Simply Existing

June 5, 2017
By Anonymous

Author's note:

I wrote this piece because I wanted to show people that even in the darkest of times, you can always get back up and give it another chance. I want to show people not to give up so easily and learn that life is hard and it always will be, but if you have the motivation to keep trying, great things will be accomplished and you can be as successful as you wish. 

“It’s a girl.” Those were the first words that were spoken to me when I came out of my mother’s womb after 9 long months. I, Ana Xiomara Mazariegos Gomez, was born on April 23rd, 2002 at 1:31AM in Guatemala City, weighing a mere 5 pounds, 4 oz. A tiny baby I was. That was the beginning.
Today I am 5 feet exact. Big brown eyes, so dark they could be mistaken for black. I have short, dark colored, stick straight hair. A dark brown, as in the color of coffee. I’m not the skinniest, but average. I have some curves that make me somewhat bigger than other girls, but not by much.  I have smooth, silky mocha colored skin and long toned legs.
2 days later I was put up for adoption. I was adopted on October 31st, 2002. My parents had originally come up with a new name for me, but it was too complicated to pronounce, so my name stayed the same, but my middle name became Nuket, and my last name changed to Satir.
I personally liked the Spanish in my name because it seemed more intriguing, but I don't mind Ana Nuket Satir. It's more complex and much easier to spell and say. Unfortunately I'm rarely called by my first name; when I was 2 years old I was given the nickname “Nunu” short for Nuket. Which I am still being called this day.
I remember when I was only 6 years old and my father called me Nuket in his thick Turkish accent, because that was the first time I got in trouble and I was called by my middle name. Odd isn't it? Wouldn't parents call you by your first, middle, and last name? I've never quite understood that but I've just grown used to it over the years. But I had gotten in trouble. And I remember cutting my sisters hair and giving her extremely uneven bangs. I lost my scissors for a week. After that I began getting into more trouble doing mischievous things and the more I heard “Nuket” or “Nunu”, the less appealing it became. So I began to only respond to people who called me by my proper name, not my middle name. I eventually gave up, and I still deal with the nicknames, but nowadays I just ignore them.
I started going to school shortly after that incident. The first lesson I learned was to never cut anything besides paper. I also learned so many simple yet valuable lessons that I wish I had paid more attention to in the near future. But before getting to that, I’m going to go back to the beginning. Well of school.
I can still somewhat remember what 1st-5th grade were like. In first grade I had one friend. We were inseparable. Everything we did, we always did together. Two peas in a pod. You never only got one of us, you got both. He was the one to defend me when people began bullying me, and asking about the color of my skin. And thinking back on it now, it’s sad to see how little I was, and getting bullied in 1st grade. I still have race issues and people emotionally hurting me now. But I always had Jack who would stick by me. Until 4th grade at least. But I’m getting ahead lot myself. 3rd grade was one of the worst years. I remember so many of the kids in my class had made fun of me for being adopted, saying that I wasn’t loved or good enough for my biological parents, and that my birth mother never loved me so instead left me. I was called Dora and Brownie due to the color of my skin. The boys always had to make fun of the colored girl; I never truly let it get to me until 5th grade.
I was approached by a white girl, brown hair, blue eyes, and for the first time in my life I was called a n*****. I didn’t know what it  meant, she laughed at me while I was lost in a pool of confusion.  I never knew how to react to that so I didn't pay attention to her for the remainder of the year.
