A: Yes, you should get help. You are describing several things that concern me in your letter. First and foremost, that you have hurt yourself and have thought of hurting others, including your cat. It could be that the stress of never really being yourself and having to keep up these fake identities is becoming too much to bear. There is no reason to continue this habit. People will like you for who you really are, and, if they don’t, don’t worry about them and focus on the friends who know the real you. Although, you may not know the real you either at this point, but it can be fun and interesting to find out.
To a certain extent, we all have a social persona for acquaintances and the public and an authentic self that we show only our closest friends and family. However, from what you are describing, I’m not sure that you let anyone see your true self. Furthermore, you are only 13 years old so are still at an age when you are figuring out who you really are anyway. In some ways it is quite normal at your age to try out different personality styles, but this should not be creating the amount of stress you describe.
Working with a therapist, or your school counselor, can help you form a consistent and stable identity, but even more importantly, help you find healthier ways of coping with stress. Cutting can seem like a good release at first, but it creates permanent scars and can lead to infection and other problems. Your thoughts of hurting yourself and others is really a sign that you need some support. You took the first step by writing in, please take the next one by getting some professional help.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts