Hey Aunt Becky!

First off, I’d like to say that I think you are an amazing, hilarious, smart, talented person. I’m not trying to suck up, I really do think this.

Secondly, my question is kind of simple, but I just don’t know what to do.

See, I’m probably one of your younger readers. As in, I can’t get my license right now because I’m not quite old enough. I am also depressed with borderline OCD, self-mutilation problems, and struggling with an eating disorder. As a teenage girl, most people just chalk all of this up to teenage angst and silly attention-whoring.

To be honest, they might be right. I’ve been getting better, slowly, but it’s difficult. Anyway, I’m just lost. You see, my older brother is going off to college in a few months and I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. I’ve had to deal with(and still do) years of emotional and sometimes physical abuse. I have an extremely difficult time talking about all of this, even to an anonymous place like Band Back Together.

Anyway, with my brother leaving, and more issues, I feel like I’m spiraling back down where I used to be. I don’t want to go back to the place I was in. I just don’t know what to do. Talking to people, is pointless, as they just tell me that my life isn’t that bad, so why am I depressed?

I realize this is long and rambling and kind of pointless, but I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do to pull myself back out of this…shithole(excuse my french) that I’m stuck in. What do I do? Thank you for reading all of this.

-Stuck in CS

Oh Prankster, you’re breaking my heart.

First, you’re not an attention whore. People who suffer from mental illness – especially self-injury – often are told that it’s just an “attention getting thing.”

They couldn’t be more wrong or more dangerous. Self-injury is a symptom of disease, just like high blood sugar is a symptom of The Diabeetus. Mental illness is no different than The Diabeetus.

I’m sorry that no one takes you seriously, because I a) understand and b) think it’s bullshit anyone else doesn’t. Mental illness is a serious disorder and should be taken as such.

Clearly, you need to find someone better, who is not bullshit, to talk to. Do you have a guidance counselor at school (shut your whore mouth, I loved my counselor) that doesn’t suck? Will your family listen? A family friend? Because you need to get into treatment of some type.

I’m going to give you some phone numbers that I’d like you to call:

Boys Town National Hotline:

1-800-448-3000

Self-Injury Foundation
1-800-334-HELP

Teen Contact:

972-233-8223

You don’t have to be a dude for the Boys Town hotline, and I’m certain they’ll have some valuable information and insight to give you.

If you are still being abused, please call this number to report it: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a hotline counselor.

Prankster, you’re not alone, and we’re all rooting for you. I know how hard life can be sometimes (boy, do I ever) and I wish I’d had someone to talk to me during those turbulent teen years. I hope that you do write for Band Back Together, that you tell your story over there so it can help both you and others like you.

If I could tell my teen self one thing, it would be this: “it all passes.” Because it does. You’ll get through this because I can tell by your email that you’re a fighter. And anyone who doesn’t take you or your problems seriously because you’re a teenager is bullshit. Fuck them.

Keep reaching out. Grab the edge of that spiral and make it your bitch. You can get through this. I wish like hell it was easier for you.

Sending you love and light and a big, fat, hug,

Aunt Motherfucking Becky

———-

Pranksters, please help me help this girl. Give her some love and/or advice.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

29 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Jana A says:

    Fantastic advice. And sweetie, you’re not alone. We’re all here fighting for you. We would love to have you post on BB2G but if you never do, know that you are loved and lots of surviving thoughts are being sent your way. xoxo

  • Novanglus says:

    I’ve seen and helped people who fought addictions for a long time, and I started off fairly ignorant to the reasons that led to the challenges that people face. Unfortunately the problems that you’re fighting are some of the most misunderstood ones. It’s SO difficult to overcome them alone, and the only way to get through it is to surround yourself with people who either know about them, or are willing to learn about them because they care.

    Aside from dealing with it on your own, I recommend you get pamphlets, brochures and books to give to friends or family that you WANT and NEED for support. Their learning about your challenges will show them HOW they can be there for you. Group therapy, with other facing the same challenges who also bring their friends and families are SO helpful because everyone can relate to each other and whether you’re fighting it or helping someone fight it, we see we’re not alone.

