Fatimah Gianna: Life is worth living.

Name: Fatimah Gianna

Social Media Handle/Username: FatimahGianna2

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I’m just a girl nearing 20 trying to figure out her life. I have a passion for basketball and have several mental disabilities and including autism but that does not define who I am. Instead of a disability I see my autism as a different ability. I am Sufi Muslim by faith. I moved to Vancouver, WA in September, Washington’s state’s city of second chances to chase my dreams of becoming a flight attendant but unfortunately due to the current times it’s just not working out the way I had hoped. I am hoping to become a bus driver and then a light rail operator for TriMet eventually and play semiprofessional basketball. I have 1 kid. She has 4 legs and goes meow. She is a kitty. She is my emotional support cat. Her name is Jusufina. She is named after my favorite basketball player Jusuf Nurkić. I am in a long distance relationship that is falling apart with a man in Croatia. I love aviation, railways, the color purple, animals, and of course basketball. In 2003 I moved to the small trashy city of Longview, WA. I became a gymnast in 2005 and was drafted by the Gymnastics4U waves in 2008. I took the title of grand champion in 2010 as a JO (Junior Olympic) level 4. Unfortunately, later that year I was sexually abused by a pedophile whom we had trusted. It was a teammates dad who my parents trusted to look after me and take me to practice when they were working. I changed a lot after that. I began showing signs of anxiety. I was afraid of everything. The year after that my parents separated and divorced. That’s when I began showing signs of depression. Times changed and I eventually transferred out of the JO program into the ExCel program which is a competitive program designed to be a bit more recreational while also being competitive. I made that decision as a freshman in highschool because I was struggling with time management. However the next year in 2015 my best friend disappeared under mysterious domestic violence related circumstances. I was shattered. I was also being mentally abused by my ex stepmom at the time. One day during practice I was doing a floor routine and I wasn’t focused. I went into my final tumbling pass of my floor routine and was having flashbacks of me and my best friend. I landed and tore my MCL. Thankfully I didn’t need surgery but I landed on crutches for 3 weeks. I was going through so much already so I was a mental mess on crutches. My ex stepmom was also mentally abusing my dad at the time. Her whole family hated me for who I am. Her son was very social and liked to do things as a family unit. I like to spend one on one time with my dad. My ex stepmom didn’t like that. She wanted to be involved in everything me and my dad did. She would beg my dad to do things he didn’t like doing until he gave in and did them just to shut him up. Her two adult daughters one of which had a kid and was in a totally dysfunctional relationship with her baby daddy always fought. They all would gang up and make fun of me. My weight, my social awkwardness, my personality, my friends, anything they could do to make me feel bad they would do. Then I began binge eating. My ex stepmom gif food from me which made me food aggressive. I’d get into fights at school or at home over food. I once pulled a knife on my brother over peanut butter. I was let off with a very stern warning that next time I did something like that I’d be leaving the house in cuffs. I was in therapy but it didn’t seem to help. In fact, one of my therapists told me to go to this sight called “Ok2Talk”. Guess what it was. Yep. A Tumblr blog. I began to document my own life and open up about things, then the porn accounts started following me. This was before Tumblr banned porn. I wondered what it looked like and how it felt, so I went from just reporting and blocking them, to looking at some of their content then reporting and blocking, then to not doing anything, then to begging my now ex boyfriend for sex which he refused to give me which he only let me give him head and cuddle and stuff, to getting suspended for 3 days. I began to have literal withdrawal symptoms if I didn’t get my fix. I knew then that I was straight up addicted to it. I knew it wasn’t good so that’s when my cycle of self harm and caffeine addiction began. When I had those thoughts I’d burn myself with matches. Eventually my mom found out and after being called by the school due to my constant breakdowns and anxiety attacks, not to mention my suicidal ideation on school grounds we made the difficult decision to make the trip from Longview to Vancouver and place me in Legacy Emmanuel Hospital. I spent 15 hours in the emergency psych ward. It was not fun. The room was a literal jail cell with a small bolted down bed, a TV behind plexiglass, and special outlets. My mom couldn’t stop crying. I was frustrated but I was able to recover