Thursday, 25 April 2013

More of My Story

Wow! First of all, let me say that I am so amazed by the responses I've gotten. It's amazing how you decide to share something that's been on your heart and right away you connect with more people just like you. I love it!

So, here's a little bit more about me. For the previous post, click here. 

I was counting down the days until school was done.  During that time, I found every excuse to skip youth group, hung out with my best friend, and cried myself to sleep.

I was not--and I am not-- a perfect teen. I realize that I did some things that might have made the other girls start avoiding me. I’m opinionated, and my school was full of opinionated people, which is usually not a good combination. I was also a good student. Maybe I intimidated others, though that was not my intent. There’s also the girl kingdom to consider. In the girl kingdom, when one girl decides she doesn’t like you, she’ll convince others to not like you. That might have been what happened in my situation. Regardless, it happened.

We did talk to my teacher, and she was able to ask the girls why they were avoiding me like the plague. They said I was opinionated, always thought I was right, and I didn’t mind saying so. There probably was some truth in what they said. I can admit that I might have been like that. But honestly, I don’t really remember talking much around the girls at all because I didn’t want to make them mad. Nonetheless, I decided to change. Every time I was with them, I didn’t say when I disagreed. I just smiled and nodded. And counted the days until I was out of there.

I hadn’t turned my back on God, but I started pulling away. I was ashamed. I hated everything about myself and my school. I didn’t feel anything when I went to church, and I didn’t really like going. I wanted to hurt myself because I thought it would be a release, yet I couldn’t bring myself to do it--I felt like a failure. I was aching so bad inside. Honestly, I would’ve been glad if one morning I just didn’t wake up.

Then came the first ray of hope. Maybe the first time I felt God in a long time.  My dad got offered a job in another city. After a lot of payer, and actually turning the job down two times, my dad accepted.  I thought my problems were over. In a few months, I was going to be able to move away to people who didn't know me. I was happy. But the happiness didn't last very long. Hell got a lot worse.
That's not the end of my story, but that's where I'll stop for today.  Thanks for reading, and again, I'd love to hear from you. If you're going through hell, or if hell just got hotter, please find someone you can talk to and comment here if you like.  Also, if you or someone you know might like to do a guest post, I'd be really open to that.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

My Story (or at least the beginning)

Today, I'm going to talking about my story. One of the reasons why I'm a little nervous is because I haven't been living under a rock. My story doesn't just include me. There were a lot of other people in my life. I know that some of those people might be reading this. If so, I really hope that you understand that I'm not writing this to show why I'm mad at everyone else. I'm not doing this as a personal attack on anyone. If you do have any concerns, feel free to comment. Comments are sent to my email first, so if you have confidential information, I won't show it to anyone else.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, here we go.
So here’s the thing. Mid 2011 and all the way through 2012 was hell. I’ve even used far worse words to describe it. And it’s not like I’ve never had bad things happen before. I watched my parents have really nasty arguments. I’ve felt like the whole world was going to end as I cried myself to sleep. I’ve had huge blow ups with my parents.  And I got thrown a major curveball when I hit puberty before anyone else. A lot of my other friends didn’t even know what the word puberty meant. Seriously, I was ten when my period made an unwelcome appearance on January 1, 2008.

January 1sts haven’t really been great for me—family fights, periods, etc. But I digress.

When I was eleven and twelve I had the usual stupid girl problems. I think those problems hit me a bit differently than some of my other friends because I was way more advanced in the whole puberty thing. I remember thinking that my world was horrible. To be honest, I was not the most attractive tween. I had frizzy hair and a face full of acne. Not fun. I think a lot of people underestimate the problems tweens have. The thing is, those friend problems carried on over into my teen years. Where hell begins.

Grade 9 finds me playing volleyball on the junior team. And totally hating it. The girl drama was big, and I couldn’t wait for the season to be done. So, season ends and the year gets worse. All of this really escalated during the last three months of school.

All the girls (I went to a small school. Literally 10 girls in my grade, the grade above me, and the grade below me-- combined) were avoiding me. I’d walk up to them, and their conversations would get quiet, and some would walk away. That always makes a girl feel really good. I was also feeling stuck in my relationship with God. I’m a perfectionist and incredibly serious about everything I do, so my relationship with God and my morals were—and still are—a big deal to me. I felt like everyone else around me was more interested in talking about how our youth group “sucks like crap” and why our teachers are just stupid.

So, all this stuff was going on, and it’s now that I can look back and be so thankful for my parents and best friend. They were there for me, but I still felt like I was isolated from the whole world.

Things were getting a lot worse. It was becoming harder and harder for me to get out of bed, and when I did, I really regretted it. I was a good student, but school was misery. I dreaded gym, as I knew I was going to be picked last—after the people who barely knew a football from a basketball. I didn’t want to go to lunch because I knew that when I sat down, everyone else would sit at a table at the other end of the lunch room. One Friday, I listened as all the girls talked about the birthday party they were going to—a party I was not invited to. That did it. I went home crying, and I begged my mom to homeschool me. I told her that I didn’t want to go back.  I repeatedly told my parents that next school year, I was not going back to that school.

Pain started to feel good. Getting a paper cut. Pulling a hangnail until it bled. Accidently cutting myself when I was cooking. It all felt good. I played with the idea of cutting, but when I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was too scared, but the temptation was still there. I can look back now, and I realize that in those moments when I wanted so bad to hurt myself, that is when God was right there, helping me not to do it.
I'll end with that for now. I don't really like writing really long blog posts, and I really don't like reading them. Please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear your stories!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Community for Struggling Teens

My name is Jyllenna. Before I even get into why I’m starting this blog, I want to let everyone know how my name is pronounced. I often read a book, and if I don’t know how to pronounce a character’s name, I kind of just make up a pronunciation in my head. But I don’t want that to happen. So, my name is pronounced “Jill” and “Enna.” Yes, my parents are very creative. So, now that I got that out of the way, here’s what I want to do in this blog.

            The last few years of my life have been, for lack of a better word, hell. Before you roll your eyes and think that this is just a place for me to whine, let me tell you it’s not. While I was going through hell, I did what many other teenagers do. I looked on the internet for help. It’s not the most logical thing to do. But, obviously you’re reading this, so I’m not the only one who thinks of going to the internet. When I looked online, though, all I found were websites offering help for parents dealing with troubled teens. Those are great. Parents are great. But I’m a teenager. My parents are often the first people I push away. I often don’t really want to talk to them. And, in all honesty, even the best parents can only do so much. I didn’t find any websites really specifically targeting people like me.

            And who am I? I’m almost sixteen. I’m a Christian. And I’ve struggled with depression, an eating disorder, self-loathing, and self-harm. Yikes, right. I don’t think, though, that I’m the only teenager—Christian or not—who’s struggled with that. I’m still fighting it. Through all my struggles, though, I’ve realized that God doesn’t judge me. The things that happened to me didn’t happen because I was in sin, though I’m certainly far from perfect. God didn’t cause what happened. But He helped me through it.

            So, this blog is to bring support to other teens. I’m going to touch subjects that are often a hush-hush among Christians. The things that I’m going to talk about are often misunderstood, and people have been unnecessarily hurt by other’s thoughtless comments. Here, I will share my story, things God has taught me through His Word and through men and women of God. I also want to encourage teens—myself included—to DO something. To stand for something. To not become another statistic of this generation.

            Whether you’re a Christian or not, I welcome you to join me. In my next post, I’ll start sharing my story, and we can go from there.

            If this is the last post you read, though, please read this:

            But Now God’s Message,

            Don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called you by name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you. That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.

Isaiah  43:3-4 (Message)