    The flame within you to fight is a great one. Don’t let that slip away. When you conquer this, you’ll not only be incredibly proud of yourself, but you’ll also have the chance to enable others that need your help to do the same.

  • Sherry says:

    Sweetie, I raised two children and believe it or not, I was once a teenager myself. It ain’t easy. Anyone who tells you that being a teenager is easy is lying to themselves and feeding you bullshit. Like Aunt Becky says, it will pass. Even though it feels like it’s going to last forever you will grow and mature and it will pass. Find someone to talk with and don’t give up. I’m sending light and love and hugs your way too. Old lady hugs really are cool… honest :-)

  • Lex says:

    Stuck in CS~

    It saddens me that people won’t take you seriously just because of your age. That shit happened to me growing up, and it turned into a quite the clusterfuck, but I made it out, and things are actually pretty awesome now.
    Aunt Becky’s advice about grabbing the spiral and making it your bitch is probably some of the greatest advice about anything ever (and it can apply to so many things)!

    I’ll send some hugs, too, because hugs are rad. :D

  • HereWeGoAJen says:

    I don’t have any great advice, but I just wanted to send you an internet hug and tell you that I remember being a teenager and it sucked and I was glad to get past that point. It really does get better.

  • Angie says:

    Aunt Becky is so right hon. You’re not alone and you’re NOT an attention whore. Wanting to have someone actually LISTEN to what you feel is not attention seeking. It’s just a means of asking for help. Though I’m not familiar with the other referrals, I am familiar with Boys Town National Hotline. I’ve had personal family experience with Boys and Girls Town, and today that family member is a beautiful (always was), confident, loving (of herself too!) mother of 3.

    You are an amazing person, well-spoken, intelligent, and it’s obvious you’re going to go places in life. Don’t allow others to tell you any different or treat you in a way that makes you give up on your dreams. That’s going to piss Aunt Becky off and I’m a little scared to see her angry. :)

    Hugs and love to you!

  • mirianonymous says:

    Word to all of the above and also, just because your brother is going to college doesn’t mean he’s out of your life. Thanks to Skype you can talk to him any time you and he both have an internet connection, so while you’re doing all this good work to take care of yourself you can keep him posted and check in as needed. Hugs.

  • karen says:

    Heya,

    I want to write from your perspective, kind of. My sister, the one who protected us from our parents and took us out of the house whenever it was looking rocky — to the park all day sometimes! — went and got married when I was 14. I was DEVASTATED. I was already messing around with experimenting with eating disorder practices, but that really sent me off the deep end. And let’s not pretend that a change like college, or marriage, doesn’t change everything because in some ways it does. And that sucks.

    I had a very rough few years before I started to look for help which, believe it or not, doesn’t mean I had a deeper hole from which to dig myself out. It was what it was.

    But when I started to look for help, it came in bits and starts. I knew I came from some really messed up business. I never *heard* anyone tell me I was attention seeking because I knew, in my heart, that I was hurt and lacked coping skills and needed a hand up. And I just kept meeting people, counselors, psychologist, psychiatrists, singing and acting coaches (I know, right?!), roommates, pottery teachers at community centres, who were, each in their own way, wittingly or not, helpful or not, totally instrumental in getting me over that horrible hump that is teenager to adult. It is a road, honey, and you are on it, skilled and stable (or faking it) or not.

    For me, the best thing about really struggling through my teen and early 20s (with lots of breaks — I lived in a lovely village in Indonesia for a while, what a break! — is that any work I’ve had to do since has been a piece of cake compared to that time. And the skills I gained, as well as the self worth and balance, are something I’d rather have gained at 20 then at 30 or 40 or beyond.

    I hope this is helping, mostly what I want to say is this: You are on your path, as hard as it is. It is yours. Perhaps in the future you will see yourself as one of the lucky ones — the ones who have the chance to sort themselves out early, rather than later in life, and who will be fully capable of having strong and healthy relationships and see the less-fulfilling ones for what they are, before they consume you. It is a path of hard work, but I am 44, and I can attest to it being totally worth it.

