I can’t exactly say when it started because I don’t know, my life has just been full of bad events snowballing until I finally released it all.
From a very young age I felt alienated from everyone, I felt that nobody was like me.
It didn’t help that I had a young mother, she had me at 14, Â because I felt that she wasn’t approachable. Also, she was often getting into new relationships which involved a lot of men. I found it very hard ad still find it very hard, to connect with new people so this was an issue for the first 5 years of my life. These men weren’t even nice, I would go as far as saying that some of them were monsters. They used to make me feel like I was a burden and that me belonging was a hindrance. Â They used to shout at me, say nasty things to me and so on.. A memory that sticks in my head was regarding one of my mum’s exs, Steve. A have always been very fond of animals and we got a kitten, it was the best thing that happened to me! But this monster picked the kitten up and threw it against a wall, killing it, I was distraught, my best friend was gone! Another story involving Steve was when I was only 4 and was in a fire, but that day Steve tidied the room and left lighters in reach, obviously being children that was a bad thing to do. Anyways, he was the one that got me and my 5 year old aunty from the fire, posing a ‘hero’ when in actual fact, he caused it. I used to watch these men beat my mum black and blue and I had to sit and watch as there was nothing I could do. Â But then when I was 5, Â my mum met Darran, I deserved a good father figure for once…
Things seemed to be going okay, that was until my uncle commit suicide. It all happened very quickly and was completely out of the blue. At the time I was at an Easter group and when me and my aunty got picked up from there, that was when it was unravelled. I had never seen my grandad cry and this day he did. There was no explanations he just told us that he had died. I would not wish it upon any 7 year old to hear words such as those. Just to see how everyone was was heartbreaking! Everywhere I looked there was people crying and at that age it is hard to comprehend why. It was the years after that when my mum was the worst she has ever been; she used to sit in her room all day and night surrounded by candles self harming and listening to sad music. The worst part about that was that I felt powerless, what could a young girl like me do? This was when mine and my mum’s relationship was at it’s worst!
Bad things continued to happen but I just tried to deal with them such as my great grandad dying and my great grandma dying. But these times were made a little easier because my mum was given the help she needed.
On rare occasions I would have these extreme tantrums and wouldn’t understand why. They were made worse by my mum calling me things such as ‘freak’ and ‘maniac’ but i understand that this was probably because my behaviour was unexpected and she didn’t know why it was happening- Â but nor did i. During these tantrums it would feel as though there was so much going on in my head and my head was spinning.
School was okay, there was the odd comment about my appearance but because I was popular I didn’t really care what they had to say. But as I grew up and moved onto high school that’s where I did start to care what people said to me.
In the early years of high school I became curious of where I came from. Even though Darran was a brilliant father figure I needed to know who my real dad was. Anyways, months of looking for him, I found him. I was speaking to him over facebook and everything seemed good. I then arranged to meet him with my mum, he thought it would be a good idea. Â Then it was a couple of hours before when he told me he had “more important priorities” and didn’t meet me. I was distraught. Ever since my uncle died I had a figurative barrier around myself because I feared that everyone that came into my life would reject me and then leave my life. So this was a big deal me finding him and he had just reinforced why I put a barrier up. I felt I needed answers so one day I turned up at his door. When he answered all he said was ‘what’, well then I broke down in front of him and he told me I was an ’embarrassment’ and never wanted to see me again. I have sent him letters every birthday since declaring what he has missed so many years, still nothing. To this day I don’t speak to him and I feel my life is better without him.
In high school I met a boy, of whom I thought would be a lovely boyfriend. I was wrong. At first it was good, it was a bit overwhelming though because he was my first boyfriend so I wasn’t used to having attention on me. It was a few months into it that he started to turn, he wanted to get more serious and I didn’t because I was only 13. He wanted a sexual relationship and to be honest I didn’t feel comfortable- this, he did not like. So when I refused his admissions he would hit me, shout at me and call me names. He couldn’t wait any longer and forced me to endure sex with him. He threatened me and said that if I told anyone I would regret it, so I didn’t, until years later.
After this I became very paranoid about myself and could not find a good thing to say about myself.
Then my GCSEs started, the pressure was too much and I couldn’t take it! This is when the self harm started!
I cut my arms every night for a week until I told someone, it was my best friend Rebecca. She promised to not tell anyone and she didn’t.
Then one day in my German class we were practising for our oral tests and someone, who I thought was a good friend, shouted ‘er, what is that on your arm?’ I felt completely humiliated and ran out of the class when my teacher stopped me and asked me what was wrong, she saw so I had to explain. She then took me to someone who demanded that I went straight to A&E. Me, my mum and Darren waited there for 5 hours until I was seen by someone. They did everything that they needed to and sent me up to the children’s ward where I was told I would have to stay until Monday. When Monday came I was seen by the CAMHS (Children Adolescent Mental Health Service). After that meeting they told me that it was just my teenage hormones and sent me home. As soon as I got home the self harming got worse and deeper and within 2 days I was back at A&E. I was seen twice in two days by two different members of CAMHS. The first said what the last said. Then on the second day a Psychiatrist said that she was appalled about the way that I had been treated and she felt that I was a massive risk. I was then put on anti-depressants and given meetings at CAMHS. I got let out on my 14th birthday. I ended up in hospital at least once a week, after that, due to self harm and attempted suicides through hanging and overdoses. Every time I was they told me there was nothing wrong and that I should be released. This just made me feel as though I was making everything up. It made me feel as though I was a hindrance to everybody.
