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read the full story
I was always the golden child and overachiever in my family. Studies, scholarships, life abroad, MBA, career, pretty, smiling and always in a perfect relationship. At 25 I suffered my first episode of major depression and things fell apart without me understanding what was going on. Everything went grey and I could not get up anymore. I somehow managed to keep the job and self-medicated with alcohol, affairs and prescription drugs. After a few months I took up my old pace and it hit me again. I moved back to my home country, ended the co-dependent relationship, found a medication that works for me and started digging into my childhood trauma. My parents were both raised during WW2 and in post-war Germany and then had me very late. I was raised in the nineties by two very traumatized and emotionally and physically abusive people. My mother was like god to me and mental illness did “not exist”. From an early age on I learned to perform to avoid abuse, my radar was always on. I always had a feeling that something was off but never could point out what it really was. When I had my first episode I thought I was going mad and was so ashamed. My parents still don’t believe that my condition is real. They were never diagnosed with depression, PTSD and narcissistic personality disorder and “do not believe in these things”. My latest major episode hit me in January with thoughts of suicide and the constant overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. Both by knowing the drill by now and by experiencing unconditional love for the first time I am slowly crawling out of this one. I am in therapy for my PTSD, take my medication again and childhood memories I didn’t know I had resurface. It’s a very painful process but it has allowed me to bond with my sisters who suffered the same abuse 20 years earlier than me and whom I barely knew. I don’t feel so alone and desperate deep inside now anymore. I want to make sure I heal at least a little bit before I start my own family to not pass on the trauma and the violence.