Friday, August 29, 2014

13 Years Ago...

TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of a suicide attempt.

It's the Friday now of Labor Day weekend. Normally I wouldn't think anything of it, but then it occurred to me exactly what this day is. Because on the Friday of Labor Day weekend in 2001, I had my second suicide attempt which led to my very first week long hospitalization in a psych ward.

So it's been 13 years since that day.

I can still remember almost everything from that day. I remember the fight I had gotten into with my best friend. I remember them taking my school photo and how I had been crying just minutes before. I remember being on the phone with the friend I had fought with as I said goodbye and downed the pills. I remember writing my goodbye post.

I also remember when my mom got the phone call from the father after Katie called him in a panic to tell him what I had done. I remember Daddy actually physically throwing me into the back seat of the truck (because I refused to get in). I remember lying on the examination table in the ER starting to writhe in pain as the toxins started to take their effect.

I remember how hopeless I felt, how much I cried as they took me up to the psych ward. I was in hell, and I had been forced to live.

And now I just feel disconnected from it all. I don't even recognize that Emelia. It's so far from the person I am now. But I can feel compassion and sadness for her.

Don't give up, Emelia. It will get better, and you will find the strength to keep going. I know it's hard now, but years from now, you'll be writing a book series, married and trying for children, and you'll be happy. You're loved now, and you'll find even more love later.

I promise.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Healing Body Project

This last Sunday (August 10) I took part in the first photoshoot for the Kent, Ohio based The Healing Body Project

Here is my story, along with photos.

I have gone back and forth with how I have viewed my body and myself throughout my life. When I was in grade school, I didn’t care much about it. I was a Mormon girl. I wasn’t supposed to be showing it. It wasn’t something to take pride in.
In middle school everything changed. I remember the turning point. It was Halloween, 7th grade, Los Altos Middle School in Camarillo, CA. I wanted to go as a teenaged angel. I had bought a white skirt that went down to a little above my knees, slightly tight, wings, and a square neck tight white shirt. I loved it. I thought I looked awesome.
Then I got to school. I was bombarded by comment after comment, how stupid I looked, that I was too fat for that outfit, and that I wasn’t pretty enough to make it work. I had been so excited to enter the costume contest, and by the end of the day I had decided I didn’t even want to watch them award the winners, much less take part.
Only one person said anything nice that day. One of my good friends, Sebastian, came up to me as I sat alone at a desk while people went off to the contest, and said, “Emelia, I just wanted you to know that I think you look really pretty as an angel.”
Just him.
After that, I started wearing baggy clothes. I shopped in the boys’ section at stores. I was just one of the guys. And it seemed to make a lot of sense to me, given the sexual abuse I experienced out in Utah when I was growing up. If nobody could see what my body looked like anymore, then I wouldn’t be abused again, right?
It took until high school to start buying from the girls’ section again, and even then I made sure it covered me, and wore hoodies all the time.
Anyway by then I had a new problem. I had started cutting in the end of middle school. Mostly on my legs, but sometimes other places, all over my body. Now I spent time trying to make sure I wore the right clothes to hide the marks. During play rehearsal, my friend’s brother asked me what was on my legs when I was wearing shorts. I never wore shorts again after that, not unless they came down to my knees.
By the end of high school, as long as I had pants on and could cover my scars, I felt good about my weight. I hated my face up until we had the jaw surgery and the nasal surgery (jaw because of my severe overbite that would eventually cause arthritis, and the nasal so I could breathe again). But once those were done, I felt good. I felt pretty. Not beautiful, but pretty.
I kept those ideas through college, despite the fact that I was going through sexual abuse by boyfriends and that I was sexually assaulted on campus. I didn’t have as big of a problem with my body. I just didn’t want people touching it anymore.
Not long after getting together with my husband, I had been put on Abilify to help with my depression. I was still cutting, still thinking of suicide, and still very sick. This actually did help a lot. It gave me much more energy to be active and do things, but the side affect was that I started to gain weight. I went from 130lbs up to 180lbs within months. I hated it! I even went off the Abilify to stop the weight gain.
I still remember how it felt like the air had been sucked out of me when I was told that my now mother-in-law was going around telling people how I had ballooned up. My husband was furious, and I just felt ugly.
I tried so hard to lose all the weight for my wedding, but it never happened. Medication weight gain is some of the hardest to lose, and even to this day, I haven’t lost it.
I used to think my husband would leave me eventually for a thinner, prettier, and healthier woman. Why would he want this? I wasn’t attractive. He had to be disgusted by me.
Then last summer, I tried to kill myself again. 50 Tylenol PM, 3 days in the ICU, and 3 days in the psych ward. After that, everything went downhill. My relationship with the person I had considered my best friend went to hell, and the treatment I was getting in my own home was horrible (by the same friend, not by my husband).
I cut as deeply as I could without needing stitches.
After that, I told my husband we couldn’t have sex for a while because there was no way to hide it. I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want him looking at me. I was a broken, horrible, disgusting creature. He would surely leave me soon.
Now here we are, a year after that suicide attempt, and 8 months from the hell I had been living in. I have really, really worked hard at the trauma therapy. I never thought these maladaptive beliefs that I have held for so long could be broken down.
But today, I look at these photos and instead of seeing something I hate and despise, I see my joy, my laughter, my confidence, and my compassion. I see a woman that has gone through hell and back just to survive.
But I did survive. Here I am, breathing, speaking, laughing, and just being me. I’m more me than I ever have been my entire life. This is the real Emelia, the real Emi Cordill that people hear about. This is who I was always meant to be. I almost died multiple times getting here, but damn it, I’m here.
And I like myself.

