By Ms. Jenson
With a Perspective....Uploaded: Dec 16, 2014
One of my favorite projects in Exploratory English is our Perspectives assignment. After studying many NPR Perspectives pieces, each student writes a piece that means something to them, sharing their unique view of a situation or idea. This year's pieces blew me away with their honesty and intense personal content. Below, I am sharing one such piece. Thank you, K--, for sharing with us. ~ Ms. J
The first time I ever heard of anyone cutting themselves was when I heard that a close friend of mine had been doing it. I was just a 5th grader. At that time I didn't know enough about self harm to ask any intelligent questions or take any helpful action because I didn't understand the significance of my friend cutting herself. I didn't really give it much thought and I never even asked her to show me the scars. Then not long after that, i came across a photo of a wrist with so many scratches and cut marks while scrolling through my news feed on Instagram. The caption read, "Depression is like a war. You can either win or die trying." At the time it had a significant impact on me as I read through the hate comments saying she posted it for attention and that nobody cares. But it was over a year later when something affected me even more.
One day, we had a bullying assembly and soon after, my close friend and I started talking about depression and cutting among adolescents. I asked her if she knew of anyone who does self harm. We sat silent for awhile until she pulled up her sleeve. On her arm were several very distinct scars. She started talking about what shes been through and she said she thought she deserved it. As the years passed, I have come across people that are always seem so happy, but turn out to be faking it all this time. The strongest people are not those who show the strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about. People cry and self harm not because they're weak. It's because they've been strong for too long. Our lives will always be a balancing act that has less to do with pain but more to do with Beauty. I think scars are like battle wounds- beautiful in a way. They show what you've been through and how strong you are for coming out of it. I later discover that self harming isn't just cutting. It could also be: burning, bruising, hair pulling , isolating yourself, or overdosing. It's not always obvious.
I remember when my friend and a group of guys were arguing, and they told her one of the sickest things that you can say to someone. I just couldn't handle it. I remember storming to the boys saying, "You don't know her problems. And so when you took the time to get out of your way to tell her to that she should kill herself, that's just pathetic. Do you want to be the person that pushes people off the edge?"
I hated how the only thing they did was make excuses and say that they were only kidding. Some people won't be happy until they've pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day.
After everything, I learned that no matter what you think or see, there's always something more to a person. Always something you don't know about them. Everyone has their secrets and insecurities. It's sad how someone has to emotionally collapse for people to notice them. Your skin isn't paper: don't cut it; your face isn't a mask: don't hide it; your size isn't a book: don't judge it; your life isn't a film: don't end it. You are beautiful.
With a perspective, I'm K---.