I remember being thirteen and laying on the floor of my room, crying, screaming out for someone to help me. No one came. No one understood. When these fits came over me, the little calm and happy girl I was, would transform into a volatile “monster.” Looking back, this used to happen at least once a week. I would bottle up all my emotions in order to be normal and keep going and then I would explode. That was the first real instance in which I woke up with my head spinning, lying on the floor with blood leaking down my arms from my wrists. That was the first real instance the bruising showed on my face from the way I had beaten it against the wall so I could sleep, so I didn’t have to deal with the pain I was feeling, so that I didn’t have to deal with the “monster” my family said I was. So that I didn’t have to deal with the fears which were the center of it all. Instead I knocked myself out, and woke up alone, still bleeding. The carpet was rough and scratched against my face. That was the first real instance in which I knew something had to be wrong with me.
My sisters never acted out like I did. My mother and father couldn’t understand how a seemingly happy, calm, sweet-hearted girl could suddenly transform into what they described as a “screaming, angry, selfish, monster.” My sisters made jokes about it and would do monster signs behind my back when I wasn’t looking, and all I felt was shame. My mom told me, “Emma, just try to control your anger.” But she didn’t understand, I wasn’t angry, I was afraid.
What’s wrong with me, I thought. I am a “screaming, angry, selfish, monster.” Things are hard enough in my family, I didn’t want to give them me to worry about, so I continued to deny my fears, and deny the moods that left me so depleted of hope or the ability to connect with someone, I was filled with so much shame for the person I knew I was becoming. The person I didn’t understand. The only thing I thought I could do was cut myself. Because it made the worries about death, and my families death, and being raped, about disappointing my father, get a little smaller, and the pain–it made the emotional pain something I could understand. It was just a cut on my arm. The tears made sense then.
Every night I would lay in bed praying to God, crying out, “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me! Please, God, What’s wrong with me?” I grew up with the mentality that if I couldn’t hold the emotion and the “bad part of me” inside, I should kill myself.
Looking back now, I can see myself for what I really was. I wasn’t an “angry, selfish, monster.” I was a girl with so many fears and emotions, that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was drowning in the pain and fears and the loneliness of feeling like I was different than everyone else, and that if anyone saw me like I truly was, my friends or my parents friends, or my dad, they would know I was a monster, and hate me. I deserved their hate.
Now I know that is NOT TRUE!
So what was wrong with me? Nothing! I am not an angry person. I am not a selfish person. I am not a monster!
I am a girl who is still struggling with her fears and anxieties. A girl who battles with depression. I am not alone.
When your young and figuring out who you are, the main thing is you want to fit in. I tried my best, but I couldn’t, so instead of asking, why don’t I fit in? Why do I scream and get angry? And therefore coming to the conclusion I now know is true. Instead I asked myself the terrible question: What’s wrong with me? Like it was my fault. Like it was something I had done wrong.
I wish I could go back and give myself a hug at that age and tell my thirteen year old self that it’s okay. That I understand She is just frightened. Instead of hating myself and punishing myself for showing emotion, I wish I would have figured out how to tell people how I felt. Written it all out, as I have now, and have someone say to me, “It’s okay. I understand. Everyone gets fearful, everyone gets sad. ”
So to anyone who is asking themselves that question right now. “What is wrong with me?” “What is wrong with me?”
The answer is nothing. Nothing is wrong with you! There is no shame in fears, there is no shame in acting out, there is no shame in depression. The biggest part of the fight is realizing it’s okay that you feel the way you feel. Tell everybody. Don’t hide it. It doesn’t make you weird or abnormal. People won’t love you less. They will love you more because they will know the real you!
Please don’t listen to the lies, that you are “shameful and selfish and a monster.” You’re not! You’re beautiful and complicated and just want to be loved and understood. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are. That’s the person everyone wants to know! I know this because that’s my story. I was so afraid to tell anyone about my depression and anxiety for so long, and now, I have true friends who love me for who I am, not for the few days of the week I can hold myself together. But for the sad times, and the fearful times too.
You’re brave and I believe in you. What’s wrong with you?
You are hurting. But you will get better, and feel better. Just show the world who you are. Don’t hide it. You’re a work of art.