Growing up, I was always the quiet and lonely kid. During the early years of my childhood I have spent the most days alone in my room and I was happy about it. I never felt comfortable around other children or enjoyed playing with them. My parents thought this behavior was strange, but they didn’t question it.
This changed after primary school, because other kids had noticed that I enjoyed being on my own and started bullying me because of that. I’ve never been one of the cool kids, nor one of the pretty girls at school. The other kids at school called me names, pushed me around and simply hated me for who I am. Also, my parents had high expectation on my grades. Don’t get this wrong, my grades were always good (A’s & B’s) but they wanted me to be better. So, whenever I didn’t meet up with their expectations they shouted at me or started hitting me, mostly my mum did this or she forced my dad to do it.
Because of these reasons I started questioning every aspect of my life, while simultaneously developing a constant fear of being not good enough. During that time, I started self-harming, because I felt like I deserved it. Going to school was something didn’t enjoyed (even when I enjoyed learning) and going home was also not enjoyable during this time. I didn’t have someone to talk to, because being quiet, shy and having a hard time trusting people didn’t make it easier for me to find some friends.
At the age of 15 I was send to therapy for the first time, because my mum found out that I self harmed and she thought I would kill myself. That first therapy was kind of useless for me because I didn’t want to change. During the following years I attended therapy two more times, in between those I got diagnosed with BPD. Having a name for what’s “wrong“ in my head helped me a lot, I finally knew why I was the way I am. My first diagnose at the age of 15 was depression, but I never felt like it matched all aspects of how I felt and how I behaved.
But just at the age of 21 during my fourth therapy, I finally made improvements, because I desperately wanted to change and work on myself. And now at the age 23, I’m finally able to have small talk with people. I don’t self-harm anymore, I’m more at peace with myself. Most importantly I have learned to take care of myself on bad days. I still have bad days, studying can be stressful. In this context selfcare also means for me to take 4 exams and not 6. I tried taking 6, but at the end of my exam season I felt so numb, so I said to myself I do 4 exams next time, and everything went well.
Looking back, I sometimes feel sad, that I kind of wasted my childhood being sad and trapped in my mind, without any friends. But then I remember that I’m still young and that I really enjoy being on my own. And after I developed more trust in myself and learned to live with my mental illness, I started doing a lot of things on my own. Such as going on holidays, hiking, going to the cinema, visiting a museum and so on.
Thank you so much Not A Cool Kid for sharing your story!
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