My name is Pagent Storm. This is me alongside a picture of my biggest physical insecurity: my lower abdomen. I was born with vesicoureteral reflux. I had surgery at age 3 to reimplant one of my ureters. They cut me from hip to hip and cut an extra hole for a catheter directly into my bladder. This has caused me to have this “flap and extra belly button,” as I call them. I have constantly went back and forth about a tummy tuck to make my body have a more acceptable shape. Every time I get set on the procedure, I realize that I would never be the same. This is part of who I am. That was just the beginning.
My biological father and his family started out my life by physically and mentally abusing me. Him and his brother would molest me and make me feel dirty. He also started to make drugs around me. My mom finally got the court to extinguish his rights and I haven’t seen him since. My mom married my sister’s dad when I was 6. After they got divorced years later, he looked me in the eyes and told me that he hated me and never wanted to see me again.
I always had strange things going on with my body. I started to gradually get worse around age 7. I lost my ability to do normal things other kids could do. I was limited in my activity while other kids were doing what kids do best. I started hating myself. I hated being sick. I hated being held back. Most of all, I hated the way I got treated because of these things. When I got angry or frustrated, I would bite or hit myself. On my 15th birthday, everything got more serious. I started cutting and burning myself. I drank and hung out with the wrong friends. I wanted so much to be accepted that I just lost my mind. At 17, I was needing stitches because of how deep I got. I overdosed on 1700 mg of Seroquel. I was mentally unconscious for four days. During those four days, I had fallen all over the place, threw my mom against the wall, talked a bunch of nonsense and lost a lot of my memory prior to the incident. I remember sitting in my bathroom floor with blood running out of my arm and thinking about much relief I felt. But I learned that it wasn’t the answer and that I wasn’t alone. I started reading the book, A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong and thus started my recovery.
Now, at almost 20 years old, I have collected the diagnoses of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis, irritable bowel, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Spastic Diplegia, GERD, Bipolar Disorder with BPD, OCPD, severe anxiety, kidney dysfunction, and TMJD. I’m on eleven different medications and I walk with a cane. I also struggle from day to day with my recovery from self-mutilation.
The important part is that I am trying and I am slowly starting to accept myself for all that I am, my body included. What I have gone through isn’t my fault and I am realizing it more every day. I’m more than my illnesses and past tragedies.
I’m beautiful. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. &So are each and every one of you.
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!