Our Stories

Hi, My name is Emma Henly. I am 19. I love to write stories and have never gotten too old to watch the best of the Disney cartoons (the lion king mostly…and my new favorite, Tangled!). I love adventuring through thrift stores and finding wonderful items and getting that feeling that I am some sort of great unknown archaeologist  and smiling at the cashier like somehow, she should congratulate me. Like she hadn’t walked by that item in particular millions of times and thought, “who in the world would buy that? They’d have to be crazy.”

So yes, to be honest, I am a little crazy. I love weird things, I talk to inanimate objects like they have feelings, and I still hug my favorite stuffed sheep when I go to bed…(much to the dismay of my boyfriend…but that’s another story). I get this shivering feeling all though my stomach when I see animals. pretty much of any kind. Dogs, cats, hamsters, bunnies, llamas, sheep…Especially sheep!!! haha. But most of all, SLOTHS!!! If my apartment was burning and I could only salvage one item from the apartment (apart of course from Truffles the sheep) it would definitely be my favorite Jacques Brel record with the song Le Moribond on it! There really is nothing like a day of painting in the sunshine listening to that song over and over again. And singing it for everyone who comes by and seeing the looks on their faces…it’s kind of the same look my mom gives me when I ask her to listen to what I learned to play on my trumpet…I’m a work in progress.

So that’s me a lot of the time. An animal lover, a total tree hugger, a dreamer and writer of stories, and an aspiring musician…ok probably never going to happen. But anyhow, That’s me! But that’s not all of me. I also suffer from times of feeling very low in spirits. I have contemplated suicide an uncountable number of times, and tried only once. I cut my arm to help me feel things. I have fears that I can’t control that keep me paralyzed in my bed. I fear a man is coming to rape me, or that if I don’t stay true to certain compulsions my mother will be killed, or my dad will kill himself. suddenly during depressive episodes I can no longer remember the happy, bright, fun girl I really am. I can only see the dead, isolated  hurting girl, who feels like no one could ever love her. I am writing this because it’s so helpful to be able to write out who you are. A friend of mine once when I was in a deep depression, wrote out everything she knew about me, and every fun experience we had had together and then at the bottom it said “this doesn’t change anything. This is a part of you. A wonderful part. You’ll get better and we will have more times of adventures. But for now, this is where you are. And that’s alright. You have everything inside of you. And I love this part of you too.”

I love this part of me too. It is hard, and I want to overcome the depression and the fear. But I’m not ashamed of it. It’s a part of me for now, and even when I am drowning in it, I know I’m beautiful.

I want anyone who is suffering with depression or anxiety disorders, or mood disorders, or anyone who has been abused in the past, or is the victim of abuse now. Anyone who feels abandoned, or unloved.  Anyone who is suffering, please write it down here. Write out your story. Who you are. The different parts of you. Because reality is that everyone feels down sometimes, they scream, they make mistakes, and it doesn’t always look pretty, and they don’t always feel beautiful or worth anything. But they are. Always.

Please write your stories here.

Thank you so much.

50 thoughts on “Our Stories

  1. This is not all of my story but it is a part of my story of the last 2 years. i was laying in bed one morning with my precious lover, we had just moved into a house together after 2 passion filled epic years of long distance mythical love. i was iin his arms watching the sun come into the room. the windows open listening to doves, and robins and sparrows and i was so utterly blissfully peaceful and happy, i thought, “i could die right now and be perfectly happy.” 3 weeks later i found a lump in my breast. cancer. lumpectomy. no chemo. 6 months later lump returns, cancer. schedule a mastectomy. 2 weeks before my surgery, my boyfriend moves out. (that is another story and not quite the asshole story it looks like on paper.) he sleeps in the cot in my hospital room. he visits me at home every day. we begin a slow unwinding of our love into friendship. it is excruciating. i try and heal from surgery. go through chemo and all of the insanity that it brings. i claw my way through losing the love of my life and my breast, and my mind and my youth and my hair and my footing and …. eventually i rise to the surface. he moves away from the state a week ago. i take a deep breath and begin my new life. i am living to start a new life.
    this is a small part of my story. and so it continues…

    thank you for creating this space. blessings, jodeen

    • Jodeen, I can’t express how thankful I am to you for sharing your story. From your blog I have seen you are such an amazing writer and such an inspiring woman. My heart breaks for you when I hear your story. You are such an inspiration to me. Your beautiful character and bravery shine out through your writing. Sometimes it can feel like we’ve lost everything we ever cared about. I know how that feels. But it isn’t true. That sounds so hard to have him move away when you are going through so much. You are a blessing to the world. Your bravery and love for life even when it’s so hard is such an inspiration to me.
      It’s true that it’s only a small part of your story, and I am sure you will shine as your story continues =)

  2. Thanks for following my blog. Hope you like some of the quips, that they fit your interests and/or concerns. Don’t take them too seriously. They’re mostly just a play on words. Best to you and your writing.

