This article contains information about self harm and may be sensitive to certain readers.
“The pain was unbearable, until one day my body cascaded with warm, red streaks of liquid. That was my only source I went to; I treated my body like a canvas with different shades of red,” senior Kelly Phan wrote in a personal essay. Throughout her life, Phan has dealt with family problems, leading to self-inflicted harm.
From an early age, Phan’s parents have been in an unhealthy relationship filled with arguments and fights, she said. In addition to that, she dealt with physical and verbal abuse at school. These conflicts took a toll on her psychologically, but she has since recovered.
“My parents never really had a good relationship, and it was partially because of school,” Phan said. “I used to get bullied all the time, shoved against lockers, and made fun of.”
Eventually, an administrator at her middle school found out and other people became aware of her struggles.
“My dad was the first parent to find out about the self harm, because the school found out about it,” Phan said. “I showed him my arm, and I could see it in his eyes that it broke his heart.”
Phan began her path to recovery when she realized how much she was impacting her parents emotionally.
“The reason why I stopped was because it was just leaving marks on me and hurting my mom,” Phan said. “I was tired of seeing her and the people that care about me cry all the time.”
With self harm being her only solace, Phan went into therapy and was diagnosed with several mental illnesses. The constant fighting and arguments had nearly destroyed her mental health.
“I took medications because I used to see hallucinations and really weird figures,” Phan said. “ It sucks because nobody would want a voice in your head telling you to hurt yourself or kill yourself.”
Phan has made progress in recovering through therapy and has not harmed herself for years. She is currently working towards her own happiness.
“I still get panic attacks now and then due to the stress and work at school,” Phan said. “I carry an inhaler with me everywhere I go, because I’m prone to [asthma] attacks.”
Currently, Phan is a member of the cheer team and strives to recover completely. By rebounding from her troubles, her friends and family can be happy.
“Whenever I have the urge to hurt myself, I think about my parents, my boyfriend, and my friends,” Phan said. “I’ve seen my friends and family cry about me. It’s a motivation for me to not do it.”