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mkjt Offline
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Unhappy How do I get help when I feel I have no one to turn to? - July 1st 2013, 08:38 AM

Hi. My name is Kayla and ever since I was 12 (I'm 16 now) I have been a cutter on and off.

My parents are divorced. I live with my little sister and my mother, who has been emotionally abusive and when I was younger physically abusive towards me. She has always had this jealous streak about her towards me; I am a straight A student attending Governor's school my junior and senior year, my sister being the exact opposite. Because of this, since I was in elementary school she always does her best to pick out every single fault of mine and exploit it. My mom barely made it through high school and is stuck in a tech support job, always worrying about money.

The first time I wanted help for cutting, about a week before my 13th birthday, I told my mom. She always made me go to therapists when I was younger, so I thought that this time I could go and actually talk this out with someone. This, however, was not the case. When I first told her she cried and said she knew some of the problem was her fault. Days later though, she asked if I was finally done with the 'screwy nonsense', and she was back to her old ways.

My dad and I are very emotionally detached. I stay at his house every other weekend and we have always had a very tough time trying to connect with each other. We have very different view points on a lot of things. He has a hard time expressing his emotions with me too, as I'm sure a lot of dads are. The only time I ever remember him telling me he loved me is when I was five I think; I was living with my grandparents after my parents' divorce and I called him screaming and crying because I thought I would never see him again.

Then there's my grandparents. My mom's parents are the ones who pretty much raised me. While my mom worked they took care of my sister and I during the day. Now that I'm older and I don't need babysitters, they resent me because I'm not with them as much anymore. They think that I'm lazy and never do anything but sit at home on the computer, which is actually quite the contrary. Every chance they get they try to change me and turn me into something they want me to be, and it really bothers me. My dad's parents are 84 and 73. My grandfather is extremely active for someone in his 80's and is retired but does yard work for people in the neighborhood with his partner 3-4 times a week. When my parents divorced, he tried his best to make me hate my mom. He used to tell me that I hated my dad and that I was going to go to hell, when I was just 5 or 6 years old. We've never gotten along and he resents me for being successful in my scholastic endeavors and learning to think for myself and make my own decisions that are different from the way he thinks. My grandmother also instigated this but not as bad, and now she's very sick and to be honest she probably has less than a year to live. I've tried to repair my relationship with her, it's been relatively successful but I'm saddened that I may not have that much more time to spend with her.

As I said before, since I was 6 my mom always drug me to therapists for no apparent reason, and I really didn't want to talk to them because I thought I was fine. It always made me feel like everyone thought there was something wrong with me. I believe this is where I developed social anxiety. I can't get myself to talk with anyone to try and make friends with them. I was a really fat kid, I mean it was terrible, and always would get teased because of it. I can't remember one friend in elementary school. Every year there was always at least one bully in my class during my elementary/middle school years that made my life miserable. In 4th and 5th grade it was this kid who actually was my dad's next door neighbor. Because of him I started getting debilitating panic attacks that I still get today for one reason or another.

In middle school, 6th grade, I finally found a friend, and we were boyfriend/girlfriend for about a year. He wasn't considered "cool" either, so we were both teased for being with each other. Beginning in 7th grade we drifted apart, he found tons of new friends and I was again alone. I was always the nerd in all of my classes, got teased for that and for just being a "freak". It was 7th grade that I began cutting. A very close uncle died unexpectedly the summer before I started 7th grade, and it totally tore me apart. I'd had family members pass away before, but this was way worse. To this day I still haven't gotten over it. That September was when I started cutting. It started with small scratches, barely breaking the skin, and progressively got worse. I felt like no body cared and contemplated suicide on a daily basis.

An old family friend and I connected over this time. She lives across the country from me, but we talk online every day. She remains to this day my only friend and the only one I can trust and talk to. She's been the only one thus far that I can talk to about my cutting, but like I said she lives across the country and she's no longer in touch with my family, so she can't do much to help me, just offer emotional support. She's trying to get me to get help, but I'm just so scared to ask for it.

High school has been a bit better as far as the teasing goes, although I still don't have any friends. Even when people try to talk to me, I get really anxious and can't talk. Everyone still thinks I'm super weird though. I don't fit in with anyone.

