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Salamanders Young Burn Survivors > Your Own Stories > Kelly's Story

Burn Survivor Kelly's Story

My name is Kelly, I'm 27 and work full time as a homeless support officer.

I didn't have a very good childhood for one reason and another and developed depression. At the age of 14 I began self harming (cutting my arms and stomach). This developed into a daily habit and I suffered in silence for many years, partly because I felt ashamed but mainly because it was my only way of coping at the time. It made me feel alive.

As the years went by I got worse and worse until finally I decided to end my life. I knew what I was going to do for several days but acted as though everything was fine. When I was 22 I set myself on fire. I spent one week in intensive care and two months at the burns unit at Nottingham queens medical hospital. My family didn't realize what had been happening and, as you can imagine, they were completely mortified!

It's taken me ages to get some kind of normality back in my life and only recently I have been employed. I feel desperate to give something back to community life but sometimes feel like an outcast (I think this is down to my own feelings of guilt) however, my self esteem and confidence has taken a deep knock. I have children look and ask questions when I am out and about (kids tend to be more honest) whereas adults say they barely notice the scars. I don't really enjoy going out much anymore and feel very unattractive. At some point I would like to write a book about my experiences as I feel this may help others. I recently won an award for my work in the community after everything I have been through, but I would still like to do more.

Kelly - Burn Survivor

Copyright © Kelly (March 2006) All Rights Reserved.