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It started long before I realized it. For ten years of my life, my mother was in seminary and then graduate school. I don’t blame anything on her, but there have been many times when I felt like I couldn’t talk to her about how I felt.

I started cutting myself when I was fourteen because I felt like my parents weren't listening when I told them something was wrong. It started out as a way to tell them, “Hey, I need help.” But then, my aunt got breast cancer. Not long after that, I was molested.

Something inside me snapped. I felt like I deserved everything that was wrong in the world. Seeing so many atrocities in the news, like the Sandy Hook massacre, I found ways to feel ashamed for any happiness I experienced. I have always been overweight, and I stressed about that. It got to the point where I just wanted rest.

"Something inside me snapped. I felt like I deserved everything that was wrong in the world...I found ways to feel ashamed for any happiness I experienced."
Getting out of bed was nearly impossible. I saw a counselor and psychiatrist every week for three years. I've changed medications five times since I started taking them when I was fourteen years old, and things are still extremely hard for me three years later. I can't get out of bed some days. My immune system is weakened and I catch every little bug, I'm still struggling with my weight, and I'm starting college next year.

I haven't felt happiness in so long, and I don't know how to love myself or when I'm going to get to a place where I can be happy with my physicality. I have beaten my self-harming, but have so much more to work on. I guess the most important thing is that I'm trying.