self harm

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘I regret this so much. I’ll never see my daughter again.’ My lips turned gray, my skin white. I faded out of consciousness.’: Woman urges ‘it will get better’ after survived suicide attempt, ‘Storms don’t last forever’

“I was always told, ‘You will never be anything.’ My family didn’t believe I was struggling. I was very good at hiding it. When it did show, they called it a ‘phase.’ I convinced myself no one would notice if I was dead. I had made my decision. Nobody could change my mind. In my bedroom, I wrote my goodbyes and I did it. I started going in and out of consciousness. I could see bright colors. My vision went blurry.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘You should feel lucky to be with me. No one else would love you.’ My first year of marriage wasn’t ‘rough.’ It was hell.’: Woman leaves ‘prince charming’ abuser to advocate for others, ‘I feel freer than I ever have in my life.’

“‘How much longer are you willing to live like this?’ My mind screamed. This CHRISTIAN counselor was introducing the option of me leaving my husband. ‘He is a narcissist. This won’t stop.’ He was driving extremely fast and irresponsibly down the highway. I was crying, begging him to stop. Then he’d take pride in being the one to ‘comfort’ me. I didn’t believe in divorce. What were my options? Lifelong suffering? It dawned on me – I was being treated horribly. I deserved so much better.”

‘You’ll never be anything, don’t bother with college.’ I was a ghost with a heartbeat. I wanted to fade into oblivion, ashamed of who I was.’: Young woman battles anorexia, urges others facing struggles to know, ‘You are your main priority’

“Before I could finish my sentence and inform my mother I have it, she rolled her eyes and stated, ‘Oh, is this the thing where they don’t eat? Pretty selfish really.’ I will never forget the moment she said, ‘I don’t want to do this just as your mom, I want to be your best friend.’ In this dark moment, I just stared at her. I felt nothing. ‘There is nothing you can do.’ I was so very, very, very wrong.”

‘She’s a size 5 now.’ Those words were spoken with delicacy, and met with silence. They’d call me ‘the big one’ of our friend group.’: Woman beats anorexia after almost ‘wasting away, dying,’ now inspires others to recover, ‘I’m not alone’

“Thanksgiving break in my sophomore year of college, something specific happened. To this day I can remember the horrible pain I felt that night. I was using diet pills, purging, self-harming. I was a mess. I told myself, ‘This is what you deserve.’ I was given an ultimatum. ‘Move home and go to treatment, or you’re on your own.’ Frightened, I listened.”

‘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.”

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