It took about 2 months until someone actually realised that I was struggling a lot. My Psychiatrist from CAMHS felt that I wasn’t safe to be in the community and demanded I went back to A&E. You can imagine how frustrated I was, especially because of the amount of school work I had missed. She also asked whether someone from a local psychiatric ward would come and visit me. After waiting in the children’s ward for just over 2 weeks, I got an assessment. He felt that it may be beneficial for me to go there. So I did.
The first night in there was the worst night of my life, it was hell! I just didn’t fit in. I got a conditional discharge a day later. The following day I took a massive overdose of 300 tablets. I was rushed into hospital by an ambulance and was taken back to the psychiatric ward the following day and was threatened that if I didn’t comply I would be sectioned, so I obviously complied.
Every day in there felt like a chore, I would do what I needed to and then return to my room so I wasn’t around anybody. This is the way I liked it. I received intense therapy on a daily basis but didn’t feel that it helped that much. During my time in there I took 2 large overdoses and was admitted to A&E. I also stopped eating and drinking and got send to A&E for that too. I think the longest time, I recall, was not eating for 2 weeks and not drinking for 4 days.
In the psychiatric ward I was diagnosed with a serious case of Depression, Anxiety and an Autistic condition, Aspergers Syndrome. This helped me understand; my tantrums, how unsympathetic I was, how lonely and different I felt, how people found me offensive yet I could’t see it, and so on..
I was in this psychiatric hospital for 6 months until I demanded to be released. I didn’t feel that it helped. I could honestly say that being in that hospital did change me, it made me not want to continue my life this way, the other patients influenced this. Even though there was 8 patients, including me, they had a massive impact on me- it wasn’t for the good either. They just made me realise that they don’t have lives, they’re constantly moving from hospital to hospital with no aspirations at all.
I was released but only on promise that I wasn’t admitted back into A&E. I was given therapy sessions from CAMHS on a weekly basis. Obviously I still felt depressed but I knew that I couldn’t return to the life inside the hospital. So I continued to self harm but told nobody and kept it well hid.
These bad thought led me to destructive behaviour and to just lose all self respect. Due to the way that I had been treated by my first love I felt that no-one would ever love me, which is why I just let males do whatever they wanted to me; if they wanted sex, I gave it to them. This went on for years and it was only recently that I decided that I could’t do it anymore. I cannot be used all my life, I am worth more and I know I will find someone eventually, it is just a waiting game.
I was put into a school setting but wasn’t Â a proper school, that is where I continued my studies. It felt so difficult because of missing around 10 months of school, but I caught up. When my results came through everybody was shocked at how well I did, I still attained A*s, As and Bs.
At 16, CAMHS was out of my life because they only help up to the age of 16. I was asked whether I wanted to go on to adult services but I didn’t, I needed to stop relying upon people and do it myself and I did.
I was very happy for a while and then things got worse again, my mood deteriorated and self harm again.
I went to my GP to receive help but they told me that I would have to wait months as I wasn’t ‘serious enough’. I felt how I felt at the beginning of it all, like no-one believed me and I was on my own. I couldn’t wait around, I just tried to help myself and hoped that the best would come of it.
I am now at college studying A-levels and doing okay. I am actually studying psychology because eventually I would like to become a psychologist and help those that need it, like I have done all them years. I also feel that I could be beneficial because I have been there and I do know what it is like.
I still wake up everyday wishing I wasn’t here but I have to live with the reality that I am still here. I do struggle a lot and still cut my body on a regular basis but I just tell myself that I cannot go back into the routine of being in hospital every week and that is what keeps me going.
So, that is my story, I hope that people read it and take something from it. I have gone from being admitted onto a general children’s ward 10 times through self harm, 6 for attempted suicide and being in a psychiatric hospital , in the space of 10 months, to nothing now. I am not proud or happy with the life that I have lived but I have learnt a lot about myself and others- I consider it a learning experience.
For what country is CAHMS for?
Thanks for sharing your story oliviadee. You have been through so much! It’s amazing what you have managed to achieve academically through all of the hospital admissions etc. Judging from your writing, you are very intelligent, and also, clearly, very resilient. I wish you every success in your studies of psychology, and hope you can achieve your goal of helping others in the same position as you have been.
I appreciate your reply so much. I just felt that it was necessary to post my story on here so that people can see that things are bad at first but they do get better. also, I want people to, if they need to, talk to me, there’s nothing better than talking to someone who understands!
You should be proud. Staying alive is achieving so much. Please try and get the “regular self harm” down to minimal, and one day stopped. U don’t deserve all that. U r a very courageous person. Stay strong <3
I appreciate all that you have said and I am happy you took the time to read my story. I will take your advice on board and am currently trying to cut down the destructive behaviour- thanks again<3
I would like to add that I have recently got my results back for psychology and got a B and was only a few marks off the highest grade, my life is looking up!