Recently I was given the task of writing my story for Kate Duff’s magazine ‘Audacity’ (links below).
So now that it’s published… here it is…
I am currently sitting on the edge of my bed, staring at a blank grey wall, wondering how I even begin to tell my story. Honestly, I’ve been trying to think of how to start writing this mini-autobiography for days. I’ve now come to the conclusion that the best place to start is after high school, when I think my life really began.
I was always the fat kid. Growing up my parents told me I’d grow out of it… you know because puberty fixes everything. Well… it didn’t. My anxiety and depression slowly got worse throughout the years and so did my weight. By the time I graduated high school, I had become the class fat girl pushing 300lbs. I didn’t fit into desks, I couldn’t wear what I wanted, and I didn’t fit into any groups or cliques. I was bullied like every other fat kid in America and was mildly scarred over the years because of it. Eventually, the name calling and stares got to be too much for me and shortly after graduation… I snapped.
In 2011 I went to college, met my now husband, and was on a mission to lose at least 50lbs. I didn’t want to keep on living as the quiet, suicidal, fat girl with no friends so I began exercising, eating healthy, and holding myself accountable for my actions. Then wham… two years later I was 140lbs lighter (literally half of what I used to be) and feeling really really good about myself.
After two skin removal surgeries (believe it or not your skin doesn’t just snap back into place like a damn rubberband) and some new clothes, I actually started getting compliments, winks, and flattering stares for the first time in my life. It felt so damn good to finally be seen as the beautiful confident, fun, person I always knew I could be. I was genuinely happy and loving life as I got used to my new shell.
Then it all changed.
I think everyone has that moment in their lives when they know their world shifts. Like something happens (good or bad) and life is just never the same. Well… mine was bad. It happened one night in September 2018. LIke any other Friday night, I had been drinking with my husband and his coworker (by that point he was a friend to both of us) and we watched a movie together. At some point I started falling asleep so I told my husband I would be fine in the basement. Wrong. That night ended with me being raped in my own home while my husband slept directly above me. That was the night my life changed.
I never felt so many emotions all at once. I was disgusted, horrified, shocked, embarrassed, scared… so I kept it a secret and began tormenting myself with questions. Did I want that? Why didn’t you yell? Why was he ever trusted? What would my husband do to him? What if he fights him at work and loses his job? This went on and on for half a year until I broke down and told my husband everything. He handled it better than I had hoped (he didn’t kill him or lose his job) and stood by my side. However, the damage had still been done.
I had felt so dirty and broken after that horrible night that I began to see myself as this disgusting, ugly, contaminated, tormented person that didn’t deserve love or affection. I felt like everything I had worked so hard for was just snatched away in an instant. So I became distant and more depressed than I ever had been before. I began to drink more and do risky things while drinking to cope with the trauma. Other men’s compliments and actions gave me a sort of high to counteract all the pain and ugliness I was feeling. I won’t go into details, but I basically spiraled and did some regretful things which caused me to lose my best guy friend (we became too close) and almost my husband.
However, even though I was going through some dark shit, something good unexpectedly came out of it. I began to write.
I started my blog, ‘Anonymously Hal’, during the peak of this rough period on a random night in August 2019. I was basically out of ideas to cope with my emotions, stumbled across WordPress, and thought, “Let’s tell strangers about my deepest darkest secrets and most horrific life events”. So I made myself an anonymous, online diary with the intention to keep it incognito from everyone in my personal life. I just wanted (and needed) to be able to vent and write without any judgement from those who actually knew me. I never ever imagined my writing would connect me with so many beautiful strangers on the internet… and change my life.
Now here I am. I am a 27 year old woman from Wisconsin who works as a nurse by day… and becomes poetry writing “Hal” at night.
*VIEW THE REST OF AUDACITY ISSUE 2 HERE!!! :
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