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