"So.. whatever I say is confidential..right?" I ask. Karl smiles a bit and replies.
I take a deep breath in and exhale. "I have a lot to say,"
"Well," Karl sits up and gets comfortable in his seat, "that's what we're here for- that's what I'm here for, is to listen to what you have to say. I understand you're not a completely open person, but there is no judgment and blaming here. Just listening, understanding. I'm your audience. You're my book..tell me your story." I look up at him, and he nods and smiles. "Take your time."
I sat in the chair across from Karl and thought for a bit. I knew what I wanted to start off with, but I wasn't sure how to start it off. I thought a bit harder...I had to bring myself back to that time.
When I was twelve, I remember at first I was fine. I was happy, I didn't see a lot of the unhappiness in my life. I guess twelve years old is the age that kids start becoming teens and a lot of changes happen, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I feel that my change was influenced by my peers at the time. I admit, I was a pushover. I surrendered to peer pressure, and tried fitting into my crowd, which wasn't the best crowd. Self harm was a big thing with the girls in my group. I had never done it, and when they'd refer to it as "cutting" I didn't know what it meant until later.
Eventually, I learned what it was, and that night I did it. At the time, I didn't think it was a big deal, and I did it basically to fit in with the rest of the girls, but when I had brought it to everyone's knowledge, I lost friends.
Literally the next day, I was late waking up for school, so I missed my bus. My phone was on top of the fridge, and when I got up, I open it to 30 messages and countless miss calls from my friends. They thought I had committed suicide. By the time I told them I just missed my bus and probably wasn't going to school, they had already told the principal about my cutting, and about our "suicide pact."
This was another thing I didn't understand at the time. My friends would say "If you die, I die" all the time, so I went along with it too. I thought it was just a friendship thing we'd say to our friends to make us connected in a way, or important in each other's lives. I guess it wasn't. I learned that it was a more serious thing, but I tried explaining that I didn't mean anything by it, and explained what I thought it meant.
I was taken out of that school. What kind of surprised me most was that when the principal read all the conversations me and my friends had, they said I was the most vocal with suicide.
My mother didn't allow me to have further contact with my friends, and I was taken out of that school. It was the middle of March when I was taken out, due to the fact it was the middle of the school year, I stayed out of school for about a month and fought for a spot in a classroom at one of my previous schools, St. Patrick's Community School.
It was a few months later that I started to notice the change, and it was not influenced by any crowds I surrounded myself with.
The four walls of my bedroom had became my prison cell. Every night spent in it was dreaded. Dark and alone was never my scene, but when it's forced upon you and you have no way to escape it, you learn to just adapt. I became unrecognizable to myself and my family, physically and behaviorally. I was always the first to be accused when shit went missing, and when I eventually grew tired of every person that came around me, and stopped caring for other people's feelings, I began to do what they accused me of doing. No, it didn't help my situation, but at the time, I can really say, I didn't care about anything, not even myself.
Around the same time, my eating decreased everyday, until came the point in time where I ate nothing. I always had an issue with my appetite, but I would still always get hungry throughout the day and was fairly able to eat food when I did get hungry. But then, even the thought, smell, or taste of food set me off the edge and made me sick. This was a big frustration to me. I'd try to explain to my family that I just didn't get hungry at all, and if or when I ever did, eating made me sick, yet they continued to blame me and call me disgusting for how small I was, or make comments about how I have no meat or need more meat, how i always needed to eat more, how I would end up in the hospital with a tube being shoved down my throat being forced to eat because "I refused to". This lowered my self image. I stopped wearing shorts and any shirts that showed my arms, to hide the cuts and the thinnest of my arms and legs. I tried hiding anything that would give them reason to make comments, but either way, someone found something to comment about.
Eventually, it all became too much for my mother to handle. She never failed to mention unmercifully that I threatened the safety of the family and their well being. I was the one to blame for all the fights, so I was sent to my mother's friend's house.