Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Allow me to introduce myself...
My name is Denee Rose Blond, and I am 33 years old. I am but one part of the "team" here at TeamBlond.com and I have been on quite the unique journey over the past few years. But more about that later.
I've accomplished a lot in my life so far, and I'd like to think that if I die tomorrow I would still have a pretty engaging story to leave behind.
I have been an extrovert from birth. The oldest of three children, I always wanted to be the best at everything, and was blatantly competitive in areas that didn't even matter. Always looking to be the center of attention, I did what any normal kindergartner would do at age 5, and started performing karaoke renditions of 90's country hits at every given opportunity. Wherever there was a crowd, I was performing.
I was a voracious reader from a very young age, and would have a book with me wherever I went. I loved learning, and believed from a very young age that the smarter I got, the more superior I would be to my peers. I skipped a grade in elementary school, went on to be in gifted classes through middle school, winning the Presidential Award in both 5th and 8th grade. I homeschooled myself through high school and graduated early at the age of 15.
As an adult I went on to manage, and eventually buy my own book store, created my own line of body and skincare products, started a furniture refurb business, traveled a great deal doing marketing for an online Bed and Breakfast guide, got my real estate license, along with about 50 other things I won't bore you by mentioning.
It started out so good, didn't it? What a resume!
On paper, my life has been one big, successful adventure. But up until late 2017, I had spent my entire life living in a world that is nearly unrecognizable to me now.
As most of us are aware, things aren't always what they seem at first glance. You truly can't judge a book by its cover.
Raised in a very conservative, might I say cultish, Western Christian religion - I've spent a great deal of my adult life questioning my sanity and overmedicating on a plethora of legal prescription drugs just to "get through the day". I remember standing in the bathroom stall at one of our church "meetings" just sobbing uncontrollably because I felt so hopeless and misunderstood. One of my close friends at the time came to check on me, and offer me our only source of relief at the time - you guessed it, another pill.
"Whatever it takes to survive. It's fine if you're not getting anything out of the meeting, all that matters is that you made the effort to be here. We are all just trying to make it through Armageddon." That was the watered down advice I would get.
Oh yes, I forgot the minor detail of it being a Doomsday Cult.
That aside... I had grossly flawed views on what my normal day to day life should feel like because I was always in emotional anguish - so it must be a problem with me, right? Well obviously it was a problem with me, I was inherently imperfect and flawed, just like I was constantly reminded by my faith. I just must have been more broken than most.
I mean I had my ups and downs, but there were times when I honestly tried. Tried to follow the rules. Tried to research and prove to myself that the information I was being fed was the truth. Tried to be the perfect wife and mother, while simultaneously being apart of an organization that reminds women constantly that they are inferior. Tried to be a social human being, but only doing so with those with same belief system because "worldly" people were bad. Tried to be successful in business and finances, while being discouraged to pursue any higher education past high school. Tried to stay positive and plan for the future, while being told that the destruction of this world was imminent and could happen any day now (might be where my anxiety stems from, but hey I'm no expert).
Speaking of anxiety, there was really no help being offered in the mental health department of my life. My only go-to was my psychiatrist, the roulette wheel of meds I was on, and being told that eventually God would fix me and make me better - if I could just stick it out a little longer.
But if this was the one true religion, like I was taught to believe, it shouldn't feel like this, right? If there was a god that created me in his image, I can't imagine he'd want me drugged up and crying in a bathroom stall on the regular. I was determined to find answers, but had no idea where to look. This was all I had ever known.
At my lowest point in 2016, I was so heavily medicated I could barely get out of bed to shower. I had left my job to be a stay at home mom and help take care of my disabled step daughter. I was constantly late getting the kids to school, and loathed 99% of my day. I was well over 300 pounds, in immense amounts of physical pain, and constantly sick. I developed a binge eating disorder that I was eventual medicated for, just adding one more pill to the roster for the day. I drank alcohol in excess and frequently while taking these medications, because it just helped increase the numbness.
So I did what any reasonable person would do. I threw a figurative hand grenade into my life and watched everything I had known my whole adult life burn. And not a clean, controlled burn. An unpredictable, fireworks-sized display of destruction. I hurt those around me in ways that I will never be able to describe - and it was terrible, and traumatic, and gut wrenching.
There is a lot I would do differently if I had the ability to time travel, alas I do not. I was a bad wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. I apologize from the bottom of my soul to those who were hurt during this process. Rather than let that guilt consume me, I've chosen to use it as a guide to the person who I am becoming moving forward. I am not that person any longer, and that is a conscious choice I make daily.
In the end, I was alone. But I was finally free. Free to create the life I wanted for myself. The kind of life I felt good about in my soul, because it's what I wanted - not because it's what I was told to do. I was then hit with the amazing realization that I had NO IDEA what that meant. Strip away my old belief system, and I had absolutely ZERO idea what I stood for as a person.
What did I believe in?
What kind of person did I want to be?
What kind of values did I want to raise my son with?
I realized quickly that in order to rebuild the foundation of my life with new ideals and belief systems, I would have to forget everything I had learned up to this point - and keep an open mind moving forward.
It is my intention in the coming weeks to continue to not only tell bits of my story, but also share some of the tools I have picked up along the way that have helped me rebuild into the person I am today.
Like a blooming lotus... out of the mud, and into the unknown.
Onward and Upward...