Conversation with a Stranger: Brittney

Jack - Alright, so let's start. Give your name, age and profession to the curious readers.

Brittney - Brittney, 24, and pharmacy technician. I'm an aspiring writer and would hope to publish a book one day.

Jack - How long have you been writing, if you've already started honing the skill?

Brittney - I've been writing since I was about 11 or 12. I was emotionally and sexually abused and that was my main outlet.

Jack - Have you written many pieces related to said abuse?

Brittney - I have, for years that was the majority of my writing.

Jack - What aside from writing have you done to cope with the abuse from your past?

Brittney - I've gone to counseling and played sports such as soccer and softball. It's still not an easy road and it affects me daily.

Jack - Do you feel that the counseling has helped in any way? Would you recommend it over a physical outlet like the sports you took part in?

Brittney - I don't think it's really helped me to be completely honest. It just brings back memories for me.

Jack - So, you'd sooner recommend the sports or do you feel those were also no help?

Brittney - They helped, exercise and refocusing my mind helps. It's just given me a hard time with trusting people. I've been diagnosed with anxiety since then. I'm not on medication for it currently, but I do need to do something about it. It has been interfering with my life for far too long.

Jack - How has it interfered with your life?

Brittney - Relationships, and pushing everyone away.

Jack - Do you feel you push these people away by choice, because of the trust issues or by result of inevitable personality traits caused by the abuse?

Brittney - I would say the second one. I may or may not have borderline personality disorder. I become very clingy and attached in fear that I'll lose them to the point where I am the reason they leave.

Jack - Do you see it gradually happening in the relationship or do you only realize it once it's too late?

Brittney - Usually when it's too late until now. I'm going to try counseling again. It's been a few years.

Jack - Are you currently in a relationship that is going through this same cycle or are you avoiding them all together?

Brittney - Yes I am, and no I'm not avoiding them. But I'm trying to work on myself.

Jack - What steps have you taken to better yourself?

Brittney - I'm working on my independence and how to handle my anxiety. Also trying to tell myself that not everything is bad and that I do deserve good things in life.

Jack - I'm going to get more personal now. Is the abuser a family member?

Brittney - The abusers were my step-dad and my ex-boyfriend.

Jack - Were either ever reported to the authorities or are they living punishment free?

Brittney - I never said anything, my ex was just emotional. A little bit physical like pushing and slaps across the face.

Jack - Did the most destructive abuse, in your opinion, came from your stepfather?

Brittney - Honestly, no. The sexual didn't do near as much damage as the emotional abuse I've been through.

Jack - So you find the boyfriend the biggest issue. How did you break up with him?

Brittney - I left where I was at with him. It was the hardest because we were friends for so long. It became harder to trust after that.

Jack – Alright, we’re at the end of this conversation experiment, with all hopes I can get you in the future to do the same on a different topic. Is there any message you'd like to leave for any reader, male or female, that might be experiencing similar hardships? Any words of wisdom you'd like to share with them?

Brittney - I'd definitely be willing to have a similar conversation. And for those going through the same or similar, those people who hurt you are in the wrong. They do not control who you are and who you can be. Abusers find joy in the suffering of others. To move forward, it's important to rise above the negative words and actions that were taken against you, and to continue to make something great out of yourself. I realize that even though bad things have happened to me and I may not be perfect or great because of it, but that doesn't make me a bad and undeserving person and it doesn't make you one either.

Jack - Thank you for sharing some of your life and experiences with us, Brittney.

Brittney - You're welcome, it was nice speaking with you.


By Jack Thomas & Brittney