I was six years old and thought the world around me was perfect and that nothing could ever hurt me. I started being bullied, I was a pretty little girl but that wasn’t all, I was clever, top of my class and everyone envied me. I started getting beaten up, had girls older than me trying to rearrange my face because they could never achieve how good I looked, so wanted to destroy me. This wasn’t how I saw it, it’s how they saw it. One day the ringleader pushed a whole group into turning against me, I was pinned against a wall, kicked and punched until I was curled up into a tight ball in tears. For a few hours they left me alone, too scared to say anything I just shied away even more than usual. When lunchtime came though, the blood came too. They pinned me up into a thorn bush, tearing my nice neat white blouse, it didn’t stay neat and white very long, I could feel the shirt stuck to my skin, but I was cold, this was warm, wet and red. I didn’t understand but the harder they pushed me the more I could feel my shirt getting wet. This was only the beginning of an ongoing ten and a half year battle with self harm.
That same day I ran from the school playground crying, my cries had fallen on deaf ears I couldn’t stay there any longer, I had to run as fast as my legs could carry me, ran down several roads trying to remember which was the right way home. I was hysterical I couldn’t concentrate and my red shirt had now turned into a darkish browny red. A lot more happened that day but the thing that sticks in my mind, I arrived home with my mum holding my hand. As soon as she loosened her grip I was gone, I ran up the stairs and locked myself in my room, I stayed there for three days, just me and a pair of scissors. At first I was scared, I didn’t understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. I just knew it was the only thing that had made me feel better out of the whole ordeal with the bullies, the nice sharp thorns tearing at my fragile skin. I pressed the scissors down into my skin and was very disappointed with the result. I pressed deeper and dragged the scissors as hard as I could but no blood. Over the next few days I started jabbing the scissors into my arm and the palm of my hand, even this didn’t work, I just wanted to feel that wash of relief, I just wanted rid of this pain. I did bruise, but I didn’t bleed. It was the blood I needed, I was sure of it.
Weeks soon passed and months soon followed, I changed schools, but those feelings still never passed. During those times I would jab myself with sticks or intentionally try and get other people to hurt me during PE. I was playing football with the boys in my new class and would slide across the gravel to hurt my knees or to get out of being around the other children. I felt different. I felt like the odd one out. I still didn’t know what I needed or why I needed it but I knew in my heart I would find it. Hoping sooner rather than later.
Late spring, early summer soon rolled round again and I was now seven. Someone I had spent a lot of close time with and adored, tried to kill me, or that’s how I saw it then. It wasn’t until I got older I realised that he had raped me, it only happened the once, but I remember it clearer than any other day of my life, 24th May. He pushed me down with such force, scaring me to death, I started crying asking what I’d done wrong. Had I been that naughty? He forced his hands under the waistband of my skirt and pulled it down round my ankles, I knew something was wrong but what had I done? The more I cried the more he got angry. I stopped crying laid on the floor dead silent. Down went my underwear. He pulled himself out and without saying a word coldly slid himself inside me. I felt dirty. I knew I’d been bad, I was always bad, but this bad? Surely not. It seemed to last forever but I was so glad when it was over. He just warned me if I told anyone he’d be back, he’d do it again, this time he wouldn’t let me get off so lightly. He’d kill me. Coldly he walked out of the room left me laying there alone, cold and empty. Everything fell silent, I wanted to run, I wanted to cry and worse of all I needed to cause that sensation again, the one on the day the bullies had me. I left that room, remained scared ever to go in there again, even when I was asked to. That was the night I first cut myself, I went down into the kitchen very very late at night, tried an assortment of knives and then a warm red trail appeared on my skin, I’d done it. I did it again and again until I could feel the pain, four or five perfect cuts.
Then when anything upset me I would go to the kitchen, soon the knife disappeared, I’d given it a new home, my underbed drawer. Years passed and I still continued to use the blunt knife making just three or four cuts a time. Then when I was eleven or twelve and finally understood my past, I got even more depressed, started cutting even more. Pulled myself away from the world. Changed to yet another school. There was no hope for me.
I’m soon to be eighteen and I still fight with self harm, I once wanted to give my addiction up and went for six months cut free. Now I know self harm is all I needed then why should it be any different now. I’m not ashamed of the scars, the cuts or the reasons they are there. I’m ashamed that I got into this state at such a young age.