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My 30 Day Challenge

Chapter 5

'Kellin, I can't help you if you won't tell me anything,' said Dr Dawson with a sigh. He wasn't very interesting; I'd been bored since he first spoke, which was an hour and a half ago. There was only 30 minutes left of this crap, then my break, and after that I was stuck with a bunch of kids who were just as messed up as me for four hours. I shrugged.

'When did you start self-harming?' he asked again. Honestly, I couldn't tell him the answer; it had been so long ago. I stared at the floor.

'Alright, then. Do you remember what caused you to start?' he tried again. This time I looked at him - I knew exactly what had been the cause of my cutting, but no way in hell was I about to tell him that so easily. I remembered the day well.

It was fall. My mom and dad had been fighting. I was sitting on the stairs, crying softly as I heard their hateful words.

'Maybe if you weren't such a fucking whore I wouldn't feel like this!'

'Maybe if you actually gave your family any attention you wouldn't fell like that! This is your fault, not mine!'

'How DARE you say this is my fault?! This is all because of you, and I can't take any more of your shit! I'm done!'


Someone came stomping up the stairwell, and I raced back into my bedroom - I was supposed to be asleep. Truthfully, I had been asleep, until the shouting started.

I heard some banging of drawers, the zip of a suitcase, swearing when something wouldn’t shut, then, eventually, the slam of our front door.

No one came to check on me until the morning, when my mother came in and told me to get up and get ready for school.

Over breakfast, she explained that dad would not be coming back. They were finished for good. I would probably never see my dad again.

That day at school, I couldn’t stop crying. The school bullies - who had previously left me alone, decided it was my day to be beaten to a pulp.

I got home that day and I had had enough; I found a screwdriver and extracted the blade from my pencil sharpener.

Still sobbing, I went to the bathroom. All I could think was 'He didn't even say goodbye.' Was I not good enough? Did I not deserve his love? Would I ever see him again? Were the bullies right?

Slowly, shaking, I lifted up my shirt, taking it off. I held the blade to my hip, already abnormally skinny, and dragged it across a couple of inches. It wasn’t deep, and it stung, but sure enough, little red dots began to appear. For some reason, I stopped thinking about my dad, and about what I’d just done. It was great.

I lowered my gaze back to the floor, pretending to be particularly interested in a knot in the wood.

He kept trying to get me to answer his stupid questions. He didn’t care, he even answered his phone and spent 5 minutes on it to someone called Cass. Eventually the end of my two hours rolled up, and I still hadn’t spoken a single word to Dr Dawson.

'Well, Kellin, although today's session wasn't particularly enlightening, I hope that you'll go home and have a think about some of the questions I asked you. For today, though, since it's your first session, I think that the group time isn't necessary. Wednesdays will be your days here at the hospital from now on, okay?' he said. I nodded, grabbed my bag, and left.


'Kellin! What are you doing here?' Mrs Fuentes-Vivian-asked, shocked.

'I got sent home early. They didn't want me to go to the group session 'cause it's my first day.'

'Well, would you rather spend the day at home, or go and sign in at school? You could go to a couple of your classes and make a few friends.'

I pondered this. I could spend the day at home, wallowing in my misery, avoiding the bullies, and procrastinating, maybe even unpack.

On the other hand, I could go to a building full of hundreds of people, confront the bullies, maybe find my way around, and start the boring-ass classes.

For a depressed person, I’d always been one to tackle my problems head-on.

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