10 Things I Learned My Freshman Year of College.

This is for all my friends who are about to graduate high school.

1. There are a lot of professors who will make you start to believe that day-drinking is a really good idea.

2. Only extreme douche-bags show off their “sick” bicep tats by wearing muscle tees… even on the coldest days of winter. Yes, this is going out to you Mr. Check-Out-My-YOLO-Tattoo.

3. Some people are just naturally assholes. And for some reason this lovely trait comes out more once they are in college.

4. Just because you were a “good test taker” in high school doesn’t mean that you will be a good test taker in college.

5. You truely do meet the people who will be your best friends for the rest of your life during this time. So, with that being in mind, ALWAYS BE YOURSELF! There is someone out there who is just as equally funny, weird, intellegent, and amazing as you are. Don’t mold yourself to fit someone else’s standards. This works for finding a significant other as well.

6. Yes, you’re in college. Yes, there are parties and they are a lot of fun. But you can still have a lot of fun without going tooo hard… you may end up waking up in a random lawn or in a pile of rocks. Don’t be THAT guy.

7. Sometimes, laying in bed all day and missing class seems to be a good idea. But no matter how wonderful that day of Netflix sounds, missing class can really make you fall behind. Trying to catch up is insanely hard. Sidenote, the majority of professors will take off points when you miss class.

8. Sometimes, all you need is a 2 am Perkin’s run.

9. Naps are the most beautiful thing in this world!

10. Free t-shirts… free t-shirts everywhere.

Life as a Survivor.

As a nineteen year old survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome, I have always felt like I have had a different view on life than my friends.

I have always felt a little different from my friends. After all, none of them have to go to the hospital every year to undergo tests to see if I have to have another brain surgery.

I have always been able to talk to my mum about it and although she doesn’t truly understand my point of view on the situation, she is always there to listen. My dad, on the other hand, is a different story. When ever the topic is brought up, he quickly shoots it down saying that it is “something we don’t talk about.”

The truth is, I have always felt very unwanted. I honestly feel that since some crazy lady thought that my life at four months old was worthless, then I must be worthless. This mindset is obviously not a healthy or correct one, but it’s one I cannot seem to get rid of.

I constantly feel alone. I have actively searched for people, like me, who are survivors and are seemingly “unharmed.” Unfortunately, all I have ever found were stories from parents of the children who have become severely mentally and/or physically disabled. Since I am neither, I have never related to their stories. I started to give up on my search. Maybe I was the only one who felt this way? Then, I realized, maybe someone else was out there and searching for someone, like me, and wanted to know that someone else was going through the same pain.

So, I decided to write something myself. Why not, right?

So here I am. I sincerly hope that someone reads this and finds comfort in it.

It took me three years to finally realize that if I wanted to see some change in my life, I needed to actively go out and get it. And to change my life and my outlook on life, I needed to share my story in the hopes that a survivor will read it and know that they are not alone. Or for a parent, who doesn’t know what to say to their child, to read this and start to have an understanding of the torment of what it is to be a survivor.

It took me over five years to sit my dad down and tell him that I wanted him to listen to me so he could see where I am coming from. I proudly can say that he was very open to hearing me out and started to ask me questions about growing up knowing the evils that were done to me. Finally, it has taken me all this time to truly see that I did NOTHING to deserve being abused. I was four months old, there wasn’t anything I could have done to protect myself. All I can do now is tell my story. Maybe, one day Shaken Baby Syndrome will just be a sad thing that used to happen.

I consider myself not only lucky, but blessed, to have survived and I thank God every day for still being here. I went through a long period where I was so mad, so furrious, that I blamed God. It took me years to get to a place where I became okay with everything that happened.

I have kind of created my own motto. I think that it is the hardships that we face that are the very things that make life so beautiful.

For every bad thing, there is an equally good thing.

I have started to share my story to people who would otherwise not know what SBS is or why you absolutely CANNOT shake a baby. I have also decided to share my story to sites that have focused on ending SBS to let other survivors like myself know that they aren’t alone like I once thought I was.

Every life is so precious and we are all on this Earth for a reason… and I think I may have just discovered mine.

First Tattoo Memories.

