My name is Annie. I’ve been wanting to share my story for a while but have always been scared.
I grew up in a stable home. Two parents and an older brother. Things were good in my house until my brother went to college, I was in 7th grade. He attended University of Southern California, a HUGE private school in LA. We quickly learned what a mistake his college choice was because he turned to drinking and drugs.
After his sophomore year of college, my brother and his girl friend decided to spend the summer in Portland with my parents and I. We refer to it as the summer from hell. He was shooting up heroin in his room and completely out of control. I didn’t have any friends and my parents had to work, so it was my job to keep an eye on him.
I remember one night, my brother came into my room, high and out of control. He woke me up at midnight (I saw the clock) asking where a bottle of anti freeze was. I had been sleeping and was confused. I told him I didn’t understand and to please leave. He continued to pressure me and ask. I again told him firmly, I don’t know and to leave my room immediately. He wouldn’t take no for answer. Extremely high and likely drunk (an addict) he said that he knew I was gay. That he was ashamed and embarrassed to be my brother. He talked about how I made his life hell and that he was going to teach me a lesson. He raped me. He raped me because he wanted me to understand that women are supposed to be with men. That who I am was wrong. I froze. Everything around me froze. I couldn’t speak or move. I didn’t understand. Why was my own brother violating and treating me this way?
His addiction continued. His girlfriend provided him with the drugs and alcohol. He continued to abuse me all summer long. Twice, I almost died in the car with him because he was high. He ruined holidays and my birthdays. He sent me into a deep depression and an eating disorder. I had to learn to provide for myself because my parents weren’t around. Instead they cared and provided for my brother. They bought him a car. At 17, I bought my own car. They paid for him to live in an apartment. It was hell.
Eventually, in 2015, my brother overdosed and died. I remember that I felt relieved and sad. I was conflicted with my emotions. I didn’t know what to feel. My only sibling had died. I spiraled out of control. I was drinking heavily and refused to eat. I got fired from a job and took NyQuil every night to sleep. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t sleep. I was in pain. I was angry. Angry at my parents and angry at everyone. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t understand my emotions.
Eventually, I found DBT therapy and got the help I needed. I learned to control my emotions, express myself, and found a job. Life isn’t easy. I still struggle. I have Borderline Personality Disorder, dreppresion, anxiety, PTSD, Crohn’s Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I struggle everyday. I’ve battled Anorexia. I’ve almost died from suicide attempts. Nothing is easy. But I get up everyday and keep going and trying.
Thank you for listening!