‘I still have a lot of issues with PTSD. I’m always looking over my shoulders. It’s been a very long journey to learning to trust people again and to learning more self-worth. I was not only physically beaten down but I was also emotionally beaten down to the point where I thought I was worthless…I was nothing…and that the world wouldn’t miss me if I wasn’t in it. I’ve had to rebuild my confidence and my emotional and physical abilities…and by working at the Utah Animal Adoption Center with dogs and cats, and especially with dogs, I’ve learned that we’re not so dissimilar in so many ways. By helping to rebuild their confidence and stability, it helps me to continue rebuilding my confidence and stability. I still have some brain damage, especially with short term memory. I look for my phone fifteen times a day and sometimes, I’ll repeat myself without realizing I’m repeating myself…sometimes I won’t finish a sentence or I blend sentences together. Little things like that still affect me. I also have borderline personality disorder…some severe anxiety and panic attacks. But I still have a lot to offer and a lot to do and, every day, I learn something new about myself and about others. I’m learning not to push people away because I used to have no friends or anybody close to me. I didn’t trust anybody but I’m learning that you have to trust others in order to trust yourself as well.’

Part 2 of 3

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