And although I was able to ignore that one girl, I couldn’t ignore 10 or so others. Constantly bringing up my adoption and making snide comments that I unfortunately let get to me. I began to believe that I wasn’t good enough, and that I was an accident, that I wasn’t supposed to be here, I was some drunken mistake that went too far. It broke me. Hearing that I was so worthless, my parents didn’t even want me. I felt shameless, I felt like I had no purpose.  My self esteem dropped tremendously. I often cried at just the thought of my parents not loving me. I started thinking of the different things that could have happened. Each worse than the last. I was convinced that I wasn’t planned, and when my biological father found out, he left. And my mother didn’t want me, so she abandoned me. My mother told me that she only held me once. After I was born, she held me in her arms for what was probably only 10 seconds, before handing me to a nurse. That was the first and last time that she would ever see me. My conclusion cost me my happiness. It ruined the rest of my elementary experience. I was always self conscious, and would drag my mother into my problems, venting to her about how awful I felt at the very thought of my biological mother leaving me. I didn’t realize at the time that it must have been so painful for her to hear her daughter mourn over her birth parents. I feel remorseful about that now, and I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out for me, but back then, I wasn’t as positive about the situation as a whole. I focused on all of the negatives instead of the positives which would eventually cause me so many problems down the road.
I didn't do poorly academic wise. But socially, I was a wreck. By far though, I think that my elementary days were better than may junior high days. Which brings me to middle school. Which quite frankly is somewhat sad considering my elementary days were rough as well.
My first year of middle school was mainly me trying to figure out how the next 3 years of my life will go, and where everything will take me. Mom told me to be myself and I won't be judged. “Nunu, if you want to cut your hair then do so, the people who stick by you are the ones that matter.” I wanted so badly to cut my hair because I thought it would be much prettier than my boring black hair. I thought that cutting my hair would make me more me and I thought I'd be accepted. I couldn't have been more wrong. When I was sitting in the chair at the hairdressers, my  palms were sweaty, I was more nervous than I’d ever been, waiting for her to chop it all off. Then it happened. I heard a snip followed by a whoosh, the first strands of my hair were gone. After that I knew that there was no going back.
     I remember in 7th grade I was bullied for being different, called a lesbian, weird, and downright ugly. It was by far the worst year of school for me. And it made me suddenly dread going to school to face the judgmental people who had nothing better to do. I hated how everyone who I thought were by my side ended up leaving me to face the cruel people alone. The rest of my year dragged on and on making me hate school even more than I already did. Girls would purposefully attempt to me me look bad, in which they succeeded.
I never was noticed by anyone including my friends, I was often left out and it felt like I was invisible. I hated it. I longed to be someone rather than no one. I decided to change myself completely and by my eighth grade year I would be different and I wouldn't be judged, I would be liked and have more friends than before. That was the last thing I thought to myself as I walked out of the school.
“She looks so different, what happened to her braces? And hair? Is she wearing makeup?” Those are just a few things I heard from people, because I stuck with my plan to change my appearance in 7th grade, in which I did. I was no longer the heavy girl with uneven black hair and braces that got me bullied all through middle school. I lost weight, I started shopping at brand name stores, my hair had grown out becoming naturally wavy, and my thick black hair become a lighter brown with caramel highlights.  I also took an interest in makeup, which changed my life. I realized then that I was going through the stages of becoming a young lady. I still had my flaws though, which people would remind me of, and still do. But my eighth grade year was better than expected. I thought that 9th grade would be even better, until a turn of events changed everything.

