Ashley, 23, Melbourne, Australia

“This path started when I was 7 years old and I was sexually assaulted at school.

I faced not being believed at all and most of my life have dealt with the stigma on sexual assault. Growing up traumatised, facing issues within family, school, suicide ideations, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of 10.

My journey went darker when I turned to hard drugs to numb my pain.

But it just caused even more pain when I witnessed the death of a beautiful, dear friend of mine. Everything just truly collapsed after that. I was diagnosed with social anxiety, dropped out of school, trapped in a violent, abusive relationship, diagnosed with PTSD, facing the stigma on mental health disorders, 9 suicide attempts, diagnosed with BDD, death of a friend by suicide. It was a never ending path of suffering.

But truthfully, I never lost hope for a time when the suffering would end. Even when I was hanging on by a thread. After dropping out of school, quitting a job that was a negative, toxic environment. I started trying to focus on me, I honestly couldn’t live that way anymore of being  trapped in my past and pain.
It’s been a slow process but that’s okay because it will take time to heal, but since starting the healing path I’ve finally found a therapist that I trust and connect with, I’m experiencing the country I live in, connecting with others who have experienced similar situations, but the best thing that came out of it was starting up my project called “Border of Reality”, when your voice has been kept shut for so long doing something like this makes it stronger and it definitely gave me motivation to speak out and open up about the side of me that no one ever knew about. Not just for myself either but for everyone who knows this pain, has a mental health disorder, has experienced trauma, suffering, stigma you name it. That page is for all survivors and warriors.
I have met so many amazing human beings through all of this and continue to.
Things are still tough and challenging sometimes and there is still a long way to go for me but there’s just more than hope now.”


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