My story, in a video, in a nutshell
I’m sick again. It’s not the kind of sick most people think of when they hear that someone is sick. I’m emotionally sick. I feel like this is going to be a never ending roller coaster of me being emotionally sick – of missing her, my mother. If I didn’t love her my life would be so much easier. I just want her to stop denying every little thing I say and to believe me. For once. I need her to listen. I want her to listen.
Suffering from PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder.
My parents are divorced.
I’m the oldest child/daughter on both sides of my family.
My mom had custody of me when I was little because of what had happened,
but that’s not what this is about.
I keep thinking maybe it’s my fault things are the way they are.
What did I do that was so bad?
How could a mother despise her daughter so much?
I mean, if she didn’t really want me, she didn’t have to keep me.
Plenty of other people would have rather had me as a daughter instead.
Lost, forgotten, neglected…
In second grade I was a Tigerette.
It’s the drill team for Wills Point for the little kids.
I think it’s changed a lot since then, though.
My coaches used to tell me I needed to stop
playing too rough.
Because we wore skirts, I couldn’t hide my bruises.
I couldn’t control the bruises; they just happened.
No matter what I did, I gained bruises.
I never asked for for the bruises.
In third grade I had to do soccer.
I hated it because I kept getting hit with the ball.
But I was told that it’s normal,
so I hate soccer now because of it.
In fourth grade I’d wear skirts
because I thought that if someone saw my bruises at school
that maybe they’d do something about it.
Instead teachers allowed students to
point and laugh and call me “Scottish”.
But I started hating myself more
because of the laughing and pointing.
I have Tourette’s Syndrome.
Being made fun of only seemed to
make my tics worse.
I didn’t even realize I was doing them anymore.
They just… happened.
In 7th and 8th grade my life kind of sucked, too.
I don’t know if my friends/classmates/teachers knew.
Either way, they never did anything.
Sometimes I’d hear some of them talking about it.
One of my best friends at the time –
Carol Lu –
reported it to a counselor.
Because I told her
I remember getting really MAD at her
because the counselor
said she’d have to
call my parents.
I told her it was nothing
and that I was fine.
I apologized to Carol.
Don’t know where she is now
because we were writing letters,
and my mom and stepdad
stopped letting me check the mail.
In 8th grade in Pre-AP English class
we had to do some kind of paper bag project
to go with Tangerine,
a book I hated from the start.
I hadn’t done it because
I had to watch kids,
and I didn’t really have much to share anyway.
It’s hard to do projects where you have to bring stuff of yours to school.
He called my parents.
My best friend, Sage, was over at the time.
They sent her home.
I was beat that day.
The next day I had his stupid project.
I thought he could help me,
but he was a teacher who
made my life miserable.
I wanted the failing grade instead.
In school I didn’t have the time
In school I had to think of
HOW TO SURVIVE
and get through and out of the place I lived in.
2 cops told my mom and stepfather
to “beat her”
because “she deserves it”.
I ran away when I was in elementary school.
They called the cops.
He’s the one who said that.
He didn’t even ask why I ran away.
And yet people ask me why I never told anyone
at the time.
When you live in constant fear
and are brainwashed and told no one cares,
you believe it because it’s all you’re told.
I contemplated suicide a lot growing up.
I tried to in eighth grade.
The apartment complex had a ravine.
And some kind of dam thing.
It was concrete.
I figured if I jumped
that I’d die
or get severely hurt
that people would take me away from them
and send me to my dad’s or another family member.
My brother Cody saw me and heard me
praying to God to just take my life away
because I couldn’t continue struggling anymore.
He told on me, and I was beat.
I’d already been beaten that day for
forgetting to do whatever it was I
had forgotten at the time.
Oh… did I mention my mom’s side knew about it all?
They never did anything
but tell me that I’m okay and I’ll get through it.
But this video is already long enough.
In 9th and 10th grade I attended
Forney High School.
I decided to try to reach out and get help again.
In English I’d write about what I’d gone through
and what was going on at the time.
I received A’s for effort.
But I was told the essay/poem/whatever
needed to be a realistic event
that had/was really happened/happening.
I attended Fellowship Forney with my friend, Heather.
She knew about the abuse,
and she wanted to keep me away from it.
However, I was even grounded from church.
I am a needle in a haystack.
I’ve been called so many things:
and so many more.
