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  1. How it all began

    Can anyone remember the first time they started to SI?

    I can. I was 15 and kept very much to myself. I struggled with being overweight, but it wasn't until that year that it really began to inhibit my personality. I had been overweight since starting school at age five and had always been very active in sports. I was a tomboy for a long time. Then things slowly changed as I hit the teen years. For the most part, I wouldn't do much other than fight with my parents and keep to myself in my bedroom. I longed to just feel 'normal', whatever that was. I began writing a lot of poetry and started reading a lot of message boards online concerning eating disorders. I took up being bulimic. One morning after having stayed up most the night talking to a boyfriend on the phone, my brother woke up to get ready for school in the room next to mine and left his radio blarring while he went to take a shower. I broke. I started yelling.
    I went storming into his bedroom, yanked it out of the wall and drug the radio by the cord upstairs and across the house to the bathroom and threw it at the door. I was so enraged I ran back to my bedroom and was so upset that I took a pair of scissors and began what started to be my little secret, what kept me together when I felt I was falling apart.
    I felt invinsible when I cut. I always had to some degree, social anxiety, though nothing more than a typical teenager exhibits.
    Now, when I went to the mall with my best friend, nothing phased me. Not the fact that she was perfectly thin and could eat whatever she wished, not the fact that all the guys looked at her and I was invisible, nothing. I felt on top of the world when I went out with whom ever it may be, feeling those cuts there, rubbing on my clothes, knowing that no one could hurt me as much as I hurt myself. I continued throwing up after I ate, and also started taking large amounts of OTC pain killers for no reason. I looked forward to when I was alone in my room and could take out my kit and feel the release, the high I got from cutting. Then it all stopped. I decided to move about an hour away from my parents and be a live-in nanny for a family. I knew I couldn't take all of that with me. I couldn't risk the family finding out and telling my parents. The day before I left, I threw away my kit. I was done with it and I didn't look back.

    I decided I enjoyed writing so much that I was going to write a novel on teenage 'addictions' and releases from SI, to eating disorders, to promiscuity, to suicide, to drugs and alcohol. I began the research phase of my novel by collecting all of the poetry and thoughts, conversations, etc. I could find about these topics. When I wasn't doing my nanny job I was working on my novel. My nanny job lasted about three months when one weekend when I was home visiting my family the mother called and talked to my mother and the next thing I know I getting asked questions like 'Do you want to kill yourself? Are you suicidal?' and I was moving out of the nanny house. I explained to everyone that there was no need to worry, that it was all just research for my novel that I was writing about these topics, and had nothing to do with me personally. It scared the family I was working for too much having found and read one of the poems, but my parents were convinced that I wasn't depressed nor suicidal and let me go on my merry way.

    I moved back down to the city where I grew up and where my parents lived, but began renting an apartment instead of living with them. I had just turned 16, gotten my GED, and it was summer. I worked at night to pay rent and wrote in the mornings and slept in the afternoon. I lost a lot of weight very quickly in the span of a few months. Mostly from what I can gather because I was exercising so much.

    I was a new person come October. All of the sudden I wasn't invisible anymore. People noticed me, men looked at me. I had a real boyfriend. I fell in love. I lost my virginity. My mother suddenly died a few days after Christmas. My world turned upside down. Now I was suddenly forced to get a grip. I found myself walking to the funeral home before we were to all go in and 'view' my mother, asking to see her to make sure she looked right so as not to further shock my younger siblings. Now, after watching her put on her make up for so many years, here I was putting on her make up as she lied motionless in her favorite dress, parting her hair the way she had always done. Falling apart all alone and getting myself back together before my family walked in.

    I moved out of my apartment in town to an apartment down the road from my father and the kids, so I could be closer to them. I broke up with my boyfriend, he couldn't understand what this loss meant to me, he couldn't understand how I just couldn't 'be strong'. I began working 16 hour days without a day off for weeks on end. I started meeting guys. I started having sex with people I had only known for a day. I didn't feel guilty. I didn't feel attached to them. I didn't even feel 'slutty' or dirty about it. I just felt like I wanted to have fun.

    I moved across the country. I started to 'behave'. I met a wonderful man I don't deserve and got married. I turned 21, I started college. I haven't cut since I first stopped several years ago. I don't really do much of anything abnormal anymore. One thing I do do is wonder how I can have what seemed like such a messed up adolescence and seem rather 'normal' now. I miss my mother. I don't know how to get over that void I feel in my life by not having her. I wish I could hear someone else's point of view on my life. Finals are this week and I have to write a paper for my psyc course on adolescent psychology and self injury. I don't even know where to start...

  2. #2

    how it all began

    No, I don't remember. I know I was doing it before I turned 10 years old. I'm not sure when or how it started. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to stop.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry about your mother.

  3. #3

    how it all began

    [knowing that no one could hurt me as much as I hurt myself.]

    Wow...that is exactly how I have been feeling but I have never been able to put it into words...thank you so much for putting that into words for me...it was interesting reading your story b/c it sounds very much like mine except I haven't been able to stop...I started cutting at 17 (just a year ago)...like you I just got very very upset and grabbed something sharp and started and it was all down hill from there...
    Good luck w/ your paper...
    Kels
    Ps. did you finish your novel?
    How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes.

  4. how it all began

    No I haven't finished my novel, yet. It's called "Expressions that share the same secret"

  5. #5

    how it all began

    I don't remember when I started it but I do know that when I was 7 I was sent to a child psychologist partly because I was doing it.

    Your post really touched me, there was something about it, so I had to reply.

    Heather...

  6. how it all began

    I was seven when I started. I had a lot going on then for being so young and it only seemed to snowball from there. My mother was never around when I was young and I spent most of my time floating between other family members. Some of which only made things worse for me. Then my mother married a wealthy man and I moved in with them. Only she didn't have the right stuff for being a parent and he had no experience with children, especially not ones that had been through some of the things I had by that time.

    They started having their own children and I started spending a lot of time in various 'programs'. My mom constantly told lies to my therapists about what I was and wasn't doing....as if I didn't have enough problems to talk about without her trying to make it sound even worse. Then I met a therapist at a residential facility 2 hours from home who changed my life. I didn't stop cutting at that point, but I think my encounter with him really started the healing process for me. At the age of 15, he was the first person that believed I would become something special, that I had worth, that I had value. I suppose spending enough time around him made his ideas rub off on me a little.

    When I returned home I began to sing in public, I wrote a lot of poetry and, like you, started a book. I began to find myself, but I still wasn't 'normal' and I never thought I would find a way to unbreak my heart so that I could make an attempt at happiness. I got married, he was less than humane as a spouse, I had a daughter, I got divorced. Life always seems to improve a whole bunch and then all of my progress seems to disappear right out from under me. But you have to press on.

    I have not cut in 3 years, and it is an almost daily struggle not to, but it has gotten easier with time. I have met a wonderful man who loves my daughter and thinks my scars are a symbol of strength not weakness. Life does get better and I am not certain exactly how the SI ended or what precisely was the end for me, but I do know that keeping your eyes forward and your feet moving will get you out of the darkness eventually.
    Dwelling in the past only makes it harder to exploit the future.

  7. how it all began

    Thank you for sharing your story. This might sound weird but it helped me a little bit. I like reading peoples success stories. Congradulations.

  8. #8

    how it all began

    I agree with kels... i've never really been able to put it into words but that just fits... my first time was about 8 weeks ago, maybe longer i can't remember exactly and i havent been able to stop- i stopped for a couple of weeks a couple of weeks ago then started up again... good luck w/ the paper

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