Saturday, March 12, 2016

Teenage Self Harm

I promised I would talk to you about my most vulnerable subject... self harm. 

I don't want to tell you what I did or used because it worries me who can read this and in no way do I want to give a vulnerable person harmful thoughts or ideas. Instead I want to sum up the experience.

I was a very confused teenager full of hormones and emotions and was being bullied at school. I felt very numb but also randomly tearful as well as being able to have a really good laugh and be very happy. I put on a really good front sometimes. When I felt low it was so low and emotion disappeared until I was numb inside and out. I can't quite remember why or when but I started to self harm but roughly it was around the age of 13 and I stopped before I was 17.

I always did it at home, usually in the bath because I knew no one would just walk in. I don't know why I did it at home because home was the place I felt safest with the two people I loved the most. The two people I should have talked to rather than harming myself. The two people that always listened, cuddled me, loved me and helped me. But I didn't know what was wrong to talk about it and instead it had come to this. 

What I did should have been very painful but I felt nothing at all physically. It did help me to cry when I couldn't let it out but I didn't cry in pain. It felt good to get the tears out but was a very surreal experience each time I did it.

I then had to hide it. I had marks on my chest and the top of my thighs that I could hide under clothes but had to be careful getting out of the bath, getting changed for P.E and what tops I wore. I was very aware that they needed to be hidden but eventually I showed or told a small number of people.

I remember being in P.E one day and forgetting that I had marks on my chest and taking my top off. A few girls noticed and I realised and quickly covered it up. I could hear them gossiping and from that point I started to cover them in makeup which made the marks sting. I'm lucky I never had an infection and I don't have lasting marks. They used to show for a few years after as white lines when I got a tan but have now faded.

After a couple of years I stopped. I remember that I'd stopped for a while and felt a lot happier. For some reason I decided that because it had been so long I was going to do it again just to see whether I could or not. I was very nervous because I knew it would hurt and it made me cringe thinking what I was about to do. I'd never felt like that before I'd just done it. As soon as I made the first mark it really hurt like it should have always done. It was like a burning papercut and made me yelp. I couldn't believe I'd done that before or been able to. It really stung afterwards and while healing and I hadn't noticed that before either. Only when perfume had gone into it or when I covered it in the makeup and it was still fresh. I don't know why I'd not been able to feel it before but I knew I'd never do it again.

Much love,

Becky xx


Marie Keen said...

Hi Sweetie
Two words. Courage, strength. It took a lot of courage to speak about something that affected you so deeply. You are also one of the strongest people I know. It takes a lot of inner strength and determination to fight depression. My heart is with you sweetie. xxxx

Becky said...

Thank you so much. I didn't go fully into it because I just couldn't. But I'm sure people understand that as much as I want to talk about mental health that I need to think of my own mental health and not push myself too far. This was far enough for now on this topic and I'll challenge it further another time :D xxxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have never self harmed but some of the people closest to me have. Amongst others close to me my husband use to do it, it was a long time ago before I knew him and though he didn't go into detail about where he did it, or how he described a situation in school very much like your own. He didn't tell anyone but knew he shouldn't be doing it and somehow managed to stop on his own. I didn't push him for more details, I felt grateful that our relationship is strong enough that he felt able to tell me about it at all. Your words have really helped me to understand why some people feel they have to hurt themselves.

Becky said...

I'm really glad he could open up to you. There is a shame around it but its almost uncontrollable. Later in life I was told by a GP that is was 'a common teen phase' but then I have heard stories from a lot of adults that do it. I can't believe the GP dismissed it like that. it shows just how much people need to talk about mental health. thank you for this xx