I am a super big perfectionist. If I'm making anything less than an A in school I beat up on myself for it. Whenever I do anything, even something I love, if I do the slightest thing wrong I feel like lashing out on myself by cutting. I know I put way too much pressure on myself, but I feel if I don't do this I'll fail at life. I feel like I'm already failing at life. I think that everything I do will always end in failure and I don't know how to stop this downward spiral. I get these moments whenever I feel like I've done something wrong, no matter how small. It's like I beat myself up with words until I can't stand myself anymore and I get really strong cutting urges. I have sleeping issues now too. I'll stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning just because I can't shut my mind down. Then, when I finally do sleep, I'm up a few hours later. I get anxiety attacks a lot too. I've tried different tactics to calm them down, such as breathing exercises, but I can't get them to stop.

I have cutting urges still, daily, and I don't know how to stop. I've tried using rubber bands, I'm a runner now, I draw and paint, but nothing seems to work. I need help trying to solve the problems that are making me want to cut in the first place; but I'm too afraid and don't know how to ask for the help. Sometimes I think that maybe if I just attempted suicide, then maybe the people around me would wake up and help me get help. I know I'd never have the guts to do it, but it scares me. I honestly don't want to die, I cut because I need to find some way to cope, and it's easier to manifest my emotional pain physically; so that I can control and actually see it.

I feel like I don't have anyone, I feel completely alone. I need to know how to ask for help. I spent a couple hours about 3 weeks ago trying to find hotlines for this kind of thing. I called a suicide hotline because it was the closest thing to self-harming I could find because there were no self-harming hotlines that I saw, and I asked the guy I talked to if I could have local hotlines close to where I live and talk to someone so that maybe they could find a therapist or something for me that I could talk face to face with. He gave me 3 numbers, and 2 were for rehab centers and the other was an actual therapist's office. That obviously didn't help. I then continued to search online for hotlines and found this page of numbers for my state. None of them worked except one. When I called the one that worked, this lady (who I think was just some secretary) told me that I had called an emergency line and said I'd have to come into their office if I wanted to talk to someone. After I told her this was not possible for me to do, she got snippy and said that I called an emergency line and blabla. She kept asking if I was ok though, she seemed freaked about the cutting, and I was scared she was going to call an ambulance or something.

What I'm really trying to say here is, I don't know how to tell someone I need a therapist, and quite frankly I'm scared to tell anyone. It's just so frustrating that even now, when I think I might be in a position for asking for help, I know that my mom would be reluctant to get me help. This past February I ruptured tendons in my ankle (have not been able to walk until recently) by falling down the steps at my house just the right way. I was in the worst physical pain of my life and was screaming and crying (I like NEVER cry from physical pain, I've broken bones and never cried) and almost passed out, and my mom no joke was freaking yelling at me to get up off the ground and to stop crying. Eventually she got it and was all "You get up off the ground right now or I'm calling an ambulance." I somehow managed to get up, walk (well, limp) myself to the car, and walk myself in and out of a restaurant before telling her I have to get to the emergency room. Even after I was on crutches and had a boot on my leg my mom still insisted that I was milking the injury, even though every night after coming home from school I would take the boot off to ice it and it'd be like 3 times its size. If she wasn't supportive with something like that, I just don't know how to tell her I need help for self-harm again. I just want help, I feel like I'm at an all time low and really just want to feel good. Sorry for this super long post.
   
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Re: How do I get help when I feel I have no one to turn to? - July 1st 2013, 02:31 PM

Well Kayla, you have a extremely interesting past, VERY similar to my past too, Its a hard and harsh feeling to feel that your alone; which is always something that humans struggle with. Your past has been incredibly, incredibly, and incredibly tough, hard harsh and emotional; its very sad and both interesting to read.

There are many people that can help you.

Your family (especially slightly distant relatives) Friends, therapists.

You want a therapist, but if i'm honest a therapist is going to tell you what you already know. And you'll most probably tell him everything that you've typed here.

That is not to say; he won't help. He will help. And you'll get alot off your plate for telling him what you want to say, and the answers and solutions he'll give you.

But the most important key factor in a situation like yours

is yourself, now WHY i say this is because emotionally and mentally you are extremely great, because you've endured such a past, and you are a tough girl, not tough as in "strength" or "physical part" i mean in the mind.

All problems, including self-harm and many others, are all contributed and hearted in your brain.

What i am trying to say is, the person who'll give you the most help

is yourself. Because you've been shall we say "Toughend" by your harsh hard and emotional past.

Everything bad comes with something Good.

