Content Warning: Self-harm, Depression, Anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorder, body-shaming, suicide
Basically, most of the students in 2017 love self-harm. It is a super normal thing in my school, actually. This year, I got depressed. At first, I just couldn’t breathe, and I thought swallowing would kill me, so I would just chew something and spit it out immediately afterward; sometimes, I might not be able to eat a bowl of rice. At that time, I weighed 60 kilograms, and, although I had been trying to exercise, my male classmates and male teachers told me now and then that I was so fat that no man would like me anymore. I knew I wasn’t attracted to men, but I still felt I was just too fat. I told my mom that I was having trouble breathing; my mom took me to the doctor, who at first thought I had asthma and made me use my asthma medicine every day.
But I went back for another checkup and didn’t have asthma, and the doctor recommended that my mom and I go to the psychiatrist next door. My mom is very sensitive to mental illness and when I was found to have depression and anxiety, she didn’t believe it and took me out of the hospital. She kept telling me she didn’t think I was depressed and that nothing was going on.
The reason she was so scared was because I had an uncle, her cousin, who died from persecution and paranoia by jumping off a bridge next to one of the most famous old shopping malls in Shanghai. When we heard the news, our whole family was silent. I thought about how that uncle used to be a very nice man: he had a very beautiful and gentle wife, and when I was a little girl, he gave me a very big doll, and I loved him very much. Later, according to what my own uncle told me, that uncle’s father was a very strict person, and he could not do anything. He had a very big mental disorder, but his father still does not do anything to keep him in the house. In the end, he just died. In the comments page of the news, everyone was talking about how sad this man’s parents should be, and how sorry this man should be for his parents. My dad talked for a long time about how surely that uncle was going to die and rushed to get that grandfather to help his son, but that uncle’s dad didn’t do anything.
At that time, I was living in deep pain. I wasn’t very good at science or math, my grades were poor, I couldn’t memorize poetry, and I was slow at doing homework. There wasn’t a day that went by that my homeroom teacher didn’t scold me in eighth grade. No classmates played with me at school, only my best friends secretly sent me these messages because the stronger girls in my class wouldn’t let them play with me. My dad often told me I was screwed if I didn’t get into high school. I gave up my flute, which I’d been learning for 7 years, and I can only remember one tune now. I told my best friend that my life had come to an end. I took a knife and cut a huge gash in my leg because it would be covered by my clothes and no one would be able to see it. My mom cried every day because she told me she would be considered a failure if I didn’t get into high school.
I was so sad that people looked at me like I was stupid.
Finally, I got into high school, and even though I didn’t really like high school, no one in high school called me fat. I still wasn’t that good at math, but my teachers would encourage me now. I made good friends, and I accomplished dreams I didn’t dare to think about before. I wanted to go to film school, and although my parents didn’t support me, my good friends and teachers always supported me. I walked back into the psych department my senior year of high school, probably because of my uncle who had died almost 7+ years ago, and my mom wasn’t afraid to mention it anymore.
I cut myself again because I had an argument with my first roommate my freshman year of college. They couldn’t understand me and tried to control me. They said I was a psychopath. I felt sad again, and I did not want to be treated like an idiot. I wanted to drop out of school, but happily thought I can at least start studying movies. The night I cut myself, my best friend told me not to die and that she cares about me.
I haven’t cut myself in a long time, although I still have that thought sometimes. I met my second roommate, and she’s a great girl and funny. She has her flaws, but she’s willing to correct them. Even though we don’t live together now, we are still good friends.