Hello, my name is Cerelia Mallory Hepburn. I go by Mallory in my daily life and Cerelia for school. My pronouns are she/her. I identify as a queer demisexual woman. I was a tomboy as a child/youth. When I was a teenager, I learned that it was not acceptable or safe to "come out" to my family and when I told my best friend that I liked another girl, her reaction was telling me that I wasn't gay. I was hushed in several situations that shaped who I was and who I wasn't allowed to be.
I am 43 years old and I live with chronic illness. I have Fibromyalgia and mental health illness; I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2015. After a suicide attempt in April 2022, I was diagnosed with chronic depression, c-PTSD, and BPD. Since January 2023, I have had 13 manic episodes and one in which resulted in a wellness check with Waterloo Regional Police with their IMPACT (CMHA support worker). I'm a student at Western and I am a blogger. My blog's focus was originally about living with Fibromyalgia, since 2021 there's been a bigger focus on my mental health and advocacy of chronic illness.
I am white; my ancestry is Northwestern European. My lineage is Irish (paternal) and French (maternal). My maternal language is French and English is my second language but most dominant. I was raised in a dysfunctional, middle class, divorced family. During the separation of my parents, my siblings and I were in our father's sole custody until eventually there was an agreement reached through the court and my parents shared custody thereafter. This is relevant because I held a view that his home, LM was primary and her place, OM was secondary. I struggled with home security. My father showed favoritism and was abusive towards me.
My older sibling was also abusive and my LM household chose not to seek professional help when she was showing dangerous signs and needed help herself. Up until 2021, I was still being actively manipulated and I continued obeying my LM household's family. I was broken from the years and years of always letting this family down when I was not enough for them and when it was time for me to fall apart in 2022 - no one was to be seen or heard from.
My upbringing I was conditioned to be "a good girl", there was no support or encouragement to become anything more than someone's wife and stay-at-home mom. The moment I stood up for myself, I was disowned and had to make it on my own without support. In one household I was never good enough and the other household I was never bad. My OM parental unit has said to my children that she never had to worry about me when I was a teen. I was left on my own to cope and learned to push away help and love. I felt unwanted and unloved in both places that should have been home. I saw both siblings, an older sister and a younger brother, get support and perks - they had opportunities and choices, while I abused and degraded. I developed chronic illnesses and struggled with my mental health in silence; when I was 15 years old (in grade ten) I was very troubled but no one would listen to me, I began to inflect self harm/self injury. I had my first suicide attempt in autumn 1995 and in the spring of 1996 I became anorexic.
My parents were raising us in the catholic religion, I attended catholic school until grade 12 when I transferred to the public school system. I have a disconnect from the church for several personal reasons and the major role they played in the genocide and assimilation of Indigenous People of Canada. I do not have affiliations with any religious organization.
I see myself as a spiritual person. I am exploring my curiosity about witches.
I am in a domestic partnership with my lifelong partner, Kirk. We dated in autumn 1998 and officially became a family in 1999. We have three children; a daughter and two sons. Kirk's lineage is Algonquin of Timiskaming First Nation and Northwestern European. We are not a perfect couple but we have always been that couple that works together, for each other. I am writing about our experience together, the good times and the difficult times. Since the winter before my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, Kirk has been evolving as my partner, my support person, my safe person; I call him the witness to my life. He saw the struggles and tried to support me in the ways we used to understand and think about our roles in my dysfunctional families structure but realizing now that what I had experienced in my childhood, most of my adult life as well, was abuse. We are learning how to cope with my chronic illness and mental illness(es) with more kindness, more openness, and more understanding. We spoke to each other before, he heard I was sad, but we didn't understand c-PTSD. He has always wanted me to be successful.... he always steps up when I need him the most. In June 2022, he knew and understood that I could not heal in our home. It was time for my journey to find myself and become the person I have always dreamed of.