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My struggle with depression started when I was in high school. With the loving support of my parents, family, and friends, my life stayed on track...until it didn't. I was 19 years old when I began to feel these wild and crazy mood swings. I had no idea what was happening, but all I knew is that I needed to work and get an education. I went to ACC, paying my way through my basics so I could transfer to a 4 yr college. That is when I decided to move down to Victoria, Texas; I knew I needed a fresh start, and I knew I needed a support system. I then enrolled at the University of Houston at Victoria. Things were going well, then my dad was offered a job as the Athletic Director for Lubbock ISD. I had recently met someone and I was not ready to give up on our new relationship, so I stayed in Victoria while my parents moved 8-9 hours away. Like a demon creeping out of the dark, my depression became overwhelming, and I ended up dropping out of school. My mom was in the car the very next day to come get me and move me to Lubbock. To my shock and horror, my demons followed me. The man I was seeing moved up to Lubbock to be there for me and we eventually became engaged. He told me I "had to change", and I promised him I would. The problem was, I had not yet identified what exactly was wrong with me, thus I did not know how to fix it. The night before my doctor's appointment with Texas Tech's Medical Center Psychiatrist, my fiance called and broke off our wedding. My demons were too much for him to bear. I was 23, and I went downhill from there. I was diagnosed with depression (duh!), but I was also diagnosed with Bipolar Type II with rapid cycling. My ex-fiance did not care; he was done, done with me and what he saw as evil in our relationship. I cried myself to sleep every night for almost 3 months. It was then that I began my emotional up and down journey with my mental health. I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals. I even attempted, and almost succeeded, suicide. Back in the hospital I went. Everytime I came out, I was back at school, putting one foot in front of another. I went through medication, after medication, after medication. I was just trying to make it through each day, trying to redefine myself and my purpose in life. I began coaching and was pursuing my teaching certificate when one of my college "friends" and co-workers said he would help me study for my certification test and that he had a study booklet that helped him. I was so excited to receive help and so very grateful. He said to meet him at the school he worked as the study guide was in his desk. It was not until I got there that I figured out what he was planning. By then it was too late...he raped me. He was married with kids, and being a friend who comforted me when my ex-fiance left me, I never in a million years thought he was capable of violating me. I remember walking to my car, studybook in hand, with tears running down my face. All I wanted to do was go home, take a long hot shower and scrub every inch of my body until it was raw. As of right now, my husband is the only one who knows about the rape. I never filed a police report as he was a teacher and coach who had a family. I just never wanted to see him again, and I never did.
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