My name is Ophelia

Ophelia Amok

Editors note:
Het verhaal van een meid die zichzelf Ophelia Amok noemt. Waarom ze zich zo noemt wordt later uitgelegd.
Een kleine waarschuwing vooraf. Haar verhaal bevat details die als schokkend kunnen worden ervaren.
Daarnaast is haar verhaal, in tegenstelling tot de andere verhalen, in het Engels geschreven zodat ze het zelf ook terug kan lezen.

The story of a girl who calls herself Ophelia Amok. Why she calls herself that will be explained later on. A warning up front. Her story contains details that might not be suitable for everyone.

My name is Ophelia

Ok, it’s not my real name but I more or less adopted this name. I’ll explain it later on.
I’m a 27 year old girl, born and raised in Dusseldorf Germany.

My story actually begins before I was even born.

My mom used to have her own bar and my dad to be… well, he played in a band and was a regular visitor.

The two liked each other and it didn’t take long before my mom got pregnant.
They tried to be in a relationship but it simply didn’t work out. I can’t really blame them. They tried and sometimes things simply don’t work out.

The trouble began when my mom met someone else. At that time I was around two years old.
Her new boyfriend had real schizophrenic and aggression issues and he had a history with pedophilia. My mom never knew that when they started dating but I found it out in a bad way. A really bad way.
We all moved to a farm. Things were nice in the beginning but it didn’t take him long before he started beating us. First my mom and then me. At times it felt like he was beating my mom half to death. But the worst thing was still to come…

When I was approximately three years old, he started raping me.

I don’t have any physical memory of it but he was so nice to record everything on tape and I had to watch it. It really was the most disturbing thing that ever happened to me and it scarred me deep from the inside. It scarred me for life.
He abused me for about two years. My mom knew about the aggression and the beating but not about the sexual abuse at that time.

My mom got pregnant again and that’s where things took a turn for the worse. It turned out she was pregnant from a boy and he went completely crazy because… well, you fill in the blanks.
That specific night where he totally freaked out was the night we left. Or left… escaped is better way of telling it.

The son of a farmer living close by helped us getting out.

And so my mom started living on her own again. And her life basically consisted of working and drinking. A lot of drinking. In the years to come, I saw a lot of guys come and go.

When I was five years of age I went to Kindergarten.

And for having a mom who was drinking all the time, things were actually pretty normal at that time. I became the kid with whom everybody could laugh or who was hated by everybody. There was no “in between”.
Everyone said I was a stranger. But also that I was a smart stranger.

In the meantime, my father was working nightshifts. He had time during the day and we could spent some time together. I was living with both my dad and my mom at that time.
After my mom and dad broke up, my dad was living a calm life on his own for a long long time. He worked a lot and he was always there for me. Even when he wasn’t good with showing his emotions, I knew he loved me.
And my mom… she was just going crazy and was mainly taking care of my little brother.

I went to elementary school when I was six years old and I really loved that time. I was the best girl of the class with the best grades. I had friends and everything seemed normal.

There were a lot of fights between kids at school and I also got into some fights. But that was fine. I had some good friends who teached me how to fight so I could win all the fights that I got into.
It made me feel like a little warrior kid. And the fighting part still helps me to this very day.

When I was ten I went to the gymnasium. I had a very good time in elementary school but that was all about to change.
The bullying and mobbing started during that time.

Everybody was picking on me because I was the strange kid.

They weren’t a match for me in real fight and they knew that. So everybody started playing tricks on me and calling me names.

They say that kids with divorced parents tend to live the worst life. Well if that’s true then I was a clean example of it. I got into sex and drugs when I was ten years old, the same age when I went to the gymnasium and the bullying started.

I was in puberty and really didn’t care about anything. I wouldn’t say no to anybody during that time. If they were nice to me then I was nice to them.

All those years I hid everything from my parents. Or basically just from my dad.
My mom didn’t care about anything but drinking. Buy my dad was the complete opposite. He was the type of dad that talked to me like “don’t do this” and “don’t dress like that”. Probably sounds familiar right?
So during the week I was pretending to be this nice kid, working hard in school and in the weekends I went crazy with sex and drugs. Sometimes I didn’t really want to have sex. It’s not that I got raped during that period but I was just too stoned to give a damn about it.

People wanted to have sex and at that time I didn’t care they used me for it.

