I am not defined by the layers of my trauma

My name is Jessica Compton and at times my story feels like a dream. I want to focus on the healing part of my story, but you must know the 6 “A’s” that defined my childhood. I was abandoned, abducted, abused; and became an addict with ADHD, who was arrested 4 times. If you would like to read more detail, you can at treeofstars.wordpress.com. Today, I proudly say that none of these “A’s” define me as a person. I would like to mention that I have had years and years of therapy and continue to do check-ins with my therapist as an amazing self-care practice. I struggle daily with ADHD; it has created issues in my past friendships, relationships, school and workplaces. I wish daily that I could focus and sleep a lot better than I do. I have taken medication in the past, but my body didn’t agree with it. I mean there are positives; I am super creative when it comes to music, arts and I have a passion to help others in any way I can.

I call myself a healthy onion because of the layers of trauma I’ve experienced. I have had to nurture these layers as a healing journey of self-care. Years of therapy, in many, different ways.

Abandoned, I was found under a bed, at the age of 5, me and my siblings were placed in a foster home, due to abuse from our mother. I am a survivor of repeated sexual assault; many times in a foster home I was at, a family member, a babysitter and a neighbour, and when I was 17 a guy at a party. I got into drugs, ended up homeless and I was arrested 4 times, set some fires, stole a car and escaped of custody. My ADHD, well you can tell by reading this that I’m all over the place, and it’s hard for me to focus, I call it Toronto traffic.

Remember how I said that my six “A’s” of trauma don’t define me? Let me explain where I am today. I am the founder and director of Tree of Stars. Promoting mental health awareness and addiction recovery by telling our stories through online musical performances and wellness interviews. I am currently a full time Educational Assistant with the school board for the last 8 years. I was a full-time child and youth worker for 15 years working with the same organization.

I funded, developed, and released a charity album for the youth wellness center in March 2018 with 13 other female musicians. I had a mini documentary that won an award from the students at Humber College. (link the award here).

I created a play with 9 other individuals showing what Tree of Stars was in the community as a resource. I participate with global resources to build community and resources to help as many people as we can.

My purpose is helping others and knowing that making a difference is changing the world.

Today, I look back and think that I am a warrior who had a good fight in life and. If you were to ask me what kept or keeps me going? It’s the continuous self-care practice and knowing my resources for support when I need it. I definitely enjoy filling my own cup first, and embracing my hobbies such as playing my guitar, photography, visiting different cafes, viewing different art at galleries, meditation, hugging trees while on hikes and the list goes on.

In closing, please know that it’s okay to not be okay, as we are human. We are allowed to feel what we feel and think what we think. Knowing this too, life is like a Ferris Wheel there are so many ups and downs, it’s what we do when we are down, know your resources and reach out, because nobody is a burden and you are not alone. Sending everyone a virtual hug.