Adults of reddit who were depressed kids or teens, what is it like to be here when you didn't expect to make it this far? What would you tell your younger self if you could?

Using a throw away account, because some people I know have my reddit username.

I've been reading a lot of these posts, and I can't help but feel thankful.

I grew up pretty normally starting out. Typical kid, white suburban family and environment, I had typical friends, played sports, the works.

When I was around 11, my dad underwent some traumatic experiences, and that's when everything went to shit. He was incredibly abusive, both physically and mentally. He'd berate me constantly regarding a lack of perceived success. I remember missing a free-throw in a middle school basketball game, coming home, and him making me run lines in the driveway until I threw up because I was an "embarrassment." When I finally couldn't run anymore, he took me downstairs and beat the ever living shit out of me.

This abuse became consistent, about everyday. He'd come up with some slight, some fuck up, and kick my ass. This caused me to spiral in everything. I was a good student, but hurt so much I couldn't sleep, so I'd fall asleep in class constantly, causing my grades to plummet. Every time I played basketball, I was so nervous knowing if I messed up, he'd fuck me up, which ended that pursuit.

My mom was in complete denial. She wouldn't admit what was happening, and decided I needed psychiatric assistance. That's when it got worse. Of course, the day before I go, my father, who was and is very established both socially and professionally, gave me the rundown on what I was absolutely not supposed to talk about. Particularly, getting my ass beat constantly.

So my mom brings me to the shrink, and lists everything she's read online about ADD. The shrink agrees, as when he asks me what's wrong, I can't specify what the root issue is. I was fucking terrified everyday, no way in hell i'm ratting on my omnipotent father.

So I get prescribed Vyvanse. For some odd reason, that doesn't really do the trick. I'm still fucked up. So I get prescribed Lexapro. That doesnt do it either. Similar story until I'm on lithium, vyvanse, xanax, lexapro, an appetite stimulate, and some other anti-depressant.

Those drugs took a fucking toll on me. I had my history teacher call my mom and tell her I was legitimately catatonic in class. I was weird, I couldn't function around my peers, lost all my friends, and I started contemplating suicide.

I finally caved at one point. I told a classmate of mine that I was having the fuck beat out of me. I didn't even really mean to, it just slipped out. So she goes and tells my teacher, who calls my mom, and she shows up and denies everything, saying I'm crazy, and "look at all the drugs he's on." I leave school that day, and go home with my mom, who's absolutely losing her shit on me. My teacher had called CPS, and they were coming to my house that afternoon. My dad came home early, and gave me the run down on exactly what to say, making it clear that if I fuck up and tell the truth, he'll fucking kill me.

So CPS comes, and interviews me, and I just say "yeah I'm crazy, I was looking for attention." My brother and sister were interviewed, and say the same thing. My mom made it clear to them that "crazy brother is going to fuck your life up, don't say anything."

So after that. CPS left, and I went back to the shrink, who decided with my mother to throw me in an institution. I was fucking terrified. My roommate was there for attempted murder. I was definitely in far deeper water than I anticipated.

Got out. Things went back to normal, beatings continued for another year, until I hit my growth spurt and fought back a bit. Cracked my dad's nose one time,and he realized I wasn't defenseless anymore. Apparently it wasn't worth it at that point. He went from being abusive to just neglectful.

My mental state began to improve, but I had lost all my friends along the way, and was now "weird kid." Stories leaked from my siblings about me being crazy. I was the kid in the cafeteria who didn't have anyone to sit with. Pure and absolute isolation, with whispers behind my back when I walked down hallways in my high school.

I made a new group of friends who came from different schools and weren't as aware of my turbulent past. They were great to me.

Eventually, during my junior year of high school, my mom broke. Apparently, all of her turning a blind eye caught up. She bounced. Left for another state, divorced my dad, left us with him, and now struggles with substance abuse issues. He didn't take it well, but he had to rely on us and confront what he had done.

We talked a lot. I thought there was a real future for our relationship. He would avoid speaking about the abuse, referring to it in generalities, but take what you can get, right?

It was still bumpy, we actually got in a couple real fights. Like man-to-man, throwing punches. He was horribly depressed, speaking of suicide often when things got rough. But we were together, me, my dad, and my little brother. A fucked up family trying to cope with mom bouncing. That was probably the closest I've ever been or will ever be with my father.

I joined the army. I knew I had to get out my hometown. I started working out heavily, striving to become the person I envisioned. It fucking worked.

I left a scrawny, 120 pound, anxious kid and came back a confident, 180 pound man. I made friends who didn't know of my past, giving me confidence in social situations. I ended up being a pretty cool, funny guy. I spent time in special operations, jumped out of planes, did all the cool guy shit I had always dreamed of. I was successful.

My father got remarried almost as soon as the divorce papers cleared. I now have a very conceited and mean spirited stepmother who despises my siblings and I. He clung to it, probably because it was so much easier on his battered ego and self image. He now exclusively speaks and raises my step siblings, ignoring and cutting off the rest of us. I think he views it as some sort of redemption.

My mom and I figured shit out. She's an amazing lady who I admire, she has a great job, and seems to be genuinely happy, despite the substance abuse.

I left active duty this past year, continuing my college education after taking some classes while doing the army gig full time. I have an amazing life. I have a beautiful, amazing girlfriend who I'm going to propose to in the next year, a group of truly unique friends who are utterly loyal to me and I to them, and I'm entirely self-sufficient.

I still avoid my hometown like the plague. If I see someone I know from that time period, I still feel awkward. My father and I exchange perfunctory greetings on the holidays.

I guess what I would tell my former self is that all things end, one way or another, and there's no need for a permanent solution to temporary problems. Life has been good to me since those hard times, but I still struggle with some aspects of depression daily. Some days I just can't engage, can't be present in situations.

I don't regret what happened to me. Others have had it worse, and still do. But to anyone who read this whole thing, it's never too late to change your circumstances and be who you want to be. It boils down to making the right decisions for one day, and then the next, and the next, until it becomes routine, and that's just who you are. You've gotta take the funk sometimes to learn the dance.

/r/AskReddit Thread