Ten

Today I was at the Dragon Café, a mental health creativity hub in South London.  I was sitting there, doing some oil pastelling to  kill a bit of time, when a little girl sitting next to me said “What happened to your arms?”
For some reason, maybe because her mum had mental health problems, maybe because I sensed something, I said vaguely “I used to hurt them”.
“I do that,” she said.
“How old are you?”
“Ten.  I get bullied at school.”

How can this little girl slip through the net?  I hope, hope, hope that she is getting support.  I hope she is being taken seriously.  But I fear that terms like attention seeker, thoughts like it’s a phase, are being bandied about.  I fear that intervention about the bullying is, as all kids fear, “just making it worse.”  I worry that a child as young as my sister finds solace in cutting and doesn’t have a different outlet (she was, by the way, quite good at painting).

And I remember being thirteen… and I magnify this sadness tenfold and wonder how my mum felt when she first learned what I was doing to myself.

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8 thoughts on “Ten

  1. Good on you for being honest with her. Hopefully she is getting the help she needs. I started hurting myself at a very young age but no one knew. I think it was a bit of a relief when they all finally found out.

  2. That poor child.:( You were meant to be where you were for her to meet you. I haven’t heard of anyone that young cutting. Did you get to talk to her much more or was it a quick chance encounter?

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