I wish to quote a sentence from the book, Paths to Recovery. “The fear, shame and guilt that I constantly struggled with have been replaced with courage, acceptance and freedom that enable me to live rather than just to survive”. The shame that I endured while being bullied in school always made me feel less than and inferior. The bullying started before I started school with my father and his alcoholic behavior. One of my first memories of this behavior occurred when I was 5, remembering him being passed out at a neighbor’s house. I knew something was wrong. As I continued to grow up I became ashamed of his behavior and did everything I knew to keep it hidden. Back then I lived my life in survivor mode at school praying to God not to be picked on. Just let me get through the day unnoticed.
I thrive on recognition as much as anyone else. But I cannot endure being recognized or perceived as being less than. This is what I was experiencing just before coming to Skyland Trail. I had to take a group activity test to become certified under Veterans Affairs Project Management Certification. Due to my unfamiliarity with project management, as opposed to the others in the group with years of experience, I was viewed as a liability as I would be on a sports team in school because of my lack of coordination. All that inferiority from school came rushing back and I just wanted to die. I could not handle it. This was the pivotal point in my decision to attempt suicide.
I am no longer in project management work. I am not capable of being a project manager in the way that Veterans Affairs requires. Now I have found a new way to regain positive recognition and that is through my artwork.