Today I want to share five stories about depression, anxiety, anorexia, toxic relationships, and extreme lack of self-confidence among women. These emotional disorders are making victims every day and it is extremely important to recognise them and to support the victims of abuse and trauma.
Story 1 – Emotionally unavailable
A teenage girl grew up with absent parents. Absent not only physically, but also emotionally. She did not learn how to love and be loved. In time she became convinced she was not deserving love. So, she became a lonely, obese, depressed, and extremely introvert adult. She felt all the time that something is missing in her life but did not knew what. She entered one toxic relationship after another and never found happiness, because love cannot come if self-love and self-acceptance are missing.
Emotionally, she was a wreck, unable to recognize and name even the simplest of feelings. In the end, she became a workaholic. She is the best professional in her field, but without being able to get any personal satisfaction from it. Lack of emotion is a psychological disorder.
Story 2 – Anorexia
A 12-year-old girl was bullied by all her classmates, and even her best friends. The reason: she got a new unpopular haircut and was a little overweight. No adult around her saw or understood her emotional trauma and she handled it herself. She started dieting by gradually eating less and fewer ingredients. It started with sugar and chocolate, followed by bread, pasta, meat, cheese, etc. She was anorexic.
She was convinced she was fat and ugly, and that she needs to change her body until people around her will accept her. All until she reached her 40s and, in her diet was left only some raw fruits and vegetables. She died of malnutrition, while living in a country where this is not an official as a cause of death and having all necessary means to avoid it. And this is all due to an emotional disorder we do not understand how to treat properly.
Story 3 – Extreme anxiety
A young woman finds work for the first time after graduation in her dream job position. She works directly with customers and provides them with knowledge. It is a business where you must build a long-time relationship with every customer you have, and she is enthusiastic about the opportunity. One of her clients, however, starts harassing her. Accuses her of being responsible of everything wrong in his life and accuses her of different other things. Also, he calls her at all times of the day from different phone numbers and sends her messages. She gets heart palpitations every time she answers a phone call or message from a number she does not recognize. She fells physically sick every time she knows an interaction with this client is unavoidable.
At the workplace there are no procedures meant to protect her from a harassing client, only measures to protect the client from her, in case she does something wrong. The client starts threatening that he will continue this behavior until she leaves, shouts at her in front of everyone else in the office with every occasion he gets, uses vulgar words to address her. She ends up quitting the job she studied hard for years to get. Then, she gets hired in another place, with no connection to what she studied for. In the end, she lost her dream job, her passion and enthusiasm, as well as five years of her life. And she got a heart problem before even turning 30. Emotional disorders are closely linked to physical disorders.
Story 4 – Stockholm syndrome and toxic relationships
She is a student in the first year of bachelors, for the first time away from home. She lives in a student dorm, where alcohol drinking and sex are normal behaviors at any time. And she grew up in a religious and very controlling family, where she did not get into contact with those behaviors before.
In her first day in the student dorm, her roommate hosts a party. Many neighbors showed up. It lasts all night. Close to the morning, people start hooking up. She avoided all of them all night but now one of the drunk men in the room starts approaching her. She did not know how to react and how to push him a way. The result is that she lost her virginity with a man that did not even realize it was her first sexual intercourse and refused to hear her will to stop. In a room with another 7 people that were too preoccupied with their own problems and thoughts to observe the drama a meter away.
After that, she did not want to accept what happened, so she started pursuing him around and asking him to be her boyfriend. After more than one rejection, he accepted to give it a try. During the 2-year relationship he humiliated her sexually in many ways, always complained about her behavior and look, ghosted her many times for days in a row, never supported her or listen to her dreams and wishes. However, she did not want to accept that the first man in her life was toxic to her and that she had to give up on him. Until one day when he hit her.
This was the point when she broke up with him. A week later she was sorry for giving up on the relationship and wanted him back, but she was lucky that he refused her. He could not accept the fact that a woman could leave him. The trauma caused by this relationship still haunts her and after a few years of working with a psychologist she still has a Stockholm syndrome. She is still attached to her toxic rapist, although she does not love him anymore. Is it necessary to say again how toxic relationships can lead to emotional disorders?
Story 5 – Cronic depression
A woman receives constantly external pressures to be perfect. Everyone has high expectations from her and verbalize them constantly. She begins to think of their expectations as her own ones and becomes a perfectionist. She judges herself harshly for every mistake and thinks she is not capable of doing anything right. Even being the best is not enough if it is not perfect.
After some time, she loses all her energy. She is not capable of getting up and doing her job. That is when the vicious circle of depression kicks in: she starts feeling guilty and judging herself for lacking energy, which intensifies her depression. Things get worse, until she starts self-medicating with alcohol and Xanax. Evading reality becomes her only way of living. Being sober hurts her so much emotionally that she no longer wishes to live… This is the most extreme case of emotional disorder.
The stories are not real. All of them are inspired by events either me or other people I know faced. However, I added, removed, or changed some details to avoid any direct connection to the persons involved. To read about my real life story and traumas, as well as my empowerment journey, you can read this article.