“You did what? How could you be so irresponsible? I cannot believe this Ana, what were you thinking? “ mom looked mortified as she heard me say what I had done. She put her face in her palms and wouldn’t move for a long time.

“Mom, you don’t understand, I’m just as scared as you, if not more.” I sobbed, shaking in fear of the consequences that could unravel from this incident.
Her fear turned to anger, “What were you thinking?! That is like prostitution. And who knows what will happen to those photos now. And to someone you’ve never met??” Disgust was written all over her face. Dad was staring at the ground, too shocked to say anything. Regret began to sink in, I never should have told them. Why would I even think for a moment that they would understand?  I started yelling at them, my patience and understanding for their anger slowly wearing out. “I am ashamed and I wasn’t thinking clearly but I make mistakes and both of you do too. I didn’t know what I was thinking, but at least I told you! What if I didn’t??? Then what?” My voice raised even more, “ I feel bad, but if you could just stop shaming me for it and support me, it what be so much more helpful than this.”
They both stared at me in shock, completely stunned by my outburst, which they deserved in my opinion. Dad suddenly stood up, the tears welling up in his eyes, becoming quite noticeable. I thought back to the last time I saw him cry, which had been far too long. He embraced me for the first time since I had told them what happened. “I’m not mad sweetie, just scared.” it was barely a whisper, but I heard it crystal clear. Those words hadn’t left my mind for months. Knowing how scared my parents actually were.  My problems have become their problems, and the fear I’m feeling they fear too. And I could only pray that someday they would be able to forget this and they wouldn’t have to hold onto this burden the way I will for the rest of my life.
We eventually called the police, and I had explained everything from the beginning until now. How I was seduced, tricked, and blackmailed. It made me feel even more ashamed telling this to the police. But I tried as hard as possible to hold back my tears, because once I started crying, it would be a long time before I’d stop.
6 months after that I was beginning to notice so many changes both physically and emotionally. My emotions were scattered and constantly changing, I was never happy with how I looked, and I tried so hard to look somewhat decent, but I still never saw myself as beautiful. And after a while I just gave up. Not just with my appearance but in school, in sports, in friendships/relationships, and life in general. I completely shut down and wanted nothing to do with anyone. 
One afternoon I was sitting with mom outside and I asked her, “Is there something wrong with me?” looking up at her to see her reaction. I kept shaking my leg as I spoke, unable to sit still, my mind was telling me that I was fine but my mother's reaction to my confession said otherwise.
She seemed somewhat caught off guard by my question I had asked out of the blue. “ I suppose but it is highly unlikely, I will take you to the doctor if you would like. I don’t think that this is the case though, I think that you are just traumatized which is completely normal, in in time you will heal.”
I eventually put aside my thoughts of going to the doctor with my theory. I ended up going to therapy a couple times a week, very lowkey.
After I was wrapping up a session one afternoon Tara (my therapist at the time) had asked to speak with mom alone. She took her up on the offer and discovered how miserable I was. 6 months ago I had thought that my brain wasn't working correctly. As if something was wrong with it. But it couldn't have been farther from that. 6 months ago I became depressed.
It was around Christmas when I first began noticing the changes in my body and personality. I began losing more and more energy as time went on, sleeping became a thing of the past, and my efforts in school and in my appearance changed drastically.
I considered myself an average student. Mainly B’s and the occasional A if I was lucky, but after everything that had happened I lost interest in school, pursuing my education and all motivation I had towards doing anything. It even got to the point where doing everyday things became difficult: waking up in the morning became a challenge, writing my name, or just writing in general. The more energy I lost, the more depressed I became.
On December 12th 2016 I had been ready to commit suicide. I felt as if I had lost everything, I had no one by my side who supported me or even slightly understood what I was going through. My parents were always angry at me, cussing, yelling, screaming, and all of those nights where I would drunkenly lay in bed crying helplessly over the cruel, disgusting things I’ve done. It never seemed to end, I thought my sadness would show my parents I was suffering but it never did. I never showed them the pain I felt both physically and mentally. They never saw me as the victim. I never saw myself as the victim, until nearly 3 months ago. I had been blamed for the entire thing from October until February. The police officer handling my case never saw it the way I had, he acted as if I willingly did it like it was something I wanted. It took all the willpower that I had to not scream at him saying I never wanted and I never will want to do anything sexual with an online predator, and now after this incident I will never want to do anything sexual again. 
My future relationships have been ruined, and I may find happiness someday, but I will never be the same as I was before when it comes to men. Not because all men are like that, but because I ran into the worst one of all, who has destroyed me,ook her up on the offer and discovered how miserable I was. 6 months ago I had thought that my brain wasn't working correctly. As if something was wrong with it. But it couldn't have been farther from that. 6 months ago I became depressed.

