This is an anonymous blog post
I am lucky in a lot of ways. I grew up in a loving home where I was always encouraged to aim high and follow my own path, but I was also very, well different.
I’ve always been shy and starting from about age 6 I was bullied a lot – so much I had to change schools.
I didn’t fit in at my new school, either, so I was flexi schooled until the end of year 6.
Bullying made me feel worthless and that people wouldn’t want to speak to me, so I stayed away from others.
I’ve also habitually found work very easy and boring, so when I get something wrong I feel like a failure. (Perfectionism doesn’t help in the slightest.)
Before going to secondary school my parents arranged to prepare me for the verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests that a lot of schools give to help them select students.
I absolutely hated these tests and didn’t do very well on them despite being a high-achieving pupil, and since then I’ve always been slightly afraid of psychometric testing as I was rejected from a good school.
When I went to secondary school I wanted to fit in so much it actually made me quite neurotic; I would curl up in corners and cry and keep saying over and over again “I want to die, I want to die”.
I was bullied there too, and I didn’t fit in with very many people at all.
It just reinforced my feelings of worthlessness
When I was 12, I had my first proper crush. It was on a sixth form boy who’d taken it upon himself to mentor me; he had sandy blonde hair, blue-green eyes, and the warm, genuine smile that made me fall hard for him.
I knew that being a short, spotty, pudgy little year 8, he’d never notice me, but that didn’t really help my crush to die down – and it lasted for over a year, too.
Long story short, when I was 13 I told a girl I thought I could trust, she told a boy whose life pretty much revolved around bullying me, and he took every opportunity to rub the fact that he had one of my darkest secrets in my face.
I cried even more then.
I broke down, I ran away from lessons, and in the end I was taken against my will to see the school counselor.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have been so stupid. I’m not talking about giving away one of my secrets – we all mess up – but I should have been honest with the counselor and not lied to her, not tried to avoid telling her the truth.
It would have saved me a lot of time and trouble, as I’ll show later.
To be honest I was stupid, hostile and afraid; I was afraid that if I told her about what was really going on in my head I’d find myself on a psych ward, and I resented what I thought were people’s attempts to “fix” me.
By this point I was already having suicidal thoughts and when I told my mother, she told me I was making it up. So I refused to tell anyone; I hid my thoughts and feelings, even from myself.
Bullying Made Me Feel Worthless And Ruined My Childhood
As any depressive knows, it doesn’t work out.
I can recall being near-constantly empty, unhappy and suicidal until I was about 15, when a mental breakdown and suicide attempt – my second (I’d tried before at 13) – forced me to rethink my life, and for a while it worked.
I was convinced I’d beaten my suicidal thoughts and that I didn’t need to worry about them.
The possibility that I was mentally ill was only raised about a year later, when I was 16 and going through a terrible relapse. My boyfriend, a depressive himself, noticed my behaviours over what must have been about 5 months at the time and suggested I try to get help.
Eventually I worked up the courage to tell my mother about my problems and she got in touch with her psychologist friend to help find me a therapist. I had my first session that July. (See why I regret not working things out with the counsellor now? It would have saved me going into psychotherapy three years later.)
I would like to take a break from my story right now to clear up some things about therapy for anyone who’s not sure what goes on. There are a lot of different types of therapy, but essentially you sit in a room and try to think out loud about your issues.
At first your therapist will barely say anything, because they’re trying to get to know you. This can be quite unnerving, especially for someone who wants validation of their feelings and doesn’t get it.
Talking about your issues can also be difficult and unpleasant, so it’s not uncommon to cry in therapy or to walk out feeling worse than you did coming in.
It’s also incredibly tiring for some reason. However, it’s been shown to be effective for mild and moderate depression and doesn’t have the side-effects of drugs, though it takes a long time – a year or more.
The important things to remember are not to hold back anything, otherwise it won’t work, and that if it doesn’t work for you you’re not to blame – it could be a bad therapist, one whose style doesn’t work for you, or maybe you need to consider different treatment options.
I also got terrible psychogenic pains (which have since gotten a lot better with therapy) and one horrible day in August my depression was so bad I thought I was being torn in two, so I begged to get an emergency appointment with a doctor despite my mother trying to talk me out of it.
That afternoon, I sat down and told a GP about my depressive symptoms and after being told that a mental health team would get in touch with me, I thought things would get better.
Not quite. You see, not only did my mother keep trying to talk me out of keeping doctor’s appointments, but the GP made mistakes noting down the details of my condition (I’d told her I’d been suffering for three years; she noted that down as three months somehow.
The mental health team took weeks to get in touch with me even after my mother postponed my appointment by a week, and because I’m under 18 my parents had to fill in the forms. (I hid much of my depression from my parents due to fear.)
Meanwhile, I was feeling worse and worse, and having to fight for treatment and feeling terrible in therapy weren’t helping.
When my parents found out after a meeting with the mental health team, they were shocked. In the end, because I was doing well in therapy, I was discharged.
The struggle doesn’t end there, though – even with therapy.
I have setbacks and fear having a relapse.
I’m tired and I find keeping my energy levels up difficult.
And I have yet to tell a lot of people at school.
For teens, some key points:
1. Get treatment early, because you will feel worse before you feel better, and because ignoring the problem will just make it worse.
2. You are not mad, bad, wrong or broken, you are ill and should feel no shame for being so.
3. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life feeling this way – get help, and soon.
4. Be prepared to fight in order to get help. (This is another reason for getting help early, as it’s quite difficult to fight when you’re too demotivated to get out of bed.)
5. Suicide is not the answer. As much as you feel worthless, you aren’t – your brain’s lying to you. You are beautiful. People care about you. Reach out.
For parents and guardians:
1. People generally do not lie about feeling suicidal.
2. Your children and teens are already going through a difficult time, so don’t make it more difficult for them by invalidating their feelings or trying to dissuade them from getting help.
3. You may have to make accommodations for them when going away or at social functions. Please don’t resent this, because they’re ill, and on no account should you tell them that they’re making your life hell or that they drive you crazy, because they probably already feel guilty that they can’t just do things normally.
Hope this has helped someone.
This is an anonymous blog post. You can share your own experience to help others. All blog posts submitted via the blog anonymously email form will be added to the blog anonymously for you, just like this blog post has been.
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