19 4 / 2013
It’s not for show. It’s not for cool points. It’s about equality.
This year, we have seen movements for equality around the United States and even the world. This month, millions of people put red “equal” signs as their profile pictures on Facebook to let the world know they believe in equality as people marched up to the United States Congress to fight for Gay Marriage. New Zealand became the 13th country to pass a law permitting gay marriage legal. This great world has not lost it’s humanity.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings this week, I heard a quote that really changed me. Patton Oswalt, actor and comedian who has played in such films as Young Adult and Ratatouille, said this quote: “I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.”
Every day, we wake up to more bad news and more reasons to doubt humanity. Those who stop equality seem to out-shine those who do support and believe in. Last year, I told you the history of the National Day of Silence. It was founded in 1996 as a student-led actions towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, identity, or preference. The word that caught me off guard this year is the word “student.”
As a teacher, I boast about being an advocate for those who do not have a voice. I have gay students, friends, and family members. That does not change my feelings or attitude towards them. I love them. I need them in my life. I am so proud of them. Yet, it baffles me, when I look into their eyes, that they are denied the “rights” that I have. I have no idea if I want to get married. I have no idea if I want children or serve in the military. (The military is not my thing….) But, I am straight. So, why do I have the right and someone who is passionate about it and just happens to be gay cannot do what I have the right to do?
That is why I support the day of silence. Although I cannot be silent ALL day long as I have to teach, I will stand with all of you. You have the right to participate, regardless of race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. And guess what? Public schools in AMERICA support this as, “Under the Constitution, public schools must respect students’ right to free speech. The right to speak includes the right not to speak, as well as the right to wear buttons or T-shirts expressing support for the cause.” You still have to answer when a teacher calls on you, but you have the right to remain silent during class.
If you have ever felt alone… and this week is sure full of lonely and isolating things, remember, we are here for you. We are standing with you. We understand you. Why? Because we love you. Being gay is not a choice. Love? Yeah. That’s a choice. And we choose to spread it around the world. We spread it thick! We LOVE you.
Remember. The world has bad guys… but humanity is not doomed. WE CAN CHANGE HISTORY. We can be the change. So, stand with me today and stand for those who cannot speak. Stand with me for those who are denied rights EVERY DAY. Stand for the person next to you or your future children. Stand.
Have a wonderful day.
You are loved.
29 3 / 2013
During the month of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month, Holding of Wrist has been posting supporter-submitted self-harm stories every Monday and Friday. This is our last blog of the month, from Jennifer this time. We hope that you enjoyed this month and that it offered hope into your life.
Have A Great Easter
-Holding of Wrist
In middle school, I was the popular girl. In the second semester of 8th grade, that all changed. I did something, I don’t know what, and people just stopped talking to me. I took a blade to my wrist for the first time in march of my eighth grade year. Over summer, things got better an i stopped. In November of my freshman year, my boyfriend i had been with for a while left me, and my friends started calling me nasty names. I started cutting again, deeper and deeper. No one noticed. No one cared. I went on this way for months, being bullied daily and going home and cutting. I even tried overdosing once, only to wake up in the morning after passing out. I met this guy, who’s now my best friend, in January. We became close, and eventually he noticed my scars. He said, “you know, Jennifer, I have battle scars like those. It’s hard to stop, but you’re worth so much. Just know this: i still think you’re beautiful and I don’t ever wanna lose my bestfriend (side note, this pierce the veil song that those lyrics are from is my all time favorite). So promise me you’ll stop. For just a month. Start with just a month.” I promised him i would stop for a month. I did. It was so hard, but I kept to this promise. And I noticed, months later, when I hadn’t hurt myself for a long time, people care. My mom found out i cut and she was devastated. My dentist saw my scars and called my mom to make sure i was okay. A lady in the supermarket told me she was proud of me for making it this far. My brother said its okay to be sad. A teacher at my school got me into therapy. This showed me, it is all worth it. Really. Someday you’ll be so happy. Someday. So please stay. For me. Please don’t leave. For me. Hold on for a few more days, be good to yourself. For me.
25 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Beth, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
Some people live all their lives to hear the words “I love you”. For me I always wanted to hear the words “I understand”. I made the choice to save myself from cutting. I stopped because in the end, I learned that pain doesn’t need to be permanent. If only I knew that at 15. If only I realized I would grow up.
Some people say you never forget your first time. I will never forget my first kiss. I will also never forget the first time I cut. I can name the day, time, and place. I can even name the reason. It is all apart of me. Cutting got really bad when I turned 18. Today I am 21, and I have not cut for 3 months.
People make fun of people who cut. It is the most disgusting thing you will ever hear. But you never hear people say I understand. You never hear people say stop, its okay, I get it.
