Today marks the 5 year anniversary of me hurting myself. I use hurting myself as a way to run away from my life. My parents are talking about getting divorced. I think I want to be fostercared when that happens. They both give me reasons to put a knife in my heart. But I have a list that I keep that keeps me from going to extremes. What should I do?
Please know that you have our most heartfelt concerns for your situation at the Trevor Project. And it's a good thing that today marks five years staying away from hurting yourself. It is my sincere belief that all human life is valuable and beautiful. Even though your situation may have driven you to hurt yourself (especially with your parents possibly getting a divorce) and hurting yourself may have been a reaction that helped you cope with the emotional difficulties you are facing in your life, I am glad that you have moved beyond that point, even though your difficult situation persists.
I imagine that the pain you feel in your heart today is unbearable. But keep in mind that the funny thing about the saying "Time heals all wounds" is that it's kind of true. One of these days, you may look back on your situation now and may realize just how much you have learned from this pain. Unfortunately, divorce between parents is a common thing young people have to face in this country. Know that you are in good company and that there are people around you who will understand your situation. You may not believe it in your heart what I'm saying, but I tell you to give it some time.
If the situation becomes perhaps too difficult to handle, I want to encourage you to create a safety net for yourself so that you don't have to get hurt. If you feel unsafe at home, or for any reason feel the need to leave, first contact someone you can trust who lives nearby. This person may be a friend from school, a teacher, a church, or a relative. If you feel the situation at home become more unstable, it might be a good idea to have a bag prepared with all your essentials.
If the situation becomes difficult such that you feel the need to hurt yourself again, I want you to have other methods of coping with your pain other than inflicting pain directly onto yourself. There are other means of releasing great emotional tension. You may find that punching a pillow, ripping up paper, or throwing rocks at a tree might help. These are ways you can still go through the motions of releasing whatever's built up inside of you without having you on the receiving end. It is completely okay that you have the thoughts of hurting yourself, but it's best to find ways to channel these thoughts in a way where you don't actually get hurt. Even through your short letter I feel that you have a way with words that captures a certain emotion. Maybe you will find refuge writing down your thoughts or writing poetry.
I think the thing about your letter that is most touching is the fact that you have a list of things that keeps you from hurting yourself again. It gives me hope and optimism and reminds me that there are so many things to see, experience, and feel that should help you through your days no matter how difficult they may be. I encourage you to continue with this list. Keep it as a reminder that despite what difficulties you may be facing right now, there are still many wonderful things to experience in life, and all of these things are waiting for you. A divorce is understandably difficult for any child, but please remember that you should not blame or find fault in yourself for what is happening. Parents many times don't realize what kind of pain their putting their children through during a divorce.
If you ever need someone to talk to, I encourage you to call the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.