    It. Gets. Better. You need to do the work, and the work will reveal itself to you if you look. But It DOES Get Better.

    Much love. Post at The Band when you are ready. We are waiting to support you as best you can.

  • Linz says:

    Ditto to all of the amazing above advice. And as one of becky’s other youngerish readers (I’m 22), I’d like to offer you this option. Tweet me, email me (lindsaygoldner at gmail.com) or skype me (lindsaygoldner). I’ve been through the SM, the OCD, the depression, you name it. I’ll gladly direct you to a couple posts I’ve written if you want proof, but more than that, I want to offer you someone who’s closeish to your age who you can talk to while you’re in the process of getting through all this. Definitely find a counselor or therapist, but in the meantime, don’t be afraid to reach out to me, or Becky (she kicks ass) or anyone else on here!

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    Oh, dearest Stuck. :( I’m sorry you’re going through so much bullshit with so little support. I don’t have any wise words above and beyond what has already been said, but I want to send you a *big, fat, squooshy bewbie hug & extra love*. As Jana said, you’ll ALWAYS be welcome at BB2G, anonymous or not. Just know that you’re NOT alone – all of Aunt Becky’s Pranksters and the entire Band love you. <3

  • Tiffany says:

    Dear Stuck. Thank you for reaching out! Everyone above has give you excellent advice…please listen. As someone who has survived much of what you describe and is…if not “normal”, is OK…know and remember that the people who love and support you can come from anywhere. Seek those people out, listen to them, learn their lessons, soak them up like as sponge. Don’t expect anyone to “fix” you…it’s not possible. But, get the tools and support and confidence you need to fix yourself!

  • Joules says:

    As someone who has been dealing with depression since age 12 and someone who never felt heard as a teen, I feel for you so much right now and am sending you big hugs.
    I want you to know that depression doesn’t need a reason to happen and even if you’re life is great depression can still dig it’s hooks into you because, like Auntie B said, it’s a disease just like diabetes. It doesn’t mean you’re not appreciating what you have enough or making enough of your life. It just means that there is a chemical imbalance in your brain leading to feelings of depression. It also doesn’t mean it will always be there. There are many things you can do to fight against it – diet, exercise, medication, meditation. The most important thing you can do is, again Aunt Becky – what she said, find somebody you trust and talk to them. And talk to BB2G if that works for you. Just talk.
    And yes, it will get better. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck like hell now, but eventually it will get better.

  • JTook says:

    We are none of us alone.
    Aunt Becky said it best: Make the spiral your bitch. No one can tell you what you’re feeling. And no one can tell you those feelings are wrong.
    Sending you big squishy internet hugs.

  • AnonymousOwl says:

    Mental disorders are not just like Diabeetus – she isn’t ill. Yes, for many disorders there is a genetic predisposition, but genetics are not sufficient. Mental disorders are just a bunch of clusters of symptoms and behaviours a group of psychiatrists and psychologists decided to put a label on. That’s great so much as then people can get help based on that label, but not great because people start to think there is something intrinsically wrong with them and others start to see them only through the lens of that label. Everyone gets intrusive thoughts. The problem isn’t that she has these thoughts, it is that she acts on them. Self Harm is not an illness, the large majority of people who self harm are psychologically normal. People have been starving themselves through out time all over the world. Stuck has developed maladaptive ways of coping in the context of physical and emotional abuse. She does need help, but there is nothing wrong with HER. The problem lies elsewhere and it isn’t in Stuck.

    Stuck, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re the problem or that you’re ill, you’re just a girl who didn’t get the love and care you deserved and you’re doing the best you can. You can find someone to help you and it does get better.

