I’m going to start off by saying this is a long story, I will leave a lot out of it to make it shorter. This is not a fun story. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. But it’s the truth and I want everyone to understand where I came from in order to understand how far I have come. This is not just a story relating to Fitness. It’s dark but it may help someone else out.
My name is Ashley Bunge. I was born 3/6/87 to my parents Donna & Scott Bunge. I was born in Wausau, WI. Let’s start out by addressing that I don’t care for really anything that happened in my life up until a few years ago. I didn’t have a great childhood and don’t remember much of it.
We lived in Merrill early on and ended up moving to Green Bay at some point in time. This is where my brother was born, Tyler. I remember exactly where I used to live in Green Bay, down to the exact house because this is the last house I ever lived in with my dad. We lived there until my parents split up, I think I was about 7 years old, but not really sure on that. Tyler was very young. I never knew why they split up until I was older, he was abusive alcoholic. We moved around a lot after that (Keep in mind this is all still just a blur). I remember attending quite a few different elementary schools in the area, Like GD Jones, Stettin & Maine (not to mention the one I went to in GB – Webster Elementary). I remember my mom having a few boyfriends; don’t really remember them all except one – “Woody”. Oh boy mom, you sure knew how to pick them! LOL (love you!) She finally met Scott and ended up marrying him. Oh how I hated him and I was sure that he hated me too. (Which wasn’t true but after a while it did become true because I was such an asshole to him) Which I deeply regret, but I was having a really hard time, my mom kept replacing my dad…and it sucked. As the years went on after they split I saw my dad less and less. He stopped coming around, I didn’t even know him anymore…People tell me he was a good dad, but from what I now know, I feel differently.
My dad and I
December 13, 1998 my dad died at the ripe age of 34 from carbon monoxide poisoning. The story I know was that him and his fiance got into a fight and he decided to go sleep in the car (…we live in WI…and it was December…) he turned the car on. Unfortunately, the car was parked in the garage. We were just getting ready to visit him for Christmas. I don’t think I had seen him for a year already at that point. Apparently he was living in Milwaukee when he died (???) (Obviously, I didn’t know this) I remember his funeral vividly. I was terrified of going up to the casket. I stayed in the lobby and refused to go inside most of the visitation. When we were getting ready to leave the funeral, we were given the Christmas gifts from my dad. What’s worse than getting no gifts at all? That. That right there. To this day I have no idea if he was just drunk and passed out, or if he wasn’t drunk but had fallen asleep, or it even crossed my mind…did he intentionally do it? There was no note, so no one will ever know.
I hated the world, and everyone in it. Why me?
I clearly had a mental disorder before this, but this really brought it out. My mom and Scott eventually married and had a daughter (my half-sister) Taylor. I ended up hating both my mom and Scott equally. I moved out and lived with my Grandma and Grandpa for a while and ended up moving back in. A week before I turned 18 – I was out, and never (still to this day) moved back into that house. I was a horrible, horrible child. I was so depressed. I wanted to die so bad. I cut myself often, tried to kill myself, tried not to cry myself to sleep every night.
I ended up marrying at 18, which obviously didn’t last long. I got into a relationship after that and ended up getting pregnant. I don’t regret my son one bit, but I do regret who his father is, I wish my common sense had kicked in before this. I had my first born, Ian, when I was 21 years old. This is when I started befriending my mom and stepdad again; Ian brought everyone back together (thankfully). He became the foundation of the family…a common ground. Everyone will be happy to know, that we all get along really great now, and I love and appreciate them for all they have ever done for me and all they still do for my kids and I.
Let’s take a step back, after my father died, my grandpa became my dad, so-to-speak. When I was pregnant with Ian he fell ill. He had cancer. He asked two things while he was lying in his hospital bed; he wanted to see David (his first born grandchild who had been living in Florida) again and to meet his first great-grandchild. He didn’t make it to meet Ian. He died 3 days before Ian was born. Taken from my Grandpa’s Obituary: “Wayne was also proudly awaiting the birth of his first great grandchild.”. I had to literally BEG the doctors to get me released from the hospital so I could make it in time for my grandpa’s funeral. I left the hospital and went directly there. I’m still not sure if that was the best or worst weekend of my life.
Fast forward to about age 25 (after a few boyfriends that didn’t work out) I met Sam. I’m not really sure when we started dating, or how long we’ve been together (we split a few times in the beginning) but always ended up back together. (I think he was scared of commitment, not that he would admit that.) I ended up pregnant again in 2013 (planned this time!J) At this point in time he was working on the pipeline – meaning he was living in different states. When I was pregnant he spent 5 months in Colorado – which, Ian and I got to road trip out there to see him, and we found out we were having ANOTHER boy!!! 😦 No Bueno. I was not happy. But to make up for it I got a beautiful ring and was proposed to up in the mountains in Colorado…SO beautiful!! FYI: We had Charlie who is almost 2 now!
A few months after having Charlie I decided I needed to change my habits to become slimmer, healthier and have more energy. My depression was coming back full swing, I was mad at the world again, I was frumpy, tired & crabby. (Sorry Sammy!) An old classmate was sharing what he was using to lose weight and I had been watching him for awhile, he was looking great, and seemed very happy. SO I jumped on that! Not only did I lose 40lbs, but I gained energy for my kids and myself, I was happier, I felt like a whole new person, and it gave me the strength to find peace for myself. I FINALLY HAD A GRASP ON MY LIFE, I finally chose to become a better version of myself! Best of all, I found what I wanted to do. I wanted to help others; I wanted to become a personal trainer. So guess what, I DID! Which leaves me to where I am today, although I am an EXTREMELY busy person, I am finally content with where I am at in life. I still suffer from depression, although on a much more minor scale. I still suffer from a lot of stress, but that’s something I am working on slowly decreasing. I am a hockey mom, a karate mom, a baseball mom, a toddler’s mom, a wife (even though we’re not technically married…yet), I am a fur baby mom, I am a maid, a cook, a comforter, and I am a working mom. I work 1 full time job and run my own personal training business on the side (although I would love to make it my full time job!) So, as you can see, I have come a very, very long way. I have been through A LOT, but I am still here, still going, and making my days count. As they say, like a fine wine, things are getting better for me the older I get and I intend on keeping it going like that!
I am strong. I am confident. I am beautiful.
And so are YOU, and don’t EVER let your past dictate that or anyone else tell you differently. Keep going, keep moving, and prove people wrong. The only way to change your life around is to make that change yourself. It’s in your hands, YOU control your future. It took me a very long time to learn this, but when I did, everything changed for the better. Moral of this whole story is that your life is in your hands, you may be dealt bad things, but you have the power to change things around, you have the power to make life better for yourself. You just have to make that decision and make the changes. Always know that you are not alone. If you are dealing with depression or other mental illnesses, seek help for yourself, you deserve it. My ears are always open as well.
Scott Alan Bunge Feb 1964 – Dec 1998
Wayne R. Kyle Jan 1940 – Sept 2008