My First Half of Life Story….

So, I wanted to share some my life story, at least up till my relationship with my husband (more details about that later).  This is not my typical share, but I felt the need to post it. It’s time for me to tell you. I am turning 36 years of age in a month from today and I’m tired of living behind a mask every day. This blog lets me me express who I really am through the songs I post. I don’t want pity because  I’ve done a lot of inner healing on my past, but I still to this day remember explicitly certain memories.

Let the story begin…

I grew up with a 65% sensineural hearing loss as some of you may know, and back then people did not know how to deal with the hard of hearing population. In fact, in actuality this still prevails….. Others assume that HOH individuals should be tossed aside, ignored and treated differently.  Most don’t take the time to understand the hard of hearing population as diverse individuals;  what their needs are, their likes, dislikes, etc…They rather assume people with hearing losses are incompetent just because they can’t hear.  Its the truth, sad but the truth….

Furthermore, I was told by doctors when I was diagnosed at the age of 3, that I was never gonna be able to read and write.  As a result of my loss, I was emotionally abused all through out my childhood. I was taught that positive reinforcement did not exist.  Human touch was rare, perfectionism was supposed to be obtained, emotions were not allowed to be voiced,  social connections were limited, development of self was hindered, and I was not allowed to make decisions for myself.   I had spent my childhood pleasing my family, … My family controlled my life, they controlled me…   Consequently, I had to be the brightest in my class, I had learned that I had  to be the top in everything. Essentially I wanted to feel loved, wanted to feel validated by others. This was the only way I knew how to seek the attention I truly craved for.

Achieving honor roll in high school, (an honor in itself for someone with a hearing loss) I ended up attending two of the top schools in NY State (Suny Binghamton and Suny Stonybrook for my bachelors degrees) . I had gone to Binghamton University as a pre-med student. I was a biology major.  During the first semester of my sophomore year, I had pledged for a sorority with my best friend. You all know how sorority life goes, Hell night, parties every weekend, same stuff, just different locations.    Being in a sorority for a shy girl like me with little social connections definitely changed my life.   It was an accomplishment in itself pledging for it (another obstacle that I have overcome)  and having that sense of community with amazing people.

However, during my sophomore year, I got involved with a friend of my best friend’s boyfriend. HUGE MISTAKE…  My friend always inititated that we get together, she essentially pushed me to hang out with him. At that time, I still never made any decisions for myself so as a huge fool, I listened to her. It ended up being one of the most traumatic relationships I ever encountered with someone..   We never officially dated, but we had I guess you can say, a friends with benefits type of relationship. He wanted more, I never did.  The first time we hooked up, (essentially the first time I ever hooked up with someone (just kissed) led to a 2 year tumultuous relationship.   Hookups between me and him (again just kissing) were somewhat frequent after some time of me getting to know him. He was a womanizer and I known from the beginning of the type of person he was , but I never completely trusted my instincts.   It was if I wanted the attention that I never got from my childhood,  but I was always back and forth with him.   A love/hate relationship you could say….  And besides, he was a friend of a friend; so how bad could things be,  right?  Well I was wrong….

Toward the end of our junior year I started to gain some self confidence and I wanted him out of my life for good. On the other hand, he was stressed with his classes, wasn’t doing so well, and wanted me to help him with an class assignment. I said no because I was always doing things for him, helping him with his homework, website design assignments ,took him to the bank once etc, …. He could not shake the fact that I wasn’t going to bend over backwards for him anymore even to the point of manipulation. Nevertheless, we ended up getting into a horrible fight and he put a lighter to my skin.  One of the first decisions I ever made, was to report it to the university.

But there’s more….

The summer of 2001, I was taking organic chemistry.  All of us pre-med students know how that class can be 🙂 Well one day, towards the end of the summer, my best friend and I had a huge fight. I was angry with her that she wouldn’t leave her bad relationship. I was also tired, because I pulled an all-nighter for a huge test the night before. I left my apartment abruptly that afternoon to take a drive in my car. I drove for 2.5. hours before I got into a major car accident.. A mile away from home, I fell aseelp at the wheel in my brand new Nissan Altima and hit a parked truck.  My car flipped over into the median of Vestal Highway in Binghamton NY. The impact of that accident was so intense that I blacked out to the point of unconsciousness.  I had woken up to paramedics dragging me out of my upside down car. My windshield was cracked, My car was totaled. I was fine though.. To this day I have no idea how I survived that accident.

Yet, during college, as a result of my imbalanced childhood, my depression started to arise, even to the point of attempting to commit suicide. There was one night where I was extreme;ly upset; I felt that no one truly cared about me and I really felt alone in this world.  So, I took a drive because I was that depressed and I ended up sleeping at a friend that night. I didn’t do anything irrational because of my love for music..  It was the only thing that kept me going.  It still is…

When I graduated Binghamton University, with my bio degree I went home to save some money and to also to pursue a bachelors from Stonybrook University in music (not bad for someone who is hard of hearing right).  This was where I started to gain some more of my confidence as well as my independence and hell broke lose. First, I had an argument with my father one February morning right before I was about to leave for school. I ended up in another major car accident. Some shumck in a Avis rental car ran through a green light. Due to the road being slippery, he went right into my door on the driver’s side. My car once again was totaled.

