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Stigma Fighters : Hanna Hensley

It all started in elementary school. I was bullied right from the start. Halfway through 4th grade I switched schools, and things got a little better. I now know why things were better – it’s because I was the new kid. Everyone wants to be friends with the new kid. 5th grade all that stopped. I started being bullied again. I only had a few friends and at recess sometimes they would be off doing other things and I would be sitting alone. I did the talent show, and when we performed in front of the school, not that many people clapped.

Now off to middle school. This is where things start to get bad. I was pushed down the stairs, pushed into lockers, and bullied. I spent a lot of time with my guidance counselor. I tried to fit in. I tried out for the cheerleading team. That was a disaster. Everyone laughed. I went to a dance; I asked my guy friend if he would go with me, but he wound up standing me up. I saw him there. Some people started chasing me and I slipped and fell. Everyone was laughing. No one asked me if I was all right when I left. There was a moonbounce, and it collapsed on me. Nobody asked me if I was all right. When I left, I was crying.

Now high school. I started to cut myself in high school… Well, end of 8th grade. I hid it from everyone. The first time I had sex, I was raped. I hardly told people. Then I was in an abusive relationship. He would grab me, harass me, push me, and he strangled me with a hockey stick. I would cut myself in the shower, so it looked like I had cut myself shaving.

That went on for four years. People called me a whore, slut, retard, etc. At that point I felt like I was better off dead. There were also days where I spent time in the guidance counselor’s office. I started CBT, and did that for a while, but it didn’t help my depression. I was still cutting myself. There were many days I’d come home and cry. I’d tell my mom it was because I was frustrated and stressed. But that was a lie. I wasn’t doing my homework; I wasn’t motivated to do anything. Even thing things I loved, I didn’t want to do them.

Now in college, I thought all of this BS would stop. But I was wrong. It kept happening… Which means that I kept cutting. I have been over a year clean of harming myself. I’m not proud of what I used to do, but it’s just another thing that makes me who I am today. I am so thankful and blessed to have a supportive boyfriend… Nathaniel Mann.

I also have a tattoo on my left wrist. It’s a daily reminder that there is hope out there. You just need to keep faith, and a heartbeat, and there is hope.

I still get stuck in depression holes, and I think about all the people who love me. It would hurt more people than I have fingers and toes to count.

You need to have faith.
I never lost hope.
Neither should you.

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10400774_719084714821680_5424170060211502067_nMy name is Hanna Hensley. I am 21 years old. I am dating Nathaniel Mann. I am an aspiring makeup artist. I am an avid soccer player. I am also pursuing my degree in ASL (American Sign Language). Life is so precious.
Live your life to the fullest. but most importantly… Be yourself, not someone others want you to be.

Hanna can be found on Twitter

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