self harm

‘If you date a girl, you’re going to hell.’ I broke her heart the instant the words escaped my lips.’: 14-year-old takes in cousin’s daughter as her own, helps her through homosexuality, self-harm, ‘We were always meant to be a family’

“She caught me by surprise. ‘What would you do if I dated a girl?’ I immediately told her, ‘If you date a girl, you’re going to hell.’ The instant the words escaped my lips, something else hit me harder than the fear of my child in hell. I broke her heart. I never thought my child would be gay. I began noticing small cuts on her arms. I was losing her. I would have risked anything for her to find herself and be happy.”

‘This picture was taken 2 hours before I was bullied in front of my entire school. They made a mockery of me.’: Teen stands up against bullying, ‘I cheered in front of them with a smile’

“Friday afternoon, a group of kids decided to embarrass me. It was my senior year pep rally, my senior cheer night. This was the day they decided to put me down. Even after standing up for myself, they continued on with their foolish comments. I couldn’t stop wondering, ‘Why me?’ Then, I realized I was asking the wrong question. ‘Why do it at all?’ It doesn’t matter that it was done to me, it matters that it happened. It’s unacceptable.”

‘I’ll shoot you up for the first time,’ the man I was sleeping with offered. I agreed. I lived a double life.’: 25-year-old overcomes prostitution to feed addiction, now manages sober living home for women

“She was a stripper, and she introduced me to the lifestyle. I was infatuated by it. Fast money, flashy life, and drugs galore. It wasn’t long before I started working as a dancer in the strip club, and my life took an even darker turn. I was in the bathroom doing lines of cocaine. She pulled out another bag of drugs that looked different. ‘It’s heroin. Do you want to try it?’ Biggest mistake of my life.”

‘Oh, it’s just my skin.’ I’d stare in the mirror, worrying how to look as pretty as the other girls.’: Young woman born with vitiligo skin condition develops eating disorder to look as good as her peers, finally learns ‘recovery is worth it’

“‘As soon as someone notices something is wrong, I will stop.’ I was waiting for the attention. Girls would run away from me because they did not want to ‘catch my disease.’ Every day, while throwing away my lunch in school, or doing sit-ups in my bedroom, I started to feel proud. I was 13, and weighed 60 pounds. Your passions cannot be accomplished if you are struggling yourself.”

‘At 13, there was blood on the counter, a strange calm on my mom’s face. She tried to get help.’: Woman candidly shares effects of mother’s suicide, reminds us ‘healing comes in waves’

“I’ve been to my mom’s grave twice. In 20 years. You won’t find a single photo of her in my home. I know this wasn’t her fault. It doesn’t change the effects her illnesses have had on me. None of it changes that her 60th birthday is not a birthday at all, because she is dead. I want to honor her, I really do. But I can’t face the woman who tried to break me.”

‘Your family is better off without you. You are incompetent, unworthy, and a failure.’: Mom experiences severe depression, says treating it doesn’t make you ‘weak’

“This wasn’t your regular mom-loses-her-crap-sometimes type of situation. I was completely defeated and demoralized. I would snap at them for almost no reason. My kids started apologizing every time they asked me a question because they were worried I was going to get upset for bothering me. I didn’t feel like I needed help. I was wrong.”

‘I stumbled on my dad’s porn. The girl was young, like me. In shock, I watched the man on TV do the things that happened to me.’: Child sexual abuse survivor says there’s always ‘light waiting to wrap you up’

“My dad went downstairs to get ready for work. When he didn’t come up, we figured he was asleep. At 9 a.m. my mom’s screams pierced every cell in my body. I turned the corner and saw his body. He was exposed, sitting in his chair in front of naked women running across TV, his lifeless eyes staring at the ground. ‘How could you die like this, dad?’ I tied his robe closed, called 911, and ran outside. My hero was not who I thought he was.”

‘I struggled with the thought of being in a hit and run. I’d have panic attacks. I was convinced any bump I hit was a person.’: Woman’s emotional battle with OCD, feeling ‘defeated,’ and how she’s calmed her anxieties

“I realized my issues were bigger than I could handle alone. I reached out for help. I found the therapist to be unprofessional and insensitive. I left the session crying and not wanting to go through that again. It’s extremely difficult opening up to a stranger and telling them the most vulnerable experiences you’ve had in your life. I felt defeated and overwhelmed.”

‘I sat there and cried, a shotgun in hand, my son in the next room. I was taken away in an ambulance while he slept.’: Woman overcomes suicide, years of addiction, says there’s ‘always possibility for change’

“He proposed. I thought marriage would fix my problems. 3 weeks before the wedding, I got fired, wrecked my car, and burned my foot to the 3rd degree. I couldn’t stay sober. That’s when he told me he couldn’t marry me and he cancelled the wedding. My attorney looked at me and told me I was looking at prison time. There was nothing more I could do.”

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