The following content may contain information about depression, anxiety, self-harm and/or other related material which may be triggering. Reader discretion is advised.

Story Submission by Anonymous, Age 21

I was only 14 the first time I tried to drown myself.

When I grew older, I started to understand that no matter how much you wanted to let go, your body would never simply let you stay under water. So I tried other means.

I was bullied from the first day of Grade 1 until the last day of Grade 12. I hated school not because of the teachers or the algebra or the homework; I hated it because 90 percent of people around did not allow me to learn.
I thought that finishing school was a great feat: that I would never see bullies again; that I could go on to grow as an adult without anyone throwing nasty remarks or leaving me with bruises. I was wrong.

I kind of didn’t understand why people over the age of 18 would still do stupid things like egging my house or car. But then again, I kind of didn’t understand these people for 12 years of knowing them.

It started once a week, on any random given night, at any time after midnight. 20 eggs, 30 eggs, 60 eggs, and one day 80 something eggs all over my window, house and car. This was two years after finishing high school. The same people that tormented me from day one, found me.

I always thought that there were people worse off than me. Grade 7, there was one kid who got bullied. He was different, he wasn’t “normal”, he might have had a learning deficiency or something that made him look different to other people. Everyday, people would humiliate him. It broke my heart. I stuck up for him. Wrong move.

I keep asking myself “What would have happened if I had just ignored it and stuck to flying under the radar at this new school?” But then I tell myself, “You have a heart bigger than most.”

I stuck up for him, and then I became the new target.

There’s one scene that will never fade from my mind. The one image that destroys me and brings me down to absolute nothing. The one memory that destroys me daily.

I was walking in the rain of the school courtyard and my father had given me a brand new umbrella as a gift (the little things I appreciated). I tried standing up for myself that day. I was walking and someone kicked a puddle which drenched me from top to bottom. I kicked the water back. Wrong move number two.

I was chased into a corner by what felt like fifty people. Punched, kicked, slapped, ripped, scratched. I tried protecting myself under my dad’s umbrella. Everything stopped; everything was quiet. I remove the umbrella, tears running down my face, and the whole grade plus more students from other grades stood around me quietly. Just watching me as I was humiliating myself trying to hold the tears back. They just stared.

I grew up, and these people eventually grew up too. I was contacted years after finishing school with apologies and people asking for forgiveness. Unfortunately, a simple sorry may clear their conscience, but mine… Mine was scarred. The images of torment and tears, they never quite fade.

I turned my depression and lonely weekends into building my dream car, a Honda Integra DC5 Type S. It is my baby, it makes me happy and ultimately my mind is clear.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm or addiction, please reach out. Call 13 11 14 for Lifeline’s 24hr Telephone Crisis Support or contact a mental health professional. If you are looking for other mental health resources, browse our Find Help page.

If a life is in danger call 000 immediately.

Stories written by members of the Cars For Hope community. Find out how you can submit your story today.

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