My name is Trey Talavera and I have never known the power of self-love and positivity greater than what I know it to be at this time of my life. This is my life story….
I was one of four children born to a strong-willed Christian mother and a man I called “father”. When people saw us, they would see was a church-going family (minus a father who preferred to stay home), who had well-behaved children that always listened and obeyed. What they couldn’t see beyond what their two eyes showed them was the abuse that was happening behind closed doors. My “father” was an alcoholic and druggie who chose alcohol, women, and drugs over his wife and children. He was a veteran who had served in the U.S. Army, but was still fighting his own demons at home. He suffered from PTSD and was bipolar, so when alcohol was involved,
it was a constant bomb always exploding…never-ending.
He was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive towards my mother. He was mentally and emotionally abusive towards us, the children. I lost count of how many times he would come home drunk and high screaming at us, needless to say that’s where our “obedient” spirit came from since we did what we were told because we were afraid of him, not because we respected him. So many abusive incidents come to mind, but one in particular permanently engraved itself in my memory. I was 11 or 12 years old when I witnessed my “father” strangling my older sister because he was mad that a guy that liked her had come to our home to speak to her. No child should ever have to witness any form of abuse, but the kind that I saw was beyond traumatizing.
I would never have imagined that at the young age of 9 years old, my life would once again be forever changed by two life-altering incidents. First incident was when I was lucky enough to find out that the man I had called “dad” was not my biological father. I was happy to know I didn’t share the same blood as that abuser, but it would still be 7 more years till freedom came at a price. The second incident was when I was inappropriately touched by my brother’s best friend. Unbeknown to me, this was when my own battle against anxiety and depression began, but it would only be further amplified by a tragic accident.
At 15 years old, I lost my protector, my best friend, my soul twin…my brother. Jacob, was only 21 years old when he lost his life in a terrible car accident. When he left this world, he took a part of us, that we would never be able to get back. My mother was plunged into a deep depression, that at times proved to be too much for her heart. Instead of four siblings, we were now three…three sisters who had to find a way to keep living this life that at times proved to be too tragic. Only after this devastation did my cruel stepfather finally exit our lives. Even after death, my brother was still protecting us. Our freedom finally came, but with too high a price…
Little did I know that my secret battle with my depression was being fueled all along. Every once in a while, depression would reveal itself but I thought I had a handle on it. I thought I had it in a cage with a secure lock so it would never come out to attack me. I couldn’t have been more naïve…At the age of 23 years old is when I had the hardest episode of depression. So many things were happening in my life at once that my mind couldn’t handle what was occurring. My depression was finally full blown and mercilessly attacking me from every angle.
I had lost so much weight because my body refused to eat. I would hysterically cry constantly and no amount of consolation could bring comfort to my heart or peace to my mind. I was making decisions that I wouldn’t normally make if I were in a right state of mind. Out of the frustration and pain I felt, I would scratch my thighs with a fork and no one knew. I would cry to not be left alone in my apartment because I didn’t know what I would do to myself if I was alone. I was drowning and no one knew how to save me…
I finally reached out to my school counselor at my college and it was the best decision I have ever made. She gave me the tools I needed to fight my demons head on. I came to terms with all those years worth of abuse from my stepfather; repressed memories of sexual abuse; my brother’s untimely death. I began to learn how to finally love myself, to know my self-worth. I learned to let go of those memories that haunted me. I learned how to get rid of all those negative emotions I was constantly feeling and suppressing.
Now, at my 28 years of age, I’m fighting a different battle: health issues. I found out I have an autoimmune disease called Autoimmune Idiopathic Urticaria; I have permanent hearing loss in both ears caused by a severe strain of the flu; I have permanent Tinnitus in both ears so I constantly hear noise in my ears; I have always battled asthma; I have Cervical Dysplasia and was diagnosed with having CIN Stage 3 which is the last stage before being diagnosed with Cervical Cancer (I had surgery and they were able to take out those cells but I’m still not in the clear because they can always come back). I had began a fitness journey before all these health issues but now I am more focused and determined because of these issues to better my own body and to become a healthier version of what I used to be. I have my own YouTube channel where I chronicle my fitness journey as well as my health journey.
I found within myself a spirit of positivity that I never knew I had. I found a self-love that surpasses all tragedy. My self-worth and self-esteem are a priority in my life. I try to thrive in activities that bring me peace of mind and tranquility. Whenever possible, I try to help others who might find themselves in a dark place like I was before. I don’t shy away from telling my story because I know I can help others who are going through abuse or battling depression. I smile and always know that I only have this ONE life, so why not make it the best ever?
“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light”
Written By: Trey Talavera
Show her some love & support @treyzfitjourney/
Also, check out our BYOU interview with her at: COMING SOON