You are invited to share your story on surviving personal trauma — Covid loss, bullying/cyberbullying, emotional/verbal/physical violence, gaslighting in relationships, mental health conditions, suicide, sexual assault, parental incarceration, foster care, homelessness, substance abuse, hate crimes, etc.

We are expanding the conversation to “What happens after trauma enters your life?” for all survivors who experience personal violence and those also impacted — their partners, friends, and family. Not only is a broader conversation needed, but a broader understanding surrounding the mental, emotional, and physical aftermath of mental health struggles in general.

Share your story to help raise mental health awareness, and give voice to what is often silenced, dismissed, and shamed.

Share your Story


You had PTSD and I didn’t even know it, as a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what PTSD looked like!
I lived with you for 10 years but only 8 were truly lived. Something happened to you, I blinked and your body was present but your mind and sole was gone. You started to run from life , you left me laying alone in our bed Night after night, because you couldn’t sleep. You stoped making love to me because I was too real, so you slept with other women. You drowned yourself in liquor and hang out with those who couldn’t sleep either. You and I, we became ugly, our love destroyed by, infidelity, alcohol, and night terrors. .
You were consumed by ptsd and I was clueless.
Trauma you stole the love of my life.
Trauma you taught me to walk away.
Trauma you taught me to forgive.
Trauma you tested a love ,that can never be broken, because the one you consumed is forever full of sorrow, for the harm that he caused.


I don’t even know what day it was. I would have been very young. My parents never got along and fought constantly. Narcissistic father and borderline/depressed/suicidal mother. Our family was the “P” and “S” show with the kids drug along to play their part. Didn’t want to play? You’re useless. No one would believe me. No one would help me. Whenever I made a friend, I was moved to a different state so I just gave up. I was so isolated I self harmed at the age of 7 and it took a week before my mother noticed. She didn’t ask what was wrong. She didn’t try to be a more supportive mother. I was drug into the doctors and medicated at that same age. I think it messed up my brain because I can’t get off antidepressants anymore.

I hate my abusive father. I hate my self centered, enabling mother. I hate that I don’t have a good reason to cut them out of my life since they fake being nice now that I’m out of the house. It would be better if they were gone. I should have moved further away.

Mom, you’re a coward with a victim complex. Dad, you’re just a shit human being and I fear for your little girlfriend’s safety. She doesn’t know the real you, does she? The child beating, animal abusing monster? No, you’re playing a part now. Then it will be time to play hers. Or else.


You took my breath away. I gasped. I fought. I feared for my life. I thought only of my children. I couldn’t believe I wouldn’t have a chance to tell them “Good Bye” as well as all the other things I thought I’d have a lifetime to tell them — to teach them. But it was not my time. I survived. I vowed to live — to really live! It took time. At first I was only surviving. I was still gasping for air.

Hey Trauma, the day we became friends…
Slowly I found joy in small moments in life. I found joy in books, specifically in memoirs of others who I saw myself in and would think of as my friends. I found joy in becoming my truest self — the imperfectly perfect self that is me. For this transformation, I’m grateful to the wonderful, accepting, compassionate, kind, and daring people who walked into my life — or maybe I walked into theirs.

So Trauma, I thank you for waking me up! For shaking me hard. For teaching me how to live more authentically, more kindly, more courageously, more adventurously, and more blissfully than ever before.

I carry you with me not as a reminder of pain, but as a reminder of life — of how precious the present moment is. I carry you with me not as a reminder of hopelessness, but as a reminder of hope through love.



It’s strange how trauma affects you, because not one day has gone by that I haven’t thought about what happened, there are still good and bad days…going out and trusting people has become a mission, I get socially anxious even though I really want to surround myself with people. It can be frustrating, but it’s important to remind myself I’m still healing.

There is this analogy John Lock gives to Charlie when he was going through heroine withdrawals in the famous TV show ‘Lost’. Somehow it stayed with me and now I can relate to it more than ever.

A butterfly needs to fight and push its way out of it’s cocoon. If it gets helps along the way, it won’t develop the strength and necessary survival skills for its new and evolved state/life.

I liken myself to the butterfly and the trauma is my cocoon. Eventually I will develop the strength to find my way out of it but until then I will take my time to heal. No one else can break this cocoon for you because it’s in you…you have to be strong and keep trying. This is Gods way of preparing me for what I need to become.. I will emerge from it evolved and stronger than I ever was…


~ Domestic Violence ~

It was so beautiful being in love, having found the one, getting married, moving to a new and exciting city.I had so many hopes and dreams, it was almost too good to be true; until it was.

You ripped my heart and soul out, you isolated and humiliated me, you beat me up and degraded me, I’ll never forget how You dragged me out of the apartment by my hair after you threw me to the floor and kicked me in the stomach, in front of an audience who sat and watched silently as you stripped me off my dignity. I couldn’t do anything to defend myself in the hopes you would let me back in at some point at night. No one wanted to help me fearful of your rage. You knew I had no where to go. I never felt so weak and desperate in my life.

Whenever I try to recall why I didn’t get help, its because I had never known pure evil. I always believed deep down people are good, in doing so I worsened my plight. and ended up validating your urge to abuse me and invalidate all the harm you were inflicting. I didn’t realize then how badly suppressing abuse would affect me later. I would cover up my face with makeup so no one could see the marks…But then makeup couldn’t conceal it anymore either… but If I could just convince myself it didn’t happen, then everything would be ok….is what I kept telling myself. This was the worst form of injustice that I had sentenced myself to until I realized that neither I, nor any amount of makeup can hide the fact that you will eventually kill me.