  • AnonymousOwl says:

    Mental disorders are not just like Diabeetus – she isn’t ill. People get diabetes because of genes or because of an unhealthy lifestyle. Yes, for many disorders there is a genetic predisposition, but genetics are not sufficient and Stuck didn’t do this to herself. Mental disorders are just a bunch of clusters of symptoms and behaviours a group of psychiatrists and psychologists decided to put a label on. That’s great so much as then people can get help based on that label, but not great because people start to think there is something intrinsically wrong with them and others start to see them only through the lens of that label. Everyone gets intrusive thoughts. The problem isn’t that she has these thoughts, it is that she acts on them. Self Harm is not an illness, the large majority of people who self harm are psychologically normal. People have been starving themselves through out time all over the world. Stuck has developed maladaptive ways of coping in the context of physical and emotional abuse. She does need help, but there is nothing wrong with HER. The problem lies elsewhere and it isn’t in Stuck.

    Stuck, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re the problem or that you’re ill, you’re just a girl who didn’t get the love and care you deserved and you’re doing the best you can. You can find someone to help you and it does get better.

  • Soraya says:

    Hi Stuck in CS, I think most people struggle quite a lot through their teenage years (even though they may pretend otherwise). I found myself going through similar problem as a teenager (stuck in a crap town and told to just make new friends, passive aggressive extended family members living in the same house, etc…). One thing I found really useful during the particulary crappiest moments was to imagine life as I wanted it to be. I thought about what I would do once I could leave home and not be legally required to return, where I would go, how I would live and how to earn the money I needed to survive. I did not really want to die or end up waking up in a gutter with a needle in my arm (despite being told thats what would happen to me, nice huh). The really amazing thing was that the things I thought out and planned while trapped in my nightmare did turn to reality (with a lot of hard work). I put myself through uni and got a job that pays well (be prepared to move for work). I bought my own car and home, and found a guy who is wonderful and supports me. I know you will be able to get through all your troubles and come out the other side with the freedom, happiness and optimisim you deserve. Please don’t let yourself fall back into the hole. Wishing you all the best

  • wagthedad says:

    Dear Stuck in CS,

    Aunt Becky’s right. It’s not just that you’re a fighter, but that you know what’s going on with yourself, and that is something that around 85% of “adults” don’t know. You’ve got the personal tools to get through this. I myself suffered from depression, OCD and panic disorders for years before finally going out and getting some help. But the one thing that got me through it was knowing myself.
    It’s a clich√© but it’s what will pull you through.

    Now you just need to take that knowing of yourself and do what Aunt Becky suggested:

    Find somebody to talk to. It’s important not because they might be able to fix you, or even change your situation but they will help you to figure out ways on your own or with the help of others that will change your situation.

    And don’t shy away from anybody when looking for that help. Oftentimes it’s not a guidance counselor or a therapist but the crazy old man/lady who lives next door, or hangs out at the bus stop. Be open, and help will come.

    Second thing from Aunt Becky:
    Fuck them. Don’t let the bastards get you down. Just because they haven’t got their shit together doesn’t mean you have to take their shit.

    And as an adult, let me tell you: even just a few months after turning 18, which is when I assume you’ll be able to go to college and get away from them, what looks like a horrible three years or so ahead of you will look like nothing other than something that made you stronger.

  • Heather says:

    I hope she gets the help she needs. No one should have to go through this alone or be told they are just trying to get attention. Again, if that’s what you were looking for, why don’t they just give it then. (((Hugs))).

  • Your Aunt Becky
    Twitter: mommywantsvodka
    says:

    This message is NOT from AB, but from Brown Owl, who wasn’t able to comment because WordPress SUCKS:

    Mental disorders are not just like Diabeetus – she isn’t ill. Yes, for many disorders there is a genetic predisposition, but genetics are not sufficient. Mental disorders are just a bunch of clusters of symptoms and behaviours a group of psychiatrists and psychologists decided to put a label on. That’s great so much as then people can get help based on that label, but not great because people start to think there is something intrinsically wrong with them and others start to see them only through the lens of that label. Everyone gets intrusive thoughts. The problem isn’t that she has these thoughts, it is that she acts on them. Self Harm is not an illness, the large majority of people who self harm are psychologically normal. People have been starving themselves through out time all over the world. Stuck has developed maladaptive ways of coping in the context of physical and emotional abuse. She does need help, but there is nothing wrong with HER. The problem lies elsewhere and it isn’t in Stuck.

