I could to hurry up and end my life before anyone could come into my room. I began to cut my wrist, but still there was no satisfaction. In frustration, I began cutting deep into both of my thighs. Suddenly, I began to feel weak and faint, my vision began to blur. The bleeding seemed unstoppable. I looked down at the floor and all I could see was the pool of blood around me. The red pool left me in shock, the smell of iron sickened me. I leaned up against the wall, my energy level dropped. I didn’t have the energy to crawl out of the room to get the bleach.
Suddenly, my twin came back into the room to start a conversation with me until she saw my legs covered in blood and the red pool that followed. I took a quick look up at her and hung my head down in shame. She opened her mouth in awe and ran out of the room as fast as she could to get my mom. She screamed on top of her lungs. That scream was a different kind of scream. It was a scream of worry and trepidation. My mom ran into my room as quickly as she could. She was noticeably terrified by the bloody scene, but also the fact that it was her child covered in an unbelievable amount of blood. “Why Kenidra baby, why???” she said in pain.
I couldn’t really say anything because I felt embarrassed that I didn’t complete the attempt.
Read more: My Own Private Depression
I forgot to prepare the bleach beforehand. The rest of my siblings had come into my room to see what all the loud noise was about. The looks of worry, shock, and hurt on their faces left me heartbroken. Instantly, at that moment something came over me, it was a spirit of peace. My mom cleaned me up and got the bleeding to stop on the deepest cut closest to my main artery. I soon found out that it was where most of the blood was coming from. I lost a lot of blood that day but most importantly I was still alive.
That day changed my whole perspective on how I viewed life. It was a wakeup call and a turning point for me. I realized that it wasn’t my time to go. There were still missions here that I had to accomplish. I didn’t want to leave the people I truly loved and cared about. I just wanted to be at peace. I also realized that my family meant more to me than wanting to die. If it wasn’t for my twin sister and mom taking action the way they did, I don’t know if I would have survived since I lost so much blood.
From that day on, I knew in my heart that I was going to put self-harm, self-doubts, and those suicidal thoughts and attempts behind me. I didn’t know exactly who I was and my true value and worth at that moment, but I did know that I was more than what I had gone through. I was determined to find another way. Through this tough milestone in life is where I began my movement, C.H.E.E.T.A.H Movement which stands for Confidence, Harmony, Enlightenment, Encouragement, Tranquility, Awareness, and Hope. The overall mission is to inspire, save and change lives. Also, to end the many different stigmas surrounding mental health and to raise awareness and educate individuals out there hoping to change their perspective on how they view mental illness.
Read more: Depressed But Fighting It
After writing all the things that I envisioned for C.H.E.E.T.A.H Movement, I began to take action by first sharing my story on Facebook. I shared because I believe social media is all about reaching and connecting with people. I then moved to Instagram and many different celebrities discovered my story, supported me and commended me on my bravery of coming out. The actress Meagan Good had actually reposted my story and that’s when many people began to reach out to me with their stories and how I’ve helped them to be more transparent with their struggles.
I will never forget one person in particular. She reached out in desperation, on the verge of ending her life after running away from home. I knew that I had to do something. Her story is so significant because she reminded me of me. I felt her pain, I knew what it felt like to feel alone, worthless, and so low to the point you feel that you should no longer be living. I did everything in my power that I could to help her, maybe even more. I did have a phase of doubting myself while I was really discovering my faith. Those “doubts” gave me the strength to make the right steps in a timely manner and call help for her. Her mom told me that I was her “SHERO” and that she couldn’t wait to meet me one day. Just knowing how I not only saved a life but impacted a life, along with her family so greatly, lets me know that my struggles had meaning, a purpose.
Read more: How My Childhood Got Me PTSD
Not long after, my story had been discovered by the host of the jump-off internet radio show and I was soon asked to do an interview about my story and the importance of speaking out and forgiveness. Soon after, I got so many more opportunities of being featured on different blogs, interviews, and traveling out of state for speaking engagements and appearances – becoming more vocal. By then, I created a blog for the movement and that’s where everything became raw and unfiltered. I put my heart and soul into each and every blog post.
Read more: A Victim of a Hate Crime
Some days, I remember being vulnerable but through vulnerability I found the unthinkable strength to keep blogging, to keep sharing, to keep spreading this important message. Although, the hard part is over these scars will still remain on my body. I think of every wound as a battle I won. In the end, it’s safe to say, my living is not in vain.