Aaliyah Smith – Who Am I And Should You Listen To me?
My name is Aaliyah Smith, I’m a 29 years old mother of 2 crazy dogs. Unfortunately I cannot have children of my own but I have always been around dogs, probably always will have them in my life.
So I know what you’re thinking…….just who is Molly Walker and why should I listen to her?
Valid Questions so let me try and answer them for you. This will probably get long winded as I do tend to get carried away once I start typing so apologies if you fall asleep.
I was born and raised in the North East of England, Geordie Land to be more precise by my loving mother and Father. I’m the youngest of 3 children (I have 2 brothers) and despite not having much money, we were well looked after, fed and watered and never really wanted for anything.
Things were great as a kid….there’s plenty of things to do in the North East of England, loads of rural areas, especially in Northumberland which is where we moved to when I was 5 years old to be closer to my fathers work. It also meant we were closer to some of my fathers relatives which as it turned out, was a very bad thing for me.
My father and my uncle (his brother) were very very close so they were both more than happy with the move. For a year or so things were great but then my uncle started paying more attention to me. He had a different job from my father and had more time on his hands so he would offer to take my brothers fishing or play football etc, you know, men’s activities but he always insisted on taking me along too. This is when all my problems started.
My uncle started to get a bit too close, he started touching me etc. I was barely 7 years old and didn’t understand what all this meant but I didn’t feel right. Thinking back, I remember him giving me the talk about how it was perfectly normal and then finishing the talk off with “its our little secret”.
I still get that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think of it, just got it now while I was typing it.
This all carried on until I was almost 10 years old when we got the news that my uncle had been in a car crash….he spent a 4 days in hospital before succumbing to his injuries. I was sad for my father but it was a relief for me, although I don’t feel comfortable feeling relief at someone’s passing.
I never told anybody at the time about the abuse, in fact, I have only ever told my wife and a therapist. I will never tell my parents what happened.
I thought my problems were over but they were only just beginning.
I never experienced abuse like that again and led what many would consider a normal childhood after my uncle died but then I started middle school (aged 10) and more problems quickly followed. Although I was never the most popular kid at school, I did have a few close friends so you would never have called me a loner or outcast. I was regularly picked on but no more so than the other “geeks” in class. However, when I went to high school, 2 middle schools formed to make up the high school population and unfortunately for me, the supposed cooler kids decided I was one of their targets for mickey taking. I could take a joke so I just brushed it off to begin with. I was quite chubby and geeky looking so it made me an easy target but I had heard it all before. This seemed to annoy the bullies so they started to get physical with me. Sly little punches in the gut or ribs when I wasn’t expecting it., hair pulling etc. Jumping me in the toilets or on the way to or from school. Not the sort of behavour you would expect from girls. That was my school life for the next 3 years.
I started to become withdrawn, not wanting to play out and about with my few friends. I became a recluse and when it was school time I would try and wait until as late as possible to leave home and then I would run just to make the bell for register, hoping the bullies were already inside…….that is of course, if I actually went to school that day.
I was very depressed by this time and was developing some serious social anxiety issues. I never went to any school disco’s or other activities. I even shy’ed away from family functions and gatherings. I remember my parents getting furious with me when I failed to turn up at my cousin’s wedding. I just found it harder and harder to face people, especially lots of people at the same time.
My parents started asking the odd question such as why I didn’t play with my friends anymore etc etc but I just made excuses and always hid behind a happy and cheeky smile. I never felt I could open up and tell anybody exactly how I was feeling…..I did come close to telling my mother on one occasion but I backed out at the last minute. I know for a fact that if I had of told her, I wouldn’t have mentioned my uncle. The fact that I was well into my teens made me realise the horror of what he had done to me and I felt far too ashamed to tell anybody about that.
The next few years or so were spent doing rather boring mundane jobs and continuing to be miserable as hell and sinking further and further into depression. Then we had a new started at work called John and I absolutely fancied the pants off him. We seemed to hit it off almost instantly and for once I felt a bit of happiness in my life. Even when my depression was at its worst, I was always fine one and one with people. Besides, nobody at work had any idea I had serious mental health issues as the happy smile was so well rehearsed that it was on my face almost permanently.
