Hi. My name is Audrey and I’m fourteen years old. And for the last four years I have been struggling with depression and self harm.
When I was ten, I would just start crying randomly. And I never understood why. But then I got a little older and started being bullied and it made me really sad. Like I couldn’t understand why they didn’t like me. I started to realize that I liked girls but I never told anyone, in fear of being bullied farther. I started to be abused, at home and school, at eleven. It was tough. I never understood why everyone hated me. Then I moved and I met my first serious boyfriend. We dated for a long while and he made me really happy. But then when we broke up, I found out he had been cheating on me for three months of our six month relationship. The bullying that had been going on started to get worse after he told everyone I sucked him off, which I didn’t. I started cutting, one because of the bullying, and two, because he had broken my heart. It was stupid, I know, but I still did it. Cutting became a normal thing, even part of my routine. I would shower and do a little cut here and then before bed, I’d do a little cut there. They were never deep or long. I lost a lot of friends that year. The next year I got into middle school, and it was different. I had friends and people who seemed to care. My aunt and cousin moved in with me and me and him went to the same school. Then the bullies realized that I still went here and it started again. Ugly, fat, slut, whore, cutter, bitch, cunt. Those don’t even start the list of what they would call me. I would cry on the bus and after school almost daily. Then my aunt met her boyfriend, Geno, and she got knocked up. A few months after she got pregnant, he molested me. This was a year and a half ago. I didn’t tell an adult until a few weeks ago. He was dealing drugs and would constantly be around me, and the baby, high. No one understood why I was so uncomfortable around him. Why I never met his eyes or looked at him in general. My aunt didn’t believe me when I told. She called me a lying whore who just wanted to break apart their family. That I just wanted Geno to myself. That I was always jealous of their relationship. That I hated him because he was black. That I never liked him, which is true. I never did. He would always look at me in a way that I would look at someone I wanted to be with. That I could see rolling around in the sheets with. I never liked it. I never liked him. I got my first girlfriend a week after I relapsed from cutting for the fifth time. She made me stop. She doesn’t know that she did though. But she did. I stopped hurting myself, considering suicide, smoking, and drinking for her. I stopped for her. She has saved my life and she will probably never know it. But I will always love her for that.
I’ve survived this far and I plan on surviving for as long as possible. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
This is Michelle from what was the Reasons to Live project. I’m ready to start up my work with it again, so please feel free to message or submit. I hope those of you who are still active are doing alright, and if you’re not, send a shout!
I’m Hanna and I’m 14. I get straight A’s, and am know to most as happy, hyper, cheerful, etc, but they only think they know me.
No one knows the full story, but here is most of it: Earlier this year, I went through a tough time. I wish I had something traumatic to blame it on, but it was really just my own self-pity. I felt that I would never be good enough to do anything, and I seriously considered self-harm, bulimia, anorexia, and later suicide. I had gone through a couple months the summer before where I just stopped eating to get a “good” body. But this time, all that I ever really did was cutting.
I finally got up the nerve to tell my good friend at the time, who instead of reacting, showed me her scars and cuts. I became even more emotionally unstable. I finally told my other friend who felt bad, but she didn’t understand, and I didn’t really expect her too. I had gone way too far.
I kept this up for a couple months, when one day I woke up after another countless night of falling asleep crying and bleeding. I then realized that nothing I was doing was helping me, and that I was only hurting myself, and the ones around me. I stopped cutting, and since then have only relapsed once.
I am proud to be a survivor.
I was a lucky kid. I had wonderful parents, lived in the country, and was encouraged to be whoever I wanted to be. The kids at school didn’t like that. I never fit in properly with society. No real social skills and a math/science wiz… many people now think I may be mildly autistic. Not that the labels matter. Thay really don’t. They limit what you think of yourself and what others think of you. Not the point.
Anyway, the first person to really like me was a boy. I was only 13 and he only 15, but I was head-over-heals in love. He was magical. He was always happy and could make anyone else happy too. And when I cut myself and told him over the phone that I had contemplated suicide he freaked out at me. He said he would not have that conversation with me. It was unthinkable and unspeakable. Four months later he hung himself. The last thing he said to me was that he just wanted to be ‘normal’, and that he had tried to hang himself the night before. Writing this today, almost 12 years later I still miss him. And I still have never meet anyone so.. special. It took me a decade to forgive myself for not somehow stopping him from doing it. So many years I spent with a guilty conscience for no good reason. Those years I spent “spinning my wheels” so to speak, trying to ‘save’ everyone I came in contact with in any way possible. And because of that I neglected myself time after time.
We all have our tales of woe. The important thing is to remember you are not alone. Things will happen in your life that are painful and difficult. But things can be magical and beautiful too… it all depends on where you look and how you decide to see it.
And remember, if you were always happy, then you would never truely but happy at all. Without downs we can never really have ups. So cry and scream when you need to, it is okay. Your feelings are valid, no matter what anyone says, even yourself. And when your tears all run out, try a fake smile in the mirror, then laugh at how a smile looks on a tear stroked face and do something for YOU. Today. Every day. We all deserve to be loved and the best way is to learn to love yourself, despite what you think are your flaws, and love that you are an individual. Dr. Seuss can never be wrong, after all, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”