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My name is Lisa Alvernia-Kopetsky, and this is my story

I am 41 and I struggle with PTSD


11 years old.
The realization my parents were Alcoholics.
My family was horribly dysfunctional.
I was a victim of child abuse.
I was lost and numb.
My mother drank so heavily that she rarely remembered the beatings and terrorizing she did. Many nights were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her long winded lectures about nothing. Truth is I barely listened. But I felt every ounce of her rage and sat through hours of loud noise and smacking sessions. Her favorite thing to do to pass the time. She loved to call me names, beat down my spirit and use me as her personal punching bag. When I did escape to my room I would barricade my door and prayed she'd leave me alone for the night so I could crawl in bed and cry myself to sleep.
She beat on my helpless handicapped brother too. I did my best to stop her and took many blows for him. I would do it all again too. I can't imagine how he felt unable to protect himself most times because it was all he could do to stay on his feet. She was brutal.
We endured this behavior for years. The sad stories are endless. I hated her with every ounce of my being and I hated myself for hating my own mother. I hid bruises and have scars. I hid food to eat in my room when it wasn't safe to go downstairs.
I had holes in my door from her kicking it in. She trashed my room when she was angry. I would clean it up putting every piece of my belongings back where they were. I developed OCD. I still struggle with it. I never slept more than 2 hours at a time because my body was so messed up from her ripping me out of bed when she felt the need to fight.
At 16 years old I gave up.
One night I decided if beating me to a pulp was her goal then I wanted her to kill me. I stopped fighting back to protect myself. I laid in a heap on the floor while she pummeled me and kicked my stomach. I went numb and pretended like it wasn't happening.
My father decided he couldn't handle it. You see, I had always tried to protect myself. This time I had given up. He pulled my mother off of me and shut my bedroom door.
That night he finally felt bad. He realized I had nothing left. She had beat me down so much I had given up.
We never spoke of that night.
The beatings still happened but I continued to fight again. I did the best I could.
I did think suicide was the answer.
If my mother couldn't love me and didn't treat me well then I wasn't worthy I thought.
I almost hung myself in my own closet.
I came so close.
The chair. The rope. Tied.
Ready.
I chickened out. Not sure why.
Each day was still the same.
Twice I left home to live with friends. I ignored my mother for months. But twice I went back…her rage would be quiet for awhile but it always started up again.
My parents found out I was gay and flipped out. I struggled for months wondering what was going on with myself and during the time I had figured it out they accidentally found out too.
The phone call.
The words.
Mom heard everything.
She pounded down my bedroom door. She wanted answers. I was honest. Only to be victimized by her words and assaulted with her hands once again. All night long.
Her words….You're disgusting. You're a Dyke. A Lesbo. FREAK.
It was bad enough I heard it at school, but to listen to your own mother hate on you.
I was devastated and broken.
I'm not sure to this day how I didn't kill myself. I felt worthless. Bullied at home and school. I guess I was an easy weak target.
Why would anyone think they are a decent human being the way I was treated.
I should have given up.
18 years old.
With a friend. Well, at least I thought she was a friend.
She sexually assaulted me.
Took whatever else I had left.
I was gay. She was gay. I thought I did something to provoke it.
I froze.
I went completely still. I for the life of me couldn't fight back. I didn't want her touching me like that. I didn't want her breath on my face, hand on my body, touching me places I wasn't ready for.
I blamed myself for years. I had done SOMETHING to provoke it.
I thought I should have fought her off and ran.
I thought rape was violent.
This was a silent violence. A violation of my body.
I pretended to fall asleep and eventually snuck out the door.
Drove home in silence. My head was spinning.
I showered and cried. I felt so incredibly weak.
I ignored her calls. Hid from her. Many times she tried to contact me and I ignored her.
I never told a soul.
Many many years later I told 2 people total.
Now I'm telling the world or whoever reads this.
I was violated. She took so much from me. My innocence. I didn't deserve that. No means no. I didn't do enough to save myself. My fault. Maybe if I had fought a little harder I could have overpowered her and escaped. But I didn't. Years would go by and I would pretend it never happened. It was easiest. So I thought.
I endured more abuse throughout the years in various ways. Too much to share.
I made mistakes.
I struggled.
I hurt.
My anxiety got the best of me and panic attacks set in. Slowly they would start and I wouldn't even realize that's what was happening.
I had a broken spirit.
Tortured soul.
All I wanted was to be loved and to love back. Without conditions. Without pain and resistance. Without dysfunction.
I got help.
A lifeline reached out.
I went to counseling.
I dealt with my demons.
I did the work to repair my soul, retrain my brain, heal my body.
I became vocal again.
I found my dignity. Shed the shame. Allowed myself to forgive and feel.
My story, briefly told here, continues.
All I can say is, a broken heart pumps blood through my veins despite it all. A broken heart functions day in and day out keeping my alive. A broken heart still can love and be happy.
I fight everyday to choose happiness, fight my demons, my Post Traumatic Stress, my fears.
I am alive. I continue to breathe.
I don't focus on the pain and what happened.
I make better choices of where my love lands, how I spend my time and with who, I feed my soul as much goodness and love as I can.
For me.
For my Children.
For my loving patient Wife.
For my family.
For my life.
I am worth it.
I add chapters to my book of which is my life everyday.
My story isn't over yet.
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