I’ve been told a lot:
no one cares
I hate you
you’ll never graduate high school
you’ll always be fat no matter how skinny you think you are
you don’t deserve to live
if you tell anyone, I’ll kill you
no one will ever believe you
if your father cared about you, he would be here, but he’s not, so he doesn’t care.
And if they felt like being cruel and I wanted to eat
I’d have to put down my dad and his side of the family
in emails, messages, online, etc.
They also had to know my password
I was watched CONSTANTLY.
They even put programs on my computer that allowed them to
see what I was doing 24/7,
tormenting me by playing with the mouse
and typing randomly –
sometimes even typing from their computer to mine
It got to a point where it wasn’t even me anymore on emails.
I feel like all of the things I’ve done in the past
that were somehow wrong
and also just downright horrible
are what define me today.
I feel like I’ll always be that.
I hate my name “Sarah”
because it was so overused
and used so wrong.
So I use “Liz” or “Liza” – or something along those lines.
I feel like I’ll never be able to change who I am
what I’ve done.
I feel like God hates me.
NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE TELL ME
IT DOESN’T CHANGE
THE WAY I FEEL.
I don’t understand
WHY family members WHO KNEW
what was going on NEVER did or said anything
to anyone ELSE.
It could have changed something;
it could have changed a lot.
I wouldn’t be going through
what I’m going through right now.
I don’t trust
most governmental authorities
the list goes on.
Doctors tell me to lose weight because I’m over weight
and/or have overweight parents.
Tony’s not my dad, and he will never be.
One told my mom I needed immediate attention
but she was too busy playing on her phone to care.
He said I had an eating disorder.
I’ve always been in denial.
Until this year.
But I can’t help/control it.
It makes me feel like I have control over something in my life.
I’ve been called fat and have been mooed at the majority of my life.
I want to be skinny.
I feel like if I’m skinnier I’ll be pretty.
I’m too afraid to do much driving
because sometimes my depression takes over
and I have the urge to just
drive off of the road.
I have flashbacks.
I hate PTSD;
it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.
I hate it when people put me down.
They put me down even with their words.
‘sticks and stones may break your bones,
but words can never hurt you,’
but that’s a lie.
Words can hurt.
I’ve contemplated suicide,
wanted to die,
burned myself with
a purple hair straightener,
wore hair ties tightly on my wrists,
wore long sleeved clothes
to hide bruises and cuts and burns.
And I reluctantly played Russian Roulette.
Luckily, I survived.
I’m Sarah E. Lawson,
and I’m a victim.
I’m a victim of
I had to hide everything.
“All in the family” was their imaginary motto.
My mom tried to kill herself last year –
26 August 2011 –
by overdosing on sleeping pills.
Because of something Tony did.
He blamed it on ME.
I was sick that day, 20 years old.
I shouldn’t HAVE to WORRY
about my MOTHER
because HER HUSBAND
SHOULD NOT TREAT HER THAT WAY.
My brother Cody
hit me with a pencil.
It was my arm.
It was when my grandmother
on my mom’s side of the family
lived in Seagoville.
He did it because he was mad at me.
Because I wouldn’t let him watch Degrassi.
Because he was too young.
I struggled to get the pencil lead out of my skin.
They don’t understand that
in my own life
because I’ve had to hide
I feel like maybe if I share my story
and keep sharing it
that one day I will finally feel
and this isn’t even the half of my story.
Thank you for watching.
Maybe he’s right though:
No one who needs to believe me
ever will believe me.
I wish it weren’t true
because then I’d love my life.
Depression is serious,
and you can’t “just be happy” in a snap.
No matter what I try,
I can’t quit being/feeling/etc.
But I don’t want to die.
He screwed up;
I’m still alive.
I will find a way to be strong again.
If you know someone who is being abused
don’t think they’ll be okay.
I suffer from PTSD and
Major Depressive Disorder.
…and I’m paranoid 95% of the time.
I don’t trust many people.
And I cannot handle stress.
When people argue/yell/fight/etc.,
I feel like cutting, dying, not eating…
the list goes on.
It’s an everyday struggle,
and my biggest fear is that
I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to get over something
I never asked for.
I don’t even know what I did,
but it was obviously enough
for my mom to wish she had had
I’ll be getting index cards soon. I’ll post the video soon after; I just needed a script.