Category Archives: mental health

Unique, Volume 4

By Stacey Lehrer

EDITOR’S NOTE: Get caught up here on Unique’s story.

When she was having a hard time and trying to hold it together, Unique would often say, “Give me 5 reasons that you love me.” The first time she asked me, it caught me off guard. I wasn’t used to having conversations like that. I wasn’t used to talking about my emotions in general, and I’d certainly never told her that I loved her. I’d spent years by that point listening to her talk about how she was feeling, and trying to counter the negative thoughts. I resisted at first, and saw how upset it made her. Her life experiences and her depression had told her that she wasn’t worth loving. She needed to hear that she was, and she was trusting that I could tell her that. So I did…that night, and countless other times over the years that followed. And I learned something from each of the qualities I admired in her.

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An Image of Self-Violence

by Darick Taylor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Discretion is advised. Following is a story about self-harm and suicide. 

This piece originally published on Across the Margin.

My therapist had introduced me to another of her clients: a woman in her mid-40s with a history of self-harm. She had a kind of loose-skinned thinness brought about not by her age but by the incessant tanning she hoped would camouflage her scars. Her natural teeth had clearly been replaced by dentures, giving her a look that lay in a place between her actual age and twenty years older.

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Unique, Volume 3

By Stacey Lehrer

EDITOR’S NOTE: Get caught up here on Unique’s story.

They eventually won the appeal, allowing Unique to continue staying in the SCL placement. By that point I’d watched Unique’s worst fear of totally losing control play out. She couldn’t have any kind of conversation that made sense, and often didn’t seem to know who I was. When I visited that summer she was convinced that she had just been in an awful car accident, and that she had all kinds of broken bones and wounds. She sobbed that she didn’t want me to see her like that. Not long after that, she stopped talking completely, for a period of several months. I still called her every day, and had one-sided conversations, to the sound of her breathing, or sometimes crying. In the middle of that, she moved to a new city, to a new house, with new staff who didn’t know her as anybody other than this silent person. The staff were confused about why I would be calling her.  One guy, who barely spoke English, took a full year to understand that I was her friend. Other staff caught on faster and got used to my calls. One guy talked to me so often that he started answering the phone in a falsetto when I called to try to trick me.

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The Imposter

by Djemima

Why do you pretend to be something you are not is the question that echoed out within my head as I laid there in the cold. It was clear that they had discovered that I wasn’t truly who I was and all the things I did were just luck. And just as luck fades so did my great feats of intelligence. They faded out leaving me blank and in a haze of panic.

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