Love Island’s Belle Hassan self-harmed at 13 after bully called her ‘ugly sl*g’
Love Island’s Belle Hassan has opened up about self-harming at the age of 13 due to bullying at school.
The 23-year-old told the The Sun that she “went through a very long stage of hating everything” about herself, and that she was unable to look at herself in the mirror because she was disgusted with herself.
Belle said that the self-hatred and self-harming began when she was 13 and continued until the age of 19.
She said: “It was also about punishment because I hated myself so much. I hated myself for not being what I wanted to be, and self-harming became my way of expressing that pain.”
Belle hid her self-harming using clothes that covered up her scars so that her family, including actor father Tamer Hassan, 53, would not know and ask questions.
Belle said she believes it was triggered by a hate campaign against her that was started at secondary school led by a boy she briefly dated.
She explained that after she broke up with him he turned nasty towards her and began abusing her, having to be removed from her lessons for calling her a “f***ing slag” and “ugly”.
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Belle explained: “When someone tells you that over and over at such a young age, you begin to believe it. My opinion about myself began to change.”
She found herself increasingly isolated and after hearing girls at school discussing self-harming, she tried it and soon became addicted to “punishing” herself.
Belle said: “At the time of doing it, your brain goes into a frenzy — you’re not thinking straight — and it did help me temporarily. But that feeling is over quickly and it’s followed by shame, disappointment and embarrassment.”
As she grew up Belle said that this pattern continued with her dating men who treated her badly, including one who became violent towards her, and on one occasion headbutted her so she broke her nose.
Belle hid her self-harming for four years until she was 17 and her mum caught her, leaving her family devastated, and making her dad cry.
This caused her to seek professional help and she went to a counsellor who taught her a mindfulness technique.
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“He told me to imagine I had a radio in my head that was loud and too close, and to pretend I was turning it down when I felt like I was losing control. Amazingly, it started to work and suddenly I could actually think,” she said.
Belle explained that she did not get better overnight and had many relapses, but that they were part of her journey to healing.
Belle concluded by saying it is a “work in progress” but that she never wanted to harm herself ever again.
For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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