- 26th January
- 23rd January
- 29th December
Hi everyone, some of you may know that for a while now I’ve been a Temp Vlogger for the youtube channel “Self Harm Support”, we give guys and girls everywhere advice and hope for a better future as self harmers and help in situations that only people with similar struggles could understand.
Recently one of our Members Missa worked her butt off to create a website for us! You can follow the link here: Self Harm Support, here you can find links to all our videos on youtube, as well as find the pages of our members and you can read their bio’s.
I have a page myself that you can find here: Katie’s Bio, we’d love it if you sent in questions and let us know how you are doing!
If you are struggling with this, please send us a message, watch the videos and find strength! Remember you’re all beautiful and wonderful <3
- 10th December
- 22nd November
My name is Ashley…I’m 18 and attending university for a double degree in Education/Mathematics.
Basically it was drilled into my brain from a young age that to be successful is to be perfect, and to be perfect is not to be different. My parents made it very clear that I should always have the best marks in the class, dress nicely, look presentable etc. All this was the “definition” of success. This striving to be perfect completely consumed me, and I soon found out it was completely unattainable. You set a kid up for a rough time when you give them an impossible task.
When I was in grade 4 I finally got sick of living to please my parents and tried expressing myself through clothes, music etc. that my parents didn’t approve of. Inwardly, I still felt I needed to be perfect, but even more so I felt like I needed to break away from the hold my parents had on me. Months later my father began verbally abusing me. He would attack my physical appearance, he would tell me I needed to go on a diet and that I needed to dress more feminine…eventually he came right out and told me that he thought I was gay. I was in grade 4! I actually remember googling the term because I had no idea what he was talking about.
I also didn’t have a fantastic relationship with my mother. She developed a brain tumor, which in itself kinda fucked around with our family, but it also made her very religious. Religion and church and prayer became a necessary piece of her definition of perfection. I always resisted her religion, respectfully, as something that I knew I could never fully accept…which didn’t sit too well with her.
Basically, all of this just completely isolated me from my family. The only connection I felt towards my family was the lingering desire for perfection that they had instilled at such a young age.
When I hit grade 7/8 I became really obsessive over my grades. I was also greeted with a teacher who felt it necessary to make fun of my clothes and music in very similar ways as my father had. It all just became too much and I fell into a deep depression. I regularly self harmed in frustration and as my own way of trying to defy perfection. By marking and scarring my flesh I felt like maybe I could fight against the flawless image. Eventually, this teacher discovered the marks on my arms one day during class. In the middle of the entire class he took of the shoulder and sleeve of my sweater off, so it was only half on, grabbed my wrist and held my arm above my head more toward his eye level. He confronted me in front of everyone, asking my what was all over my arm, and preaching about how disappointed god would be.
Well, surprise, surprise…that approach to the situation didn’t exactly help me. In fact, it just taught me that I had failed once again…I needed to be more careful. Perfection and precision could have prevented this all. So I “fixed” myself up. Being able to hide from everyone became my new success. No one wanted to deal with it so as long as it was out of their sight, I was considered better. It just became a challenge…and this challenge was one that I would NOT let myself be a failure at. I chose less obvious places, mostly my hips/upper thighs, right where my underwear would sit at my hips. My pants would irritate the cuts during the day, serving as a constant reminder that I’ve grown to depend on. I learned to buy all black underwear so there wouldn’t be suspicious bloodstains on the sides.
However, despite the control over the harm I was doing to my body, there were other things going on that I couldn’t control. In a short amount of time, three people I knew committed suicide. First, a friend’s mother jumped off a bridge just minutes from where I lived, then a family friend threw himself over Niagara Falls, and then a close friend of mine, whose details I don’t wish to know. I became fascinated with the reasons as to why someone would want to kill themselves. Sure, I would butcher my skin to feel in control, but that was different, I never wanted to die. I felt like I wanted to fix these people…I felt like no one should feel that terrible.
Then, a little under two years ago another friend of mine died…and unfortunately this time I was not spared the details and not spared the feelings of guilt. We spoke a lot about her ex boyfriend, and how he was psychotic…he tried to light her car on fire etc. and I did tell her to go to the cops, but they did nothing. So in the middle of December, two years ago, she had one last conflict with her ex. While I was sitting comfortable and safe and warm in the basement of my friend’s house watching Apocalypse Now! my friend was arguing with her boyfriend in her front lawn. He really was psychotic, he took out a gun and shot her in the head…leaving her on her lawn to be found 3 hours later in the morning. I remember that next day as one of biggest failures. I felt like I failed her. While she was cold, alone and dying, I was sitting warm and comfortable watching a movie. It was one thing to constantly evade perfection myself…but to not do everything I can for a friend who needed me…that was the worst sort of failure. I NEVER speak of this. I don’t think I could ever speak of this in person with anyone…it is one of my biggest regrets.
From that moment on I started to re-focus my obsession with perfection. School was still a big target, and I had a phenomenal average in high school that I’m proud of…but I turned the obsession into one of trying to help others…individually, one at a time. I decided I wanted to become a teacher, if only to prevent a terrible one like I had in grade 8 from affecting anyone else. I met a great group of friends who made me feel like I didn’t need to change anything about myself to be perfect.
I am still very far from happy with myself, but have learned to accept it. I still struggle with many of the old demons on a day to day basis, but I’m becoming less dependent on it. I stayed true to myself and now my relationship with my parents is much better. I would not change for them, and I wouldn’t ask them to change for me either…just to accept. The people in your life that are worth having around you should always just accept you.
Ideally, I’m hoping to embrace it rather then just dealing with it…but its all a work in progress. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that perfection isn’t unattainable…it’s just everyone has it! And unfortunately that’s a lesson that society has yet to learn. Don’t ever strive to be something you’re not…because what you’ve got, is precious…it’s pure perfection! And every single person has it.
SHOWHERSHESWONDERFUL-PLEDGE WITH ME