Secondly , as a result of trying to fight for my independence, I ended becoming physically abused twice. I had two fights with my father, simply due to the fact that I  wanted to leave the house, and I refused to associate with my family because they were over controlling. My father’s anger was so severe that once he threw me into a microwave and the second time into our living room. I had a backpack on me both those times. Luckily enough I was able to regain my balance but I could have been severely hurt..  I left my family for ten years because of that. I was 23 years old at the time. No one has the right to touch me like that, NO ONE. I was an adult. I didn’t deserve to be treated like that and I sure as hell wasn’t going to tolerate it.

Five years later and three degrees (two bachelors and one master’s degree still had no clue as to who I was.  I decided to move to  Fresno, California to to undergo my self discovery and puruse a doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Another one of my interests). I had to be the best right, someone with a disability can’t have a P.H.D. right? Well I wanted to prove everyone wrong…  I always knew I was intelligent. . It was always the will in me I guess, despite everything I endured.

May of 2010 ( I got my second masters in clinical psychology) but in January of  2011, I took a cold hearted look at my life and I crashed. I guess you can say it was a nervous breakdown but it gave me the opportunity to truly evaluate everything I have undergone, everything I had pursued… . I realized friends I had weren’t my real friends, I realized because of my awful past, I was chasing the wrong things.  I was also going to school full time for a Phd, worrying about my financial future and trying to let go of 30 years of emotional pain. I couldn’t handle it. Overwhelming?…. Yea it really was…  So i tried to overdose on sleeping pills. I was on the phone with my ex friend from Ny for over three hours with the sleeping pills in my hand. I just felt my experiences didn’t matter to people, I felt my life didn’t matter to people.

Nevertheless, As a result of that incident I was hospitalized for a few days.  I was the one who called the police on myself. I couldn’t go through with the attempt.  I was too afraid to die even though, believe me I wanted to. That was probably the worst night of my life. It really was awful.   I was alone, TOTALLY TOTALLY alone for a year and a half. I had lost all my strength, yet I still managed to do well in my classes, extremely well. I had a 3.75 G.P.A. So even though my strength was gone, I still had my intelligence.

December of 2011, I met my husband. I still felt my life didn’t matter and I wanted that replay of my life where I could see how my life does impact others. He showed me that.  Thank you Bryan  (love you :)We started out as good friends, We got married in August of 2012. (more to come of our relationship in a following post in near future)  I was still in school at the time, I was still evaluating my life, Luckily I let go of a lot of bottled up emotions (from over 30 years) that I needed to before I met him so I became a happier person, I had a better outlook, I was starting to get my strength back because of him and I started to smile again. I also started creating this blog which ended up becoming such a huge release for me because I got to express who I was. I dropped out of the Phd program because I realized I was chasing the wrong things.I figured what I wanted to do career wise and where I wanted to live (hence Santa Rosa moved here with 300 dollars in my pocket but’s gonna be in a different post ).

I also realized I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. No other degree to my name was going to change that. I realize having a Phd wasn’t going to make me a different person or a happier person. My priorities changed as to what was really important to me. I had survived so much in my life.  I started to change what was really important to me and I choose to stick with those priorities now.  I still question if my life matters  ( my depresion is still there but I manage it better ) but because of my better outlook, becasue of my husband and this blog, I see my life’s value in such a high regard for the world, for my husband and for me.

I write this because it shows that despite what I’ve gone through I chose to not give up, I chose to keep going. My goals have changed because I didn’t know what I wanted out of life but I always kept on moving. I don’t usually share my life story with people because sometimes I feel they don’t really want to hear it, yet I needed to voice it today. I spent so many years not being seen by others, because I grew up in an environment where I wasn’t allowed to voice my opinions. Well now I do, through this blog/website/online radio station… This story may not mean anything to other people, but it means something to me. I almost died like 3 or 4 times. Yet I kept going. I am a miracle, I truly believe that…

I hope who ever reads this at least understands where I am coming from and why I share the songs I do….Love is truly what we all need and from my bad past, I am trying to create a good future for myself, and for the world around me… I am trying to give the love to others through the songs I share. People give their love in different ways. This is how I give mine.. Through the songs i post and through the words I say…

There is this saying that you get to choose how you treat others despite a bad past, well I choose to treat others with love…

Thank you for reading this. I hope it means something to you… (Please comment on this, it would mean so much)

5 thoughts on “My First Half of Life Story….

  1. Wendell A. Brown says:

    When I was young, it was music that help to shape my life when I was made to seem like I was a failure. I was shy, did not talk much and really felt like I was an alien in my family. I can understand Stef, everything you have written here! Love you my dear sister, will always be close nearby to you. You are beautifully selfless and you always make my day with what you share! God bless!

  2. slesser1013 says:

    Thank you Wendell 🙂 I’m glad we are becoming friends. Thank you for sharing that too. It meant alot 🙂 I was very shy also, we have a lot in common 🙂 No wonder we get along so well… I think our experiences are what shapes us, and its the memories that we have with the people in our lives that are priceless. Music is also such a gift and I’m glad I can make people smile with what I post on here. I hope it touches other people’s lives as well as yours.
    Thank you for commenting. Made my day 🙂


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