In a way it even made me feel good. It gave me the feeling I was getting even with all the kids from school. In my head I thought I was doing all the stuff everybody else only saw in movies. I gave me the feeling I was living like a rock star.

I did the sex and drugs thing until I was 13 years old. A friend at that time died of an overdose and that woke me up. Traumatized about the situation I figured out this wasn’t what I wanted to do and I stopped hanging around with those people.

I started hangin around on the internet and in got involved into different forums where I met a lot of good and smart people.

Around that time my dad also met his new wife. It was his first new relationship after he broke up with my mom and as of today they are still together.
Career wise he was also doing good which was pretty amazing. He started as a taxi driver all the way up to an IBM consultant. But the downside for me was that he was away all the time.

But instead of wasting myself like I used to do, I started taking care of my mom and I was fighting all the time with my little brother. It wasn’t the best thing at that time but at least I wasn’t alone and I had the internet with friends who also helped me a lot. I started going to therapy because of them. There was a therapist who was working for free and my friends advised me to there. I’m thankful I listened to them because until today I’m still in therapy and it helped me a lot throughout the years.

At thirteen my life also became a bit more stable. But then puberty kicked and started messing things up again.

I started cutting myself.

I’m not good with feelings, I never was. But I remember there was this empty pressure inside of me which felt it was going to explode. It wasn’t a real or actual feeling but it was breaking me up.
It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t experienced it. And even if you have experienced the feeling it doesn’t make any sense. And the entire world around you doesn’t make any sense.
I was cutting myself everywhere. It started with small cuts in my arms and I used everything I could get my hands on. Razor blades, knives, pieces of glass. If it was sharp, then I was cutting myself with it.

Cutting became kind of a ritual for me. At first it was a primary response to stress, later it became an urge. An instinct.
I had this urge to destroy myself and this urge only became bigger. For me, cutting was the only way to control myself. This urge to destroy myself also gave me the feeling I was indestructible. Strange huh?
Because if you harm yourself, other people can’t harm you.

Nobody was able to destroy me because I was already destroying myself. There was nothing someone could do to me what I hadn’t already done to myself.

I wore it openly. Maybe in a way for other people to notice everything. “Here’s what’s happening, do something!” But nobody around me seemed to care.

Puberty messed up my head and from the inside everything was breaking apart. Fear psychoses kicked in and I feared everything around me. Things like death caught up on me. For example, I know I will die one day.

And at times I wanted it to happen, I wanted to die. But sometimes there was this fear burning inside me. This voice that kept on telling me “you can’t avoid dying, you can’t avoid dying, you can’t avoid dying”.
It was a fear that was standing right in front of me and I couldn’t get it to go away.

I started hallucinating and I saw things that weren’t there. I saw bugs coming out of my skin and started eating me.

Combine all of that with all the borderline stuff that was happening with me and I guess it’s easily to understand I went crazy all the time.
I never slept. I just couldn’t sleep. I had this fear about literally everything and I couldn’t understand why.

All the time I was like “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god”. All those demons inside my head. It was all me, I was those demons. It was all coming out of my head, I was exploding from the inside.

When I was fifteen, something good happened: I met my first boyfriend.
I was singing in a choir at school. I guess I was pretty good at it because I got a lot attention.
He was 5 years older, I was 15 and he was 20. Although he was also singing in the choir we only really met during a concert of our choir.

We were together for about two years. At that time of my life I was into the gothic lifestyle and so was he. He came from a very nice family. For a first relationship it worked out quite well. We had different ideas about life but that was OK. He made me feel normal and I stopped cutting myself for the time being.
We were together for about two years. During that time I started doing more art stuff like writing, painting, making clothes and I also started some modeling. We broke up when I was seventeen.

After that time I was in other relationships but when I met my fourth boyfriend… well, he just blew my mind. He was singing in his own band, he was smart, beautiful, he was writing and he could talk like no one else.

And the best part? He was just as messed up as I was. The intellectual crazy one you could say. He was just too amazing.
Everybody loved and feared him.

I remember I couldn’t talk to him in the beginning. He was so awesome and me? I always thought I was too little for him. We started dating but it took a while before we were “officially” together. There was this one night, we just drove off to Paris without telling anyone.
I was seventeen or eighteen at that time. We didn’t have any money, we just got into the car and drove to Paris. It was the best trip of my life.

