My life hasn’t always been hard, but it hasn’t been easy either. I was born to a loving family and had a pretty good childhood at first. Sure, there were the rough times, but what family doesn’t have them. Then my family moved, and that’s when the real trouble began. I was only six the first time I was sexually abused, and it continued for four years. Soon after it stopped, I began to self-injure. The first time was not much, but it quickly progressed. I used my self-injury to numb the pain I felt. I’d blocked out the memories of my abuse, but I couldn’t forget it. The pain was still there, inside me. Within a year I attempted suicide for the first time. By the time I was fifteen I was active in self-injury and my eating disorder. I was hospitalized for an overdose and sent to treatment. I learned a lot in treatment, but I wasn’t ready to change. I hadn’t hit my bottom to realize that my life was out of control. After I got out of treatment, I relapsed in my self-injury within a month. I stopped again when I met a guy who said he wouldn’t see me again if I continued to injure. This guy was my second perpetrator. He sexually abused me and raped me twice. I never told because I thought that was how relationships worked. I thought that was all I was worth. Soon after he left me, I started to injure again. It quickly progressed. It caused me to lose friendships and I was judged by people at school. I struggled for three years trying to stop on my own, but I could not make it long before the urges took over and I gave in again. At sixteen I began to date a boy at school. At first our relationship was great, but it soon became emotionally and verbally abusive. After a few months, I was raped again, and would be three more times after by my boyfriend. I’d started to get my injuring under control again, but then I lost control. I had to tell my mom. I told her that I had been raped, and that was the first step in healing for me. It was the first time I’d said a word about any abuse to anyone. A few weeks later, my mom suggested I go to treatment. I strongly objected as it was the last semester of my senior year of high school. I didn’t want to miss out on any of the fun, nor to risk being unable to graduate. But, I soon realized I’d end up killing myself if I didn’t go. We went to tour the facility and I met the man who would be my therapist. He had a girl there talk to me about her story and struggle with self-injury. That made up my mind, I would go. I learned a lot about myself and a lot more about recovery during my three months in treatment. Towards the end of my stay, I was told they wanted me to stay longer, but I declined, determined to start my freshman year of college with the rest of my class. What I didn’t know was I still had a lot of work to do before I would be ready. After being out two weeks, I relapsed injuring, but this time I did something different. I contacted my therapist from treatment and told him. We thought I could get it back under control using the tools I had learned. Maybe I could have, if there hadn’t been an attempted sexual assault on campus. When I saw the fliers warning us, I freaked out and wouldn’t leave my room. I began to injure again, my eating disorder which had been nonexistent since I was fifteen came back, and I made a plan to kill myself. The night of my planned attempt, God stepped in. My trauma therapist from treatment called me to check in. He asked me to contact my mom and tell her what was going on. We decided I needed to return to treatment to finish my journey. Within three days I was back and ready to work. This time, I told the whole truth about everything. I did hypnotherapy and remembered my childhood sexual abuse, which then allowed me to heal from it. I continued to injure for two months of my stay there. Finally, I began to put some time together, celebrating each small step I made. I finished treatment after four months, with almost ninety days injury free. I moved into a transitional home connected with the treatment center I was in. The transition was rough, and after a few weeks of living there, I went into a depression. I injured, and told on myself soon after. I will have a month again on February 21, 2012. Today I love my life. I am happy. I have friends. I’m making amends to the people I’ve hurt and restoring those friendships. I couldn’t be more proud of the progress I’ve made.