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Personal and Therapy Bills

Organized by: Tramaine Blount

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THE STORY:

Hey there! I'm Tramaine Blount, and it's very nice to meet you. I'm going to write a bit about myself in the following paragraphs...but it might be a bit much for some people who don't want to read a full essay. So, the short version is at the every bottom. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I graduated from Plymouth High School in 2004, a relatively small school from a relatively small town. There were only about 120 students (about that I think) in my class, but still, I was pretty happy that I managed to make the Top Ten in my class. I was even recognized as an American Scholar, and recieved recognization from organizations like the Achievement Academy and Who's Who Among American High School Students. Plus, my parents and everyone was proud of me, and that made me feel good about myself. I started college at Elizabeth City State University in the fall of that same year, which was pretty nice, though I really wanted to go to one of the bigger colleges like NC State or A&T University. My parents wouldn't let me though, because they felt that I couldn't carry myself at a college like that. To be honest, they didn't really show much faith in me even at ECSU, because they kept calling me to ask if I was okay over there, and even offered that I could just leave if it was too much for me. Thinking back, I suppose I could understand their point of view. I mean, I was a kinda nerdy kid, short and kind-hearted. And I was a serious introvert, spent most of my time indoors playing video games, drawing and writing. Of course, what they didn't know (or care to know) was that much of my personality at the time was mostly because of abuse and negligence. I was utterly terrified of my parents, mainly my father because he spent my entire childhood treating me and my siblings similar to how he treats the inmates he guards: with intimidation and enforced control. In other words, he used to hit us a lot. My mother, on the other hand, was pretty scary, but not nearly as much due to the how dismissive she usually was about me and my problems. The only time she was really scary was when I said something that she felt challenged her authority, but since I had learned to become a Yes Man by this point, those times were few and far between. I was alone for most of my childhood. I had problems connecting with people even then, which conflicted horrifically with how popular my younger brother was. Whenever I had time to play outdoors with 'friends,' they weren't exactly my friends...they were his, while I . But, I'm digressing. Frankly, I could write an entire novel on my life, and just how rough it was. Most people probably wouldn't even believe it, because my parents would look like Disney villians by the time I was done...not really kidding there. --- But yeah, college was pretty tense as well. I was a Residential Assistant for three years there; spent my first year as a normal student, second and third year as a RA at the boy's freshman dorm (University Towers at the time), and fourth year as a RA at one of the upper-classman's dorms, Viking Village. Those first three years were hard, mainly because most of the students I watched over were bored idiots who spent more time sneaking in girls and vandalizing the dorm they live in. Naturally, they hated me, because I was one of the only RAs who actually tried to follow the rules. Oh, the stories I could tell about that time...they vandalized my door and pulled the fire alarm so often that both were pretty much expected to happen on a regular basis. On the other hand, the classes were interesting and fairly challenging as well, and the teachers actually liked me. Had a lot of fun times there, and they even helped me to go on an internship to Texas Tech University as well. We spent that summer studying windstorms and the technology used to track them. Also, exploring that awesome campus and visiting some interesting locations nearby, like the time we went to this WW2 airplane museum, or the time we went hiking through the canyons. Now THAT was fun. To be honest, I do miss talking with my old teachers, but I don't want them to see what's become of me, though. All of us figured that I'd be something great, that I'd go on to Grad School and succeed as an Engineer or in some specialized field of Technology. It actually hurts me to think about what they'd think if they knew where I was now. Back at home, alone and miserable, and surrounded by people who either pity me, resent me, hate me, or don't give a crap. In 2008, I graduated from college Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Industrial Technology, got numerous awards for that as well, and a possible opportunity to go to Grad School at Norfolk State University. Didn't quite work out, though, because the apprenticeship they offered me was too small to even afford me a place to live on or near campus. --- So, I turned them down and stayed at home until I could find another opportunity for grad School. That didn't happen until 2 1/2 years later, in 2010, when I finally worked up the courage to apply for a college loan so I could go to NC State. Up to this point, I'd gotten through college on a full scholarship, so the issue of funding had never been something I worried about. But I got the loan, and I was easily accepted to NC State without much issue as well. The real problem was not getting into NC State, it was what had happened to me in the prior years. See, up to this point, I'd managed to avoid a good chunk of my dad's wrath by simply being in college, and away from him. I mean, he still showed up on campus, and having him there still made my life harder even when he meant well. Case in point, the time when I was trying to write my Senior thesis in my room, and he started talking on the phone. Then, when I leave to head downstairs to the dorm's public study room where I could have some peace and quiet, he follows me downstairs and