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Sara's Story - You Are Not Alone & Where to Turn

Date Posted: Wednesday, Mar 11, 2002

my name is Sarah and i am almost 16. i want to share my story with you because i feel like i have a lot to say, and that maybe i also have a lot to give. i hope that you can trust me or someone else with your story, past and ongoing. i check my email basically every day, and where i can't promise to always understand everything, i can promise that i will offer what i can, and that i will never judge.

i grew up in a middle class family with supportive parents and grandparents. i have always had everything i needed at my fingertips. i have morals and talents and a strong belief system, i have friends. which is why it's so confusing why i am so depressed. it makes me just want to tell myself to suck it up and stop complaining, but i know that i have every right to the pain i find myself in. i've never been diagnosed with anything, and my therapist of the past oh, maybe 6 months, doesn't seem to feel that i need a diagnosis. maybe i'm depressed, maybe i'm not. the only thing i know is that i'm in pain.

when i was little, i went to a Jewish private school. i stood out there; i didn't go to synagogue regularly, my mother had been born a Christian, my parents weren't doctors or dentists or even rich, i lived downtown and dressed differently, and i never wanted to fit in; the idea had never occured to me. i wanted to be myself. They hated me. all of them. i only had one true friend there, and she's still my friend. but the rest of them, they didn't even tell me that they hated me. they pretended to be my friends. they would tell me something, or be mean, and then the next day they would roll their eyes at me and say "oh come ON Sarah, it was just a lie" or deny ever having said anything. i never gave up, though, on being myself. i stuck it out, at first because i believe they were my friends, and then because i believed that i would find better someday. in grade four, all my friends decided that they needed to lose weight. school yard games changed from house and tag to 'aerobics class', and lunches became rice cakes. the leader of our group, a 60lb 9 year old, became what i knew to be an anorexic(with her ex-model mother's support) and was proud of it. that was how i picked up the name fatso. i wasn't fat. i can remember walking into the chapel late for prayers, and my entire class would scream "hey, it's fatso!" and make farting noises. some of them would slap my behind and steal my hat or coat. when they weren't in a big group, though, they still pretended to be my friends. i left the school after grade four.

when i started grade five, i was excited about making friends who would actually appreciate me. i made my first friend by the third day, and i stayed her friend for 4 years. madison. she was like my entire past school rolled into one, being nice and mean by turns, pretending to have never said anything mean to the point where i doubted my own memory. making my choices for me. being physically abusive. but she had been disliked at her last school too, so it seemed like we were meant to stick together. besides, it was easier to let her make the choices. that was also when i had my short bout with anorexia. i also remember that there were enitre days and more when i didn't even speak an entire sentence. i was no one. It was half way through gr. 7 when i started wanting to hurt myself. i would have dizzy spells where everything would spin and everything around me would look like a weapon; a weapon i wanted to use on myself. i was still strong enough to know to stop myself, though.

gr. 8, i made a few real friends, and i discovered that one of them also wanted to hurt herself. we became really close, but i found that i wanted to die almost all the time. that january, the day after the new millenium had started, i was sleeping over at madison's house, watching a movie. my father called and told me that my grandmother, who i hadn't even seen in five years, was dead. i can remember sitting there, crying, with madison sitting on one side of me and her father on the other, completely ignoring me. a couple months later, i finally stopped being her friend. after that, i became numb. i had had similar bad experiences at overnight camp, and i felt like i was defective and didn't deserve friends. i started to believe that i wasn't real. I didn't actually cut myself until half way through grade nine, just over a year ago. now i can remember that even when i was little, i would bang my head on walls to punish myself, or try to drown myself. but last january was the real beginning. it came on a normal night when nothing bad had happened, 3 months after my first real almost-suicide. i haven't been able to get away from it since, even now that i'm in a school i like, with good grades and good friends who i trust. i just can't seem to find hope for the future. last summer i told my doctor about my cutting and asked for a therapist. the clinic she called phoned my mother and told her everything. that was one of the hardest days of my life.

since then, though, i've come to terms with my problem in a way. i have a therapist. i have good days to go along with the bad ones. sometimes i want to get out of bed. i believe once again in standing up for myself and finding myself the good that i deserve. i am becoming strong. slowly. i know that i'm in pain; but i also know that i'm getting better. i'm not there yet, but it's been 95 days today since i cut.

please email me if you want to talk. i'm always looking for people to talk to about you, or about me. thank you for reading my story. blessed be, sarah

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