This Isn’t All I Am

Copyright Juli

My story of self harm.

I never had a bad life, though it wasn’t the greatest, I grew up surrounded by chaos, my family was always fighting, my sister was always on drugs, in and out of mental institutions, Lima, everything, I was being picked on, not only by my older brother, but by kids at school, I’d go from school, where I was never popular, picked last in gym, whispered about, people would scream things at me, telling me I was a fatass, that I was such a loser, then I got to go home and listen to my brother call me fat until I went to bed. In 7th grade I met Brendan, who soon became my boyfriend (my first boyfriend), the first two months were great, he treated my like I was the most important thing in the world, and by the third month, he’d cheated on my twice, and I stayed with him, one day, I was just sitting there, playing with a kitchen knife, when something inside me snapped, I brought the knife down upon my arm, and so began my self harm, I didn’t understand why I loved the sight of my own blood, or why it calmed me down, but it did, so I kept doing it, the middle of that year, my friends told the school counsellor who sent me to Crozer Chester Medical Center, I was admitted to the Psychiatric Unit and stayed for a week, when I got out, I continued to cut, but this time, I was smarter, I was depressed about the way I looked, Bredan was still cheating on me, I felt betrayed but I stayed with him, because he was my first love, he broke my heart and I kept giving it back to him, later that year, he broke up with me saying that I was making him too ‘sad and depressed’ I cut a lot, by eight grade, I was beginning to fool myself I was so secretive, but this time, I realised when I needed help, I told my teacher, yet again I was sent to Crozer, but this time, I met two amazing people, people who inspire me, Jackie and Tif, both went through hell, but managed to survive it, we’re here for each other, supporting each other, we know what the other is going through and that’s why they mean so much to me. After Crozer I was sent to Horsham partial, the worst three weeks of my life, I was treated like a three year old, everything I said was wrong, even my opinion, the things I said, my emotions were wrong to them, they eventually sent me to Horsham for ‘refusal of treatment’ that’s the thing, I never wanted to get better, I loved cutting, I loved the pain of knowing that I was alive, I knew that I was stronger than anything else because I could control my pain, I never thought I had a problem, I was so blinded by the rush that I didn’t see anything else, but it’s been a year since I’ve been in a nuthut, and a good four months since I last cut, my longest clean time was seven months, all to the thanks of my boyfriend,and my friends. Self injury will always be a part of me, My scars are part of me, I’ve overcome so much, and I don’t know what will come in the years ahead, but I know that no one can help me save myself.

The Darkest Road

Copyright Juli

Looking at me now, you’d think I was just like every other fifteen year old. I stand 5’5, my blue eyes shining brightly, a big smile on my face, but you’d be wrong, I’m not like everyone else my age, I self-injure, I cut, whatever you want to call it, but the point is, I’m in pain. Beneath my favourite hoodie are scars, and no matter how much I try to play pretend and act like I’m happy, I will always bear these scars, they’re part of me, they symbolise the battles that I’ve fought, and always will fight, I can remember exactly how it happened too, I was eleven, my world was finally falling into place, I had my best friends, and I had my boyfriend, until the day when I found out that my best friend had tried to commit suicide, and I didn’t know what to do, I’m not exactly sure what drove me to take that knife and put it to my skin, but I did, and from then on, cutting became my addiction, I found my little secret, something that I would always have, and I kept doing it, because I knew I could, I never had much self confidence to begin with, all of my life I’d been teased and tortured, ridiculed no matter how hard I tried to be exactly like everyone else, and that first slice, it release that pain, that suffering that I tried so hard to free. It’s like when you find that special something, that warm, comforting feeling washes over you, and nothing else matters. Every trouble, every pain, flowed out and I was free to be who I was, but then I made my first mistake, I showed my boyfriend, and I will never forget the tears in his eyes as he asked me what I’d done, and I just looked at him as he tried to hold me. The next day, I was called into my guidance counsellor’s office, she looked so grave, she asked me about it, and of course I panicked, this was my secret… This was my everything, they sent me away, and I cried, I begged and pleaded to give me a chance, but they wouldn’t listen, they locked me up in Crozer, and from then on, I kept my little secret all to myself, I stopped for about two weeks, letting everyone think that I was OK, but even the first day when I didn’t cut, I felt that pain, that anger building up inside of me again, I felt that passionate hatred for myself just bubble up inside me, but I didn’t cut, I wanted everyone to think I was OK, I tried to stop, I tried, but I didn’t, my boyfriend tried so hard to help me, and I pushed him away, everyone tried to stop me, but I was so set on hurting myself, that I didn’t realise I was hurting everyone around me. My boyfriend broke up with me, saying that I was making him too depressed, and that woke me up, I tried again to stop cutting, but to no avail, so I hid it more wisely, tucking myself deeper behind the mask, and one day, I woke to realise that, this image, this fake smile that I was hiding myself behind had become me… I was that fake smile… I started cutting more, using razors instead of kitchen knifes, in order to break away from that mask that was slowly taking over me. And then, I’m not quite sure why I just realised that this wasn’t the best thing for me, that I needed help, but before I could say anything to my teachers, my teachers caught me, they couldn’t do anything if I cut outside of school, but the one day, I was in art class, and we were working with X-acto’s and I couldn’t help but admire it, and wanted to cut, so I snuck one away, and cut in the bathroom. I told my teacher I had cut in school the day before, and she got me sent away again, and I didn’t care, until I saw my friends as I was walking out the door, and the pain in their eyes as they told me to get better was so heartbreaking, I tried to get better, but ended up failing, for my third time, cutting in the hospital with a screw that I found in my room, and I’ll admit, I’m not proud of what I’ve done, I’m not trying to sound like I expect some applause, but I want people to understand my side of the story, my perspective, I stopped for a while, learning to distract myself with writing or even just drawing, but I started up again, until I met my current boyfriend, (who is an ex-cutter), and with his, and my friends help, I’ve learnt that I do have people who care, I don’t need to cut, I’m not going to say that I’m completely over cutting, I’m getting better at fighting off the urges and the needs, but I’ve come a long way since that day in 7th grade, and no one should ever have to go through the things I did, no one should ever feel like I did, I’d just like to add, though I know it’s quite cliche, for anyone who’s thinking about self-injuring, I beg you not to, I’m telling you this from someone who’s been there, who’s felt the same exact way, and it’s not all fun and games. Please don’t travel the same road I have. It’s not worth it. And to anyone who is currently self-injuring, please, hold on, i promise it gets better, just have some faith.


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