Scarred: A story about struggle and hope | Teen Ink

Scarred: A story about struggle and hope

January 2, 2011
By simplyshelby SILVER, Pleasant Hill, Missouri
simplyshelby SILVER, Pleasant Hill, Missouri
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I’ve noticed lately the memories flooding back into my mind. It’s like an endless pit of pain and regret. Do I want to remember so I don’t feel like I’m missing something? Of course, but sometimes all I really want is to have one good memory surface instead.
I’ve been my own mom, raped, abandoned by my father, my heart’s been broken, and I wanted to commit suicide at the age of fourteen. I’m only nineteen, yet every memory that pops into my head is negative and painful. I didn’t have a childhood. I grew up the minute I turned six. I realized that in order to survive, I had to. It was my only chance.

I used to have dreams of graduating from high school and moving on to college where I could really thrive. Unfortunately, things don’t ever go my way. I wanted to become an English teacher, so that eventually I could teach kids just like me to express themselves. I wanted to be there for someone like my teachers were there for me. Plain and simple; I wanted to teach. My dreams came crashing down when I realized that not only could I not afford college, but I couldn’t focus on anything except those damned memories. I will eventually follow my dreams, but for the time being I am going to focus on myself. Just this once. I just wanted everything to go away until one day while watching TV; I saw my chance for relief.

A girl, alone and feeling like nothing would ever get better. She took out a razorblade and sliced open her arm until a violent stream of red started flowing. I realized then and there that’s what I wanted to do. I found a razorblade in the top drawer of the kitchen and pushed as hard as I could until suddenly I felt all my pain rush out of my body. I was hooked. I cut every night because I felt that I couldn’t take the pain anymore. It was like a drug. I couldn’t stop. The cuts would get deeper and deeper with each slice. Nothing made me feel better like that stream of red flowing from my arm. It was a sense of euphoria every time that blade touched my skin. Of course, it only lasted a second but I knew that there was nothing that could make me stop. Not only did I cut, but I got high and had sex with any guy I could find. It was my release. It was my only hope, or so I thought. I lied to my family. I lied to my friends. I couldn’t let anyone know what I was doing because I knew that the lectures would ensue. My hope was dwindling and my cutting became more and more severe. I would think about it all day until I could get home to the safety of my razor. I couldn’t sleep without waking up in the middle of the night crying for some ungodly reason. What was I supposed to do? I knew I was addicted, but no matter what I did; I couldn’t stop.

I thought about praying, but what good had that done me in the past? I thought about telling someone, but I was so terrified about what would happen that I just couldn’t get myself to do it. How was I going to get myself out of this dark, dark hole that I was suddenly being sucked into? My first thought, therapy. I’ve been in and out of it since I was thirteen and there was a time when I loved going, but I’m just not sure if that’s what’s right for me at this moment. I think I’ll just try to stick it out and wait until I’m really ready to commit to getting better. Honestly, what could go wrong between now and then?

I was broken. I knew it and so did everyone else. Did I ever say it? Absolutely not. But I knew with every fiber of my being that I was broken. Tiny pieces, huge chunks? It didn’t matter. Either way: broken is broken. I’ve been trying to put myself back together for at least seven years now and nothing—I repeat, nothing—ever seems to work. I’d almost given up hope when I found cutting. You see, at the time I thought cutting was going to be the one thing I could hold onto that wouldn’t “hurt” me. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It didn’t hurt me in the sense that the cuts were painful, but it put me in a position where I had to truly and sincerely think about my life and what was causing me to do this thing that everyone else thought was insane.
Have you ever really thought about your life? I am talking about thinking about every single aspect; every little thing that could have sent you into a spiral of pure emptiness. Because if you’re like me, you would realize that there isn’t a specific point or trauma that caused it. It’s simply your life. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a bottomless pit of pain and depression. Can you climb out? Absolutely. But it takes work and a completely different thought process. It’s possible, yes, but it’s also the most difficult thing you will ever do.
I’m strong. I’ve always thought I was strong, but now my strength is faltering. My thoughts have become dark and unwanted. I can’t seem to pinpoint the exact reason I’m sad because it seems as though there are a million things zooming around and I can’t focus. My mind is drained, yet it won’t shutdown. I’ve tried reading, listening to music, coloring, painting, writing, journaling, snapping a bracelet but nothing has worked. I can’t stop thinking. I can’t stop doing what comes naturally to me: worrying. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s painful and frustrating and incredibly irrational, but have I found a way to stop it? Hell no. I’ve been stuck here for seven long ass years. I can’t go anywhere, do anything without being in a constant state of fear. It’s the worst thing possible to be a nineteen year old girl and have to worry about crashing everytime I get into a car, or being abandoned by one of my friends at a party. Can you imagine not being able to get out of bed because you can’t stop worrying long enough to even think about getting up? Can you imagine worrying about walking on a sidewalk alone at night? You see, my fears are crazy fears. Ones that no one else seems to have, but that eat me alive everyday that I am awake. The constant state of being worried. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. It’s everything that I think about on a daily basis. That’s just me.
I fell in love with a boy who was much different but also somewhat the same as me. I’ve been striving for attention all this time and the one moment in my life where I was actually happy to be alone, I find this guy who has no flaws (in my eyes) and who actually makes me happy. I’ve never smiled so much in my entire life. When he’s around it’s like nothing else matters. I see sparks fly when his sweet, warm lips touch mine. My left leg lifts in the air like in the movies. It’s true love. Inside and out. There’s not a single moment that I doubt our love. He thinks I’m beautiful. Come on, how can you not love a man who tells you every single day that you’re together that you’re the most gorgeous thing he’s ever seen? He’s sweet, he’s so compassionate, he’s kindhearted, but most of all he loves me. Of all the people in the world, this wonderfully amazing man loves me. Although he lives twenty hours away from me, our love holds on to every second we have together. It makes me smile when I think of how he held me this day, or kissed me that day. I dwell on our memories, but for now that’s all we’ve got. I want to spend every second for the rest of my life with this man. He’s the one. I’ve known it from the first week we spent together. No, it wasn’t love at first sight. It was love at first touch.
I’ve grown since my days of unbearable sadness and self-harm. Am I still unbearably sad some moments? Of course. Do I still think of cutting myself? Most definitely, but now I have support. More support than I could ever imagine having. I know that doing what I was doing was not only hurting me, but hurting my support system. And if there’s anything a teenager needs, it’s a support system. I’ve grown up. But more than that, I have changed the way I think. I’m still negative, cynical, and incredibly stubborn but my whole life changed the moment I decided to change it. I’m still the same person, except this time I’ve decided to be happy. I’ve decided to be strong in a way that’s healthy, not destructive. I decided to not be defined by my illnesses. I am who I am and I will never completely change that. I am a nineteen year old girl who’s struggled, been broken, been beaten down but I’ve picked myself back up again and I have decided to be someone I’m proud of. I am Shelby. Hear me roar.

The author's comments:
I wrote this because I wanted to write something as I would speak. I wanted people to relate to it and maybe get some hope from it. I don't want to get noticed, I just want one person to learn something or just feel better that they are not alone.

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