Self-Harm

My story

Self-Harm

Their Perception vs My Reality

Harming myself was part of my life from a young age, despite what my mother believed. I remember cutting myself with a piece of glass to feel the blood running down my arm. They tell me stories of riding a big wheel through the house and off the porch, into rose bushes full of thorns. Yet, my mom blamed everyone else for my self-harm during middle school. My friends, my music, the shows I watched, and pretty much anything I did or liked was another reason for blame.

My hair wasn't normal enough. My clothes weren't nice enough. My music was too depressing or violent. My friend's were putting thoughts in my head. I didn't dance in the right way. It got to the point I felt that my family was ashamed of me. In a way, I was right.

Bullies Everywhere

They would remind me how my behavior and life choices reflected on them. They told me I had nothing to be depressed about. Called me conceited when I wanted to live with my father. They would leave me behind when they went to town. Basically, isolating myself turned into being left behind.

At school, I was bullied, called a Gothic bitch, trailer trash, skank, slut, and whatever other cruel thing they could come up with. I had people block my path, throw my books on the floor, spread rumors, and threats of violence. I lashed out. I began yelling at people, throwing desks, pinning people to the wall and scaring the shit out of them with words. People stopped messing with me. Crowds would part as I walked through the halls, everyone knew me by name.

I wore hoodies with holes in the cuffs for my thumbs, this hid my cuts from the world. You see, I hated the person I was. I hated that my parents were divorced and I had to move from Alabama to Kentucky. I hated the weather, I hated the people, I hated that the friends I had were going through all the things you never want people you care about to face. I hated that they turned on me. I hated that I was damned to Hell because I was bisexual (not to mention grounded for coming out on MySpace). Yes, it has been a while. Yet, still my family doesn't talk about it. They don't want to see me as I am. And yes, it still bothers me. I eventually want a wife, along with my husband. I want my family to reflect my true self; I want to be myself.

Suffering Together and Alone

Cutting gave me control. The pain and losing blood was cathartic, I would feel a temporary release from the emotions that constantly overwhelmed me. I hid them, or tried to. I never wanted the attention, I wanted a break. My friends had problems of their own; they also self-harmed. We had our reasons, but none of them were for attention. We had secrets that no one would want to know. We began writing in notebooks; letters, stories, songs, poems, and anything else we needed to pour out of ourselves.

This was a turning point for us, I believe. It may be the reason we are alive. You see, we also wrote promises to each other. Promises to call, text, and to not die. We would talk on the phone for hours, sometimes we would just sit in silence until we fell asleep. We would text all day, about nothing and everything. We were often grounded for these reasons, but we were all we had.

Our parents didn't understand, our teachers did their best, but they couldn't go home with us. The counselors wrote us off as Bipolar, ADHD, and maybe they were right for some. For me, not so much. I still don't have a solid diagnosis, but after about 10 years of studying psychology and sociology and just people in general, and some help from a former teacher who took the time to know me, read my journals thoroughly and let us take diagnostic surveys for assignments, I am confident that I fit the Borderline Personality description.

Awareness

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often confused with Bipolar (often the first choice of diagnosis when you tell a doctor you have mood swings). However, a difference in the duration of said mood swings separates the two. Those who are Bipolar spend extended amounts of time in a certain state while someone with Borderline can flip on and off like a switch. From the research I have done on my own, it's common for those with BPD to commit suicide during their transition from middle age to later adulthood, around age 35. That scares me, but it also gives me something to fight for, life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first publication. Please, leave suggestions and be critical. I can take it now. I survived, now is time for me to overcome.

Cierra Hartmann

personality disorder
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