Michelle M


Copyright Michelle M

I can remember the exact day I started to self injure. It was May 15th, 1998, I was thirteen. I had already been hospitalised before this, and had learned of self injury thru other patients in the hospital I was at here in Northern Virginia. I had gotten into a huge fight with my father, and was at school, and I remember sitting with the counsellor and my dad in his office after I had run from school. I remember they stepped out of the room to talk, and I just I got the urge to hurt myself. I remember digging my nails into my skin and pulling up and seeing the exposed skin underneath, and some blood, and I don’t know, it was calming. I got put in the hospital that day, not because of that, but because of my erratic behavior. At that point once I went in there, I started rubbing off layers of skin on my thighs and arms with pens and erasers and so forth. It was calming, it was relief, and that was what I was looking for.

I was in that hospital for twenty-four days and they said they wanted to further treat my depression but my insurance wouldnt cover it, so I went to the sate run hospital, where I spent two months, it was where I first did an actual cut. And the only time I did harm myself there. I did well the rest of the time and got released. I was off and on with the cutting it wasn’t so bad the rest of my 8th grade year. 9th grade is when it got really bad though.

I started doing illegal stuff, getting in trouble, skipping class, doing drugs, drinking. At that point I started getting angry at myself all the time, for the things I did. I would take it out on myself. I started cutting with razors, which became my cutting impliment of choice. After I would get my anger out, it would then fade to depression which in turn would get me to hurt myself again, and so the harsh cycle began. I got to a point where I carried a razor in my wallet. I got figured out in 9th grade also. My teachers noticed blood on my sleeve one day, and so it began. I got sent to the hospital again. My 9th grade year, I was in and out of hopitals. I attempted suicide twice. One known of one not. Toward the end of the year, the county got involved with me. They determined I needed a residential setting, and my fathers insurance wouldn’t cover it, so my father signed custody of me over to the county.

I went into Graydon Manor July 5, 2000. I was unpleasent there, I did self injure some at the begining but didn’t get found out. I did well for the middle months up untill they started talking about my transfer to a step down facility. At that point I went home on a pass, and I snuck in a razor. I put six cuts on my left leg, I had to get thirty-one stitches. That of course set me back, but not for long. I was put in isolation, under heavy watch for about three weeks, then discharge to the step down facility began again. On april 18th, 2001 I was discharged to Sunrise 2.

I did well the first month at sunrise. But then something happened and triggered me, and I cut again. I got sent to a hospital for a week then discharged back to sunrises care. I cut one more time after that, but wasn’t sent to the hospital. After that last incident I decided to try to make a change. I promised myself I wouldnt self injure again. I got through the rest of the program, doing great. I was discharged, claimed healthy and OK to function on June 14, 2002.

I came home and did well, for the first month. Then I started doing crack in august 2002. I believe that related to me starting cutting again. In october, I started again. I was senior in high school about to turn eighteen. In november I stopped doing crack. But I continued cutting due to major depression that I had. December 1st I dropped out of high school. I had a rough month and on December 25 I took an overdose on sixty Advil. The next morning I woke up much to my dismay, so the following night I overdosed on seventy Tylenol. After waiting several days, I decided I should go to the doctor and see about my liver and stuff, so I did, I was admitted to a hospital here with liver damage. I was there for four days. December 31 to January 3 2003. I got let out without going to a psychiatric hospital. But within the month I was in the psych hospital due to another suicide attempt.

In this stay is when my dad decided to tell me that my mother (they have been divorced since I was four and she lived in California) had hepatitis C. I dealt with it OK, I suppose. I got out of the hopital within a week, enrolled back in school, and tried to go on with life. My mother told me she had plenty of time left. In march I dropped out of school again, and went to go get my GED. I did so and got a job, and decided to try to start my life as an ‘adult’.

Memorial day 2003, May 26th, I got a call from my grandpa at about noon. My mom had minor surgery, but due to her hepatitis she had internal bleeding and was in a coma. I remember that whole day vividly, and somehow I got through it without cutting. My friend and my boyfriend at the time and my dad where there with me all day. I remember at about 10:15 getting the call from my grandpa, telling me he had got there, that he had told her his goodbyes and mine, telling her I loved her, and then five minutes later she passed away. I didn’t know what to think or feel. But my friend and my boyfriend and my dad stayed with me all night. Summer wasn’t bad, I kept myself busy with work, and recreation drugs, my cutting was off and on, but in october I cut my wrist, and wond up in the hospital again. I got out within days, and then in December I wouldn up in the hosiptal again with liver damage from an OD of a hundred Tylenol. I got out. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and I had someone new move in to my apartment.

My cutting was off and on there but when I did it it was bad. I OD’d once on Benadryl, which landed me in a mental hopital because I was in pure hallucinations when cops picked me up from the food lion across from my apartment. I got out and mostly I just drank and smoked pot and partied it up. I moved home about a year a half ago. Since then my incidents have been about the same. Not to many, but when they are they are bad. I’ve wound up with stitches a couple times. Most of the time I got out of the psychiatric hospital because I didn’t have insurance. My last incident was about a month ago, when I cut my wrist again. I hope that it will be the last, but you never know honestly. All I can say is I’m just gonna try to take it one day at a time.


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