subject line: I'm a survivor. March 19, 2016 by Hannah Brencher my kitchen floor Dad always told me that he would support me, and mom always told me that she would always be there for me. Mom, you became my best friend when there was no one else there, and we went for a long drive that night after you picked me up from a friend’s house at 2am. I really appreciated that because I cant imagine that getting a call from your 16 year old, sobbing, anxiety ridden, sobbing daughter could be an easy call to take. That night I told you about how I hadn’t eaten a real meal in over 3 weeks. I remember it clearly as we were driving down a state road a good few hours from our house. I could see the sun rising in the east creating gentle, soothing hues of a pale orange, pink, and yellow. I associated the sunrise with hope as I finally confessed that I actually not only needed, but wanted help. I only asked one thing, please don’t tell dad.You see, I knew that dad would be mad at me. He would interpret my eating disorder in the wrong way and I would get punished. Mom, I knew that you had told dad after about two weeks of patiently begging me to eat my dinner as I sat behind my plate of food. Day after day you approached the issue with persistence. But by the second week I was gaining weight and I knew that I was losing my battle. I was going to get “fat” again, and I was losing control. I sat in front of a window in which there was a gorgeous sunset situated behind me. You told me that I would always be more beautiful than any sunrise or sunset. The statement induced more tears, dad became upset, he said to me “your mom told me about how you’re skipping your meals, and it’s completely ridiculous, and you are grounded. Give me your phone”. I was broken, and you both broke me further. I walked away from the table and found refuge in my room. You had both proved lies to me. Mom, you wouldn’t always be there for me, and you would break promises. Dad, grounding me for a problem is not support.When I stormed up the stairs, down the hall, and into my room, I went to find release in the unexpected. I began to, once again, harm myself. I found serenity in a piece of cold, lifeless metal. Self mutilation had taken control, and now I was completely out of control. That night I cut so deep that I was supposed to get stitches, but I couldn’t let you know that I was ripping myself apart piece by piece on the night that it had gotten horrid. However, I did call Ana. Ana found it important, crucial even to find help for me and reached out to a school counselor. I don’t blame her, I mean, at 16 how much can one really do.Alarmed and legally required, the school counselor called you while I sat in her office having a full blown panic attack. My face was marked from tears as if they were required to mark their territory, my chest rose and fell sporadically as I gasped for breaths between dry heaving from hiccupping and crying so hard, and my mind went wild as I heard you burst into tears in the background asking if this meant that I was approaching death by my own will. You, as many others perceived this as being suicidal. I understood.When I arrived home from school that day, we had matching tear marks down our faces and dad’s hands shook. I wasn’t sure if the shaking was from rage, fear, or a combination of the two, but either way, this could not be a good conversation to have.I remember how you vowed to find me help as dad once again, grounded me. You took me to my physician and I soon began therapy. I was terrified, relieved, and secretly thankful.That horrid night, I vowed to never cut myself again, and you never knew that, and you still don’t, but if it wasn’t for you getting me help, seeing past the fact that it wasn’t a cry for help or attention, and loving me through the hell, I probably wouldn’t be on earth anymore.Mom, you raised me a survivor. Tonight is 2 years from that night that I took a blade to my skin for the last time. Tomorrow is 2 years from the day that you saw potential in me and loved me despite my scars. And today is my day to go to the mountain tops, and yell I’M A SURVIVOR!!”Love,Your forever grateful 18 year old daughter you perpetually believed in.