Thinking for myself
It all started about the end of first year, I was thirteen years old. At the time, at school, my friends and the people I hung around were the people I had known all my life. In this group of about twelve, there was a girl who everybody liked. We all wanted to be like her. We followed her everywhere and did only as she did. Slowly, I began to think for myself. I am a quite a shy person at school and tend to let others push me around, so nobody really noticed that I wasn’t there anymore. It was like I didn’t exist to them. They didn’t include me in anything. There were days when not one person would even say a single word to me. And there was no real explanation for it. I just assume it was because I didn’t do everything they did anymore.
Three of the girls in my group were also in my roll call class. Every morning I would go into the roll call classroom and sit down. We sit in twos so when the three girls came in they would run around the room and fight over who didn’t have to sit next to me. And then what was worse was they just acted like it didn’t happen. One day I just broke down in tears and then they wondered what was wrong with me.
At this time, home wasn’t much better. My step-brother and his girlfriend had just moved in with us and they were always fighting. They have a son so it was even worse. Eventually they moved into a house of their own but they were just down the road so it was a rare moment when we weren’t with them.
Time passed and my brother and his girlfriend split up which was definitely a good thing, but they had a huge fight and she wouldn’t let him see their son. Things got messy with AVO’s and custody orders and went to court.
I also have a step-sister. My parents and she don’t exactly have the best history. In fact the first memory I even have is of her and my dad fighting. I was about three years old; my mum was trying to get my little sister and me out of the house so we didn’t have to listen to the constant screaming. When she was younger she caused a lot of trouble for both my mum and my dad. I was convinced that my dad thought I was turning into her.
Bottling things up
With all this going on, I didn’t know how to cope. I started self -harming. Anything that happened no matter how minor made me lose control and self-harm. It was becoming uncontrollable. It was a temporary release from stress, and all the pain, hurt, anger, sadness and loneliness I was feeling inside. All the emotions in me just kept building up; I didn’t talk to anyone about anything. I bottled it all up which was a bad mistake. Every night I would silently cry myself to sleep.
For a while I was feeling so bad I was seriously considering suicide. Life at that time, I felt, just wasn’t worth living. Fortunately I managed to convince myself out of it. But I still had the continual feelings of loneliness and sadness.
I had to tell someone.
I went to see the school counsellor with my friend, but I didn’t like her and she didn’t really help me so I never went back.
Then I told my aunty. She was really supportive of me and tried to help. It was hard for her because we live far away from each other, so we were just speaking over the internet. She promised me she wouldn’t tell anyone.
A broken promise
One night the phone rang. My mum answered, it was my aunty, and she asked to speak to me. I knew what it would be about so I took it in another room. She told me she was going to tell my parents, that she couldn’t handle it. She told me sometimes at night she was so worried about me that she couldn’t sleep. She said that they needed to know, that it was for the best. I was crying and in hysterics. I begged and pleaded with her not to tell them but she had her mind set. I couldn’t stop her.
When my parents found out, it was really hard to take for both of them. They had no idea that anything was going on. I didn’t let myself show my true emotions around them because I knew they wouldn’t understand. And to this day I still don’t think they truly do or every will. They were both in tears, hugging me and asking me why. I was so angry at my aunty for telling them. I knew they were disappointed because I hadn’t told them. But that’s what I thought was for the best.
The next morning, first thing, my mum rang the doctor, he referred me to a psychologist, and her name was Kate.
The first session was very emotional because I had to talk about everything that was going on. I found it very difficult to do this with a complete stranger. But as I got to know her I found she was really nice.
I saw Kate for about seven months. Over that period of time she helped me a lot. She taught me different techniques to try and stop self-harming, most of them didn’t work until we did visualisations. These were the most effective for me.
Now I understand why my aunty told my parents. I have forgiven her for breaking her promise. It really was for the best.
Today I’m finished with self-harm; I have to live with the scars, but I’m ok with that. They remind me of my past. It didn’t kill me, so I’m stronger for it. Now I take every day as it comes, I try to live life to the fullest and I love it.
If you ever have a problem, don’t be scared to ask for help. There will always be someone there for you.