Why did I stop cutting? I’m in bed, feeling really shitty, with the gross crying. You know, the kind where I get a hand towel because tissues are useless against these kind of tears and my nose is all snotty. Gross. And then the panic-y breaths start coming, which freaks me out and my heart begins to palpitate, freaking me out even more.
I’m grateful this is a rare situation now. When I was little, it came every night. Every night I’d cut myself to make it stop. When I get like this, it’s still my instinct to reach for whatever sharp is close by. But I don’t. Why not? It works. Brings me relief no benzo or substance has been able to match. So, why not?
Well, for one thing it’s messy, but I’m already gross and messy, so that doesn’t count. Then there’s the annoying task of having to hide the evidence – Especially difficult now that I’m living with a significant other, but it’s certainly not impossible.
In all honesty, I don’t even think it’s a big deal. It was reason for doctors to decide to send me inpatient when I was too young to have a say, but that’s no longer a concern. So, why not?
I think hard, and I remember. I remember my mom finding bloody tissues in my garbage and crying. I remember my boyfriend finding the shallow scrapes I’d made more recently and crying. It hurts the people I love. And that, in turn, hurts me. So I don’t.
and footnote: there’s way more behind and within self-harm than the blunt version I just told. I’m just getting out my current thoughts here.
I have mixed feelings about my scars. Anyone who’s ever self-harmed knows you don’t do it where others will easily see and because of that, the majority of my scars aren’t too obvious. Those scars I’m okay with. They remind me how real my past was. If I ever forget, everything is there permanently written on my body. For the most part, these scars blend in with my fair skin and are only really visible when I tan. And, of course, I have a story for every one of them. I’ve told the lies often enough that the stories slide out of my mouth without a single stutter or any hesitation.
My issue is with a pair of scars located on the inside of my forearm. They are pure white against my pale skin and slightly raised. Two scars about half an inch long, running perfectly parallel to each other. It’s completely different than the mess on my calves. It’s perfect. How do you account for a perfect pair of scars? I don’t know. The only story I’ve ever been able to come up with is that my friend’s cat scratched me as a child. Does it get any more cliche? Does it get any more obvious? I’m chronically self-conscious about them. And the worst part? Comparatively, it is incredibly rare that anyone ever asks about them. That must mean they know the truth and are too polite to bring it up in conversation, right?
So what do I do? I’ve looked into scar removal and haven’t been told any answers that I’d like to hear. I have no interest in wearing long sleeves year-round. So what do I do? I don’t know. I suppose I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out. Until then, my dark past is written in white on my arm for the world to see and to judge; dirtying my otherwise bright and pretty appearance. I hate that.
originally written May 28, 2013