  3. Some days… All I feel like doing is crying. My thoughts constantly go back to what was. Erasing some parts, the ugly parts that have changed the wonderful person I was, into someone horrible, that even I myself, don’t recognize. Even after years. And wishing to re-live some parts. That have helped me hold on… My story is a lot like yours. A whole lot like yours. Except i’ve never been taken to a doctor, where I live, there isn’t much awareness about this kind of stuff. Or maybe there is, I just need to find my voice. Anyway…the nightmares are over, what remains are the consequences. I tell myself everyday that I’m strong enough to handle them, to handle life, I suppose that is the only reason i’m writing this here today.
    I admire you 🙂

    • That was very beautiful. thank you so much for writing it. I saw on your blog that you love to write! i am happy you do, and look forward to reading more from you. I think writing can be very healing. It always makes me feel better when I get the emotions i am feeling out and onto a page. Then you can look at them and they don’t seem as overwhelming. I truly admire you as well! You are an amazing girl to be so strong and i believe you are very brave. I know the feeling of wishing you could re-live certain parts, parts that were happy, and get back to those times. I pray you’ll know how special you are, and see the worth that’s inside of you! You are not someone horrible! what happened to you might be horrible, but you are not. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can’t wait to know more about you, and the strong girl you are!
      Thank you for everything.

      -Emma

  4. Emmahely you are beautiful and gifted. Sharing your pain with others is a generous gift of vulnerability and reaching to help another to keep holding on. God created you as a unique individual with every little detail just as He intended. We live in a broken world but we were meant for more. Bad things do happen because humans are free agents with minds and wills of their own. You were a victim of the sinful heart of someone who chose evil. God hears you and He cares and would like to give you healing and restoration. There is so much about this world that is wrong. But that was not God’s intent for us. He promises that if you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him. This is a good thing you are doing here with this blog. I am so sorry for the painful things that you have experienced. But I am also convinced that the deeper our pain, the greater our capacity for joy. Sunny days are all the more beautiful after times of storm. You can never go wrong in telling the truth. You are right to talk back to your negative thoughts. Surviving depression requires a fighting spirit. I find that those in life I have encountered who know the experience of a broken (impaired in some way) mind, generally have a vast and strong and beautiful spirit. And I do believe that there is a spiritual element to mental illness. By the way, I prefer the term psychophysiological illness, because it is a physical condition with a psychological manifestation. I don’t believe mental illness is spiritual in the way they believed many years ago in medieval times that someone who had dissociative order was demon-possessed. However, I do believe in God, angels, demons (which are fallen-angels) and Satan. And I believe Satan has a very real interest in causing us misery because at one time he was the highest angel (and fell from that position in his desire to be God), and yet God loves humans so much that He sacrificed His own Son so that we could be redeemed. Satan is jealous of that love God has for you. He wants you to suffer, and I believe, as someone who has suffered mental illness myself, that the demonic realm delights in tormenting us when we are down, or also in the manic times. The Bible says if we resist the devil (and his demons) they will flee from us. Imagine that those tormenting thoughts are being whispered to you across the dimensions from the spiritual realm. When you talk back to them, you do cause them to flee. The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross, He defeated death itself and “by His stripes (the lashings and wounds he suffered during crucifixion) we are healed.. Anything that is not conducive to vitality and life, is really a form or degree of death. Just like it is a lie that I was unloveable because of what someone else did to defile me, I have come to see the depression as a lie I do not have to accept. Not that it isn’t real, just that I don’t have to yield to it. That you are fighting back gives me reason to believe you will find a way to live in victory over it, even though it may remain a part of your life, it will not define you. I pray that God will help you to see yourself as God sees you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNqQUojBg84

    • That was an amazing comment! Thank you so much for sharing it! I feel overwhelmed with the support i have received from kind and caring people and survivors like you! I am inspired by your words. I can tell your story is one of such joy and pain and that you have trusted in God throughout everything. I admire that very much! thank you so much for caring! I loved the song. I am so happy I found your blog, and look forward to reading more and getting to know you! you are an amazing person1

  5. Life shatters sometimes, like a window smashed
    and all the glass rains down upon the grass
    where blades of hope lay wan,
    waiting for the chance to revel once again.

