Spoken Hope Member - Janessa

Hi! I’m Janessa, and this is my story of hope.

I grew up in a loving family, with two amazing parents who adored their children, and who would do anything for them. I grew up in a family that seemed picture perfect on the outside. However, behind closed doors, I grew up in a house with significant family conflict. This dates back to as early as I can remember. There were many nights I would lay in bed and stuff my head between pillows, in an attempt to mask all the noise. I would get involved, to protect, to peacekeep and to try and stop the vulgar words. However, when I would fail at doing so, it broke me. I blamed myself for not keeping my family happy and safe. I felt like I was the glue holding the family together. I had convinced myself that it was never going to get better. I had lost all hope. But yet, I went to school with a smile on my face, pretending my face wasn’t swollen from the tears, that I wasn’t a witness to another traumatic situation, that I wasn’t running off a few hours of sleep. I walked out of the house like nothing was wrong, like all of the weight on my shoulders wasn’t heavy. I told no one about what happened behind those doors, I thought that would make me weak. I was ashamed, I was afraid.  So I put on an act and pretended to be ok all the time. Until it hit me, after years of putting on this act, I realized I wasn’t ok. I was so mentally and physically exhausted, I realized I needed help. I didn’t want to feel the weight I carried constantly crushing me. So, I decided to seek counselling. I can wholeheartedly say that that was by far one of the hardest, yet best decisions I have ever made. It truly changed my life for the better.  Being able to say “I need help”, is so much easier said than done. Seeking help for what you are living in shouldn’t come with guilt, it doesn’t make you weak, it shouldn’t make you feel ashamed. You are so strong. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, in anyone's life or mind. People are so good at hiding pain behind a smile. So love big, and be there for your loved ones. Be kind to everyone you cross paths with, and choose kindness, always.

Please note that as a result of COVID-19 safety precautions our Walk-In Clinics and County Mental Health Clinics are on hold however, our services remain OPEN.  To schedule an appointment or find out more, please contact our Intake Dept. at (519) 337-3701.