July 7, 1993.
That is the date I was supposed to be born. I was supposed to be born on July 7, 1993. But, instead I was born on April 25, 1993. At 0825 on a Sunday morning.
I was in an incubator for 26 days post birth legitimately fighting to have a chance. 2 lbs. 11 ounces. That is how big I was.. or how tiny I was. I have been fighting since I came out of the womb several months early. And I am still fighting to this day.
Fighting mental illnesses, fighting physical illnesses, and fighting the oppression that most women suffer at the hands of the way the world views us. I fight every single day. Some days are harder than others and most days they are days that I hold value to keep a fight until the war is won.
Most people don’t understand when I use the expression, “I am exhausted”. “I am tired of fighting”. Most people look at me… or any other survivor, really and see that there is nothing showing on the outside. But it is what I battle with on the inside whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But most days I am extremely fatigued by the physical fight I put up every day. Alongside the emotional and mental battles that are being fought continuously.
I have a Chiari Malformation, which means my brain is herniating 7 mm into my spinal canal and causing a lot of neurological symptoms that are causing my body to fight very hard. It is a congenital brain disorder. So again, I have had this my entire life. But symptoms don’t begin until the 20’s once the brain has stopped growing.
I suffer from PTSD(I), Anxiety, and Depression.
The physical rounds I fight every day have caused my other battles to intertwine. Given my most recent medical diagnosis my depression and my anxiety have gotten worse. And before my medical diagnosis my depression and anxiety were looming around me and punching me continuously on a day to day basis because I had no idea what was causing me so much pain. I had no idea what was going on with my body or why I was hurting so bad. Why I wasn’t able to function the way I deserved to be able to function and not a doctor on this planet could tell me what was happening to me. For six years at that.
When speaking with my EMDR Therapist (I have two therapist) I told him that I was exhausted. I am tired of fighting. There has not been a single day in my life since the day I was born that I have not had to fight. I am fighting for my individuality. I am fighting to not have the weight of the burdens of other people’s inability to handle their emotional barriers on my back. I am fighting to be able to simply be me- Nia Renee, the Battered Woman. I am fighting to be seen as the 26 year old woman that has been through hell and back, but turning the pressure into Diamonds.
Having to fight so hard for my mental state of mind, not allowing the the medical industry to deter me and keep me in a box where I was beginning to think that I was going crazy; it has been hard to say the least. Having doctors look at me and say “according to your labs you are the healthiest patient I have had step foot in my office”. But deep down inside I knew/know something is/was wrong. And I had to fight very hard for people to take me seriously. Being a woman and going to the doctor several times a month and year, the medical industry works hard to make WOMEN feel as if they are dramatic or they are wanting a prescription. The medical industry works really hard to make women feel like they are always wanting the attention. And that is not the case and that is definitely not what it is. The battle of being a woman is already hard enough and having to fight men.. yet again in a profession where they label us as crazy because they aren’t equipped with finding the diagnosis. That is now a fight I will no longer try to stop. I must find a way to bring a voice to women who have battled these type of injustices… as well.
I don’t mind being a fighter, though. As exhausting as it is, being a fighter has given me the opportunity, platform, and voice to speak up and try and find a path for others who have been fighting just as hard as I have.
Fighting from being a premature baby, to fighting mental illness, to fighting physical illness, to fighting the same fight of being a woman in a world where we are rarely believed for most things… is a fight that I have decided that I am never going to give them the satisfaction of failure.
I have been fighting for 26 years. And I plan on fighting until we are able to be taken seriously in every single aspect of life.
I will fight until the very end.
This Battered Woman is never going to give up. 💜