I was born on the 14th of December 1995. I had to be a cesarean as I was the wrong way around and I had the cord around my throat. I was supposed to be due on Christmas day but if I would have been left like that, I would’ve died. I guess that’s a sign that I’m meant to be on this Earth. Or maybe I’m just lucky. Either way, I am grateful.
I have an older brother and as I got older, I found out that I have 3 half-sisters, all to different dads. To this day, I still haven’t met them or know anything of their whereabouts. A few years after I was born, my baby sister was born. I woke up one morning a few years after that to find that my dad had taken my older brother and left. Just like that. No good-bye, no nothing. My mum was (and still is) a heavy smoker. She was also an alcoholic back then. She would always leave us alone in the middle of the night and go drinking without even telling us.
I was only 6 the first time I remember being left alone to look after my 3 year old sister. I woke up and mum was gone so my sister and I went out looking for her. Being at the young age we were, we were extremely upset. We were bawling and yelling “mum.” The people across the road called DOCS and we got taken away from mum for about a week. I hated that week. The foster parents were awful and I was sooo happy to be back with mum again by the end of it.
We moved around a lot. I’ve lived in all states in Australia. I guess mum was always on the run from dad. I don’t know where to go from here. I’ll just do my best.
Mum had a male friend back when I was younger and he invited me to his hotel room. I didn’t think anything bad could come of it so I agreed. Anyway, I can’t really remember what happened exactly or how it happened but I can remember sitting on his bed at one point and I think after a while I wanted to go home. He was trying to do stuff to me. I told him I wanted to go home and I got up and went to the door but he shut and locked it and held me on the bed with his hand covering my mouth and nose. People were walking past the door and he didn’t want to attract attention. I started crying at this point as I couldn’t breathe. He eventually let me go and I told him I wanted to go home. He walked me to the stairs and asked me if I wanted him to walk me home but I said no. I ran all the way home, bawling my eyes out. When I was about 5 or 6, I would wake up most morning with my pants and underwear missing. At first, I never really thought anything of it. I just thought they’d just somehow fallen off in my sleep. Then one morning when I woke up, there was a bottle of moisturizer beside my bed. I was still confused until I saw my sister’s underwear and pants were off also. I realized that mum’s male friend had been either raping us or touching us in our sleep. When I saw my sister like that, that was the last straw. It killed me inside that he’d done that to my little sister. I told mum and she kicked him out. We moved to a few more places around Australia in the next few years.
When I was about 7, we moved to Stanthorpe in QLD. When I was in grade 4, a social services lady came to our house. My mum and her boyfriend told us to run and hide at her mates place but the police came and got us. We got taken back to mum and were told to get our stuff. We had to get in a car and were taken to live in a foster home. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard. The foster parents we old people but nice enough. They looked after us well. 2 years went by and our foster father got cancer and we had to be moved to another foster home as our foster mum couldn’t look after us well enough on our own. We were moved further up north to a place called Chinchilla. At first, I absolutely loved our new foster parents. They were so lovely and nice and caring. They were a Christian family and in year 6 (in school), I got baptized as a Lutheran. I started to get involved with Church and youth group. I felt out of place at times though as I hadn’t grown up in that environment and I didn’t know all the answers to the questions that were asked in Sunday school. I began reading the bible more so I didn’t have to feel so left out. After a while, my new foster parents weren’t all I thought they were. They would yell at us a lot whenever we’d do something wrong.
It was hard to do everything right when we grew up in a broken home. I remember dreading high school. I thought it’d be too hard for me. My first year of high school was hell. I got picked on a bit and did something stupid and got suspended. I lost friends because of that. I hardly had any friends. Things got better after that. I found new friends and felt as though I fit in. Year 11 (in school) was the best year of my life. No fights, no high school drama and I was the happiest I’d ever been. I was really God-focused that year too. I can’t explain to you just how happy I was.
Then, in 2012, everything fell apart. I don’t even know why. I have a feeling it might have been because my best friend moved away and school wasn’t as fun without her but I honestly don’t know for sure. It wasn’t long into 2012 that I had developed a severe hate for my body. All I saw was fat so I began to stop eating. I lost about 10 kg’s in a few months. In February of 2012, I was really upset. I was feeling really alone as I felt as though my foster parents didn’t care about me. I felt as though I wasn’t even part of a family. I felt as though it was just me against the world. That was the first time I dragged a blade across my skin.
The cuts weren’t bad and before then, I’d never understood the logic behind self-harm. But once I’d done it, I felt the emotional pain lift. I was focused on the physical pain and stopped crying. I felt calm for a bit. The next day at school, I had to try hard to hide the cuts on my wrist. But as I was flicking through a text book, one of my friends across from me saw them and got this shocked look on her face. I’m well known for my humor and craziness so who would’ve thought I would do something like that to myself, right? She asked me about it on Facebook that night but I just said that I was fine and didn’t make a big deal about it. It was only about 2 weeks later when we had our swimming carnival. The night before, I was really upset and cut a lot deeper on my upper thighs. I knew that if I did the cuts there, no one would see them. They bled a lot and they were big, fat, ugly cuts. I did a lot of them. That whole night, I felt faint. I felt dizzy and sick. A few times I thought I was going to pass out. I told one of my friends on Facebook what happened. She got really worried and said that I need to go to a hospital. She said that I could go into shock and die. I didn’t want to tell anyone though. I thought I’d get into trouble so I just left it. I was scared of going into shock so I got my friend to stay up all night with me. I fell asleep at 3 in the morning and I was fine when I woke up again. I got ready for the swimming carnival but I didn’t swim as I didn’t want anyone seeing my cuts.
