Trigger warning - self harm and suicide references
Part 3 of an insight into the mind of a patient in a psychiatric hospital.
22nd November 2020
How’s your relationship with yourself?
It’s a question I often get asked and to be honest I don’t even think I have one. I
think it’s just my soul co-habiting with my body and barely on talking terms
with each other. If I do have one, it’s extremely toxic and not good for my
health. It’s sad to think that I don’t consider myself equal to other people.
What’s even more difficult is when people almost question you about it and
begin to list off things that you’re good at and your personality traits. That’s all
well and good but it doesn’t mean that I can believe it.
Trust me, I’d love to
But I have this deep hatred for myself that stems back to many years
of bullying and traumatic experiences that I have yet to come to terms with.
My self-esteem is at rock bottom and I struggle to live with myself every day. I
have no confidence to be around people because I constantly feel on edge that
I’m being judged or I’m going to be hurt.
Since being in here I’ve had so much time to reflect on my childhood and for a kid I really learned quite early to just suppress my emotions. I feel as though I didn’t develop mentally as fast as other kids and that immediately made me different. I was always that kid who was last to catch on to a joke, who never understood peoples sarcasm and never stood up for myself when I was being teased by other kids. I had friends, don’t get me wrong but I truly never felt like I belonged.
I was that kid who was horse obsessed and got the mick taken out of me for it. Now I realise that the only reason I was like that, is because they were my safe place. They were all I knew and the only way I knew to connect with people was through horses.
Horses and the people connected to them were always there for me, the yard
was my escape from the turmoil I was feeling inside. I constantly felt like I
wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t deserving. For a primary school kid that’s
pretty rough. I can recall countless times as a kid when I was made fun of or felt
left out. At the time you can say it’s just kids being kids, but I’m 25 now and
those memories have followed me, feeding into the deep rooted belief that I’m
just not good enough. I don’t blame anyone for anything that happened. I’m
sure that I brought a lot of these problems on myself.
From primary into secondary it didn’t stop. I was hoping it would be a new start
for me. But I had no friends. I may have had acquaintances but I never had a
friend group. I would eat lunch alone, I would do whatever lunch time activities
I could just so I didn’t look like a loner. Perhaps it was my social anxiety that
aided the fact that I found it hard to make friends.
I don’t want to get into it too much, but as the years went on I went through
some phases of bullying that really affected me both mentally and physically.
These episodes caused me to become really depressed and on multiple
occasions planning and writing suicide letters.
I didn’t even feel safe in school.
Even though these people are forgiven, I feel this has had a profound effect on
my mental health to date. After that, my self-esteem was so low that every
negative experience I had just kept adding fuel to the fire and I began to develop
unhealthy behaviours such as self-harming to cope with the pain I was feeling.
Luckily for me, towards the end of my time in secondary school I met a fantastic
bunch of girls who I’m still friends with today. They love me for the emotional
wreck that I am and understand when I have bad days and celebrate the good
days with me too. I can be the goofy idiot friend around them that I’m afraid to
be around others in fear of judgement. They support me through everything as
well as giving me a kick up the hole when needed, there’s no fear of that!
As children and teenagers, often bullying is often over looked as just people
‘having a laugh’ or ‘she deserved it because she said something’. I ask that you
please be mindful of how you treat others as you’ve no idea how it can affect a
Some people are thick skinned and some people are thin skinned. On
the outside I appeared thick skinned and I suppressed it all. But inside I was dying a slow painful death. Hating myself more than anything in the world, wishing I didn’t exist, and wishing my life could have been so much different.
I wish I was able to see myself through the eyes of people who love me. I get
told so many positives about myself but my head just won’t allow me to accept it
and it's utterly frustrating. I wouldn’t wish feeling like this on anyone
and someday I would really like to be able to love and appreciate myself.
Because if I can’t do that then what’s the point of this whole journey?
“To fall in love with yourself is the first step to happiness”