Such as a bad past. But it will prepare you for other harsh times. Well-Prepare you.

So DO NOT underestimate yourself.

You've been through alot, you should look back on your past and think that you survived such a Hard time, and be proud of that, and use it to your advantage.

You are especially strong. So you alone could cope with self harm, if you just said "thats enough" or "No" You have the will power to actually stop it.

But ofcourse, getting help other than yourself is GREAT and i'm not saying DON'T get it,

there is someone for your help (Which THERE IS) PLUS you've always got yourself!

I hope i've said the right things, and if i offended you in any way i'm deeply sorry.




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Re: How do I get help when I feel I have no one to turn to? - July 1st 2013, 04:23 PM

Hey there, Kayla!

Before I say anything else, I would like to say it's great you've reached out to us on here.

It sounds like you've come an awful long way, and I'm really sorry to hear you've been through all this. I can relate to you, in a lot of ways, and so can many other people on here. You're not alone in what you're going through, and it might help to keep that in mind. I completely understand what you're going through.

You said that you wanted a therapist, and I think it'll be helpful. I find that going to therapy is a massive help for me. You're in a bit of a sticky situation with regards getting help, but I can assure you it's not impossible. You could try the three numbers you got, and tell them about your situation, as they may be able to work out a way you can tell your mother about it. You could try going directly to your mother yourself, but you said that you're not sure she'll be supportive of you, so I think calling one of the numbers and seeing what they might be able to do for you could be the best way to go about it.

Speaking from experience, putting yourself under too much pressure is never helpful. It's something I do myself quite often, and always have done. You should try and change your mindset to praise yourself for the effort you make, rather than the result you get. Once you've done your best or tried your hardest, you have the right to be proud of yourself, whether you got an A or a F. You're not a failure. Someone who makes it through all this is far from a failure. Keep that in mind. Negative thinking can bring you down more than you would think, so try your very best to have a positive outlook of yourself, however hard that may be. The anxiety attacks and sleeping problems could be a sign that you suffer from some form of anxiety or possibly an anxiety disorder, but don't focus on that. I find that when I get a lot of anxious thoughts at one time, it helps to write them down on a piece of paper or in a journal, so that could be an idea to help yourself temporarily in the meantime.

I suffer from social anxiety as well, and it can be quite frustrating. I mentioned above that negative thinking needs to be combated, and this applies here too. Make an effort to identify negative automatic thoughts that come in to your head when you talk to someone. These can include "They'll think I'm weird" or "I'll end up looking like a fool" and they often happen so fast you wouldn't notice them. You need to try and be aware of how you're thinking and if it could be having a negative impact on you. Then you need to challenge these thoughts with more positive thoughts. Will you actually end up looking like a fool? I wrote an article about coping with social anxiety at school, so you could have a look at it, as it might help in this situation.

I'll finish up by saying a few small things. It sounds like you've really taken initiative. You want to ask for help, and you've taken up new activities to help you cope with self-harm urges, and those can be very difficult. With regards resisting self-harm urges, it sounds like you're doing the right thing. Give it time, and it may work. You could look at the list of Alternatives for some extra ideas. And I want you to remember that you're evidently a very strong person. It's been a long road to this point, and there's still a long way to go, but you can do it.

Take care of yourself. Feel free to PM/VM me if you need someone to talk to. I hope I helped to some extent!

~ Gareth
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Re: How do I get help when I feel I have no one to turn to? - July 6th 2013, 09:47 AM

Thank you both for the help, support, and the articles. I honestly really don't even know what to say sorry, but I really do appreciate more than words can explain your comments and words of encouragement. These past couple of days have been the roughest in awhile, I'm cutting on a daily basis again and I really just hate the way that everything is going in my life. I've been having really bad sleeping issues too. I'm so exhausted and have probably slept 6-8 hours collectively in the past 3 nights, and here it is almost 5 AM, and whenever I try to sleep my mind won't shut down, which just makes my anxiety and depression even worse, because now I'm thinking harder about everything that's bothering me and I feel even more alone. I just really don't know what to do anymore. I want to call a hotline or something but I'm scared and don't even know how to begin seriously talking about everything. I don't even know if there are hotlines for self-harming. I don't want to call a suicide line because I'm not suicidal and I don't want an ambulance called to my house or me taking up a phone line instead of someone who might really need the help. I just don't know I feel like I'm just stuck here with no place to turn to.
   
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