The stigma of self harm

I had a problem with stress when I was fifteen years old. On the surface, I was your ordinary teenager…loud, angry music on my MP3 and confusion about my sexuality taking up a proportion of my thoughts.

Part of me hates to stereotype teenagers, as this was one of the causes that lead to my self harm, but looking back – two months before my twentieth birthday – I can see that, during adolescence, we do have a tendency to over think problems and try to defy social norms unnecessarily.

Anyway, so – I started having this problem in year ten. Now that I think about it, the teachers at the time – who discovered my problem – did not act hastily enough. I had the chance to excessively mutilate myself before anyone forced me to have counseling.

So, I’m in mathematics – and I have forgotten to put my jumper on. I usually used a wrist band or a jumper to hide the marks, but today – focusing too hard on algebra – I have slipped. Her face drops, and I pretend like it’s nothing, and she says – taking in the thick, red marks

“Do you want some counseling?”

I walk out, to print off a sheet, and we don’t discuss it again.

That year, my first girlfriend had broken up with me. And I have been put into a lower mathematics and English class..I guess it’s safe to say that I felt hopeless. Up until this point, I had no mental issues…but I learned this behavior from a girl down my street.

She has short, boyish hair and a range of learning difficulties… ADHD and Autism, to name a few.

I was her friend because my extreme views were not so abnormal to her, and we were both judged on face value by our peers and teachers. So she watches movies like Saw, and Hostel…where as I had previously been too girly to entertain horror movies.

I don’t know if you have ever watched any of the Saw movies, but one of the characters self harms…this is just another example that teenagers should NOT BE ALLOWED to do anything labelled ’18’ – like drinking, smoking and watching R rated movies…but, in England especially, I find that people are WAY TOO LAID BACK ABOUT THESE THINGS!

So now I’m nearly twenty, and I am at university. And – whenever I have a relationship, my partner sees my scars and makes an excuse to back off…they say things like ‘You’ve got issues’ or ‘There so ugly’.

I suppose that I see my scars as a mistake…the way some kids get pregnant at 15, or get a tattoo, or start taking marijuana… How I will ever wear a short – sleeved T – shirt and not be asked ‘Who did that?’. When does a recovered mental patient get to be treated like everyone else?

I do know that I wish I could go back, to the day I knocked my childhood sweet hearts door, and turn away.

I do know that I wish I had said to my maths teacher ‘Yes, lock me away! Please – I feel so much uglier and worthless than I am.’

Signed, the truth about journalism. If any of you want to discuss this topic further, comment and I will message you. If you are currently having a problem with it (the subject matter) – please, stop. Get help. Maybe you can look back one day, like me, and say that it was a phase.

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