The story of the scars…

Posted: March 28, 2013 in growing stronger, self help, tough times
Tags: , ,

Okay so its been a while since I last wrote anything, been rather busy but here I am with a little something.

So on the 1st of March it was self harm awareness day, I wrote the words on my wrist “keep fighting” a few days later I got this tattooed on me. This is a constant reminder to me of just how far I have come. It is also a good way to explain to people a little about what self harm is.

I guess this blog is a little different to ones in the past, although like all others it has a positive message, I also want to go into some detail about the dark times in my life. I want to share with people exactly how crap I felt and the sorts of things I used to do. If you have read my blogs before you will know a little about what I went through but I think that I always skim over the self harm thing. I do talk quite openly about it in the sense that people know I used to self harm, but I still find it difficult at times to talk about things I did to myself.

I started self harming when I was 8 years old, it kinda just happened, it wasn’t something I had ever thought of before or even heard of. When I first started it was to heal some of the pain after I lost my dad but it happened by accident. I had hung my self in the school toilets and had the tie so tight around my neck that it cut it. When I came round after being cut down I felt the blood and it gave me a sense of relief. I didn’t understand it at the time but I know now that when you get a cut it sets off endorphins in your body a bit like a work out but much more painful. This was the beginning and no one questioned me about this act, so I knew no one would ask me if I started to cut.

When I first started to self harm, I just cut my arms when I was having a bad day, this would only be like one little cut and I would feel that sense of relief again. When I was in primary 7 at school (aged 10), I was sexually assaulted and this was something I blamed my self for. I didn’t speak to anyone about this and I coped with it by cutting a little more. I left primary school and I was probably cutting every other day, maybe a couple of times those days and the cuts were beginning to get deeper. I had been hiding this for now 3 years, I knew I was good at it and I knew that I could hide what ever I liked from people.

First year started and I began to misbehave in class to cover up my true feelings. I was cutting quite a lot by this point, not every day but probably every other day and I was trying to make the feeling last but it never did. The behaviour got worse and so did the self harm. I began getting detentions on a daily basis, often 3-4 a day. This was all part of the way to cover up what I was doing to myself.

In 3rd year i was in a big mess. I was cutting almost every day and the cuts were getting deeper and deeper. I was no longer feeling the same relief from these but I continued to cut. I started to do other things on top of it, I began to burn myself, I used to carry lighters about with me and I sat with the flame on my skin waiting till the pain set in. I would then use the burning hot metal and stick that on my skin.

I soon became unresponsive to the burning, I had to do more. One day I was very low and I snapped my finger in half. Looking back it kinda amazes me how I used to think up all these things and also the excuses along with them. On this occasion I went to hospital and I told them I had fallen over. They didn’t question me, had I became so good at lying about these things that even professionals were starting to believe it? Probably not, its more likely they didn’t want to know the truth as they would have to deal with it.

My friends had became aware of how I was feeling and had approached my guidance teacher with my planner that had a note in it saying how I felt, this also had blood on it as I had cut just before writing it. I was pulled up and I revealed for the first time what I was doing to myself. This didn’t do what i had expected, I felt so guilty that i had dumped this on someone that i went off and cut again, not only did I cut I banged my head off the concrete wall about 50 times. This was a new form of self harm for me. This soon wasn’t enough for me either, I began to take overdoses of ibuprofen. I split the lining of my stomach. This still wasn’t enough for me. I felt like i was sinking and i was never going to get back on track. At this time my guidance teacher announced she was retiring. I gave up. My behaviour became so bad, I couldn’t care less what they thought of me and I wanted them to know what I thought if them. I got an exclusion warning for swearing at a member of staff whilst telling her exactly how i felt. I then ended up getting excluded for swearing again, i didn’t say exactly what they teacher said i did but i did swear at him. Did i just blow everything? Did i just throw my whole life away? The answer to that at the time was probably yes. I had to do a lot of hard work to prove my self, allowing me to stay on at school. Even though my behaviour improved my self harming got worse. The end of 3rd year arrived and i was in such a bad place. I started drinking, I used to drink a half bottle of vodka a day and often anything else i could get my hands on. I had a local shop where i went to buy my supplies. The guy there became my friend, he was the one who allowed me to drink my pain away. I don’t know why but i never got drunk, no matter how much i drank, but you know what i do know is, that i thought drinking would solve all my problems.

I hit 4th year and I was cutting on a daily basis, several times a day. They were deep but they weren’t enough. I needed to still burn my self and hit my head off of things. I then began punching things. I broke several bones in my hands. This still wasn’t enough. I began hitting myself with a hammer. This made me feel better for a short time but again it soon wasn’t enough. At the end of my fourth year my behaviour began to slip a little, i got a detention from my year head after a shit morning. That was it for me, I couldn’t cope any more. I had had enough! That afternoon I took a lot of paracetamol. I ended up being hospitalised, I didn’t want to die, well I didn’t think i did i just wanted to ease the pain.

Looking back i guess i must have though about killing myself before doing it as otherwise i wouldn’t have done it, i may of just cut more or burned myself more but i didn’t. I think this was when people realised just how shit i felt. They started to see what was going on and i guess in a small way began to help me. Sitting my 4th year exams i was drinking the most i had been, but you know something i passed every single one of them and proved all my teachers wrong!

5th and 6th year at school were a lot smoother than the others but i was still harming myself daily. One day in 6th year I cut myself about 100 time just at school. I began getting ill, my asthma began to really flare up. I was having attacks on a daily basis. I stopped using my inhalers. I thought i could make myself so ill i would end up dead. I thought that i would no longer be a burden to all the people who i felt like i was dumping all my crap on.

I left school at the end of 6th year, pretending my life was going well. I had got a new job, started college and made on that even though all my support was dropped i would cope just fine on my own. This was all an act. I had no idea how i was going cope or how i was ever going to stop cutting. College found out about it because of school, so i didn’t have the chance of a fresh start.

I had been self harming for 10 years, i had had enough of what i was doing. I needed to make my dad proud. I needed to do something with my life. The 21st of june this year will mark 2 years of being self harm free. It controlled my life for so long. It made me who i am. I am not ashamed to show people my scars or tell them I self-harmed. Every single one of my scars tells a story. They will be with me for life. They do not show weakness, they show the strength i had to carry on.

If you self harm or know someone who self harms, it does get easier! You can get over this! You will beat it and you will go on and do great things with your life. Yes it took me time to get through it and it wasn’t easy, but with hard work and determination, it is possible!!!

Keep Fighting!

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