Copyright, AJ

Who am I anymore? Is a person really a person when they’ve been torn, cut, sliced to shreds? My family members (the one’s who will still talk to me at least) call me Amanda. My friends (the very few I’ve got) call me AJ. Jenna, the name I bore before I was adopted and I think is much prettier, I only use online. To myself, I’m not sure.

Can an identity drown? If it can, I think mine has. It’s been swallowed by fountains of blood.

My story begins, probably, in kindergarten. My adoptive parents started taking me to a psychologist. I was 5 then. It took them almost 10 years to realize that my problems were much worse than the urge to spill green finger paint on my cubby partner.

I first cut when I was in the 7th grade. My parents hated me for it. (I believe that they secretly still do.) In October of 2000, I started attempting suicide. It never seemed to work. At least my parents didn’t know. Yet.

Later that same month, I was admitted to Forest View Psychiatric Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was there for 2 weeks exactly. Now, I’m not a big crier at all, but I did shed many a tear when I had to leave there. It was a safe harbor where people weren’t as cruel and judgemental as the outside world. Looking back on that, I think that I should have been there longer.

I returned to Blessed Sacrament Catholic School immediately. Yay. (Sarcasm.) By the beginning of that December, I was out of there, though. I had made the worst cut yet. I should have had many stitches, but my dad, being the jackass he is, said it was my fault and not his problem. The slice wasn’t very long at all. However, it was very deep.

I was “indefinately suspended.” That was the way “Fat Pistachio” (Mr. LoCashio) put it. I didn’t find out that I was expelled until the following January.

My idiot parents spent over a month just looking for a stupid school for me. We’re in the Grand Rapids School District, but good old mom’n’pop (whatever), said that no schools in our district were suitable for their precious little daughter. (Like they really care.) If they cared, my mom wouldn’t just stand by while my dad hits me. He’s choked me, pulled my hair, you name it. He says, “I may not have gone to college, but I’m smart enough not to leave marks. You’d never be able to prove anything.” (Gee, I love you, too.)

My dad’s also the reason I became bulimic. I’ve heard any fat joke or diss you can name from him. I know they say that my bipolar/manic depression is from chemical imbalances in my brain, but I think it’s him.

Anyway, Northview Public School System accepted me. I began there on February 3, 2001. It’s okay there, but it’s a total prep school. Right now, I’m finishing up 8th grade there. For high school I’ll either go there or Rockford Public High School since we’re moving to Belmont, a little town next to Rockford, this summer.

I guess my life (or what’s left of it) is sort of starting piecing itself back together. I met Chad, the love of my life and future husband. He’s going to be 17 on June 20 and I just turned 14 on January 28, but it’ll have been 10 months that we’ve been going out on May 3. Things with us are great. One plus is that he hates my dad, too. He’s also helping me stop cutting and practicing bulimia. He is literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

If I do end up going into remission, though, I’ll write back and tell you about it.

P.S. This sounds corny because everyone says it, but it’s true: Don’t let your problems get too far. Get help. If I hadn’t gotten help, I guarantee you that I would be dead today.


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