Around that same time I met another guy. He was in a different group and he was more like a little prince to me. He was a bit of a mystic figure, a very warm and loving person. He also got to see my problems. We talked a lot and he taught me a lot about how to cope with various situations.
Next to the other guy, he was one of closest persons in my life. We didn’t see each other a lot but when we did, it was intense.

At that time my life was based on those two guys. And the name that I use, Ophelia Amok, is based on those two guys. They manifested the duality in myself which I always had. The duality between the loving chaos and the destructing chaos.

When I got into an “official” relationship with the guy from the band, it was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. We were perfect together but we were also a perfect disaster. We loved each other to hell and back but we destroyed everything around us including ourselves.

We started cutting. And not only were we cutting ourselves, we were cutting each other.

We had very brutal sex in a way only we could understand. We did a lot of sick stuff but we were always in it together.

The biggest downside about him? He was extremely jealous. He was jealous about everything. Me? I was totally obsessed with him but in his mind I was always cheating.
I didn’t know it at that time but my life was about to fall apart big time.

April 24th, 2009.
Remember that other guy I just told about? My mystic prince? On April 24th of 2009 he committed suicide. A few days later my boyfriend broke up with me because he was just too jealous about everything, he couldn’t handle it anymore.

In a few weeks, my entire world collapsed and everything went to shreds.

I was in total chaotic stage of life. I quit school because I felt too ill all the time. I continued cutting myself but in a real bad way. Some cuts were around 18mm deep. For the months to come I ended up in (mental) hospital and psychiatry every few weeks because of my extreme behavior and all the cutting. I had this suicidal behavior all the time. I started it in clubs, in front of the police when I was freaking out and I even remember that one time eight policemen were needed to drag me out of my apartment.

At eighteen I tried my first real suicide attempt.

My eating disorder became way way worse then it had ever been. I couldn’t eat, I could only vomit. I was always bleeding from cutting myself and the cuts became deeper and deeper.

Even being in therapy for the next 4 years couldn’t stop me from destroying myself.
I was just too messed up. Messed up for years to come.
When I was 24, I constantly wanted to die. I was doing drugs all the time, I was selling drugs, I even had a real gun and shot it sometimes.

I was living of the state, went to parties and I was just destroying myself all the freaking time. My entire life had fallen apart and I can’t even remember everything I did during that period. But I do remember it was seriously messed up stuff.

During that time I was in psychiatry on and off.
When I was eighteen I met this girl with whom I was sharing my room. She was about six years older but throughout the years we became very close. We had an extremely strong connection, we felt when on had pain. We spent a lot of time together, you could say we were one person, one mind.
I think I can say that the only reason that I’m still here is because of her. I survived because of her. She was there pulling me out before things would end up real bad.

At 24, I was slowly getting my things together again. I still was in therapy all the time and I started to calm down. I went from this extreme phase to a depressive phase.
I no longer came outside. I always stayed in bed, sometimes not even showering for over a week. But a good thing about that situation was that I was getting involved with some people who also went through a lot but got their life back together. They found a less destructive way out of everything and they helped me a lot during that time. I could always easily adapt to different situations and those people helped me a lot.

I was far from where I wanted to be but slowly I was getting there. Since things were getting better I decided to go on holiday with a friend of mine.
One night at a bar I got into trouble. I got into an argument and some guy beat me up. We didn’t really fight, a few guys were flirting with me but got a “no” for an answer. They followed me afterwards and then beat me down from behind.
I woke up naked in a place I didn’t know with three guys surrounding me. I started screaming like crazy and I left. (

One of the (many) things I got diagnosed with is having a multiple disorder personality. It’s one of those things that made me who I am today.

I my case, whenever I have a traumatic experience in my life, the brains splits it into a personality and puts it away. You kind of freeze the moment, and you put it away in your brain.
But if, at least in my case, a traumatic experience happens and it resembles a previous similar situation that personality comes back to react to specific things. I think you can say that my disorder kicks in when being in traumatic situations.

That was basically what happened that night. I woke up, immediately jumped up, screamed at everyone, got my stuff and started running. I don’t know if those guys were afraid or surprised but I ran away as fast as I could. After running for a while I stopped to get dressed and I called my friend and went to the police. Those three guys were arrested that day but where set free eventually. Since there were no eye witnesses, not all doctors spoke English and I was intoxicated with alcohol and medication, there wasn’t enough evidence.

I had the choice to fly back home after that incident but I decided to stay. For me, I could either run away from that situation or stay and show everyone they can’t hurt me. I choose the last. It was one of the things that I’ve learned over the last couple of years. Things can change and life goes on. It happened, it’s over so time to move on.

