I used to try and make friends the normal way. I will have a huge smile on my face, be in my best outfit for the first day of school, stick out my hand and say, “Hello, my name is Poppy. What’s yours?” Usually, I just get ignored and I will awkwardly pull my hand back. If I am lucky, I get a polite smile that lasts five seconds and that’s it.

That happened every year until I just stop trying altogether.

You see, I have scars on my wrists.

I used to cut myself every single time something bad happened. When my older brother died from a car accident. When my parents kept arguing about whose fault it was. When my parents started arguing about everything. When my parents only talked about my older brother even though he was dead and I was the one alive, eating at the dinner table with them every night. When I started telling myself that maybe if I was the one that drove that night instead, I might have been more important to them than I am now.

It was just me trying to translate emotional hurt into physical ones, hoping that the plasters and bandages on my skin will heal my broken heart. Just a case of overwhelming sadness, low self-esteem and bad decisions.

But I do not do that anymore. I became stronger and decided that I am ready to move on. The past cuts made were too deep to really go away, so my wrists are still scarred today. But they are no longer raw and red and screaming for love. They are faded – just slightly darker than my natural skin colour – and smooth and quietly begging for acceptance.

It is a part of who I am now. I do not want to have to hide all over again with my jackets, long-sleeved shirts and pretend that all those hurt has never happened to me before. Because they have and they were real. Real struggles, real pain and real memories of mine. And I conquered them on my own because everybody else were afraid of what I was doing to myself.

I can understand why they avoided me back then. Even I was afraid of myself.

But now, I am not asking to be saved or pitied this time.

I am a healthy and happy person. A person with past struggles and new dreams. Just trying to reinvent myself and be a better person so I can live life the way I want to this time. Finally gaining self-esteem and embracing the value of my life. So why is everyone still so afraid of me? Are they not proud of me moving on? Why are they not moving on and still treating me the same way they did back then?

I am just asking for acceptance and a chance. And I think that is the least I deserve.