The identity of this individual is kept private for quite obvious reasons, I will call her Rosy A. Rosy self harmed from a very early age.
Meet Rosy A
I met Rosy A in a forum and she has given me permission to write this on her behalf.
Rosy A, how old were you when you started to hurt yourself?
I was at primary school, my parents had old fashioned razor blades back then not the blades that are encased like they are now. I can’t remember what my thinking was or how I knew to start cutting. I’d seen my mum shave her legs and accidentally cut herself so I knew that the blades were very sharp.
How Did It Start?
I knew that when I was hurt I felt love people cared for me, the problem was when I started to cut I realised I had a problem and people would know that I had done it on purpose so I wouldn’t get the reaction I wanted. I liked it though, the pain was a strange release. I knew it was wrong and frowned upon but it was something I could control and it was mine.
Could you not talk to someone? What about your parents?
No, I had no one to talk to, my parents were too busy working, at times I felt like I was an inconvenience, they worked to keep me in decent clothes to keep up the appearance that they weren’t poor, my parents were working class but the circle my Dad wanted to be in was dressed better than us, had nicer cars then us. Even if I did tell no one would believe me.
What could you not tell?
When I was a child we lived in a nice area, my mum worked two jobs and my dad had a decent job but mum worked two jobs to cover the rest of the mortgage and pay for clothes, we didn’t have money to spare though. I had a bike and because it was a nice area I was allowed to ride around the block. It was my free time, the wind whooshed through my hair, we were allowed on pavements back then plus I hadn’t done my cycling proficiency test that they made me do at primary school when I was about 10 I think.
I wasn’t allowed further than the block that we lived on but that didn’t bother me as it was a big enough world for me right then. I met the neighbours and they were all so friendly. One man gave me treats and used to keep an eye out for me.
I made a friend which was great as there were no children around. He asked me in for a drink and he had a cupboard full of treats, he had VHS videos of childrens films too. I called him Mr Tickle as he liked to tickle me.
I loved chocolate and he was so friendly so spent quite a bit of time at Mr Tickle’s, the squash turned into Snowballs and they made me drowsy so he let me sleep – I don’t need to go into the details as I’m sure you know.
I broke a vase trying to run off that day as I couldn’t walk straight and he told me that he’d tell my parents, I was so worried about their reaction of me breaking a vase and that they wouldn’t believe me I fell for his apologies that it was all a mistake.
A while after I saw him and he asked me to go around, I refused and he reminded me that he could tell my parents that I had broken his expensive vase and I panicked thinking they couldn’t afford to replace it so I went back around to his and let him play his games.
Surely you knew it was wrong?
I did but I was stuck I was so petrified of upsetting my parents, I’d broken our TV playing one day and even though it was an accident I was smacked and grounded for a week. I had no freedom, the emotional pain from being hit from my Dad was way more than what anyone else could do to me though.
How long did this go on for?
My mum became sick and taken off to an institution as they didn’t know what was wrong with her. My aunt stepped in and looked after me for a short period, my cousin much older than me at the time liked to play games and would blind fold me, he would help watch over me when my aunt had to nip out. He liked the game of touch, taste and smell.
I knew the moment his penis was put in my mouth what it was and called him up on it. He told me people would never believe me so I started to cut more. I wasn’t there for long as they struggled looking after me.
What happened next?
The church that we were part of had a family that fostered but they weren’t nice people, there was no affection it was a place to sleep, I acted out and started to cut more, I found whatever I could to cut myself but I always stuck to my rib cage as that was an area people wouldn’t see as I still knew it was wrong, Another dirty secret to hide, until I was found out in the PE changing room at school. Social services were called and I was found a proper foster home. I lied to them that I’d hurt myself in the woods falling into thorns, I don’t think they believed me but they didn’t really dig any deeper than that. I had told them I was unhappy and they moved me to a better place.
Did that make things better?
The people I was with were lovely, however the time had passed and I now was in secondary school. My mum was in and out of hospital and so foster home visits became frequent. One child at school knew my situation or parts of it through whisperings of their parents and my class in no time was aware of my situation my mum was in a ‘loony bin’. I was bullied by a few yet there were some that found an opportunity to befriend me as I was weak and needy.
I stole and put out in the thought process that people would like me, love me or make me feel part of something that wasn’t taken away. I was desperate to belong but I never found it. People betrayed me, used me and abused me for their own purpose.
Where are you now?
I’m still a lost little girl, I want to be loved, I want to feel protected, I want someone to care. I’ve chosen all the wrong relationships in life, I’ve been needy and simple. I’ve been abused, beaten, neglected yet I have children of my own now and I fight everyday to make sure they don’t become me!
I am drowning in debt and need to find a way to fix some other issues I have caused myself. I am trying so hard for my children, my current relationship has broken down but I am not physically abused in this one at least so I am working on where to go from here.
I’m in the process of writing a book hoping I’ll reach other people like me or even parents that aren’t aware of what potential there is when we are just too busy to not listen or see the signs. I’m not saying every busy mum is going to have a self harming child but a child like an adult needs to feel part of something, to feel love and to feel acceptance.
My mum was too busy at first and missed all the signals that there was something wrong, my dad didn’t have any involvement in me apart from discipline when I did something wrong. I had no circle apart from my mum and dad.
What would you say to a parent?
Ever person is different, if they pull hair or cut areas you wouldn’t normally see they are like me and know what they do is not right but have way of venting without fear of disgust or possibly ‘mental’ labelling. We need love, we need a safe zone that we can talk and we certainly don’t need judgement. Only a safe and genuine place will fix our mental routine of self harming where we can reprogram ourselves that self harm isn’t the way forward in my opinion.
People that cut wrists or lower arms are in my experience more ready to ask for help and just expecting people to ask the right question, there is something not right and they are willing to talk about it if they are asked the right questions without accusations or disgust.
I found out about self harm before there was YouTube, before I was aware of media channels and before it was even a public subject, it’s almost like it’s a pre programmed – when a child is hurt it gets attention. Yes we want attention we crave for it, but not like how the term ‘attention seeking’ is portrayed. We want to feel we belong, we have acceptance, we are cared for. We don’t need to be fussed or made to feel amazing just that we are cared for.
This Has Been A Hard Topic To Write About
Saying that how far does self harm go to potential or accidental suicide? Should we all be more aware? Yes, I believe so.
I did some research into self harm as talking to Rosy A and seeing the recent media about self harm and statistics in young people today I wanted to understand more.
The NSPCC has some great advice when you discover self harming however one point that Rosy came up with is that when you discover self harm especially if it’s in a hard to see place that child is concealing it and confronting them about it could do more harm than good.
If they have concealed it, they don’t want you to find out. They hide it as it’s private to them they fear the stigma related to it and some are ashamed that they do it. Tread carefully as it could have a negative impact as to what you want to achieve.
We don’t often know what someone is thinking, what their emotional state is and how fragile they are, the bottom line with this quite literally be aware of social issues, don’t judge just support.
Who Is Rosy A?
Rosy A could be any boy or girl, Rosy A could be rich or poor, Rosy A could be of any culture, race or religion.
Rosy A doesn’t need to have been abused not necessarily physically or sexually, Rosy A could just be extremely lonely.
*Edit since last published.
‘Rosy A’ has started writing her own book about her experience, once it is released I will update here.
It helps with my anxiety and I’m hopeful that maybe some kind folk may help me out. I’ve never asked for charity before, never asked for sympathy. I’ve got to try every angle though to fix this for the innocents in my life that have been affected. My partner is suicidal at times when drinking is involved and my children aren’t stupid they know something is going on.Rosys explanation