I was doing better by the day. When I was 25, I got a new place to live. And for the first time in my life it felt like it was really mine. It belonged to me.

I felt better. No, I felt good at that time. I had plans of going back to school. After all that I’ve been trough I had plans of becoming a psychiatrist. I wanted to help other people and show them that there’s always hope. And most importantly, that they’re not alone out there.

Brain research also fascinated me. I think there is a reason why people not only have demons inside them, I think there’s also a reason they will become those demons. And I wanted to help those people to prevent that from happening.

And then I made the terrible mistake of getting into my last relationship.
The guy I was with also was pretty disrupted but he didn’t do anything about it. I guess he simply didn’t cared and he dragged me back into my old habits.
All the progress that I made was gone before I knew it. It even came that far that I lost my apartment and was homeless in Duisburg for about 9 months.
Even when he had a job and made some money, he was unable to get a place of his own. We were sleeping at his parents, sometimes at friends but in all cases I always had to carry all my belongings with me.

I was back doing drugs and started cutting myself again. I was doing all the stuff I was doing when I was a teenager. Back to square one so it felt.

Around that time, my friend (the one I met during psychiatry) got diagnosed with cancer.
She couldn’t handle her disease and I was driving to the hospital every day. She was just as destructive as I was but she was terminally ill.
My boyfriend at that time wasn’t talking to me.

He was afraid I would leave him and tried to avoid that in any way. He started beating me when I wanted to go somewhere.

My best friend was dying, I couldn’t talk to my boyfriend and I was living on the street in Duisburg, facing the daily terror. For the first time in my life I felt really alone.

At that time, my dealer pretty much was the only person in my life I could talk to. And strange as it may seem, he is still one of my best friend till today.

I talked to him about everything, I used him as a therapist at that time. He wouldn’t judge me for the things I did but he pointed at the mistakes I made and understood the situation I was in.
Around that time I met 2 people. They were a couple and they took me in like family. They gave me food, took care of me and even gave me shelter in the time I was homeless.
I also realized I needed to get rid of my boyfriend so I broke up with him.

For the very first time I developed my own group of friends. Normally I was always involved with groups of other persons but now I had a group of friends on my own.
And there wasn’t any sexual stuff going on this time. Just real friends who cared about me. I was climbing back out of hell.

I started living a normal life again. Sure, I partied in the weekends but I was in a stable environment with fun in my life. A fun, nondestructive life. That’s what I wanted to have.
It took me a year when I finally got my new apartment in Dusseldorf. It’s not big but it’s mine and I love it.

And that’s where I am right now. I got rid of all the toxic people in my life. I’ve learned that I can live a perfectly happy life without them.

Slowly and step by step I’m getting my life back on the road. I still have therapy but I’m making a lot of progress now.
I know who I am, I know what I’m doing and I know why I’m doing things. I just know now.
There’s still a long way to go and I’m still working on my emotions but I’m getting there. I know I will.

I can analyze myself, I can keep myself together when things get tough and I have my friends who are helping me along the way.

I’m also together with an amazing boyfriend. He is nondestructive, leading a normal life. He’s in several bands, he likes to write and he is intelligent. He surprised me in ways of thinking I didn’t even know that were possible. In a positive way that is.
I have a life now. I am around people who actually care about me and don’t use me.

I will always be that girl I once was. But that’s OK, that’s part of me and it is who I have become.
I have a life now. The worst things that could happen to me happened. All my life I was scared and afraid but I don’t have to be that anymore.
I still feel like I’m living like a Rockstar, but in a good way. Sure, I still go to parties and yes, sometimes there are some drugs involved but it’s in a controlled way. I gained control over my life again.

At the 4th of January I had an appointment at the doctor and I got my note that stated I was cured and was able to start working. I’m now responsible for my own life.

I still want to help people. When they have issues and problems I want to talk to them.

Explain them that good things can happen. Drag them out of that rabbit hole. And I can do that now without harming myself. I have learned that having good friends is one of the most important things in life. It’s one of the best feelings I can imagine.

I have pretty much seen it all in my life. I have looked death in the eyes more than one time. And at the absolute lowest point in my life, I not only survived but I got my life back. I’m the one in control now.

But you know what? My name is Ophelia. And I’m freaking awesome!

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My name is Opheliafocasa