Service User Experience: The first time I self-harmed

The first time I self-harmed, I was 14 years old and in foster care. Up to this point in my life, I had received; violence from my father, sexual abuse from my brother and emotional abuse and neglect from my mother. Everything in my life happened around me and I could not control any of it. That I am just learning. Self-harming enabled me to have some control in my life but also, to release the pain that had been building up inside for so long. Afterwards, I would always hate the reminder of what I had done and would hide my shame. The irritation of the scars rubbing on my clothes made me unhappy and embarrassed.

I managed to stop self harming through university and the first two years I taught. An event at work, led me back to that place. A body full of emotion, and no outlet, and so I self-harmed. After, I thought I am not a teenager anymore, so why did I do it? However, self-harm does not distinguish between your age or gender. I am finding ways to minimise the want to self-harm.

I am finally receiving counselling, which is helping, but it is a process. What I do know, is that when I self-harm, I am only hurting myself, when it is others who have caused the pain I am feeling. Why do I have to experience more pain on top of what I am already feeling? This is what makes me want to stop and find healthy ways of releasing my feelings. It is a journey that I have to go on, but I will get to the destination that I deserve. Just know, that you are not alone in what you are feeling.

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