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I’m 23, and I started self harming three years ago. At the time I was in a relationship that was both physically and emotionally abusive. I hoped that hurting myself would show him the pain he was causing me, but it did nothing, instead he gave me requests such as asking me to cut a heart into myself to show him how much I loved him. After a few years my self harming escalated into suicide attempts and occasionally pulling my own hair out. He didn’t care; instead he threatened me and told me that if I was to ever hurt myself again he would do something much worse to me.
Eventually, after successfully isolating me from both my friends and family, costing me my degree in university and destroying my self esteem, he left me for another woman because he claimed that I was too broken and told everyone he knew that I was insane. He was right, I was broken, and I had nothing left. I even lived with him and when he threw me out I had to move back in with my parents.
After months of depression, refusing to eat and crying myself to sleep I vowed to put myself back together. True, he had shattered me but it would be letting him win if I let myself stay that way. I changed my appearance. I cut off my long, red hair that he loved so much and dyed my hair back to its original colour and I put myself on a diet to shed the weight I had gained while he was controlling what I ate. I started job hunting and I began putting serious thought into what I wanted to do with my life. Some of my old university friends even invited me on a few nights out, and on one of these outings I met someone. She was a girl from my programming class. She was beautiful, understanding and had a personality that was almost exactly like my own. Upon finding out that she was bisexual I decided to ask her out, which I did by email and I got the simple response of “yes”.
We dated for a few weeks, shared a total of three dates and a single kiss. We were smitten but due to family problems and her mother enquiring about our close friendship she decided to end it between us. I was hurt but after only a whirlwind relationship of only a few weeks I wasn’t heartbroken.
A few more weeks passed, in that time I had picked up the violin as a hobby and was starting to teach myself, it was then that I was contacted again by my ex-girlfriend. She invited me to the cinema with her. Of course I was puzzled as of why she was inviting her ex of all people but I went none the less. It was on that night she told me that she had came out to her parents days before and that she had missed me. I took her back, but my self esteem was that low that I had no idea why anyone would take the risk of telling their parents that they are bisexual just to be with me. She had succeeded in making me feel special though, which was something that I had not felt in a long time. I decided to do something for both her and myself. I quit self harming.
I don’t need it anymore and I wear my scars like war wounds. Every one of those raised pale lines on my skin marks a painful event in my past and it would be a shame to wish those away, because your past is what makes you who you are. I still crave it though, sometimes I miss the release and the control, but I push past it. I pick up my violin and play something to suit my mood instead.