My name is Emma, I’m a teenager living in New Zealand, and I’d like to share my story.
Not for fame, or recognition, or sympathy, or anything like that.
Purely to tell other girls that they aren’t alone.
I was diagnosed with Autism at 3 years old and ADHD at 7. These 2 conditions have shaped my life since.
When I was 11, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression.
When I was 12, entering into a new year at school, inappropriate rumors were spread about me, lowering all the confidence and self-worth I ever had. At that point, I had built walls all around me, preventing from anyone to come in a support me. Shortly after I transferred to a different school, hoping that it would go ok and I would make some friends, and have a good time. Unfortunately it was the opposite.
It was ok for a while, I was sitting with a group of people, I still felt lonely but I brushed it off then.
Several days later I was playing a game of Truth or Dare with a couple people who weren’t very nice to me, but I ignored them most of the time. In the circle of kids, One of them, who was one of the mean kids, said to me “Emma, I dare you to go up that tree (A big tree in our field) and get a rope and hang yourself.”
At that point, I was actively suicidal and self-harming. I was actively thinking about acting on what those kids had dared me to do. I reached out to my parents who took me to the hospital as we couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment.
Due to the mental health crisis in New Zealand, I waited for 5 hours before eventually being seen by a adult psychologist. In that appointment, the psychologist didn’t understand me and went on and on about the wrong things, making me feel worse and worse. After that appointment I was referred to a mental health clinic, which shortly turned me down after saying “I wasn’t suicidal enough.”
Those words broke me, and my family. I eventually went into private care, where I slowly recovered from my trauma, shortly after being diagnosed with PTSD.
Currently, I’m feeling great, and looking to do a career in Mental Health advocacy.
I want to encourage anyone who’s reading this who is struggling right now.
You are worth it.
You make the world a better place.
You are loved.
You have hope.