Every day is a struggle for me, now more than ever. To me, my life was so stressful and painful for years. I used to hide behind a mask of happiness, pretending that everything was fine. What nobody else knew was that at home, all alone, I’d injure myself. I don’t remember the first time I did it; all I know is that once I found it, it was my escape route. For everything, my way of dealing was to injure myself, then maybe talk to someone close. That was usually not the case, however. Most of the time, I just kept it all to myself. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but I was always so much happier after I injured myself. But I also felt more and more self-conscious and felt guilty and shameful. I felt dirty and worthless. I was lonely, too. You see, I love reading. It allowed me to run away to a far away place while huddled over on my bed, holding my arms close to me. Love was for fairytale princesses who were desperate for help, guarded by evil dragons and curses. Not for me, a lowlife injurer who had no respect for myself. I used to cry myself to sleep every night, imagining my prince coming to rescue me from this terrible life. Of course he never knocked on my window, never came. This made me believe that I would die alone and unloved. I injured more and more increasingly. I had so many secrets that it was taking a toll on my judgement and well being. I was more withdrawn; It was harder to hold up the happy facade. I knew I was bisexual but my parents are extremely religious and I knew they wouldn’t approve. I had a crush on my friend, but she was going out with another girl so I felt even more alone. It felt like love was just a taunting idea, a nice thought, a pleasant story plot. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped with the pretending and acting like everything was perfect. Because in my eyes everything was falling apart. Eventually, my mom kicked me and my sister out and we had to move in with my father. Well, my father is a drunk who has bipolar disorder and anger issues; he throws things and curses and has a history of abuse. He remarried a year ago to a woman I don’t like; she has a 19, 16, 14, and 2 year old daughters. I had to leave all my friends behind and attend a different high school, church, and now see a counselor. My life just gained so much more stress. Of course I cried and injured more because of this. I just couldn’t stop. Then my dad made us go to a hayride with his church’s youth group. I didn’t want to go AT ALL. I was not in the mood to even leave the house anymore. I felt like I had the Black Plague and it would spread to everyone if I got too close. Well, I went. I am so grateful I did. I met this amazing guy named Chris. I had this weird feeling that me and him were going to be very close, even though we didn’t even say hi when I had this feeling. But when we did talk, all my walls just crumbled at his touch. I felt completely comfortable being with him, joking, SMILING. LAUGHING. It was a great feeling. We talked and laughed the whole night at the bonfire after the hayride. My stepsister was flirting with him but I didn’t even register them because they were futile. He ignored her comments and replied with a friendly voice. He is everything I want. He’s happy, funny, loving, lovable, kind, caring, easy going, protective….I can go on forever about him. I LOVE HIM. We exchanged numbers and after a few weeks, my sister and stepsister texted him and eventually weasled out that he likes me. I had been struggling with my own feelings [usually I get feelings for people because I’m lonely so I try to have a relationship with everyone I met. To hear that he liked me….somebody liked me!! A few days after that, I told him that I like him more than friends. We’ve been together for a few months now. And I can honestly say that I love him and want to be with him forever. A lot, I know, but all truth. However….I texted him after I injured, needy of someone to talk to, someone who would understand. He was there for me, but upset that I injured first, then talked to him. He didn’t want me to hurt myself, especially when I knew he would listen to me. A bit later….I injured again and he guessed. It was almost midnight and we were both crying on our beds, texting each other, trying to gain comfort from each other. I know I really, really hurt him. More than I hurt myself even. It’s a terrible feeling, making your loved ones cry. I promised him I wouldn’t injure again. That has been the most difficult thing since then. Not to mention my dad is drinking more and school and everything else, but I know I can’t injure anymore. I CAN’T. One night, in the shower, I had a meltdown….I sat in the shower for 20 minutes crying. Then I got out and sat wrapped in my towel on the bathroom floor for half an hour. I couldn’t. I texted Chris and just talked, already knowing he was sleeping. But I just had to tell him. He deserved to know. That I almost did, but also that I didn’t. He was so happy that I told him and that I restrained myself. But my control is wearing thin…I’m scared I’m going to injure myself again…I want to talk to Chris about it but I think he might get upset that I still feel like inflicting pain on myself….He feels guilty that I do this even though I have him. He feels like he’s not enough to make me happy, but he’s made me the happiest anyone could be. He’s my angel, my love, my everything. So why do I still have these thoughts?