I soon started to go out with John but our dates were mostly confined to us cooking meals for each other and watching films. When we finally did go “out” we went to a small pub because I knew it would be very quiet with not many people in. He never really questioned why we didn’t go anywhere but when I made up an excuse why we shouldn’t go to that restaurant or to the pictures to see the latest film, I knew he didn’t quite believe me.
The next few years or so are pretty much a blur. We moved in together. I switched jobs as did John, we bought a small house and talked kids which sadly, we have never had. Slowly but surely I was sinking deeper and deeper but refused to tell John what I was going through. He left for work before me and got home after me because of his longer commute so when I started pulling sick days at work, he had no idea. No idea that is until he came home early one day from work to find me balling my eyes out in the middle of our living room floor with a “you’re sacked” letter from my employer. I hadn’t been to work for over 2 months and had no sick note from the doctor or anything.
Over the next few hours I blurted everything out to him. My uncle, the abuse, the bullying, the depression and social anxiety, they were all covered. John just sat, cradled me and held my hand as I poured my heart out.
I was 25 years old before I told anybody what I had been suffering from since I was a young girl. If you are still reading this, please do not make the same mistakes I did, you will only regret it.
I eventually went to see my GP and was given medication to help with my depression and anxiety. I plodded on with these antidepressants until my wife said she thought they were having no effect on me as far as she could see and she was right. I didn’t feel any different apart from getting some awful side effects. Back to my GP I went and we switched meds……this carried on for the next 2 years or so. During this time I also saw a few different therapist’s who I never got along with. I just couldn’t relate to them because I could tell they didn’t really understand what I was going through. Sure, they had all the qualifications but I genuinely feel that until you have suffered depression yourself, you will never ever truly understand just how bad it feels.
After many chats with my GP he reluctantly agreed for me to come off medication. The pills weren’t making me any happier then before I was taking them and they were giving me the awful side effects so I reasoned what was the point in taking them.
I vowed to find another way to treat my depression and I wasted months aimlessly searching for something but as I didn’t really know what I was looking for, surprise surprise, I never found it. I would read forum posts about what people were doing to help treat their depression naturally but none of it ever really sunk in and I didn’t act upon tips I was given……John asked me if I even wanted to get better?
That was like a smack in the face but he was right. My biggest problem other than my mental health issues was that I had become lazy. Out of work and miserable, I wouldn’t eat a thing for days then binge eat for a full day whilst staring at the computer screen or TV and I had turned into one lazy overweight slob. I was chubby as a kid but once I went through puberty I had stayed relatively thin but now, my weight was ballooning.
I knew I had to do something about it for both our sake but I just couldn’t find the motivation. That was until one day I stumbled across a post on a depression forum. The post was made by James Gordon and what he said instantly jumped out at me. I did a quick search and some of his other posts all spoke so clearly to me too. I contacted him, we spoke via private messaging and he knew exactly what I was going through. He told me had was planning on releasing a book he had wrote which was all about how he treated his depression naturally and would I like to run the rule over a rough copy he had……I still cherish that ebook to this day.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard slog getting on the road to recovery and I often found myself asking whether I could actually keep it up as well as question whether James’ methods even work (believe me, hey most certainly do) but thanks to James’ book and the methods taught, he set me well on the way to where I am today.
These days myself and John have never been happier. We start off everyday with a brisk early morning walk with the dogs no matter what the weather. We spend days out hill walking, mountain biking or at the gym. I love lifting weights even though I’m a “chick”, if somebody told me I would be doing any of this 2 years ago I would never have believed them. We also have nights out in restaurants, at the cinema or even the pub with friends…..all the stuff I should have been doing since my teens.
I also help out at a local group therapy session for people with mental health issues where they chat about their feelings etc. I’m forever recommending James books to people, a few of which have gone through the system and had positive results too.
If any of what I have wrote sounds familiar to you, then please, if you haven’t already, tell somebody, visit you GP / doctor and seek some help. Medication may very well work for you. Just telling somebody how you feel can have a massive positive effect on you if you have been bottling things up.
Right, that’s enough of my ramblings, sorry if I have bored you.