Friday, July 18, 2014


5 years ago today, Asher asked me via text while I was out in Utah visiting family, "Will you be my girl?"

2 years ago today, we got married.

He has changed my world in so many ways. I know what it is like to have someone who understands my illness and has researched every part of it. I know what it's like to be in a relationship where he isn't pushy about sex when I'm too sick. I know what it's like to be with someone who won't let anyone treat me badly, not even family.

But most importantly, I know what people mean when they talk about soul mates. I always told my mom that I hoped I would be lucky enough to find someone like what my daddy is to my mom.

I found him. <3

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Special Throwback Thursday

The first photo Asher and I ever took together. Tomorrow marks not only our second wedding anniversary, but also 5 years since we became a couple. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy father's day!

Happy father's day to my daddy, who began his role in my life as my step dad Mark. I know I don't always make it clear that there is a different between father and step dad, but to me Mark really lose the step dad title a while ago.

I was told when Daddy married mom that I could choose to call him whatever I wanted, so long as it wasn't rude. Both my brother and I chose to call him by his name, and he was fine with that. But no matter what we called him, he had decided that he would treat us as if we were his own.

He was always involved, whether it was playing games with us, teaching us, or even taking on some of the grosser roles of parenthood.

When I was much younger, that house used to scare me a lot. Daddy would sit up half the night telling me stories to get me to fall asleep. And if I woke up from a nightmare, he would come in and try to calm me down, and if that meant staying up all night telling me stories when he had to get up for work the next day, that was what he would do.

When they took me in to their home after the psychiatrist told them I would be dead in a year if they didn't get me out, mom was bedridden. So daddy did what needed to be done to save me.

He has done everything a dad should do. Take care of me, raise me, teach me to be compassionate and kind hearted, but also tough enough to handle the world. He never belittled me, or sneered at the things I love.

He just loves me, and he does what he thinks is best for me. When you hug him, you know it's a real hug. He is genuine.

The fact that we aren't blood related means nothing. He is my daddy, and I am his daughter. He was what I needed when I didn't have it.

Happy father's day, Daddy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An opinion is like an asshole

And while I appreciate that everyone is welcome to theirs, it doesn't mean I have to listen to it. I know that I open myself up to criticism by being as open as I am, but at least I am not willing to hide behind anonymity to hurt others.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's amazing what you can forget

Back in junior year of high school, I had my first big episode that sent me to the hospital that we would later realize was part of the Fibromyalgia. What I really remember about the day was that by the time mom called me to see how I was doing (as I had stayed home that day sick from school), I was crying because the pain in my stomach and legs were so bad. Mom rushed me to the hospital because she could tell by looking at me that I was going into shock.

Well, I was opening up my my writing I am doing for this pregnancy and I stumbled upon a writing I did the day after this originally happened and I thought I would share it.

I really don't remember half of this.

"April 23, 2003

Title: I got to see a hospital last night...

I started getting a stomach ache yesterday that was really bad, so Instayed home from school. By about noon, I had started crying because the pain in my stomach was so bad and had traveled to my legs. My mom found me crying in about an hour or so, since I hadn't stopped and rushed me to the hospital.

I had been having heat spells, the pain in the legs, stomach, and chest, my arms were weak, I couldn't walk, I couldn't keep anything in my body. I was also having trouble seeing and my hearing began to start to leave me at the hospital. My mom said that she saw my face get really flushed as I walked through the hospital during tests, and a whelt(sp?) appeared on my head for no reason and went away a few moments later.

She had to get me a wheelchair to get to the room in the hospital. The thing that freaked out my mom the most was the fact that I was going into shock because of the pain. I wouldn't stop shaking and I became very quiet. My mind seemed to go off into another place, almost as if I felt I was dying.

They finally stuck and IV in me, gave me a shot, and got things ready for me to leave. It was a virus, no name since they don't tend to classify viruses much because there are so many types and not much to do with them. But I have to take medicine for the pain, rest a lot, and miss school.

I was so scared, even though it turned out to be not that life threatening. The worse part was the shock, and I didn't even notice it until my mom pointed it out. That and I got really dehydrated, because I only ate breakfast around 6 and then had a glass of water, and that was it. They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything at the hospital because they were afraid that I would throw up if I had to go into surgery. But the IV helped get my body back halfway normal.

I'm feeling better today. My stomach still hurts, and my head is pounding. I still get a few of the heat flashes and my eyesight is horrible, but the Ibuprofen is helping with the pain in the legs, and I'm able to rest and do things, and eat."