It was around Christmas when I first began noticing the changes in my body and personality. I began losing more and more energy as time went on, sleeping became a thing of the past, and my efforts in school and in my appearance changed drastically.
I considered myself an average student. Mainly B’s and the occasional A if I was lucky, but after everything that had happened I lost interest in school, pursuing my education and all motivation I had towards doing anything. It even got to the point where doing everyday things became difficult: waking up in the morning became a challenge, writing my name, or just writing in general. The more energy I lost, the more depressed I became.
On December 12th 2016 I had been ready to commit suicide. I felt as if I had lost everything, I had no one by my side who supported me or even slightly understood what I was going through. My parents were always angry at me, cussing, yelling, screaming, and all of those nights where I would drunkenly lay in bed crying helplessly over the cruel, disgusting things I’ve done. It never seemed to end, I thought my sadness would show my parents I was suffering but it never did. I never showed them the pain I felt both physically and mentally. They never saw me as the victim. I never saw myself as the victim, until nearly 3 months ago. I had been blamed for the entire thing from October until February. The police officer handling my case never saw it the way I had, he acted as if I willingly did it like it was something I wanted. It took all the willpower that I had to not scream at him saying I never wanted and I never will want to do anything sexual with an online predator, and now after this incident I will never want to do anything sexual again. 
My future relationships have been ruined, and I may find happiness someday, but I will never be the same as I was before when it comes to men. Not because all men are like that, but because I ran into the worst one of all, who has destroyed me, destroyed my relationships, destroyed my future, and shattered any pieces of dignity that remained.
After my breakdown, I was admitted to the hospital and evaluated to see if I was “mentally ill” I had explained to my psychologist that I had plans, dreams, a future that I want to see, I told him I am not powerful enough to take someone else's life including my own, I don't think he believed me, quite frankly I didn’t even believe myself at the time, but I was released and sent back to my own version of hell.
The following days were a blur to me, mom brought me to multiple therapists and kept her eye on me day and night. She never left my side, sometimes going to the bathroom without her even seemed impossible. I knew I needed to redeem myself before I dig an even deeper hole. But it seemed next to impossible given what has happened to me in the past. And truthfully I didn’t think I’d be able to do it at first. But the more and more I thought about giving up, the more and more I thought about how much I would regret it later on. I had the opportunity to make things right and although I can’t change the past, I can brighten my future. It seemed so impossible, but I decided that I didn’t have much else to lose, from here I would just go up.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving up, quitting now to avoid the pain, the loss I’d feel if I didn’t get my old life back, the life that I was meant to live. I wished so many times that I would be able to move on and everything would go back to how it once was, the perfect life I lived. “Why did this happen to me? Why wasn’t I smart enough to see right through his act? How could I have been so blind?” light tears ran down my face. I remembered that day all too well. I had been out with Val, I was wearing my brand new Buxom Mascara. The light from the silvery reflection of the cap cast upon my cheek, as I held the tiny bottle that would soon be empty. I thought to myself, such a waste. I was practically crying away my money, tears washing the 20 dollars I had spent on it away. But I still reapplied my makeup, hoping that the next time it came off, it was on purpose. I hoped that I would run out of lipstick instead. As my lipsticks were not nearly worth as much, and were not as important to me. My eyes show my strength, my makeup represents who I am, and if you can’t tell what my strengths and weaknesses are, then you can look at my eyes. Because my eyes will show you everything that you need to know, and nothing that isn’t important.
Confidence comes in many forms. But to me, the strongest part of my body that will show my strengths and weaknesses are my eyes. My face can tell a lie, but my eyes cannot. They can be seen through if you try to see what’s behind them. And you can say anything you’d like to seem strong, or confident. You could walk with pride flaunting the body you know you don’t have, and you can look at others acting as if you have your life together. But at the end of the day the only thing that matters is whether or not that’s true. And if it is, then congratulations. You’re one step ahead of the rest of us. But if not, it’s okay because you aren’t alone. I’m far from perfect and even farther from obtaining a “normal” life. But as of right now all I’m trying to do is get myself together, back to the little girl my parents and close ones used to see. I want to get my life back on track and finish strong.
I have had many ups and downs, and I’m sure that there will be many more to come. I know that this isn’t the end of the bad, it’s just the beginning, and over time I will face so many more challenges much harder than the ones I face now. I will some days feel like I have hit rock bottom. But other days I may feel like I’ve won. I’ve won life, because I kept living it even when my mind told me to quit, I kept going. And those days that I feel like I am on cloud nine, those are the days I am living for.
Life is like a marathon, you start with stamina and confidence that you’ve got this, but over time you slowly start to fade, you stop thinking about the hope, and instead think about how hard it is. You feel like quitting at times since it keeps dragging on and on, your exhausted and hurting. You slow down, sometimes even fall down. But if you have the courage to get back up and if you have the motivation, you can finish. You give it all you’ve got, knowing that it will feel awful physically and mentally, but you keep going because you know deep down inside that you have what it takes. You know that you won’t come in first place and you didn’t do perfectly along the way. But you have the inspiration to finish strong and go all of the way, because you know that life is worth living, and you know that if you quit now, you’ve wasted so much time on something that you so easily gave up on. You know that if you quit now, you will regret it later, because there is no going back, once you give up, and surrender, you can never get back up and try again. And it’s not easy, finding the strength to keep going, even in the darkest of times. But who ever said that it would be?



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