    Stuck, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re the problem or that you’re ill, you’re just a girl who didn’t get the love and care you deserved and you’re doing the best you can. You can find someone to help you and it does get better.

    Thanks!
    From a person who spends a lot of time trying to help people see they are not the problem, the problem is the problem.

  • FoxyBlur says:

    Awwwwww. Aunt MF Becky is right, it does all pass. I know it seems hard now, and like it won’t ever get better, but it always and I mean ALWAYS does. I went through a similar rough patch when I was young, but you know what, it passed. It got better, I grew up, I went away to college, I got a life, and those issues in my past became just a few shitty memories. Depression has nothing to do with “having reasons to be depressed”–you can have nothing wrong with your life and be depressed, AMFB is right, it is an illness just like diabetes–you can’t see it, but it is there. Depression is pretty common, people just hide it. Just stick in there, and try to keep positive. You’re gonna have an awesome life, I know it, you’re funny and strong, and you’re gonna kick ass. Trust me, I’m a great judge of character, and you my dear are gonna rock the pants off your future. :)

  • Alizabeth says:

    Stuck in CS,
    Ive been working on my spiral for years. I’m sorry you are not getting much help. I didn’t when I was your age either. My father just got the doctor to stick me on some anti-d’s and called it good. Just like Aunty B said, it will get better but you gotta know when you need some help. I kept waiting for mine to get better and that’s how I ended up in the emergency room. Now I’m in therapy and I’m feeling better. Please please take that first step to call those numbers for help. Email me if you need to talk.

    Wngdseraph@yahoo.com

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    Stuck in CS,
    It does get better, it really does. As a teenager I was depressed too and thought about hurting myself, but there was nothing REALLY wrong. My parents were together, no one abused me, we were middle class, I had friends, good grades, so what was the problem? I’m still not really sure. I didn’t go to therapy then because a) I didn’t want to admit defeat. I thought this was something I could fix on my own and b) I was embarrassed. Push past it and seek help, I wish I had then. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents maybe your school’s guidance counselor?

    I suffered from bulimia in high school as well, probably where my depression also came from as I had really low self-esteem. Eating disorders are hard. They never completely go away. While its been so many years since I’ve made myself thrown up I’ve thought about it many many times. For me, I realized that I wanted to change my appearance for other people. I wanted other people to view me as prettier and hotter. What made me stop was I realized that I need to stop living for others and start living for ME. I’m not gonna lie that it was easy or the only thing. I also started dating someone which really helped me boost my self esteem and after him I had learned how to take better care of myself.

    Good luck! I know its hard and I hope the best for you!

  • La Printemp says:

    Sweetie, we have all been there in SOME capacity. Granted, some of us have never had to experience any type of abuse, but that’s rare. There are ALWAYS going to be people in your life that will try to keep you down, what YOU have to do is find a way to keep yourself afloat. There will be others that will help you, but each person has his/her own way of surviving. It IS your path, and you HAVE to forge it according to what works for you. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you’re over-reacting or that you’re just trying to get attention. Know how I know they’re full of the shit? You’re asking for help. Those who just want attention don’t ask for help, because that ultimately may end the attention. You’re super brave for asking for help!

    And your brother’s still going to be there for you. Both have cell phones? Text him! Email him! Skype him! Also, and this doesn’t just go for you, but if you or anyone ever feels utterly alone and needs someone to talk to, or just someone to VENT to, PLEASE feel free (day or night, I don’t care!) to text or call me. Here it is: 916-533-6365. Seriously. If texting a stranger is the difference between you feeling like crap and maybe just making it through the night a little bit easier, then I’m here. I wish I could be there for anyone who feels the way you do.

    Just… PLEASE understand that most people, if not everyone cos they rock, on here and BB2G are your friends and want only the best for you. We’re here for you, sweetie. Please believe that and KNOW it, especially in your darkest hours.

