I turned nineteen recently. I have realised that I am depressed again. I struggled with self-harm from thirteen until seventeen, although I now say I have stopped, my secret is that I still carry a pencil-sharpener blade in my purse. To ban myself from it would, I know from experience, just make it all the more desireable. I still have pinky scars from the last three cuts, which were so deep that I scared myself into putting on a pair of fingerless gloves and not taking them off for two days. No-one thought anything of this because I was at a house party and it was December the 6th — just over two years ago.
I am unhappy again now, even though I have been cut-free for so long, because I am afraid. In March 2004 I got involved with someone from my circle of friends. I wasn’t really attracted to him and I didn’t think it would last much beyond a matter of weeks — but I have always been really easily won over by compliments. If a guy says I’m beautiful, I’ll do anything for him. Well, then anyway. Now I’d probably get upset. Anyway, this relationship went normally for about two months, then he hit me for the first time. I cried like a little girl, I felt like a little girl, so pathetic, so helpless, so useless, so scared. He forced me to hug him and accept his apology. He also blamed me. Not long after that he told me he loved me. And not long after that he raped me for the first time. This, he also said was my fault. Besides, it wasn’t rape because he was my boyfriend. For the next nine months I let him do whatever he wanted with me because he scared me so much. Rape wasn’t the worst, I could close my eyes and even though it hurt so much, I was experienced with coping with pain, so I could just wait for it to be over. He disapproved of my friends and acted like I was his property, and his alone, even threatening his own brother (who was gay, incidently, and had a boyfriend) that he would kill him if he touched me. Finally, a week before what would have been our first anniversary, he stepped over the mark, insulting my father and then pushing me to the ground and punching me in the stomach when I dared to answer him back. The following week I started posting messages on an internet forum. It was a way of proving my independance because he had no control over what I said or who I said it to there.
Six days after the split, I met my new boyfriend. Our relationship was physical from the start (we met in a pub, had some drinks together and I missed the last train home so stayed at his…) and on the third day I felt I had to tell him what happened. He was the first person I ever told and is the most supportive. But I hadn’t left enough time to come to terms with what had happened. Needless to say, I had panic attacks especially if I’d had a little too much to drink. After the third attack, I told myself I would not have more than four drinks each night out until I was happy I had total control of myself. I didn’t even admit this to my boyfriend until he asked, thinking I didn’t like drinking.
Over the last few weeks though, my confidence has totally dwindled. I constantly worry that my boyfriend is getting fed up of me or hates me talking about my ex (even though he doesn’t show any signs of this, he says when I need to talk, he thinks I should talk) and I hate the fact that I am obviously not in control of this relationship.
Control is a big thing to me, I lost it once and it was the worst year of my life. I was so proud that I never cut myself for my ex, that I never helped him defile my body, I hate my scars and never talk about them, and I get agitated and panicky if other people get too close or say things which remind me of it all. The dangerous thing is that I remember the feeling of control you got from cutting. I remember the adrenaline. I’m scared of having a panic attack late at night after a nightmare when I’m alone. I know exactly where that sharpener blade is.