Counting by 3's
Most of you know me as the co-founder of Noise, some of you as a friend, and others as a family member or co-worker, but seldom do people know why I am the way I am today. Noise happened in a way by accident, but like some of life’s accidents, if you find a way to embrace them, they can lead to the most beautiful journey. This brand has become a part of my healing, a part of what gives my life purpose, and a way for me to speak about what I’ve been through without the the fear of judgement. So, here’s just a small part of my story, and like the best stories, this one is a “to be continued”...
The significance of numbers.
27. 47.1. 3. 7.1. 9
27 calls to the police, 71 hits to my body, 1 near death by strangulation, 3 arrests, 7 years of marriage, 1 divorce, and almost a decade later. I am still here. The saddest part of it? This isn’t even where it started, but I’ll leave that story for another day.
How do I remember? During my years of life with a sociopath I lived mostly in my own head. It was the only way I knew to survive. There were days my only conversations of comfort were from me to myself. I developed methods of coping as we all do when challenged. I would count. Every time he hit me...every single time, I would count. It became a way I could get out of the moment and train my brain to stop feeling, because the pain became so severe,counting would help numb the impact “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…” I would keep going until my body stopped vibrating, and then I knew he had stopped. Most of the time I would get up, he would apologize and mutter “why do you make me do this to you, if you weren’t so stupid and stubborn”. The one night, the 1 night he strangled me, he kept asking me to stop screaming, and I wouldn’t. That day I could see in his eyes that he was capable of killing me. I ran for the door, and before I knew it I was not breathing, I could feel the gaps the separated the fingers tightening around my neck. At first I struggled to get his hands off, but I couldn’t. Then I stopped, and for a moment, I could feel the cooling of my fingertips, the tingling of my blood, and the echo of my heartbeat slowing. I started to count, “1,2,3,4”, it's amazing what the brain is capable of doing, and as I counted I felt no pain, yet I could see the room around me in this strange aerial way, I could sense every angle, every detail around me. I moved my hand slowly to the edge of the window where I knew a small steel alarm clock sat. I grabbed it with the tips of my fingers and with all my force cracked it over his nose, and just then, he let go of me. The blood from his nose poured over my face. The remember the police quickly circled the room, I could see them shaking their heads from the corner of my eye. The one officer asked me if this was the first time, I stood blank, he knew it wasn’t. I knew how things went, and I didn’t think they’d end well for me. The police arrested him, but as usual I knew he’d make his way out, and I was too dead inside to do a thing. Do you know what I did the next morning? I walked to work, entered the office, my boss without having seen me started gabbing about her night, her husband was a CFL player who had a big win the night before. She turned to ask about my night and as she turned, she freaked out, “Negin, what happened to you! Who did this to you!” her eyes flooding with tears she grabbed me pulling me into her office. I said nothing, I didn’t understand what she meant. She turned me to face the mirror. I still felt nothing. No reaction. My eyes bloodshot, small purple dots filled my face, shades of black, purple, and red wrapped around my neck, “Negin, it looks like someone tried to kill you”. I said nothing, I felt nothing. I was alive, but had died inside so long ago. So many parts of me were buried deep. I was trapped inside my own body. The 7 years that followed that day were filled with attempted suicide, pain medication, antidepressants, and continued domestic abuse.
It has been 7.5 years later, and life has blessed me in so many amazing ways, but I live with the pains of the past, daily. The physical and mental anguish can take its toll some days. But, I fight. I do my best to find my strength, and I fight with every single fiber of my being. I’m sure you have so many questions, and I’m sure my answers will be long, and definitely complicated. One day I will share, but not today.
Not everyone’s story of mental health is the same, not every issue, or every battle starts with the same line or ends with the same number of chapters. Not a single day passes that I do not think about the terror that was my life, and my body aches serves as a reminder of what I have endured. I have tried medication after medication with little hope, and anxiety that I will live with these thoughts and the residual pains forever.
This is not the story of my recovery, this is the story of my journey to healing, and discovering ways I can live and use what has happened as my armour of strength, rather than my achilles. Noise is my journey, and through it I have met inspiring, amazing, strong women and men who have an incredible passion to help, support, guide, and make it loud about mental health and self-love.
Please know one thing. I do not believe I am weak because of my past, or my mental health. Do I occasionally feel sorry for myself? You bet I do. But that I think is normal, I think it's part of the process. I believe my past offers me perspective on life that I would not have otherwise had.
Could I have done without this perspective? Well, yeah...but life doesn’t quite work out the way we want, so what do we do with what we’ve been given? Well, that my friends is up to you.
Love & Light