enough to where I could be discharged and we had an emergency therapy session with my then therapist. After that things changed. I went back to school and cut some people off. Unfortunately the school succeeded in breaking me and my then boyfriend up. He couldn’t give me the affection I desperately need. After that things began to get better. The second half of my junior year I spent a lot of time with the special needs classes. It helped me as much as I helped them. Just to see them and help them and see them smile made me feel happy. I began to understand myself a bit more. That was when I understood that I was no longer fully alive. I am alive as here in the physical sense. I’m breathing, my heart beats, I function like a normal human. However, half of me is being kept alive by affection, lust, and love. When I am half dead I am here physically, yet I am numb. I won’t talk or anything. I’ll just basically be a walking blob that looks lifeless. I graduated high school in 2019 and from there I went to CWU. That’s where I rediscovered my love for basketball, got my heart broken by a football player, and embraced my crush on Enes Kanter, Jusuf Nurkić, and Mason Plumlee. I wanted to become a special needs teacher however the laws changed, and with it my plans. I met this guy who was super nice and kind. He’s from West Papua. Technically it’s the part of Papua New Guinea that’s not Papua New Guinea. The people who think it’s immoral to marry someone that’s not Papuan and that it’s punishable by death. The same people who cut off their fingers when they become widowed. His name is Christofel. He was only being kind and being with me so he could use me as his personal sex doll all because I’m not Papuan. He was also deliberately trying to get me pregnant. He hid my medication which I could relapse and die without because “his people don’t believe in medication”. I finally cut him off. Two days later, Kobe died. I was once again shattered. I looked up to him all my life. As a little first grader I’d see pictures of him and point and say “Papa Kobe!”. Throughout my gymnastics career I wanted to be a gymnast to the extent that Kobe was a basketball player. Every time I’d fall or mess up a skill I’d think “What would Kobe do?”. I fell to my knees and screamed his name until the RA’s threatened to call an ambulance. I calmed down soon after. I carried my emotions and grief to the court and trained my heart out. I could feel his presence as well as Giannas. One day while I was training I felt as if Gianna had passed her torch on to me. I have to live. To fight. To become the player she was destined to be. I began training for hours every day. I spent the night of his memorial training as I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I made a promise to myself, to Kobe, to Gianna, that I would push hard and go for the woman’s basketball team the next season. Unfortunately that didn’t happen because covid began shortly thereafter. I unfortunately left central after that. I tried doing online classes but it just didn’t work. I had to do something different. I took a job at amazon but they too stressed me out to the point where I collapsed once. They say me up and put me right back to work. The next day I left in a wheelchair. I quit after that. I had also recently had my heart shattered by a Serbian gamer. Around that time I met my now boyfriend from Croatia. I went jobless for a while and then my mom and stepdad got tired of me just lazing around at home. They decided that it would be best if I moved out. I decided Vancouver would be the best choice and began to take online courses again. This time through Clark College and in the digital media arts program because I was into gaming at the time. Online didn’t work again. I dropped out and decided to try and chase my dreams as a flight attendant. I enrolled at International Air and Hospitality Academy hoping it would be a bit more hands on, however 2 hours of in person is just not enough. I was finally diagnosed with level 1 high functioning Autism in March. I always knew I had it but my immediate family always denied it. I am planning to complete this program and then reach for a career with TriMet. I’ve always been fascinated by the MAX.

What Inspires You Every day? : My favorite basketball players, my family, and my cat

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: What is broken can be reforaged

What is your ultimate goal in life? : To live life and be happy. Eventually settle down and have a family

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : The pandemic completely ruined my life. I’ve always communicated and navigated the world through touch. Having that taken away from me has been a literal hell for me

What is a message you would like to give others? : Life is worth living.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: Even though life isn’t always great it’s still worth it in the end

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