I was a self-mutilator for eleven years. I didn’t start out with cutting necessarily but it progressed into that. It all started just simple, trying to knock myself out against a brick wall or scratching myself, picking at myself and whatever I could do to feel the pain and make it manifest in some kind of way. I remember my parents used to come in and wake me up every hour to make sure I was still conscious because they found out I was hitting my head against the wall and stuff like that. I was very angry. My grandfather was a Baptist preacher. My dad is an Elder and a Youth Pastor at our church. I grew up going to church, Sunday school and going to different VBS’s. I lived a pretty normal childhood. But at the age of eight, I was kidnapped off of my school property and was raped. It wasn’t completely full intercourse, but it was molestation, and touching in places that should not be touched. Beforehand, I and my brother were supposed to be walking across the street to my moms' work and we got into a fight. I didn’t want to walk with him. My mom told us never to cut through the baseball fields. And I did. That’s when I was taken. So I believed I was in trouble because I got into a fight and I walked the way I wasn’t supposed to walk and I was late coming home from school.
Then it led into, I would stab myself with a sewing needle. Or any kind of needle. Just to feel that pain. To know, you're still here. You're still human. You're still alive in some way. To make that pain, just show what I felt on the inside. The dying I felt on the inside. Just to show it. Then one day I remember, I was cutting a banana. I got my finger and that was the release I was looking for. My grandparents own a framing store in Dayton. They have razor blades around. I used to steal razor blades from their store. Hid them in all sorts of different places. Behind my cell phone battery if they're thin enough. I could hide them there. I could hide them in my wallet, in my mattress or anywhere really. I could find a spot to hide them. I cut myself on my rib cage. I had some on my arms but nothing that would be major. Because I had to be able to stand up in church and show that we are the perfect Christian family.
By the time I was eighteen I had been engaged three different times to three different men and I was pregnant. Four and a half months later I miscarried my little girl. And my life ended. I didn’t want to live anymore. I had no reason to live. I was already a mess. After my last suicide attempt, I ended up in the emergency room. I realized I really didn’t want to die but I didn’t know what I needed. I wanted to change. I didn’t know how. Finally, I told my dad; “I need something. I need something.” He had been looking into different programs. That was his only way I was able to come back into my families life, was to get some kind of help. That’s when he found Women at the Well. That’s when we went and we toured right after Christmas of 2012. There was just like this overwhelming peace and presence there. Where I didn’t know what it was. I’m not a big crier but I cried the entire time I was there, my entire tour. That’s when I realized that’s what I wanted. I wanted that peace. I wanted that presence to be with me wherever I went. I can go to him with anything and say yes God I am hurting right now. But I know that you can make it go away. You’re the only one that can fill the void in my life that I try to fill with something else. I don’t have to hurt myself because I know that God has already taken that mark for me. I don’t have to put another one on my body. He has already taken all of that from me. He has truly set me free. I would be lying if I said I don’t struggle from time to time. But when I do struggle. I go to the word of God. And it’s a slow process of Him just slowly renewing my mind of the fact that I’m worthy. I’m not worthless. I’m not helpless. I’m loved and I am His.