Upon hearing your story at my school, I’m left shaking. You brought out a surge of emotion that has been building up inside me for all my life and you released it. Since you put your trust in me, I have complete trust in you. Like you, growing up wasn’t my most pleasant time. My story could never compare to yours however and I am sorry for the pain you had to face at such a young age. What happened me however has kept with me for over 12 years. I have not spoken a word about it to anyone in this time but I feel in order to free myself from the past and to focus on my future, this is something I must say. At the age of 4, I was raped. As I said, I havent told anyone until now as it brings back haunting images that stop me from sleeping some nights. Throughout my whole life, I’ve had more downs than ups. Like you, I was suicidal and depressed at an early age. While most kids played outside with friends, I chose to lock myself away because I knew it would just cause me more pain. I was bullied since I was 6 and I can say I’ve been through every kind of bullying that exists. Verbal bullying, physical bullying, cyber bullying and of course the worst, emotional bullying. I couldn’t walk out my own door without someone commenting on how I looked, laughing at me or throwing something at me. I couldn’t understand what I did wrong and although I tried so hard to make them happy, I never could and I only realize now that its not something that I have done. I am the innocent one in this, I am the victim. Those many years of bullying took effect on me and just like you, I wanted an escape. I found mine however…in a blade. When you mentioned about the boy who showed you his scars, I felt my wall fall. I clung onto my sleeves, afraid someone would know what hides underneath them. I call them my battle wounds and I have more of them than I count. Most are hidden on my legs where no one can see and I truly feel they represent my heart. I’ve been told every bad thing you could imagine, I was even told that nobody loved me and that when I was born, my parents wanted to drown me because I was such a disappointment. But I know that my parents love for me is unconditional but being young and innocent, I was hurt. I inflicted pain on myself because I wanted to be the one to be in control of my feelings for once. I also began to lose weight and became almost anorexic. It was such a struggle to even wake up in the mornings and I decided one day, enough was enough. I made a selfish move to kill myself at an old rope swing and I almost succeeded if it wasn’t for my best friend. I felt my pain almost immediately disappear as I saw the tears in her eyes. I was loved and I was too focused on my own pain to see the pain I was about to inflict on someone who I love. I’m still struggling now and then with my mental health and the crave to be society’s picture of perfect but I know that nobody in this world is born perfect. Everyone has a story. And this is mine. I feel no need to end it when it is not even in the middle of the story. Thank you for caring and also thank you for sharing your story with me because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading these words I write. I truly feel a weight off my chest from this. Thank you and God bless you.