    ***
    I’ve known some serious depression in my life as well. For different reasons, but with similar results. Sometimes the best feeling is still from pain – letting me know I’m alive. Scalding water on my skin lets me feel free for a moment (at least i don’t punch my knuckles bloody like I used to against the walls).

    Life hurts sometimes. But it generally seems to get better, and I think that living is a far better choice in the end. After all, this life is all we truly have – pain and all, to misplace it casually… well I think I’m beyond that now.

    My father was sick for a long time. Environmental illness. Horrible pain. Removal from the world. He began to lose his eyesight when I was ten and was almost completely blind by the time I was sixteen. When I was seventeen he died, just months after having the transplant that gave him back his sight. My mother says she thinks he had tumors pressing on his brain. When he was 4 years old he was reading the encyclopedia Britannica by himself. He was called one of the greatest minds of our generation by a man I shouldn’t name, but I find that hard to believe sometimes. I wish people had known him better. I wish I had known him better. I wish he’d had the chance to know me.

    I’ve been afraid all my life but I’ve never quite known why. Something sitting just outside my field of vision, glowering at me from the dark. I hate the way the world works – it should be a kinder place.

    It helps to hear the stories of others who understand the worst parts of the mind intimately – “misery loves company” as they say.

    As an old friend once said though “all this can change”. And it does change. There are lows but they always turn around. Yin/Yang, good/bad, light/dark. Ah life.

    Best wishes, and thank you for sharing your stories.

    Peace.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that! wow, it was a powerful story. My heart breaks to read about your dad. I feel sorry for you, and wish you could have known him better. I am glad you found reading this comforting. You’re not alone in feeling low, though I can’t relate by saying I have lived through what you have. You seem like a very strong and amazing person. I wish you the best, and hope you see how incredible you are. Thank you so much for caring enough to writing. it is so helpful to me and I think to others as well!

  6. Dear Emma,

    My name is Matthew and I’m a fiction and freelance writer, and also the founder of The Weather Depression Forum. Thank you for your follow. It’s a new site and it appears we have a similar approach of learning to be with ourselves when faced by something as intangible as depression.

    I’m writing to you to see if you would be happy for me to use one of your posts as a founding story on the forum. Either ‘Our Stories’ or ‘I’m me. I’m not alone.’ Both of these are exacty the type of stories I hope people might write for the forum, sharing their pain and hopefully pockets of joy while dealing with whatever it is they are dealing with. At the end of the post I would like to link the words to you and your own blog because I think you have some good and practical adice for people, which my site will not have as it will be only people’s contributions. If you are happy for me to use one of your posts, I would tilte it: Emma, 19, and your nationality.

    Tomorrow I will post the first story onto the forum and it is my own, re-written into fiction. If your happy with its style and aim of the forum and willing for me to use your story then I’d be grateful, once a couple of stories are up hopefully others will themselves begin to open up to sharing their own stories. I think we both appreciate how powerful this can be.

    I’d just like to finish by saying that you have a real skill for writing and able to convey a picture. Hopefully my forum might bring a few more visits to your own site and benefit all those who come across you.

    My warm regards,
    Matthew.

    http://www.thewordsisaw.co.uk

    • Hi Mathew,

      Yeah that sounds great to me! Your website looks awesome! I’d be happy to help in any way I can! just let me know!

      You can use either pieces, whatever fits the website better.
      I really appreciate you reading this and being so supportive! I look forward to reading your story.

      Thank you for your kind words!

      – Emma

  7. Brilliant, I’m hopefully going to be able to make a post a week, so I’ll have yours up next week. All I need to know is your nationality to go with the heading of the post. Thanks again and good luck with all your own endeavours.

    Matthew,

  8. I’m an avid lover of disney, I grew up with the lion king as a kid it was my favorite, and now much like you tangled is in the top spot. Although I sleep with a set of stuffed hippos (Mr. and Mrs. Hippo to be exact). Funny how that works sometimes, but this is just the long roundabout way of me saying nice to meet you. 🙂

  9. Hi Emma, you have gone through a lot of pain. The worst pain being that of not being able to voice your feelings.
    I have gone through pain but of a different type and I know that it takes a strong mind to get through and lead a happy life.
    All the Best with this endeavour of yours. It will surely help so many who have suffered this way.

    • Thank you so much! i wish the best for you! you seem like a very strong and brave person! thank you for being so kind to me!
      I can only hope this is helpful to others who have felt the same way!
      thank you

      emma

  10. Hi Emma,

    I’m so glad you found my post because now I’ve found you!

    First of all,I just want to say how much I appreciate your courage to share what you have been through. I am still struggling with the sharing of my life in my blogs. Pieces of it are coming out but I need to just dive right in!

