Age 16, 1988

Age 16, 1988

For me my mental illness came crashing into my life in full force when I was sixteen.

That was the year I first started hearing voices,

started to believe people could read my mind and insert thoughts into my head,

was the first time I was truly suicidal,

was the year I started to self harm,

dragging a razor blade across my left arm and watching my blood flow,

the first time I was dissociative,

when the world became vague, dreamlike, less real,

as I observed events as if from outside my body like a movie in slow motion,

the year the panic attacks began.

This was also the year I suffered as a survivor of sexual assault,

the most difficult event of my life as a biker held a knife to my throat and raped me,

beating me severely.

From then on I carried a knife in case I am in a similar situation,

not so I could defend myself, but so I could slit my wrists.

To this day the sound of a Harley Davidson makes me physically cringe.

That was when the night terrors began reliving my trauma every time I closed my eyes.

That was the year the negative coping mechanisms developed: cutting, isolating, alcohol, drugs.

That was when the abyss of depression swallowed me up whole,

and I wanted to die or crawl in a hole forever,

because I was worthless, pathetic, weak, and most importantly,

I was to blame for being raped,

I should have been able to stop it as a sixteen year old boy.

This is not how it should be at sixteen.

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