It started at the end of July 1999 when my mom told me that we would not be going on our annual vacation. We had been going there for over 14 years—before I was born. I was about to cry as my mom broke the news to me because it was something that I always looked forward to. I guess I finally blew my fuse; I was angry, sad, and stressed out over the tremendous amount of homework we had been assigned over the summer.
I had seen a girl my age on a television show cut herself to take out her anger and sadness. Ever since, I had been contemplating whether I should try it. I decided that now was the time, so when I got home, I went to the bathroom, grabbed my razor, and as I held it to my arm, I got very scared. What was I doing? Was I sure that I wanted to do this? Yes, yes, I was fine with it, as long as it made me feel better. So I made several cuts on my arm, but not very deep. Some blood came out, and once I was satisfied with the amount of cuts, I put my razor back, looked at my arm, and oddly enough I began to smile. I hadn't thought that this method was going to help as much as it did. This was a great idea, and I decided that I would use it from then on instead of crying or yelling.
My family and friends began to notice the cuts as they appeared more often and asked where they came from. I told them they were from my friend's pool, when my arm had scratched up against it, and I think they believed it for a while. Then my mom became very suspicious. She came into my room one morning, saw my freshly cut arm, then said, "You are cutting yourself, aren't you?" Her tone was so sad, it almost made me want to cry, but I quickly hid my arm and looked in another direction. Then she left my room with a melancholy look on her face, and I knew what she was about to do; she had figured out my secret, and now dad had to be told. This was getting horrible.
My dad called me into his room saying that he needed to talk to me. As I walked in, I passed my brother's room and saw him sitting on his bed with his head hanging down in a sad manner. He knew. I sat down with my dad, and he began talking to me about my cutting, asking why I did it, and saying how much he and the rest of my family cared about me, and would do anything as long I didn't hurt myself. I kept my eyes on the ground, but as his voice started to crack, I glanced up and saw my dad crying. At this sight, my throat went dry and all I could do was look at him and think how sorry I was that I was getting my family into this mess. My mom told my pediatrician about my problem, and she recommended that I see a psychologist, which was arranged quickly.
I went to a psychologist from the end of August until December, which was when I started having suicidal thoughts. I would get so depressed that I would search through all of the medicine cabinets for pills to overdose with, but fortunately, my mom had already hidden them, just in case something like this ever came up. I was very lucky to have one of my best friends there for me one time when I wanted to end my life, and just by being there and listening to me, she saved my life that night, and I can never repay her for that.
After a while, I couldn't hold my suicidal thoughts inside, so I told my mom how I was feeling. She said it was okay, and she would talk to my psychologist. They decided that they wanted to medicate me, but I couldn't get an appointment with a psychiatrist until after winter break (not soon enough). To get me on medication, my parents and psychologist put me in a hospital day program, which was the last thing I wanted to do.
I was only at the hospital for four days, but it was like eternity. I went from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. every weekday, then would go to my room and cry every night. It was horrible. We had goals, group discussions, activities that were made for five year olds, study hall, exercises, and lunch at the hospital. Group discussions and activities were the worst for me. I felt lame doing the games and discussing my problems in front of a group was worse. I got on Prozac after a few days, and luckily I was dismissed sooner than I planned. The deal was that I had to see my psychologist every week, my new psychiatrist every month, tell my mom when I had suicidal thoughts, and take medicine. I agreed.
After winter break, I found out that while I had been in the hospital, somebody at school (who I'm pretty sure was a teacher) spread around that I had been in the hospital for suicidal thoughts and cutting. The whole middle school knew about it. I will never forget when a sixth grader ran past me and shouted, "Hey! I hear you burn yourself!" I almost burst into tears right there. These remarks were made several times, and from then on, people treated me differently and were extra careful about what they said to me. This made me feel very alienated and that made things even worse.
A couple of weeks into January, I got busted for shoplifting two packs of cigarettes. I had to go to juvenile court and luckily only had to write a paper and attend a session about shoplifting. My parents were very disappointed in me, and they had to pay two hundred dollars for my actions. I felt terrible for putting them through all of this. Slowly, my shoplifting tendencies stopped, and around June, it was done. I never shoplifted again, and I'm very proud of that.
It has now been a little over a year since I began cutting myself. I have scars on my arms, hands, and ankles, but I am getting better every day. I see my psychologist every other week and my psychiatrist every three months. I am still on medication, and I think it has helped. I'm very thankful that I have such a loving and supportive family and wonderful friends who are always there for me. I still struggle with cutting and occasional suicidal thoughts, but I know that it will take some time to overcome all of this, and someday, I will be free of this pain and lead a successful life filled with happiness and love.