My personal story is this: When I was in elementary school I got called oreo, mulatto, mutt, coon, the list goes on because I am a mixed person. It was hard not to be hurt when people called me these names because I was the only one that was different in my school, everyone else was white. I got called these names each and every week and it really broke me down. Anyway fast forward to middle school I was still getting called these names but I was also getting called fat, ugly, thunder thighs, big girl, chubby monkey, you name it. Granted yes I am a little overweight but in middle school when people where calling me these names I stressed over what I ate and what went in and out of my body. In about seventh grade I saw this documentary “Thin” directed by Lauren Greenfield and I tried to do everything in my power to become someone with an eating disorder because I felt just like the girls in the documentary. I am so glad that my plan of becoming someone with an eating disorder didn’t work out. I am extremely proud of the people that overcame the battle of having an eating disorder and I pray for the people that are still fighting their eating disorder in the world today.

In high school I still was getting called mulatto and ugly and fat and all the rest but somehow I learned to deal with it and I started to tune them out. In my sophomore year I experienced my first friend dying and that was a weird feeling and right around the same time I started to drink. I only drank when the thought of the death or feelings to do with it were bad, no other time. I didn’t drink on the weekends with friends; even in college I still don’t drink on the weekend with friends. In my junior year I experienced one of my best friends dying and that feeling was unreal. I fell into a deep depression; I wanted to be the next one to die, so I started cutting myself. I cut whenever the thoughts of wanting to die happened. I knew I shouldn’t die because she would want me to still be living so I needed to feel pain and lots of it. I needed to hurt myself to make the thoughts stop. I covered up all of my cuts so no one would be able to find out. I didn’t want to go to counseling nor have my parents know about them so once I was done cutting I did everything I knew to cover them up so they would just go away but as anyone knows they don’t just go away. One day, fortunately, my best friend noticed the cuts and she asked me question after question and I answered them as long as she promised not to tell anyone including parents, teachers, counselors, or anyone. The only thing she wanted was for me to promise in return that I would stop and she gave me a rubber band to pull on when I wanted to cut. This worked for me here and there until one day it just worked completely. It took me about three and a half months to completely stop harming myself. To this day she still hasn’t told anyone.

Fast forward to college my freshman year I joined my school’s swim team. Being on the swim team I met someone and we started dating. We dated for a couple of months then one day, and this is hard to say, he wanted to have sex with me and I didn’t want to. He, unfortunately, raped me and that relationship ended right then and there. I get flashbacks of what happened but I’ve learned to move past it and just live my life. In my sophomore year I got involved around campus. I joined the clubs that I could and had fun but in the spring semester I somehow fell back into a depression and started self-harming again. I started cutting, but this time I didn’t do anything to cover my scars. I still have scars you can see today. This depression lasted about a month and a half with the only way getting through it was telling my best friend and watching Active Minds videos, actually, because I got to hear what the speakers bureau’s stories were. They made me see that life does get better and to just live your life day by day, like you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. From the depression I learned that being an ex-cutter is always going to be an everlasting battle in my mind. Some days I will be fine and others I will not be. It just becomes a battle that I’ll never be able to stop; a battle between who I was and who I want to be. This is my story and I’m proud of who I am. I am an aspiring mental health counselor who wants to live for a long time.

One response to “Ashleigh”

  1. Friend says:

    I’m so happy that you made you, I know how you feel. I’m not mixed, just black but I was the only black girl in my school up until middle school(but it wasn’t really that great there were maybe 9 of us out of 2,000+ white kids)(oh and I had to deal with a lot of racism)(so much that in high school i didn’t have a prom date) I was able to make friends in 8th grade and I started to blossom. I went through a lot in high school, and I’m going through a lot in college. I relapsed into cutting in 2014. I still think about it…I still cry and feel hopeless. I don’t think I’m working to get better…just working to mask the pain and to forget.

    You’re so brave and I hope one day I can be as brave as you.

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