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Last year, I went on spring break with my mum, her now ex boyfriend Jeff, my “brother” Ian, and my best friend Laurel. We spent the whole vacation drinking on the beach. It was fantastic. Anyways, one drunken day, my Laurel and I decided that it would be a great idea to get matching tattoos together. While planning what were were about to permanantly ink on our skin, I was more excited that scared. When the time came to actually go get them done… I was horrified. The whole car ride, my stomach was contantly turning, I was shaking, I swear I could see my heart come out of my chest, and I felt like vomiting. I pounded a wine cooler in a lame attempt to calm my nerves. Once in the shop, I continuously asked the tattooist how bad it would hurt to the point where I could tell that I was obviously annoying him. I made my friend go first because I chickened out. At the end, she told me how it didn’t hurt too bad and to just suck it up and get in the damn chair. The moment of truth had come! I tried to distract myself by going on Facebook and Twitter but it was hard to hold my phone when I was shaking so hard. The tattooist asked, “Are you ready?” and I answered with an unsure voice, “Yes.” I suddenly could only hear the sound of the tattoo gun. I shut my eyes and squeezed Laurel’s hand. I felt a weird sensation, not painful, just weird. I opened my eyes and exclaimed, “Oh! Its not that bad!” I laughed, dropped my friends hand and appologized for being a baby. I then, to my furture embarrassment, yelled out “YOLO!” and took a picture of myself being tattooed.

And that is the very true story of how I now have a seahorse tattooed behind my ear.

25 Things About Myself

My friend Maya did one of these and I thought that it would be exciting to do so!

1- I’m a freshman in college at St. Cloud State in Minnesota

2- I have moved over 20 times in my life so far and have adopted Minneapolis as my hometown.

3- In 8th grade I lived in a couple different places in a suburb right outside of Sydney, Australia.

4- I have three tattoos and 8 piercings and plan on more!

5- I am an only child but I used to live with my mum’s ex-boyfriends three kids for 2.5 years and I consider them to be my siblings. (They are who I refer to when I say “my brothers and sister”)

6- My favorite animals are giraffes and penguins by far!!

7- Due to the fact that I have moved so many times and went to 7 schools, (8 including college) I can adapt to new situations quite easily and making new friends is something that I do really well.

8- I am hopefully moving to Savannah, Georgia in August 2013, fingers crossed!

9- I want to have a family so bad.

10- I play guitar and piano and want to learn how to play the banjo.

11- My favorite pass times include: tennis, golf, playing music, singing, reading, and being with friends.

12- I am a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome and hope to write a book or something on how it has affected me to this day.

13- I’m currently battling an eating disorder but I’m very proud of myself for how far I’ve come just in the past 3 months since being diagnosed!

14- My friends and family are the most important things to me.

15- I don’t label myself with any religion. I say that I’m “spiritual” which means that I believe in God and have a relationship with Him but I don’t really feel like my beliefs fit one specific religion.

16- I’m half Irish and half Swedish. I love being both but I view myself as being more Irish. I love my heritages! I get really into them.

17- I was raised by a single mother and I love her so very much.

18- I am such a big country music fan!!!! All music is great but country music… AHHHH!! Love!

19- Ellie Goulding is my favorite person in the whole world. Period.

20- My best friend is Hailey. I consider her my sister. She lives in New York City and I am so very proud of her for pursuing her dreams. You rock, girly!!

21- I have a Godson named Jamison Carter. He is the love of my life. You will see a lot of pictures of him.

22- My favorite color is orange.

23- I’m a Doctor Who fan! Such a fantastic show.

24- I love to paint.

25- When I was in elementary school, my friends and I thought that we were mermaids. I go to school now with one of them and we still refer to each other as “MERMAID SISTAAAAAS!!”

The Introduction.

The reasoning for my  writing is actually two fold: I wish to become a writer and I find it to be very healing. Aside from English assignments for school, I began writing at a fairly early age. I was constantly creating new stories and would read them to my family members whenever I could. In my vain dream of becoming rich and famous, I always imagined myself being the author of an immensely popular novel. Even now as I sit by a fireplace in my university’s Caribou Coffee, I secretly hope that my writings give me some form of exposure. But mostly, I write because I find that it is the only way I can truly articulate my most intimate feelings. For some reason, even though I’m a very talkative person, I struggle with expressing how I feel verbally.

I never thought about possibly majoring in English until all of three weeks ago. I wrote a letter to an organization called “Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome” . As a survivor of the brutality that is SBS , I explained how I’m constantly frustrated that there isn’t any support for the survivors such as myself who are seemingly “unharmed”. I told them about how I have gone the better part of my 19 years on this earth feeling different and unwanted. When I sent it, I honestly was expecting maybe a few comments and nothing more. An hour after I posted my letter, the admin of the page wrote about me, praising my letter and exclaiming how articulate I was. Attached to the note was my  post. Within an hour or two over 80 people “liked” the post and man others commented on it. Every one of the 30 plus comments contained diverse forms of encouraging words and saying how bright I am. One mother even said how she hopes that her daughter would someday see me as a role model. Seeing all of these posts made me very emotional. I have spent my whole life believing that I was less than dirt and now there were random people from all across the United States telling me how wonderful I am. The thought of having a lot of people reading my story and responding well to it reignited my passion for writing.

I no longer strive to become a famous writer or a multi-millionaire, I have new goals now. I simply dream of a day where I know that I inspired at least one person.