The choice to not be small anymore.

Depression started very early for me. Once I made the connection, at age 5, that if I watch enough TV I wouldn’t have to hear all the chaos in my home. I learned to disconnect and retreat into the world of make-believe. It was comfortable and soft and a place I could forget who I was. 

I didn’t want to feel any of the things that were happening at my house because I didn’t feel like anyone ever really saw me anyways. TV didn’t see me either, but I saw it and everything I wanted to be in it. 

All The make-believe. 

I could live my life by tuning into the rolls that everyone else played on the screen. 

They were so good at it and I was so terrible, that I trusted them to live my life for me. 
I didn’t know how to deal with all the hurt I felt at home. My parents did not have the best relationship. They tried, but disconnection was the norm and I felt it. 

I felt so much. 

I was always looking for a place that I could feel safe in. A connection I could make that would honor the love I wanted to feel and the love I wanted to give. Home never felt like a good place for that. It felt like a place to hide and make myself scarce because I didn’t want to add to the pressure of my parents trying to make it work. 

So I made myself small. 

I made myself get out of the way, I didn’t want to be an inconvenience. I didn’t want to make it worse. 

I started leaving the house to find myself. I started going to other peoples houses, because their home was different than mine. A lot different it seemed. 

I tried to find myself once when I was 10 with marijuana. Marijuana was good for me at this stage because I became part of the club my friend invited me into. All the hurt that I felt from being an inconvenience was also gone because I felt so good. Everything felt so good. Until it didn’t. 

My one friend that I had at the time, who introduced me to pot, was hurting too. I didn’t know her hurt, but I knew something was wrong. You sense these things when you’re young, you just don’t have the vocabulary to name it. And I didn’t have the confidence to ask. I just thought that we were in it together and it was our unspoken club of hurt, together. We’d escape together with pot as our door to the world of more exceptance. 

I loved her, my friend. She understood me to such a point that I didn’t feel worthy of. 

I was safe with her. I knew she was hurting and I was hurting. We were hurting together. 

I guess one day hurt became too much for her to share with me. One day everything changed. 
Normal life was happening. I got up with angst in my veins at the site of my parents. Not saying a word. Not wanting to add to anything that was there just beneath the surface. I was continuing to be small. Hating that I had to go to school and put myself out there. But I had my friend who hurt too, just like me. 

I rode the bus, but something was different. She’s distant, not wanting to speak. 

We have days like this, her and I, I’d like to ride it out because that is what I’m good at. Being small. We get off the bus, still not a word. I’m OK, I’ll catch her after she’s had some time. I walk the halls alone.

Out of nowhere I have girls that I don’t know and some that I do, yelling and threatening me. I have no idea what about. I try to stay small. I try to make myself smaller, which gives them more power for some reason. I don’t get it. I’m shook. I have no idea what’s going on. And I never will. 
My friend will end up no longer speaking to me, but instead pointing and laughing at me from a distance, with her new friends she’s found. At my expense. 
This routine will last for two weeks. Each day I will wake up crying wishing I wouldn’t have to go, but making myself because maybe today will be different. 

I want to be strong. I will be laughed at. I will be threatened. I will hurt so bad, mostly for my loss of the only person who has shared the hurt of the world with me and is now moving on. I will go home holding in and holding back tears until I’m near my bed. 

Now I can let it all out. 

My parents know something is wrong. They start asking what is going on after day two, but I keep it in until I can’t. It becomes too much. I can’t carry it anymore and I unleash the truth of what’s going on. 

I get pulled out of school and I get isolated. I end up staying at my house depressed that the one thing I had in my life, my one connection has been severed and i’m left alone in the world. 
This story happens to me various times with various people and situations throughout my life. The story might change, facts might alter slightly, but the outcome is always the same. 

I’m alone, my people I trusted have used me and left me. I’m no good to anyone. 
After this happens over and over to you, you start to believe it’s true. 

It must be, why does it keep happening if it wasn’t true? 

I will continue thinking this way for a long time. I invest my thoughts into this idea. It takes me down a long journey. I become smaller and smaller. 

Until one day I decide to start thinking differently about myself. I start investing into the idea that this is all happening for a reason and that this isn’t the end of my story it’s the beginning. 

This is where I’m starting. 

One choice at a time. One decision at a time, that I am worthy, I do have a purpose and I will not close any longer. 

I will not make myself small for anyone, anymore. 

I will grow instead. My daily decision is grow instead of shrink. It’s the hardest things I’ve ever done and it’s a choice everyday. Some days I lose and some days a win. But I try, I give myself a chance. I will grow. I will unfold a little more each day. I will bloom.


  1. QueenPin

    This story breaks my heart as it did when I first heard it. But your telling of it has changed- it’s no longer just shit that happened to you, but a piece of your story that you are aknowledging had a part in your formation. You wouldn’t be who you are today without it, and you are such a wonderful person!


    1. LaShawna Romano

      Thank you so much friend! It’s so freeing to write my story and to try to work out what happened so I can move on. I keep writing different situations that have happened to me and it seems T like every time I do, I get a new piece of the puzzle. And with the new piece I have so much power. The power to let it go and to forgive deeper. I keep finding more and more of who I am and I’m not afraid to look at myself anymore. I’m not afraid because I was made differently. I’m not afraid that things happened to me, I’m empowered! It’s awe-some. It’s amazing!! Thank you, my wonderful friend. I love you so much 😘


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