Hello my name is Camille Reynolds-McKenith.
I knew for sure that I was lesbian by the age of six years old. I gravitated towards women before I knew what sex was. I came out of the closet at the age of 11 but not to my mother. My mother told me if she ever found out that I was gay that I would not be her daughter anymore. Deep inside at early age she already knew I was gay. Repeatedly she forced me to girly clothes and even strongly urged me to date boys.
I grew up in an abusive home, due to someone other than my mother (anonymous person). But then that person went away and the abuse was over. Me coming from a strong Christian Baptist background I was terrified. I thought that God will send me to hell like my mother told me. So I prayed to God every night, tears in my eyes for him to make me straight again. I understand now he never answered that prayer, because it was not meant for me to be straight.
Fearing what God would think and my mother, I decided the best thing would be for me to be with God and not another person. So one day I went into the bathroom I took everyone’s prescription that I seen in the medicine cabinet. I started to get sleepy so I laid inside of the dry tub. My grandmother lived with us at the time so as I got sleepier, because of the barbiturates, I laid down at my grandmothers bed. On my chest I posted a sticky note with a apology to God for committing suicide and that I just wanted to be with him in heaven. Along with the passage from Psalms 20 through 27.
My grandmother decided to get in her bed not knowing that I was in there because the lights were off. As she lay down she felt the bed shaking obviously I was going into convulsions. When the bed stop shaking she turn the lights on and to her horror I had just flatlined.
My mother was a nurse at the time, so she knew exactly what to do. My grandmother screamed for my mother! They seen me with my face a bluish purple, and my eyes wide open I was dead and lifeless.
We lives very very close to the hospital my grandmother called the ambulance, as my mother put me into a tub and filled it with ice and Coldwater to slow down my vitals and preserve the body.
The ambulance arrived in less than 10 minutes because we live so close immediately they began to defibrillate my body. They shocked my body three times. The third time they got a heart beat. I was told that I had many seizures on the way to the hospital and flatlined again for short periods of time.
At the hospital I was put on life-support I was not breathing on my own the machines were breathing for me my body was lifeless without the machines.
The doctor suggested that my family get together in order to take me off of life support. So they all gathered together and called a minister.
Just as they were going to pull the plug a miracle happened. I remember waking up with tubes in my throat going down into my lungs and tubes and other places. I looked at the family gathered around me and could not recognize any of them, except for my grandmother. The doctors quickly rushed in and started to take action. After throwing up the Charco that they pump my stomach with I went into a coma, for two weeks, but this time I showed brain activity and a heartbeat and I was breathing on my own it was a miracle the doctor said I should have been dead.
I suffered extensive brain damage, & damage to my organs, and a big mental setback. I had to learn to walk again. In my brain I was different ages I had no sense of time. It was like I was working off the mind of a three-year-old. They moved me out of intensive care unit.
I got through that and excepted the fact that I am lesbian and this is the way that God intended me to be.
As I laid there in children’s psych at Christ Hospital chained to the bed from my wrist and my ankles, only weighing 70 pounds, I began to have seizure after seizure.
Now, I am here in present day, I have epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis which means I am blind in my right eye, I also have liver disease, and because of all of these factors I walk with forearm crutches permanently.
Because of what I did to myself, I caused these illnesses. But epilepsy started immediately after the suicide. The multiple sclerosis developed at the age of 28. At 28 years old, I was in full paralysis and in a Wheelchair for over three months. I’ve graduated to the forearm crutches and started to get my freedom back. Yet to this day I still have to go to the psychiatrist, psychologist, and a counselor, from the ages of 11 and now I am 34 years old. I am on a lot of medications, some for mental, some for epilepsy, and some for multiple sclerosis but I keep on going.
Now, I love and respect life itself more than ever. Every day I sit up and I’m breathing I thank God that I am still here. It’s crazy how I wanted to die so bad before when I was healthy. Now, that there is a chance that I may not wake up one day, “I want life more than anything else.” So I live life to the fullest and I do not use my crutches as a crutch in life.
I was blessed not everybody can flatline to be clinically dead for five minutes and then come back to life. I was put here for a reason. God put me through that, so that I can save as many lives as I can with my story.
I am not handicap I am handicapable! And I take pride in every bit of what I am. What people get wrong is being lesbian or gay is not about sex, it is about who you want to spend your life with. I am now married to a beautiful woman we have been happily married for four years.
Have pride in who you are. have pride in what you are. Only God knows your heart.
Somehow God touched my mother’s heart over the years. She began to try to learn more about me and more about me being homosexual. Now, me and my mother are close friends and she loves her grandkids that me and my wife have given her.
Life is precious, life is worth it…….
Thank you for listening and thank you for letting me share my story I hope that it helps save a life.