Angela

Angela was self-harming before being referred to Action for Children.

I was self-harming and my mum and dad told me I was to be watched every time they left the house, because they were worried about what I’d do.

I didn't really want to talk about why I wanted to hurt myself. Basically, I’d let my best friend down – I’d told a secret she’d asked me to keep, and now none of my friends wanted to know me.

The worst thing was, when my friends first asked me whether I’d told, I denied it. Then I didn't want to go back on what I’d said, so I kept on denying it, even though it was a lie. So I was a liar and a rubbish friend, and now my family weren't trusting me. That’s what was going through my head at the time and it was all too much.

I didn't speak much at all in my first session with Sarah from Action for Children. I just mentioned about putting on a face with my family, so that they’d know I was okay. I said I didn't want to talk about the self-harm. Sarah didn't make me talk about anything, though she did say she was worried about suicide. I told her that wasn't going to happen, and we agreed to work on communication skills.
Sometimes I can think really negatively, and then I think I’m the worst person in the world. Sarah helped me list out the positive things about me
Angela
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"We ended up talking about far more than that over the next few weeks. In the end I did tell her the truth about that secret I should have kept. It was such a relief – Sarah said everyone makes mistakes growing up. Sometimes I can think really negatively, and then I think I'm the worst person in the world. Sarah helped me list out the positive things about me – like the way I empathise with people. We talked about my mum and dad, and how they've had a lot of sadness in their lives. I realised that was why they were so over-protective – it wasn't because they didn't trust me.

Now when I'm feeling low I go downstairs and talk to them, instead of festering up in my room, thinking dark thoughts. School got better too. It wasn't easy, admitting what I’d done, but it meant I could move on and make new friends."

"I just feel better about myself, more confident in who I am. Trust is a gift you give and get from your friends and it is to be treasured. I'm not sure I would have learned that without Sarah and Action for Children."