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My name is Ashley, and this is my story

I am 17 and I struggle with Social Anxiety


My name is Ashley and this is my story… I don't really know how to start this, I'm dealing with social anxiety, stress, and if you want call it some PTSD. It started when I was at least 4 years old, ended when I was 11, and yet I cant seem to get over it. After my grandpa (from my fathers side) died my dad began to beat my mom. I had a little brother who at the time was still only a couple of months old. At first I had no idea what was going on until I saw my mom cry and scream for help, I knew something bad was going on.
Every time it would happen my grandma (from my fathers side) would get me and my brother out of the room and into another room while she tried to stop him. Fast forward to when I was around 6, and my brother 2, my little sister was born. It still happened and sometimes it would get so bad that we would leave the house and stay in a hotel so he couldn't find us for the night. Another 2 years pass and my other sister is born, but my grandma, that got us out of the room, passed away from cancer.
I don't know if things got worse because he was mad both his parents died or because when she died I lived differently. After she died I was only 8 and when things would get bad I would take my brother (now 4), and my sister (now 2), into a room and go back into the fighting for my other sister who would start to cry. If he was angry and heard her crying he… I don't even know what he could have done. I would have to crawl into the room so he wouldn't see me and scoop my sister from her crib and crawl back out with her in my arms.
Don't get me wrong I tried to stop him a few times but he would grab something from the room and chase me threatening to hurt me, I would always run into a room my siblings weren't in and lock the door. The reason I would do that was because if he ever broke the door down or open it before I could lock it I was scared he would hurt them. I was more invested in my siblings wellbeing over my own, I just wanted them safe. I also thought of running away so many times that I lost count. I never did no matter how much I wanted to get out I couldn't leave my mom and siblings. I couldn't. So I stayed.
I never talked about my home at school, or to friends. School was my safe place, the place people didn't get punched to the point their face was covered in cuts, blood, and bruises. It was a place, the only place I could be a kid and not worry about keeping other people safe. It was the place that whatever happened at home didn't matter because it was safe. The place that I was the one being protected, and where I was the smart one that knew all the answers. Home? Home was where I didn't know. I didn't know if my dad was going to sleep all day, or if I would have to put myself and my siblings into hiding in the closet.
Things seemed ok whenever we went out, we looked like the most perfect happy family. but if people knew what happened behind closed doors, they would be mortified. It seemed to get better when my sister was old enough to be in a room with my other sister and I didn't have to crawl into the room they were fighting in, that is until my last sister was born when I was 10. Then things got bad again. So bad that I don't even remember when any of the "fights" stopped. To me they only started and it would suddenly be quiet when my clock said 2am.
It went on till I was 11 by that time I was scared at school, whenever someone would yell for a fight, a book falling on the floor, or someone coming up behind me and shaking me. It would all make me start to shake uncontrollably and lose my breath. sometimes I would hide under the table, and when people asked about it I would say I watched a scary movie the night before or I fell asleep reading some horror story. Then he was put in prison, and not even for what that bastard did to us, I don't know what he was put in for I just know it wasn't fro what he did according to what my mom tells me.
I survived that, but now I still get scared when I hear people get in a yelling argument, when there is a sudden bang on a surface, or just the simple act of thinking about what happened. I'm getting a little better, its been 6 years but I still cant really get over it. especially since he just got out of prison.


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