    I have suffered with depression for years and years and have suffered through the endless darkness. I was a cutter. Can you really ever be free from the thoughts of doing it again? It’s an addiction just like all other addictions. Even though I’m now thirty something, the depression sometimes sneaks up on me and the pain you feel with it makes my mind instantly turn to “letting the pain out”, or cutting. I haven’t cut in years but that doesn’t mean that the thoughts aren’t there. I have three beautiful children and most wonderful husband now and they are my reason for staying strong. My family knows all about what I’ve been through. I’ve also shared my testimony at prisons and teen group homes. Each time I share,I heal that much more, but it’s still there. God gets me through it.

    Keep doing what you are doing. There are so many of us out there who need to hear that we aren’t alone.

    Much love to you! Jules

    • wow! I can relate to the draw you feel to cut and the pain, but you have really turned your life, and the suffering you have faced into something beautiful. you are such an inspiration! I hope I will be able to do what you have done!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Emma

  11. Thank you for following.
    I’ve only been honest about my story for about a year now. It’s something that is a part of who I am, and it’s a reminder of how much I have grown over the years and how much I will continue to grow.
    I embrace all of me.

  12. Dear Emma,
    Thank you for following me. I’m following you back. 🙂 I have a lot of young friends your age. I have children your age, too. I have been working on healing for a long time now, before my life was at this stage, and one of the things I learned is that our physical age is not the same as our mental age. I went through some garbage when I was young that set me up for the garbage I went through later. But my point is, what I have learned is that the age you were, when you first went through that trauma, is sometimes the age you are mentally, even if not physically. Trauma, by this definition, is anything where you weren’t provided for at the level you needed when you needed it. It could be anything from not getting the understanding you needed, to not getting regular meals and/or medical/dental care, or to be abused (physically or sexually).
    It’s painful to be a kid running around in an adult world. I feel like that sometimes. I hope we can be friends, here, in the blogosphere. We could be helpful for each other. Healing takes time, love, and purposing to be accomplished.
    You are beautiful. And wise. To share and speak out takes courage and wisdom.
    Thanks for making a voice for others!

    • I can really relate to what you wrote. thank you. that’s exactly what i feel like, is a child caught in a world i dont understand and trying to stay safe and deal with fears and it’s very hard at times. but it makes me feel so much better to know there are caring people like you out there who have the same feeling, but who are overcoming it!

      Thank you! you are incredible!

      love, Emma

  13. Dear Emma,
    You have a powerful voice – that is why I am responding. Your story is full of pain, but also full of compassion and hope. You are talking very responsibly about the human condition. I really admire you for that. Like the writer above, I am much older than you, with two sons of my own, and three stepsons. I am full of anxieties, full with fear, mixed with privilege , guilt, love, frustration, illness,.I like how you write, I hope it is with the authority of integrity. I will stay around, and keep popping in to your blog. Take care.
    Anne

  14. This is so true. You know its actully good that we are crazy. Because trust me world needs people like us where they can understand that they are not alone. Deep down we all have been through the same-guilt,loneliness,anger and every other negative vibe out there possible. But maybe its important to feel all these things orelse we would never know how strong we are , how cool we are down there.
    I belive everyone who face the same situation should fight for it and try overcoming it because onces they did that , nothing can bring them down again.

    -Chaitanya

  15. Hi Emma, I admire you. I admire the fact that you have managed to find a voice for your pain at such a young age. I admire that you are able to put your experience in words so eloquently. The short version of my story is that I was emotionally abused by my mother up until very recently. I have broken off contact with her. I am a mother of a beautiful 5 year old boy and most days are good, but the dark days…the dark days are so bad you don’t feel like you will ever get out of that abyss. Thank you for sharing your story, somehow it helps to know that other people, even if they are halfway across the world from you and more than 10 years younger, have the same thoughts that I tend to label as insane. It helps to know I’m not alone, and it feels good to meet kindred spirits. From my heart to yours.

    • your beauty shines through your words . thankyou from the bottom of my heart. i am sorry it took me so long to reply to this. i haven’t been feeling well and have been swarmed in dark days. but i see today that i am so blessed to be able to talk with such amazing people like you. you are in my prayers. never think you are insane. i know you are kind and loving and pure.

      love emma

  16. Thanks for the follow and I wanted to say that I am really impressed by your blog. It takes a lot of courage to be open about our experiences and you articulate yours so well.
    I have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar II and am working through what that means for me and how I can live better having that knowledge. Writing about that and reading about others going through similar experiences has been so comforting and I feel like there is such a strong community here. Thank you so much for sharing.

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