I'm a survivor. I am here to create more survivors and fewer situations from which we must survive.
I don't write about mental illnesses and being a survivor just because it can be cathartic (which it can be). A lot of the time it's scary. It can be really painful and exhausting to labor in the trenches of traumatic experience, and it's not made any easier that it's enormously difficult to make a living being this honest. I let you see my scars and the unhealed wounds because there are so many people who can't.
I fight stigma through stories.
I have a mission. That mission is to eradicate the stigmas that keep people in pain, too ashamed to seek help or unable to get help because others judge without empathy. I want to bring strength to people who can't show theirs. I want to voice the things others can't or won't. I can't make this happen if I can't take care of myself. I need to make a living. I can't easily ask for help if it's for me only. But this isn't just about me. It's about what I can do for others, if given the means.
Something in my shame tells me that I'm not "good enough" to be worthy of help from someone who wants to support survivors. Why is asking for help so hard? Why is accepting help even harder?
I feel shame and discomfort when I am visible in a scenario that I can't control. Right now i'm having those feelings in spades.
I have post traumatic stress disorder. I have struggled with major depressive disorder for most of my life. I am a survivor of intimate partner violence (also known as domestic violence). I survived a horrific house fire from which I almost didn't escape. I'm a sober alcoholic. I am not writing from the outside, I'm speaking to you from the heart of experience.
This is a team effort, your ideas matter.
In an emergency call 911
Child abuse hotline (USA based)
Page last updated December 14, 2019
By Kristance Harlow