I’m supposed to write about my story, but I don’t think I have a definite one. There wasn’t one reason I started. There isn’t one thing that sets me off. For me, cutting was calming and made me feel alive all at the same time.
My biggest concern was others finding out. I did not want someone to make fun of me, or call me a freak. I just wanted someone to tell me they understand. Even now. Even though I have stopped, I am waiting for you to say I understand.
Why am I writing this all down, I don’t think there is a definite reason. I do not even believe that this is a story. It is not my story, its a general message. While others wait for their first kiss or to be told that they are loved - there are just as many people out there waiting to be told they understand. I would like to be the first one to tell you, because no one was there to tell me. I UNDERSTAND and you are worth it.
22 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Lilith, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
When I was younger, I had been raped by my neighbor and he tried to beat me to death afterward. After that traumatizing experience I couldn’t handle anything and thought cutting would relieve the stress and it did but on for a while. I wasn’t happy about it but it fel good some how. My past eats me away like a parasite and I can’t trust anybody anymore. My arms are covered with scars and I honestly hate it. I sought help one day when the sleeve of my jacket rolled down on accident and another student at school saw it. After class asked about it and while I was telling them what happened, I felt a connection. She held me for an hour while I was crying and we both confronted a counselor to help with my self harm.
And we did. I have been cut free for 2 and 1/2 years and am proud.
18 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Molly, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
Well..my dad passed when I was 6, in a truck accident. I became depressed not long after that. I was in the third grade when it happened. Kids in my class made fun of me afterwards because I didn’t have a dad, like they all had.
I self harmed for the first time in grade 6. It didn’t hurt like I thought it would, but it wasn’t the best feeling, either. None the less, it made me feel something.
Shortly after that I had lost all my friends and I was being called a cow and other fat jokes by mostly everyone. That’s when I became bulimic. To this day, despite having friends and people that love me, I am still Bulimic and no one seems to notice. Somewhere between the first time I cut and the Bulimia, I had developed Schizophrenia. I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear voices calling me, asking if anyone can hear them, and voices telling me to do things, like jump out my window. I lived in a one-level house so it wasn’t a suicidal voice, but I still listened to their demands. I tried explaining to my mom but she thought I was dreaming.
My cutting only got worse from here, adding a step father who leaves to blow his pay check on bear and strippers, and an emotionally unstable mother who would lock herself in her room and smoke weed, I had become an all time low. Here I am today, grade 9. 14 years old. Bulimic. Schizophrenic. Depressed. I’d like to say it’s gotten better..and in some ways it has. I haven’t cut for 2 and a half weeks..and I’m working on eating better.. I plan on maybe seeking help for my problems in the future..there’s got to be someone out in this world that can help me, right?
15 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Lacey, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
I began to self-injure after a traumatic event. I was grabbed by a Hispanic man while walking late at night. I have many PTSD symptoms even though I wasn’t raped or abducted. I got away, but I still have flashbacks, nightmares and a feeling of vulnerability around men. Shortly after the attack, I began to hate myself for not reporting it. I had a huge feeling of guilt for being out so late; I blamed myself. It has taken me 17 months to tell anyone about my attack. That’s how long I have been self-injuring-since October 2011. I have been hospitalized three times for suicide attempts since then. Since I have opened up about my attack, I haven’t felt suicidal or felt the urge to self-injure. I hope it stays that way.
11 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Dana, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
I’ve been using self harm as a coping mechanism since I was 11 years old. In two months, I will be 20. I didn’t have an easy life at all. I was bullied, abused, and often felt suicidal and very alone. Whatever my past was, its done and over with now. I’m not sure how long its been since I’ve done anything to myself as I’ve never kept track, maybe a few months, all I know is that I continue to struggle with it everyday. I’ve found that, while more calm now, life is incredibly confusing and frustrating. I’ve found that there are a lot of people who will treat you like crap because of a few scars and they aren’t afraid to tell you what they think. I’ve also found that there are a few people out there that will love you anyway, will love you always, and will love you in such a way that you can finally begin to love yourself. It’s an odd feeling when you catch yourself liking you.
08 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Parker, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
I fell in love with an amazing guy (I am Bi), unfortunately this guy was extremely uncomfortable with his own sexuality. We did kind of dated behind closed doors. This was all in secrecy, so I had this amazing guy who I thought was interested in me, but I could not tell anyone because his friends were my friends.
3 months into our extremely undefined relationship, he got scared of how people would perceive him and did not want to be in a relationship…. So this secret of how wonderful I felt, suddenly became how bad I felt. Of course I felt I could not tell anyone how I felt because I would be betraying my friend. I felt completely isolated and alone.
