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Younger women's talking with each other

When I came to Fulshear. I had been struggling for quite a while. I was adopted from Russia and had endured trauma that I couldn’t even remember. I was bullied in school and never had any real friends. When I was a junior in high school, I got into social media, mostly Twitter, and used online interactions to make up for my lack of friends in real life.   My self-esteem was extremely low.

“To avoid any judgment or controversy, I decided not to tell the truth online. “

To avoid any judgment or controversy, I decided not to tell the truth online.  I am from New Jersey but love college sports in the south. I started to tell people I was from Kentucky.  At first I was only lying online, but by the time I went to college, I was so obsessed with my story that I started telling it in person. I didn’t fit the description of a Kentucky girl so I did research online to find out what people in Kentucky were like. I adopted them as my own and wrote extensive, detailed stories about my “past.” I told these stories to myself so many times, they felt like real memories. I made my story and my twitter page a priority over everything else.

In high school, I took honors and AP classes and graduated with a 3.8 GPA.  After the first semester of college, I failed two classes and barely passed the other two. My parents tried to step in to help.  My self-worth and identity were built around this story and I was not going to let go. I told people I was moving to Mississippi.  I put school, family, and friends aside so they would not interrupt my plans. My Twitter popularity exploded and I had 2000 followers from a 90-mile radius in Mississippi.  However, not one person had ever seen me and when they started looking into my account, they discovered I had lied. Instead of facing the reality of what I had done, suicide seemed like an easier option. I will never forget that night. I wasn’t ready to admit I had an addiction and I wasn’t ready to let go, but I was ready to get help.

I came to Fulshear in July 2018 to a warm welcome. I walked into my room and found a welcome kit and poster signed by all the girls in the program. I was ready to put in the work. Over the next 6 to 7 months I learned that my self worth does not come from retweets, DMs from famous college players, or the opinions of others. I am human and that gives me worth. I saw myself as a failure, others as judgmental and mean, and the world as an unsafe place that I would never belong in. Through this program, I have been changed. I was chosen to go through all the hurt and trauma so I could learn lessons of resilience and faith that others never get to learn. I learned how to be a friend and get my needs met at the same time. I could be myself and people would like me for who I am because people respect transparency and integrity.

“Fulshear did a lot of work with my family too. “

Fulshear did a lot of work with my family too. I always blamed my family for the fact that I didn’t have friends but Fulshear helped us work through that in our weekly family sessions. I now see my family as open. I have a place there, and relationships that I never thought would heal. Fulshear supported me and never gave up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself. If you are struggling and are willing to put in the work, this program can help.  I now have a meaningful life with a long future ahead of me.