continues talking on the phone while I'm talking. But, how that I was home, he could inject himself into my life much more often. And it was hell, to be honest. Years of him confronting me with my faults, treating me like I'm a child, naive and weak-willed. Snapping at me if I say something that he doesn't like, and giving me these furious stares. It's sad and strange, because he repeatedly acknowledges that I'm weak and afraid, but then confronts me like I'm a threat and a challenge to his authority. It can get so bad sometimes that he'll say my name with such a suddenness and harshness that it makes me jump with surprise. This has been a constant thing with him for a long time, but it didn't get really bad until after his second divorce. Some part of me still believes that he means well, but his actions are still utterly abusive, even if he doesn't do much more than fuss at me. I've since come to assume that he may have some sociopathic tendencies, because it's not just me that he acts like this to. It's anyone that he spends an extended amount of time with. Part of me is worried about his well-being, because I know that he's got a lot of issues as well, and I'm one of the last people in his life at the moment...but I'm also worried about myself, because this can't last forever. Eventually, I'm going to break down, and I don't want that to happen. At least not until I'm able to achieve my dreams. In any case, I entered NC State in January of 2010, and lasted for two semesters before the strain of being in Grad School mixed with my own serious emotional an psychological issues, and the stress made me contemplate suicide. Luckily, I regularly visited the on-campus therapist, and started taking medication for depression and anxiety. Which actually helped, but I still have to withdraw from school until I could get myself together. A year later, when I asked my mom to help me get some therapy, she agreed and set up an appointment for me...then canceled and never set up another appointment again. Whenever I asked her about it, she always said that I'd be 'labeled' if I started taking medicine and seeing a therapist, and she didn't want that. Well, considering that she was the manager of one small branch of a health care agency (Covenant Health Care), I guess she'd know, right? Irony galore. --- After that, I started isolating myself from everyone, and my symptoms got worse and worse, though my mom rarely noticed because she worked at the office all the time, and I spent most of my time in my room. And my Dad didn't notice because I'd been trying to avoid him at the time. During those months, all I wanted to do was escape myself. I spent my days living in daydreams, television, and video games, mostly because, when I was lucid, all I could do was ruminate on everything I'd done wrong. Over and over again. It wasn't until early 2012 that I actually started trying to fix myself, writing in journals and going for long walks to clear my head. At this point I was utterly convinced that I was insane, and I'd spent so much time sleeping and living in daydreams to escape reality that concentration had become a difficult task. It was frustrating, not just from trying to make my brain work properly, but also because of how everyone treated me. It was like I'd devolved from a child prodigy to a mentally impaired individual in their eyes. I was mostly ignored or fussed at, and the resentment was always palpable. But, over these past few years, I've managed to make friends online, and slowly rebuild my humanity from them. That's why I've become as strong mentally and emotionally as I am now, thanks to them supporting me. I'm already convinced that the years of stress have likely shortened my life span, especially judging from how old I can look at times, and how easily exhausted my body can get as well. I can't walk around in public without getting nervous shakes, and my muscles lock up when I'm around a bunch of people. I wear hats and keep my head down because I don't want people to see the dark circles and the stress marks on my face, and it's pretty much impulse by this point to avoid eye contact whenever possible. It's a weird mixture of emotions that I have for my family. Yes, part of me still cares and worry about them, but the rest of me utterly hates them for allowing me to fall this far, and then pretending like this was how I was always meant to be. It hurts, but I can't help but feel like I'm little more than a failed investment, or a cracked nest egg, when I'm around them. But I don't want to keep harboring anger towards them for what happened. I just want another chance to better myself. I fought for years against insanity and bitterness because I'm not done yet. Despite how I may look physically, I'm not a monster on the inside, and I still believe that I have an opportunity to change things. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- TL,DR: I had a great future in the Engineering field, but my family and other people have preyed on my weakness for most of my life. I never bothered to fight back, so I kept all that anger and bitterness and loneliness pent up inside for years until it almost killed me. Now I look like a mix between a drug addict and a paranoid lunatic, and no one will ever bother to see the kind-hearted and highly-intelligent person still trapped inside unless I make a genuine effort to reach them first. So, this fundraiser is just one of several things I'm trying to do. I honestly don't know much about how this works, or even how much money I'll need to get myself some proper therapy and support. But still, I don't want to be afraid to try something if there's a chance of me improving myself. So, again, no one has to donate, but if you do, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And even if you don't, thank you for at least checking out my fundraiser account, and thanks to everyone for reading about some weird guy with issues online. I really do appreciate it.

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Tramaine Blount

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