I didn’t eat all day (except for some lollies) and a few times I felt like I was going to pass out. The whole way home after that day, I felt numb. I felt empty and as I walked, I planned on ending it all. I didn’t know how but I was intent on ending my life. When I got home, I picked up my blades and starting slicing at my wrists and legs (I was very uneducated on self-harm at that point and didn’t realize it’d take A LOT of slicing to kill yourself that way.) I wanted to pass out before my fostermum got home but nothing worked. So I stayed in my room all afternoon and at around dinner time, I went to sleep so I didn’t have to go out and eat with the rest of the family. When I woke up in the morning, I stayed in my room until lunch time. It was then that I found a box of panodol that I had in my room from when I had cramps. I considered for a moment taking them. I wasn’t sure how many it would take before they’d kill me or how long it’d take but I grabbed the box and took the pills out. There were 16 pills in all and it just so happens that I was 16 at the time. I had a bit of water in my water bottle that I used to wash them down one by one. I ran out of water before I finished them all though so I had to swallow them without the water. They left a horrible taste in my mouth. After an hour, nothing had happened, I just got really tired. It was then that I messaged my church pastor on Facebook and told him what happened.
I was afraid and didn’t want to die. I just wanted someone to know that I was hurting. I guess it was a cry for help.
I fell asleep and was awoken by my foster mum. She was on the phone to the paramedics. I heard her say that I’d been self-harming. I felt very drowsy and weak. The paramedics came and put a catheter in my arm. I was then taken to the hospital in town. The paramedic who rode in the back with me was very nice. She asked me why I’d done it and how many pills I took. I told her that I was just stressed about school.
When in reality, I was alone.
She told me that it was common for teenagers in their last year of school to get stressed. I got to the hospital and they did some blood tests. My foster mum came in after a while and read me a passage from the bible about suicide. I don’t even remember what it said. And at the point in my life, I was as far from God as I’d ever been. Afterwards, my pastor came in and prayed for me. The hospital didn’t have the supplies they needed to help me so I was taken to Dalby hospital where they put me on a drip and did more blood tests. I was only in the hospital for 3 nights but it was the longest 3 nights of my life. I hated it. It was the first time I’d ever been admitted to hospital. The doctor was too forth-coming. He straight out said, ‘So you’re depressed. Why did you try to kill yourself?’ I just said; ‘I don’t know.’ After 3 days, the panodol had been flushed from my system and I was allowed to go home.
My foster parents were nice to me while I was in the hospital but as soon as I got into the car, my foster mum yelled at me. She yelled, “Well why did you do it? You’ve got some explaining to do.” I didn’t say a word and just started crying. It was then that I wished that I would have died. I thought about opening the car door and jumping out. But I didn’t. When we got home, my foster dad was a lot more understanding about it. He asked me calmly why I did it and I lied and said that school and work was making me stressed. He made me promise not to try to kill myself again because he cares about me. I promised and he gave me a hug.
I started my counseling sessions and after a while I stopped going because I hated them. I went back to school and no one knew what happened except my best friend. I still hated my body so I continued starving. My pasto’rs wife gave me a book about a girl who overcame bulimia. At this point, I wasn’t bulimic and I wasn’t underweight. This book triggered me into throwing up. I’d throw up every night after dinner while I was in the shower. My foster parents noticed my weight loss and asked me if I was eating properly. I said yes. My foster dad said I didn’t need to lose any more weight. I wasn’t convinced. I had lost weight but I wasn’t happy with my body yet. I kept starving and throwing up after dinner. Then my foster mum found out I was throwing up and asked me about it. She said she’s going to take me to a dietician. That never happened. Instead she just started going to the gym. They didn’t even understand.
A few months went by and I was sitting in assembly. One of the school captains gave a speech that made me think. It made me want to stop my distorted eating habits. So at lunch, I went and bought a sandwich. It was hard to do but I did it. And I ate all of it. I felt like a pig after wards but I told myself that I was going to start eating properly. That didn’t last long. The next day, I was back to my same old habits. On a Friday, I ate a chicken burger for morning tea and another one at lunch (because they’re really good.) In the last lesson at school, I started to get pains in my stomach and felt like I was going to throw up. So I walked out of the room and as I started to walk down the corridor, I felt faint. I made it to the stairs and my vision started to go blurry. About halfway down the stairs I couldn’t see. I kept stumbling and I heard a voice ask me if I was alright. I just kept going but I hadn’t gotten far from the stairs when I blacked out. The cleaners found me and woke me up.
The ambulance was called and the principal came down to comfort me. I went to the hospital and they did some tests. They didn’t find anything wrong. They asked me when the last time I’d eaten was. I told them that I’d eaten that day. Then they asked me when the last time I’d had a drink of water was. I then realized that it’d been over 48 hours since I had so they put the cause down to dehydration. I went home and everything was fine.
A few months later, I met a guy, who is now my boyfriend. He is very supportive and loving. We’ve been together for 8 months now. My foster parents didn’t like him one bit. They gave me no freedom. So in December last year, I ran away. I am now living with him and I am now happy. They still manage to mess up my life occasionally but they can’t get me back as I am now 17.
So yeah, I am happy and my life is getting on track. I still struggle with body image but I’m getting there. I am trying hard to stop cutting but sometimes I break. I have pin pointed a lot of the bad in this story, but in between all of that, is a life of happiness. Life is hard and it’s a struggle, but you will find happiness if you keep your eyes open. Don’t go ending your life and don’t go closing your eyes to the light. For after every storm comes a rainbow. ♥
By: Skye Thomas