Then I started listening to some fairly dark music, and felt as though in a trance. I started cutting…. I had no clue why, but it made me feel better after I did it. Later on I feel I can attribute the cutting to a physical manifestation of how I felt on the inside (the outside pain was something I understood, it took the focus off of dealing with the emotional turmoil inside). I fell into this dark place all of the sudden with nobody I could talk to about it. I honestly wanted to die, because I felt it would be easier to deal with.
This is when I found Holding of Wrist. I felt so alone an isolated. I had not talked to anyone about my problems, and they were the first people I could talk to about it. I feel they were the stepping stone that made me go seek help. I honestly do not know if I would be alive today if it were not for these guys.
I also wanted to personally thank you guys to all you did for me, and for all you continue to do for people who are as messed up as I was.
Now I am 24, back in college and I have a plan for my future. I have not cut in a year!! :)
04 3 / 2013
Holding of Wrist is posting supporter-submitted & inspiring self-harm stories ever Monday & Friday of March, Self-Injury Awareness Month. Today’s blog comes from Angie, please let this story inspire you as much as it inspired us. To share your story, click this!
I was a victim of bullying through out all my life. I was even bullied online as well. I went through quite a lot through out my entire life. 2-3 years ago, I started to self harm really badly. In November 2012, I gave it up on my own. I threw everything out. I’m now 107 days clean from self harm. It’s been a really tough journey, but I’m slowly recovering. I’ve had thoughts about ending my life many times through out my teenage years as well. Nobody was really there for me and I always struggled with everything on my own. I was one of those who kept to myself and wouldn’t talk to anyone about anything because I was scared I would get judged or made fun of.
Starting this school year in 2012, I was not getting bullied anymore. I’m recovering from what I never thought I could. I’m slowly getting better. I honestly never thought I ever could without the help and support from my friends. If you’re struggling with self harm, talk to someone, reach out, even if you talk to a friend. It maybe hard but let me tell you, when I reached out and spoke to a friend and they had helped me, things got so much better! My life may not be perfect to this day but I’m glad to say things are slowly turning out good and not as bad as they used to be. And remember, you’re beautiful, awesome, worth it, amazing and so much more. Keep strong and hang on because things are going to get so much better for you someday.
01 3 / 2013
Self harm has always been a difficult thing to talk about for me. It’s nothing something I kid or joke about. I take this very seriously. As I am trying to process what I wanted to write about, it was hard for me to start. I am not sure what to share or how fast I should share it. I have no idea who is watching or listening or if anyone cares at all. But, then, it hit me.
Six years ago, I thought about death and dying. I had battled minor self-harm just to see what it was all about. It wasn’t until I was carving names and words into my skin that I realized I had a problem. I had a problem. It was me. I made the choice to do what I was doing. No one forced the blade to my skin. No one told me to be nice to me… or maybe they did and I just didn’t listen. No. I made the choice to and I am so glad I did.
See, my mom always told me, “In order to have a friend, one must be a friend.” I have the best friends in the world. I have been through everything with them. Six year ago, when my best friend saw the words I carved into my legs after a long night of disappointment with myself, she loved me. She took me out for Starbucks and we drank frappachinos until she brought it up.
“So, what’s on your leg.”
I didn’t know she knew. I didn’t think she noticed. So, I broke down and told her. If my best friend had not seen what I had been doing to myself because I hated myself, she would not have known to love me. She saved my life a few weeks later when I was so sure I was going to end my life. It was like a warning shot.
Look, I am someone who used to self-mutilate and self-harm but don’t anymore. I had a rough past but I am making a brigher future. It doesn’t come easy. It won’t be easy. It will always be hard.
But, my friend, it is the darkest before dawn.
The best is yet to come.
So, stand up.
Take every day fifteen minutes at a time.
Do the next thing.
Make the next goal.
Upset at something, give yourself 5 compliments.
Tell yourself every day you are loved.
Remember, you are worth fighting for.
Love is the answer.
And, I am so glad to be alive.
You are worth being alive.
This month is a hard one for you and me, but we can fight this.
We can beat this.
Because, well, love has been shown to us all through the sunrise and sunset.
Creation around us calls us beautiful.
Take the world 15 minutes at the time and breathe.
When you feel like cutting, do something else.
Write a letter.
Do a dance.
Take a shower.
Pet your pet.
Write a song.
Call up a friend.
You are not alone.
You are worth it.
I love you guys. A LOT!
Have a great day.
You are amazing.
And so worth it.
We love you!
I want to hear your story. So, click “SI Story” and share. I started writing about it and am healing. Let writing heal you! Holding of Wrist will be sharing stories every Monday and Friday!