TW: Mention of sexual abuse and suicide
My name is Katelynn (Katie) Joy Thibodeau, I lived 26 long and rough years. I spent those years moving around the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Currently residing in the state of Vermont, and for the first time in those 26 years, I have stability. I got engaged last summer, to a woman who has a similar life history to myself. She challenges me daily to be the person I always dreamed of, but I did not believe was possible.
Life in my shoes has never been easy or “fair”. I was abused physically and sexually nightly on and off from ages 5 to 12 years old. I was diagnosed with varsis mental health illnesses in second grade. By 5th grade I was expelled from 3 public schools and had been arrested my first time. At age 9 I found alcohol, age 11 it was a nightly need, just to cope through the pain. Lived ages 13 to about 18 years old moving back and forth between residentials and psychiatric wards. By the time I moved home, I suffered from a major fear of the public, and couldn’t even get to the door of a small gas station without a panic attack. Within a month I was in active alcoholism and decovering every drug heard of in my area. I lived in active addiction cycling through jail, psych wards, and rehabs till I was 24 years old. When a almost fatal suicide attempt, landed me back in jail. For the first time ever something changed in me.
Leaving to work through childhood trauma, and the trauma of my years bouncing around the psychiatric ward. After 3 years of hard work and recovery, today I live a life I personally believed was never possible. I have big life goals today, and truly believe today anything is possible with a lot of honest hard work. It was a very long hard journey to get where I am today, I gave up on myself countless times. I am living proof change is possible, you just need to give it your all and when things start to fall apart find the strength to fight through.
Honestly life is never easier, whether living a life in active addiction or living the honest life of recovery. I face struggles daily. The difference is I’ve learned to cope through those struggles, and at the end of the day I love myself, believe in myself, and I have stability. I wake up each morning grateful and ready to face life straight on, prepared to fight those struggles, not numbing myself to cope and avoiding life.
I am a volunteer here at UnPrisonProject. You will come to know me and my life journey through my blogs. My goal is to give readers strength and hope, through my journey and blogs.
Check out her stories, poems, and blogs right here on the UnPrison Project’s web page!