I am Brigitte Linford and I am alive today because I KEPT MOVING FORWARD.
I had a happy childhood. I grew up in SouthEast Idaho in a nice home with brothers and sisters and parents who loved me and loved one another. It was the setting for a picture perfect life. And for the most part – it was.
That is until I reached Sixth Grade. I hit puberty and suddenly I fell into a deep depression that consumed me. Instead of writing silly love letters to boys and chasing them at recess, I distanced myself and wrote suicide letters. I remember filling my Lisa Frank diary with letter after letter apologizing to my family for my impending departure. All written in a secret code I had made up of symbols and signs.
I would set the date for my grand exit time and time again. But there was a flicker of hope inside me that kept me going. I felt as if God was telling me that I wouldn’t feel this way forever. I felt like God had a plan for me. I just needed to hang on and better days would come.
Those better days never came though.
I battled severe depression all throughout Junior High and High School. I did my best to hide it, but I desperately wanted help and relief. My mom would tell me that there was a reason I had this depression. She said there was a purpose. She said that someday I would be able to help someone else because of the things I was going through. Again, I clung to that idea. I would dream of the day I was free from the burden of depression and able to strengthen someone else. That dream kept me alive.
I graduated from High School in 2000 and moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. I had hoped college would be my time to shine, but things only got worse. Every passing year seemed worse than the first. Partly, because with each passing year my already small group of friends got smaller as one-by-one they married and moved on.
After four years of college I found myself alone. No friends whatsoever, living with a group of girls I barely knew. I was in a relationship with a controlling, manipulative, abusive, egotistical guy. And I was literally in the depths of despair. There are no other words to describe that time of my life.
In January 2004 the only person I associated with abandoned me. My abusive boyfriend had determined I was worthless because I changed the passwords on my email account, thereby proving to him that I was a “cheating wh*re”. (In his words)
I was all alone. My friends were all gone and I did not have a relationship with my parents at the time. I had no one.
So I retreated.
I sat in my little 10 X 10 apartment bedroom and did absolutely nothing. When my roommates were home I would hide. I would hide under a pile of clothes on the floor or underneath my bed. I would just lay there with my heart racing and beating wildly in fear that someone would find me. My roommates would occasionaly knock on my door, open it, and walk in – looking for their lost roommate. But they didn’t really care about me – and why would they ? We were only acquantences.
This lasted for 4 long days. Finally I decided that all I really needed was someone to talk to. A friend. Someone to offer a little bit of hope perhaps. I had no one to talk to and I desperately needed someone there.
The next morning when my roommates left for school I got in my car and drove over to the hospital. I was just looking for a counselor. Someone I could PAY to listen to me and be my friend since I had no one else to talk to. I talked to a counselor, but they wouldn’t let me leave.
So there I was – being held hostage in a mental institution.
I had officially gone crazy.
to be continued…...