self harm

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘I remember blood all over the counter, a calm look on my mom’s face. At 13, she sent me to get bandages for her ‘accidental’ cut.’: Woman shares healing journey after mother’s suicide

“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.”

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