I'm sorry, I really need to get something off my chest right now. Filing for financial aid has been the most demoralizing thing in my life, and it's been triggering PTSD that I thought I finally got under control. I suffered from an abusive father for 16 years. He would beat me, grab me by my hair and throw me against the wall, starve me, keep me from sleeping, bar me from going to school and lots of other horrid shit. He did the same stuff to my mom too since he was really misogynistic. And also for more context my mom is severely depressed and she's attempted suicide twice.

When I was 16 my mother and I ran away from the abuse, and since then I've been slowly recovering from the trauma. I reached a point of no longer buckling down crying every time I hear yelling in the hallways or someone approach me from behind. I've been very fortunate to have friends who pushed me to work hard at school, despite my family circumstances, and I'm so incredibly grateful to be applying to several awesome colleges (after years of my father saying I'm worthless and that I'd never get into college). I decided to write my common app essay on how my abuse taught me to be more resilient, mature, independent, and hardworking. Writing my essay was agonizing because it forced me to dig up memories I've been trying to forget. My hallucinations have come back again - I had one couple days ago that my father burst into my room with a knife and chopped off both my hands, it was horrifying.

I thought I was done after my essay but now financial aid is posing yet another hurdle. I ran away in late 2017 so I never know if I should fill my parents in as "married" or "separated". And I guess the most frustrating thing is noncustodial parents have to send in their tax forms?? My father would never comply to supporting my education at all by sending in his tax forms, but apparently "non-compliance" isn't a valid excuse. My other option is to fill out a waiver BUT I'd have to provide proof that I've been abused, like a restraining order or validation from a social worker. Which I don't have because I haven't told anyone about my situation. And to make things worse, I can't consult my mom for help cause she's depressed and I don't want to force her to think about my father.

I just feel like everything is working against me--it's like as soon as I thought I overcame the final hurdle, I get another one. All my life I've worked against the odds of my unsupportive and chaotic family, thinking after I go to college I can leave everything in the past. I've told no one about my family situation because I refused to let it define me. And now I'm on the verge of giving up. All the wounds of my abuse have been torn open by the college app process. And what if in the future I'm just gonna keep being forced to face the reality of my past? Can I ever leave it behind? Life feels so hopeless. I'm in this all alone and it's so hard and I'm so lost on what to do.

tl;dr I come from an abusive family, college apps and financial aid forms are causing me to relive the trauma, and it's so hard for me to not give up when it feels like things will never stop working against me.

thanks for hearing my rant and hope everyone remembers to be thankful to their parents this Thanksgiving.