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Dez’s Story of Struggling to Continue

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

Struggle is something that I have experienced throughout my life; in many aspects and domains of it. And, even now. Something I struggled with greatly, is to keep pushing in a healthy manner. There are many factors that play into this struggle of continuation, which include growing up in the foster care system feeling alone, unwanted, and scared from the age of four. From religious trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse and society’s expectations of me; to be okay with no reason to feel broken from a young age. Where it became too much is when I turned against myself. I listened to other’s opinions and expectations of me.

It began when my sexuality wasn’t accepted at home. I didn’t exactly come out. It was kept as a secret until my adoptive mother went through my phone. I hid it from her. From there, I was interrogated, sexually assaulted and beat by my adoptive mother at the age of 15 in front of my younger sibling. One of my adoptive mother’s fingers sprained. She stopped hitting upon the realization that my eyes were not filled with tears, but rather with rage of fighting every single urge and cell in my body from hitting her. But, that was not the reason I turned against myself.

Part of why I turned against myself was upon experiencing transphobia with severe/crippling gender dysphoria. I judged myself based on society’s expectations and fetish of wanting conformity. To be treated like a human and with love is what I craved. Hearing that I wasn’t deserving of affection as the “role” of a “man” by the person I was dating at the time is what really pushed me. It made me feel like I wasn’t deserving of anything. At these moments of thoughts, I craved to no longer exist in this world of people who did not provide me with the love I needed.

I sat on my bed for a very long time contemplating how I would succeed without feeling. I paced around the room. Then thought about how the person who found me would feel. Fighting the urge of wanting to go was my chore. I fought my thoughts for about 30 minutes until I grabbed Benadryl to stare at it. Suddenly all the voices simmered. There was this one loud voice that led me away from doing it.

What kind of support did you get at first? Did it work?

When I was 15, I had no one that was able to help me. When I talked about it, a crisis worker came to the school and my adoptive mother showed up. Her presence made things worse. I had extreme hope that the crisis worker came back.

For my gender dysphoria journey, I had a therapeutic team that helped me with my trauma and gender dysphoria. As a note, I’m someone whose emotions do not go detected. I was someone who wanted others feel loved, understood and to laugh; I rarely talked about the insides. All of which prevented me from getting the support I needed from physical individuals. The motive was, I didn’t want to put others in that burden of helping someone who didn’t want to live.

As a psychic medium, with the ability to see and hear spirits, the spirit realm became my biggest support. My spirit team made sure to make me feel like I am deserving of love, happiness, affection, etc. They worked with me on an extremely deep level that I am extremely grateful for. They talked me down from moving forward with my plan. The one voice that spoke louder than the others and my thoughts were theirs.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

Things started to change for the better when I understood the work my spirit team and I have done; which was more than just shadow work. I needed to allow myself to speak my truth and feel heard by my self. There was a need to break down the identity I have created that protect me but also harmed my truest self. I had to change my overall mindset of life without diminishing the negatives and struggles people of this world face. There’s such an importance to it all!

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

Life now appears to be steady through effective coping strategies of listening. There are lows at times. In those times, I have to remind myself to slow down and gently listen to myself. Through my experiences, I have learned to take my negative experiences as a gift of being able to understand the struggles of a broken society. With this, I was able to accomplish self control of what feels to be consuming. With my experiences, I hope to help individuals through mental health counseling, being part of organizations that help people with wellness, and being an advocate through my activism of fighting for what is right. In my future, I hope to publish the books I am currently working on: a poetry book, a book that decolonizes the DSM, and a theoretical book. If required, I hope to obtain my PhD in psychology.

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier?

To the reader and/or individuals in a tough time: You are perfect the way you are. You are deserving of love, affection, care, happiness and a life of abundance. Life is all about growth. Throughout life, I have learned that struggle is necessary for growth no matter the depth of the struggle. Through our experiences, it is up to us to heal or to just continue without trying. Even when we fail during the processes of trying for the better; failure only leads to a bigger success and an impact on the world. Don’t forget that the greatest discoveries came by failure.

To conclude this off, I want to share what I wished I had known earlier. I always felt bad/guilty about sharing my story about my experiences because I felt as though I was insulting, speaking negatively of, and/or was ruining someone’s reputation. As Doctor Nahla once said “you are not insulting them, you’re describing them. You’re not speaking negatively of them, you’re just explaining what happened. And you’re not ruining their reputation, they did that with their actions”. Don’t ever feel guilty for talking about your experiences and/or story. Everyone has a choice and their choices speak and have spoken clearly. People need to hear you and you need to be heard.

Struggle is something that I have experienced throughout my life; in many aspects and domains of it. And, even now.


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