College isn’t what you expected it to be, is it? Not a bit. You were so eager to leave home and spread your wings, yet you keep facing obstacle after obstacle. You wanted to fly away so far from the places where your trauma took place not realizing that trauma sticks to your bones and wraps around your soul. You didn’t understand that trauma is a shadow that can swallow you if you let it.
You live on campus because you want to get away from home and the family drama. But somehow familial stress still follows you to campus. School is expensive and you still have to go home every weekend to afford it. Freshman year is a blur—you go to class all week and stay in your room. Sophomore year, you start to bloom. You meet some awesome people. You finally make some friends—you come out of your shell a little bit at a time.
But your Grandmother is sick and you’re only an hour away from home but it seems like light years everytime you find yourself rushing home on the city bus every other day between classes. It’s a lot. I know it is. I feel your pain. Especially the days when your Grandmother doesn’t recognize you from the psychosis caused by the infection in her kidneys. You thought that college would help you escape this reality but it only magnified it because you aren’t close by and easily accessible.
Finding the balance between wanting to live your life and taking care of your Grandmother is difficult for you. As the years go on, you take on more responsibilities. Doubling your major, working an internship, volunteer work, working up to three jobs at a time, working overtime just to afford not being homeless again. It’s too much. But there’s no one else to help support your dreams. It’s just you. But don’t forget about the Fire, Sis. That Fire inside you is what will pull you through. This is not your first lifetime–you have been here before. It’s why you feel so old amongst people your age. You were built to survive. You were born to thrive. You will make it through. Keep your focus–just hang in there. Speak your truths. You’re beginning to find YOUR voice and not an echo of someone else’s in your ear.
You are becoming your own Woman. You work so hard. I know you’re tired, but you aren’t finished yet. These are only stepping stones to prepare you for your future. The first time you truly used your voice is when you sat in your Grandmother’s bedroom sobbing and telling her that it was all too much. And she heard you. She heard you, Bree. Someone is finally listening to you and your needs. The second time you found your voice is when you told your abusive ex that you didn’t see yourself building a future with him. Do you feel that? Take a deep breath. You’re free. You don’t have to take the abuse anymore. It is within your birthright to stand up for what is right and what is yours and you are finally learning how to do that.
At some point, it all became too much for you. You couldn’t work all those hours of overtime to sustain yourself and go to school with a clear mind. I know you feel like you have failed, but this is only a bump in the road. It’s okay to take a break from school. The time for school will come–even if you only have one year left. Your mental health is your priority now.
Even on your darkest day, you shine bright. Don’t let the depression dim your flame. You can’t save the world if you can’t save yourself first.