Hi there. I’m seventeen years old and I have constantly been told that sharing your experience can you cope with certain difficulties in your life, so I’m going to tell you about mine. I guess I should start at square one.
My mother and I never really got along, our relationship was rocky at the best of times. She always believed that my problem was that I was too sensitive and needed a thicker skin. So it made sense that when she was called into my primary school, because I had been locked in the sport shed for just over an hour by some girls who bullied me regularly, she told me that she couldn’t believe I was stupid enough to be tricked into going inside in the first place and that if I had called out louder I wouldn’t have been in there for so long. Ever since my parents divorced when I was five, I had a strange sense of dread every time I had to go to my mother’s house, mainly because every time we went out she would constantly go on about how I dressed like I was homeless person and how I needed to fix my “weight issue”. It wasn’t uncommon for her to go out of her way to make fun of my weight in front of her friends and compare me to models saying that I would never make anything of myself.
There’s no point in going through my entire life with a fine-tooth comb so I’ll save some time and skip to high school year seven. I had a couple of friends and since moving to the new school, I hadn’t had any issues with bullying, so it made being happy on the surface much easier. This was the start of my battle with depression. In year eight I lost my great grandmother who I was very close with, this was when I turned to self-harm for comfort. My mother found out about my cutting one night about six months after I had started, but she told me this was a pathetic way of asking for attention and we never spoke about it again. After that I realized that it was too risky to cut my wrists, especially since I was forced to play netball, so I moved to my thighs and stomach. This went on for about 2 years.
The hardest part of depression for me was sinking. I could feel my self-slipping into this shell and I couldn’t find the strength to stop. I told my dad about the issues I had at my mum’s place and he told me that I was old enough to make my own decisions and I should just cut her off and live full time with him. But I couldn’t do that, no matter the shit she put me through, she was still my mum and I felt this strange commitment to her because of it, I still do.
Eventually it all started to get too much, I would go through school with this haze over my head, nothing really registered, I was having issues sleeping and mum had gotten worse. She had been invited to her sister’s wedding in New Zealand and I was told to tag along. On our second last night, she had gotten drunk with a different sister and they went to try and catch crabs on the beach with an ice bucket and a broom. I felt obligated to go with them purely because I didn’t want them to get hurt and because they were smashed, it was unlikely that they would be able to properly handle a situation if it went terribly wrong. The night ended with me and my mother getting back to our cabin and having a massive fight, with her telling me that I was ungrateful and that she should be my role model because she managed to get her life back together despite the burden of having to look after me.
Skip ahead to September in 2016, I had been invited to go to out with friends to a convention and earlier in the week mum told me she was going to Brisbane to see her boyfriend on the weekend. This meant she was leaving Friday and I would be sent to my grandparent’s place. So, I arranged to sleep over at my friend’s house instead on that Friday. When I reminded my mother of my plans on Wednesday she then started getting angry because she had paid extra money to go on Saturday rather than Friday so she could have dinner with me (she had told me none of this) and proceeded to say that I would be cleaning the house all afternoon on Thursday when I get home from school if I wanted to go out on Friday. So, on Thursday I got home and started cleaning and made dinner and talked to mum about Friday. She asked me about the convention on the weekend and proceeded to ask who was going. It was my two friends Jess and Imogen and our other friend Andrew, however my mother assumed I had a thing for him just because he was going with us and then said, “I thought you were dating Josh, or is this what you do now”. She didn’t have to say the word, I knew she was calling me a slut.
Obviously, I was upset so the next morning when she told me that I was to have dinner with her before going to my friends place I wasn’t too enthusiastic, she then told me that I could be more excited and that if I didn’t want to I should have just said so. In the end I didn’t feeling like fighting on the drive to school so I half-heartedly agreed and left the car. I ended up telling my friends what had happened and they convinced me to stand up for myself for the first time by not going to dinner with her if I didn’t want to. So, I texted her and told her I didn’t feel like going to dinner and got no response and walked to my grandparents’ house. It was getting late and I needed the overnight bag in the boot of her car so I texted her again asking if she could drop it off to me. She responded complaining that I had time to wait for a bag, but I was too busy for dinner with her. After a short argument via text with her saying she was the only one making an effort in the relationship and that I was obviously just going to gravitate towards whoever gave me life on a silver platter so I clearly didn’t need her. She arrived about twenty minutes later. Knocked on the door. When I opened it with the intention of talking it out with her, she dropped the bag at my feet and walked back to her car and drove off without a word.
That was the last time I saw or spoke to my mother.
A week later my boyfriend broke up with me and 3 days later made out with my supposed best friend.
In May of 2017 I lost my childhood dog and my pop within 2 weeks of each other.
In July I met up with my friend, who was a guy, in a park in the afternoon and when it started to get dark and no one was around, he took advantage of me.
In September during exams, about a year since mum left, I sat on my bed and wrote a note to my family and told all my friends that I loved them.
The night I wrote that note, I was going to kill myself by slitting my wrists and swallowing a bottle of pills and downing alcohol, I wanted to cover all bases.
The only reason I am here now, telling my story is because that night my dad called me because he had a shit day and he wanted to make plans for the weekend with just the two of us, and to tell me that he loved me. A couple of days later my family found the note and I was sent to hospital. I’m now on medication and getting help.
I’m still struggling. I’m still hurt. I’m still not okay.
But I’m still here.
Thanks for reading.