Self Harm: My Story

I remember being in my early teenage years and feeling sick and tired of the pain that I was suffering at the hands of someone that cared about – along with his friends to back him up.  I’d already had others who had hurt me.  There had already been a number of times when I’d wanted to die.  And my self-esteem was already at a low.

All of those factors probably contributed to that one moment, when I grabbed the first sharp object that I could find in a bid to ease the pain. I took the jagged key in my hand and raised it to my arm, tearing it through my skin to reveal red, raised marks.  It didn’t do much damage and I was only left with a few basic scratches, but the release in that moment felt great and I found myself eventually smiling through the tears.

Decreasing confidence, lowering self-esteem and increased sensitivity left me vulnerable, which led to me cutting whenever I felt really hurt and angry.  It was like I was letting out all of those negative emotions on myself, as I felt a great sense of relief in those few minutes.  In my desperation, I would grab whatever I could – I was willing to run the risk of blood poisoning by using a rusty nail to create the scars I needed to badly.

However, I felt that I needed to create deeper and more prominent scars, so I began using scissors and a utility knife to get it done.  I had to see white flesh and oozing red blood to feel that I was self-harming properly, as there were times when it felt that it was the only thing I could get right.

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In the moment, cutting my arm felt so good and I could feel the release of emotional anguish.  However, my scars soon felt sore and all I could think about was the cause of those scars, which had the ability of making me feel worse.  I didn’t want to tell anyone though, so I would suffer in silence and try to cover up my arms with long sleeves, but it could not escape my sister’s sharp eyes.

My sister eventually confronted me and I assured her that I would stop, but I had no right to assure her of anything.  Although I would stop for a while (and also make myself believe that I had stopped), I would eventually start the cutting process all over again.

My scars would get lower and lower down my arm, eventually reaching the wrist area.  I was comfortable with cutting on my shoulder, so I don’t know why I started to cut on my lower arm – perhaps it was my way of making a cry for help.  Nevertheless, the time came when I was finally able to see that I needed help and I actually wanted to get help, so I went to see a counsellor.  It was good for me to talk things through and get to the root of some of my problems, as it went a lot deeper than self-harm.

After a period of years of self-harming, I eventually did stop a few years back, despite getting the urge to do it every now and again.  However, I no longer get those feelings and self-harm is definitely not an option anymore.  Sometimes I want to throw things or punch a wall or smash plates, but I never want to intentionally harm myself.  I am happier within myself and most of all, I have God on my side –  I know that if it wasn’t for Him in my life, I would definitely still be self-harming.

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Initially, I did not want to share my story; in fact, there was no way that I wanted to admit that I self-harm and it was always something that I shied away from, because I was too ashamed and afraid of what everyone would think or say.  So many individuals look down on those who self-harm and treat them as if they are stupid, which comes down to a lack of understanding.  However, at the end of the day, self-harm happens and we need to acknowledge it so that others will come forward to get help.

I can stand and say that I am a previous self-harmer, who continues to struggle with the issue of low self-esteem, and I want others to know that they are not alone.  I just hope that by telling my story, it will encourage at least one person to tell theirs or get the help that they need.

11 thoughts on “Self Harm: My Story

  1. Shaniqua Marie August 1, 2014 / 21:41

    Reblogged this on Inside My Head and commented:

    This is the hardest post I think I’ve ever had to right, but I’m proud of myself for finally having the courage.

    • jimdcat August 1, 2014 / 22:10

      ThkQ for Ur vulnerability. For 50 years I was one who looked down upon those who were “messed up”, who drank too much, did drugs, and just couldn’t control their lives. (like I did) Then life put me into a place that I became “one of those people”. I finally had to stop living in denial and find The Real Me. I could no longer pretend. I had to stop hiding my secrets and seek healing.

      My motto is: “A secret shared in a safe place with a safe person becomes less than half as heavy”. As I revealed my secrets and discovered who I really am, I also discovered Who God Really Is.
      Thank You for allowing us to take this next step with you!! U’re AMAZING!

      Watch for those who respond to Ur honesty and let U know – “Me too” They’ve been waiting for someone to show them how.

  2. jimdcat August 1, 2014 / 22:07

    ThkQ for Ur vulnerability. For 50 years I was one who looked down upon those who were ” messed up”, who drank too much, did drugs, and just couldn’t control their lives. (like I did) Then life put me into a place that I became “one of those people”. I finally had to stop living in denial and find The Real Me. I could no longer pretend. I had to stop hiding my secrets and seek healing.

    My motto is: “A secret shared in a safe place with a safe person becomes less than half as heavy”. As I revealed my secrets and discovered who I really am, I also discovered Who God Really Is.
    Thank You for allowing us to take this next step with you!! U’re AMAZING!

    Watch for those who respond to Ur honesty and let U know – “Me too” They’ve been waiting for someone to show them how.

    • Shaniqua Marie August 2, 2014 / 21:16

      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I appreciate you sharing your experience and I’m glad that you were able to find the real you.

  3. Phoenix The Rebirth August 1, 2014 / 22:32

    Thank you for finding the courage and strength within your self to write and share this with others. I too used to self harm as a teenage and parts of my early young adulthood and definitely could resonate with a lot of things you mentioned. You are strong you are beautiful continue to shine. -Phoenix

    • Shaniqua Marie August 2, 2014 / 21:18

      I appreciate your encouragement and support, and I want to thank you for sharing your experience. Knowing that I am not alone always makes things a little better. Thank you for your lovely words and I want to wish you all the best.

  4. elyseann August 29, 2014 / 00:23

    God loves you no matter where you’ve been and no matter what you are going through, and no matter where you are going!

    Jesus didn’t just die for the ones who could handle life (which by the way no one can handle life – we need God for that) but Jesus died for every person that has ever lived, is living now, and whoever will live, regardless of who they are! Jesus didn’t receive victory by dying on the cross for the ones who had it all together because no one has it all together. He got the victory by dying for the lost, the hurt, the broken, the “messed up” people, and He did it all because He loves us with a love that is unconditional and amazing!

    Your boldness in sharing your story is inspiring. It is so hard to seek help when you are feeling in a place that is so low. It’s hard to risk vulnerability and to share something that hurts that much. And it’s one of the worst feelings when people just don’t get you.

    Your bravery is commendable and encouraging! Thank you for taking that big leap of faith. With God I know you will keep going strong and building up your self-esteem day by day! I, a fellow struggler, am praying for you. You are so right we are not alone!

    • Shaniqua Marie August 29, 2014 / 15:49

      Thank you so much for your amazing words of encouragement and your prayers. It means a lot to read things like this.

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