Trigger Warning: Cutting, self-harm.
“I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real.”
I cut today. Part of it felt freeing, a release of pressure like punching a hole in a potato before you microwave it. I hadn’t cut in a really long time. I felt so overwhelmed that I just resorted to an old habit. I couldn’t get to the train in time to watch a friend’s kids even though I told her I could. I thought I could but I had misjudged my timing and my panic set in and I was fucked. I ended up hyperventilating and passing out on the kitchen floor for a few moments and woke up with a sickening guilt inside. So I cut to get rid of that feeling. It was a compulsion. It was a thought. It was a need that I had, that I did. I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I needed it! I knew it would be superficial so I wasn’t as worried as I should have probably been as I should probably be. It didn’t feel as good this time which was strangely a nice feeling. And I’m not hiding it this time. I didn’t even hide it for a second. I almost immediately told my best friend that I had done it and then told my boyfriend. I told so I wouldn’t hide it, I couldn’t hide it. I always thought it didn’t make much sense that here I was desperately trying to get attention for my emotional pain but also feeling so much shame for the physical pain I was causing myself at the exact same time. So I covered up the wounds until they were healed enough to be overlooked. Until they were just old scars that were just bad memories. I actually love my old scars I never hide my scars, only the fresh cuts. The scars I wear with pride sometimes like I survived some intense battle and I am still surviving because I Indeed am! Every day I survive! I did survive an intense battle and I won. I fought against an enemy that came in the night and stole a bit of my childhood over and over and I stood up to him and I won. And even though I was severely wounded and even though now somewhat healed, I’m scarred forever and I still fight every day.
The hard part is that I can’t show the scars of my sexual abuse. I put on a façade and people don’t understand that I can detect a pedophile from a mile away so to speak. They don’t understand that I see a child’s behavior and immediately analyze it for the worst and hopefully have nothing negative to report. Unfortunately, too many children aren’t in a safe environment. They are living with their pedophile Grandfathers, Fathers, Brothers, uncles… I realize woman are pedophiles too. I am not denying this. I am just more familiar with the male pedophile, this is my experience.
I cut. I focus on the pain. I feel the blood and see it drip down and I feel good for a brief amount of time. I never cut too deep. The one time I did I panicked but now the scar is like a trophy of survival. I keep wanting to get more scars like that but I’m scared and know that the healthy part of me really doesn’t want that. I choose my left arm. I don’t know exactly why. I wish I did. Maybe it is because my arms are the most visible part of me that is not life-threatening. And since I am right handed I can cut easier my left arm. Maybe it is something else entirely but that is where my scars lie and today I have fresh superficial ones that will barely make an indent in my permanent skin but they will still be there and I’ll think to myself from this day forth as I see them “why”? Why exactly do I do this when it brings me even more pain and shame and guilt?
Maybe someday I will overcome this and get a wicked awesome tattoo sleeve to cover all my scars and show off something beautiful. At the same time, I don’t want to cover my pain yet. I’m not ready I am not healed enough yet. I still hurt. I still need time to show my pain. I do not want to continue to add to my sleeve of pain but I want others to know that I have suffered and that I act a certain way because of the suffering I have experienced and the aftershock of those experiences.
Even after all the mixed emotions cutting brings I wish I didn’t cut. I really really do. I feel so much shame. I know it is unhealthy and part of a bigger problem which I really want to address and work on. It doesn’t solve a damn thing. It just is another problem that I need to work on to be healthy. I don’t want to cut. I’ve been told to hold a piece of ice instead, I always forget in the moment though. And honestly even though holding the ice is painful it isn’t necessarily the pain for me, it is the result I need. It is the lasting impression of the pain. Henna or writing on myself in Sharpie has been more effective. A permanent marker, any color although red or black are my favorites, has a lot of the same effect because that shit isn’t coming off for at least a day depending on how hard you scrub, and your pain will show. It will show long enough for you to feel empowered and embarrassed which is exactly what I think cutting does for me. It gives me this ‘fuck you, you can’t hurt me because I hurt myself instead sort of attitude’. And no one else can cut your throat when you have already done it.
I’m a mom and I love it! I like inviting people into my world and making them feel as comfortable as possible. I love all things cheese, jokes included. I’ve had a pretty rough life but therapy and a good attitude have really helped me make the best of things. So welcome to my world, make yourself at home! Follow Sarah on Twitter.