    Take care of you and MANY big bear internet hugs!

    Erin

  • Kerrin says:

    Dear Stuck , I feel your pain like you can’t believe ! I’m now 38 but have so much repressed resentments, hurts, pain and anger I am a lil 7 yr old in a 38 yr old body, you can’t heal without confronting the issues that you are dealing with, what sucks is when the answer isn’t even a bit decent!
    I was told all my life ” she wasn’t capable” it took years for me to understand that it took me going to school to learn about mental illness
    I am so sad when reading what ur going thru, PLZ reach out to someone you trust a friend , a friends mom, a stranger at the coffee shop, or just hold ur beautiful self high as can be and go to a clinic, church, fire det, or the police or hospital, just don’t ignore this!! I’m praying for you hinny!!

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  • Kate says:

    Ah. You sound exactly like me 10 years ago. I would definitely have been reading Aunt Becky (!) and my diagnoses at the time were Borderline PD, Depression, Generalized Anxiety, EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), and there was self-mutilation with a dash of PTSD thrown in too. The OCDlike trichotillomania came later. Emotional abuse too. It was good times… except 100% the opposite. Turns out that the labels don’t mean much. Borderline was completely wrong. Don’t put too much stock in the labels. Also, nobody would have guessed how much I hurt and just how much was wrong at home and how absolutely desperate I felt so. often. I looked normal from the outside. I’m mentioning that because I don’t want to sound crazy when I go into the next bit! :)

    I’m trying to think what I would have wanted to hear. All I have is, it gets better. Honestly every year after high school got better and better. That does not mean don’t fight for it now. It only got better because I hung in there for miserable and lonely years. I honestly cannot imagine having to go through it all every day again. I admire you for doing it right now. It gets better, I swear. You have to work for it though, and that’s tough.

    How do you take care of yourself? Why do you listen to the little bad voice in your head? Can you try fighting that little shitty voice at least some of the time? YOU are all you really have. Yeah, that’s terrifying, isn’t it? Scares me to no end. At some point though you kind of realize you have to fight with all you’ve got because nobody else can/will do it for you.

    Build your own support network. I don’t know what they might look like- I’ve never been really social or normal until college so mine wasn’t typical. When people said “reach out to someone” I’d laugh. Please. If it was only that easy, right? I could only do that on the Internet. It sounds lame but the internet saved me a lot of times. I found people I could email and who would support me and tell me I was worth it and it would get better and it made all the difference.

    Do you have any medication? I’m not a big jump-on-the-medication-train person but I’m pretty sure I would be a walking disaster without it. It took a couple tries to get it right but thank goodness it finally did.

    If you want to stop cutting, you have to think up something to replace it. I eventually found tearing paper into tiny tiny pieces worked to get through the urges. I fucked up a lot though, and relapsed during tough times over the years. You can sit on your hands, go for a run, write a note, do ANYTHING that won’t hurt you. I know you feel like you deserve it and need it but here’s the thing: You don’t. No seriously: you don’t.

    You write quite well- its clear just from your post. What about starting a blog? Speaking from mistakes of experience here, just be real careful about not using details that clearly identify you.

    One word of warning is that the eating disorder and cutting “communities” online can be pretty competitive and fucked up. Don’t play that game. Getting thinner/hungrier/sicker is not a thing anyone wins, except maybe utter misery. You don’t need to prove your misery to anyone; you’re entitled to feel any way.

    Will you be able to visit your brother? Skype with him? I know its not the same. I understand. I was the older sibling and leaving was a huge guilt-trip for me. How could I leave my little brother like that even though he was safe by then?

    Try to find an interest- anything thats not injurious to you that is!- and throw yourself into it. Read. Join a sports team of sorts. Sing. Build furniture. Write. Babysit. Do jumping jacks. Run. Research your family tree. Plan your future. If it helps, imagine your future babies and look for clothes for them- I imagine it might since you read a mommyblog (although really we know AB’s blog is more than that label tends to mean)!

    If you want to email I’d love to talk to you more. Hang in there. It gets better. It really does.

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