I’m From Totowa, NJ.

by Matthew Quintero

Satellite overhead image of New Jersey from Google Earth 2022

I am 17 years old. I live in New Jersey with my parents and my older sister and younger brother. I was bullied in school because I was overweight and gay. I guess people seeing me proud of myself made them feel like they had to hurt me. The worst part of this is when the bullying follows you home. My relationship with my parents isn’t the greatest, but we are getting through everything together and strongly now. But it wasn’t always like that…

7th grade was the first time I took a blade to my wrist. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to feel something real, for once in my life. So after cutting, it turned into burning my skin.

In 8th grade I got into the wrong group of people and began to smoke drugs. It became part of my escape from the hell I was living.

Freshman year of high school, my science teacher decided to sign me up for Wrestling, so I did the whole season, but I stopped eating and started throwing up my food.

The summer going into my sophomore is when I hit rock bottom. I went online and gave my address to a total stranger and told him to come take me away. I just didn’t want to be here anymore. I told him I’d do anything he wants. He never came but it still scares me. What if he comes one day?

Every single day is a struggle to eat and to put the blade down. So today I am sharing my story, telling you that you may feel like you’re alone, but you’re not.

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