Now I’m safe and far away from you, there are still days my heart beats so fast and I get that sick feeling in my gut whenever you would come for me…..but when I remember you can’t come here, I can breathe again…I can dream again….I’m finally beginning to look like me again.


– Veteran/ War Trauma –

I was a young man full of patriotism and fire. I was with my brothers in a strange world far away from the comforts of home, Waffle House and our local watering hole. You found me when I least expected. Like any other day, we were joking and smoking and then like a terrible storm out of nowhere it became. 3 hours of instincts and training. Then it all went silent and it all went away. Some of my brothers were gone now. The sounds of laughter only moments before diminished and turned into anger and pain. I tried to ignore you and power through. The mission had to get done and there was no time to mourn no time to remember. Just get back safe. I tried to drink you away, live vicariously to avoid you, and fight harder to ignore you. However, you never left me. You always stayed a permanent fixture that would tear apart my morality and my feelings of remorse. For 20 years, you remained like a squatter and was unwilling to be forced out. Until one day, I finally decided to face you and I realized that you were nothing more than the truth in disguise. Your control over me has subsided But I know you will always be there in the darkness lurking. Waiting for me to be fearful and afraid to look at you again. I will not!! I see you warts and all and you have no power over me anymore!


– Mother of Abused Child –

You destroyed a family like a tornado ripping through a house, except unlike a Tornado you never left. While you targeted my child, the rippling affects were like a tsunami running through me.
You made me feel tragically helpless as the child that I once carried in me was no longer shielded in my womb. I stood watching her world fall apart little by little, while I tried to be strong for her.
You took every ounce of her childhood away from her and that I will never forgive you for. You continually make sure that you are never forgotten by forcing yourself upon her life, whether through a smell, a sound or a visual object.
She may never fully escape you but with enough love and respect, she will feel whole again that I do know.


– Victim of Bullying –

When I was a young girl, I was bullied, harassed, discriminated, and was talked negatively. I grew up feeling closed, insecure, afraid to speak out, made myself quiet. I have gotten used to silence and not saying a word. I could had been outgoing and amazing friend, however it’s not the case, it seems.

My parents, let’s just say that they meant well but they used the methods that I viewed unacceptable. It’s kinda hard to shun my parents but not really. It’s difficult.

In school, I can’t even tell you that I’m stressed as heck. I felt even more stressed when people and staff in my school make a comment, accusation, and something similar to that in front of me. I can see it but I feel insecure that I don’t call out my abuse all the time.

But that changed when I met my group of friends. I met my boyfriend, and I love him. I love my friends. They encouraged me to speak out, call out, and feel more secure about my feelings being hurt. Sure I have been called attention seeker but my friends know that I suffered so much in silence that they will listen to my struggle and I’ll do the same. Perhaps that trauma is something I need to work and refine myself.

Hopefully that I will accept you.


– Victim of Bullying –
You have tried to take everything from me — my mind, my body, my health, and my soul. You have been in my family for generations, eventually passing your horribleness onto me.  

But now I am no longer accepting it. As long as I am alive, I will fight to the teeth to get your grips out of my life 

In spite of all the pain and heartache you have caused me, you helped me to evolve and become better, which I am grateful for. 

But you will not break me.


You have stolen my life from me, my friends and even family members. Trauma you have spun a web that allowed you to latch on to negativity and create more trauma. Hey trauma I wonder sometimes what kind of person I would be without you. Hey trauma hopefully I will understand you better in the future and sleep better at night.


I was completely oblivious to the fact that you would change the whole entire course of my life. I tried for many months to pretend that I never met you. But even if my brain didn’t know it, my body did. You took many things away from me that I still can’t forgive you for. They were the people and things I loved most.  

Over these past three years, you have disrupted every aspect of my life, but yet I’m so thankful to have met you. Without you, I wouldn’t be the strong badass woman I am without the constant battling I’ve done to see this day. I wouldn’t have this beautiful life without a plan that I cherish with all my heart. I used to believe it was you who brought me pain, but it was my perpetrators. You gave me the ability to endure. 
Hopefully that I will accept you.


– Victim of Bullying –

The day we met I was in denial. I was dreaming a different reality and hoping for change. 

I couldn’t believe the torture.  I didn’t believe it. I concealed it, hoping know one would ever discover you were at the core of my existence.  

The memories of you burn. The wettest water and strongest wind can’t extinguish the firey pit that lay inside me.  

I wake up every day and try to work towards a brighter future. 

The self-hatred lingers, the destruction continues. Yet I am learning to love myself. I know who I am and you are not apart of that person. You will not define me! 


For the longest time, I wanted to BLAME you for all my “flaws”. 

I really believed you were THE reason for all my failures.  

In actuality, it turned out that you helped wake me up. 

It wasn’t easy, but you became a source of empowerment for me. 

That said, I used to believe you were a thief. Ransacked my well-being and tore the treasures from my deepest being.  

It’s confusing to know you as a monster and a savior. 

That’s just what you are — monster and a savior.  

Or maybe I’m the savior, and I’ve tamed the monster? 

I don’t know. The point is, I forgive you, and the things I create every day– 

The things I create to contribute to the world PROVE my forgiveness to you. 

I don’t NEED to prove anything, but I want to. Because I’m awake and alive.  

Anyways, deep down I do love you–unfortunately OR fortunately, that’s how this winds up.  

Hopefully that I will accept you.