It’s Gonna Get Better
Editor’s Note: This story contains themes of severe abuse, self-harm, and suicide.
I hope my story gives you courage to keep going.
I’m only 16 years old, and I’ve felt like a burden my whole life. I was born in India and my dad was in America at the time. When I was born and my dad found out he got a baby girl, he did not come to see me. He came back to India two years later when my brother was born. I first saw my dad when I was two years old.
My parents didn’t want me. I’ve always felt like a mistake because of that. So many people wanted me dead because I was a girl. My grandparents looked after me until I was five, then I moved to another city with my parents when my dad got settled in India again. My brother and I used to get along until one day I realized that my parents loved him more. I got jealous, and now we hate each other. Although I do care about him to a small extent, I’m sure he doesn’t feel the same way about me. He’d ruin his own happiness to see my cry.
And then, there are my grandparents. My grandparents mean the world to me. They loved me and treated me as their own child. My whole heart belongs to them. Without them, I doubt I’d even be alive today, telling you my story.
My parents treated me like a domestic animal. They kept looking for reasons to beat me up and always took out their anger out on me. I didn’t realize any of this until I was ten years old and noticed not everyone’s parents were like mine. I had questions, and every time I’d ask them, they’d beat me up.
So I decided to ask my grandparents. They couldn’t keep it from me. They told me everything. I felt broken. I always wanted to believe my parents loved me, and I did until that day. I know that over the years, they have changed; they do care, even though they don’t show it and still beat me and take out their anger on me. And I’ve always loved them, too, no matter what they’ve done. I chose to forgive them even though they haven’t apologized. At least I have a roof over my head, good education, clothes, food, and all other basic necessities, and I’m thankful to God and to them for it.
Sometimes, no matter how lost and broken you feel, you have to find good things to look up to, no matter how small they are.
I’ve been suicidal since I was ten. When I was 12, I started opening up to people about myself. They tried to help me for a while, but at one point, they stopped believing me because they’d never seen my parents beat me. Of course they didn’t! My parents wouldn’t do that in front of other people. And I was always bruised in places no one could see.
At 16, my dad brought a knife to my throat a couple of times. There were slight cuts, and my mom slit my wrist once. I wanted them to just get it done with. I wanted them to end my life. My parents would always tell me that I was worthless, fit for nothing, that I should actually consider killing myself. Listening to this all the time, I started believing it. They saw my cuts but never said a word. Once, my mom yelled at me for it because she didn’t want other people to see. So I started covering up. My friends would say it was OK for me to talk and that they would always be there for me. At one point, I stopped believing them. I thought: Who would want to be close to someone like me? My own parents wish they hadn’t given birth to me.
I started realizing that I always end up pushing people away. Anyone who gets close to me. Something always goes wrong, and I realize it when it’s too late.
The first time I felt alone was when everyone just stopped believing me and called me a liar. I felt like everyone who got to know me deeper would always leave. Or I would do something wrong and push them away. But that was never intentional.
I’ve tried to commit suicide 17 times in my life; during 4 of those times, I was drunk. I started self-harming when I was 12. At 14, I started smoking but I quit and then I got addicted again. I wanted to take drugs—I was close to taking heroin, but I didn’t let myself go there.
After moving away from my grandparents, my parents wouldn’t let me stay in touch with them a lot. I just wanted to feel loved. I ended up looking for love in the wrong places. I got my heart broken many times by one boy who I loved more than anything else. And it really made me feel like I was not meant to be loved, that I didn’t deserve love. But I found myself a friend who never left my side until this day.
Later in 11th grade, I got close to more people. They were less in number, but they all meant a lot to me. They were always there for me. I never felt this loved by anyone before, except my grandparents, but we didn’t get a chance to talk much. And again, I pushed my closest friends away. I made a huge mistake, lied to them, hurt them…It was wrong to do that. I did not know how to tell them the truth, but I intended to do it soon. Eventually, they found out the wrong way.
At the same time, my grandfather was in the hospital, in a very critical state. And my parents wouldn’t let me go see him.
My anxiety got worse. I couldn’t hold myself together. I was too afraid and feeling alone at this time. Soon, I started to realize that I’m not always going to have someone by my side. Unfortunately, that’s the sad truth. People come and go, and people change. But one thing’s for sure, You’re always going to have YOU. And you should be the most important person to yourself. Once you start loving yourself, others will, too.
I know most of you who are reading this are hurting. But I promise you things will get better. Just give it time. I’m hoping things get better for me and for you, too. You deserve all the happiness and love in this world. And you’re always going to matter to someone.
You need to know your worth, and to know yourself. I am gradually healing. I realized it actually hurts less when you’re not dependent on someone to hold you in your dark days. You can’t always expect that. I realized I wasn’t truly alone. I have ME. I’ve always had me, but I didn’t choose to love myself before. Sometimes, you have to get back up on your feet, by yourself. And each time you do that, you become a stronger version of yourself. You learn from your mistakes and grow stronger as your wounds heal.