Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Control This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Clinton, NY
The scars fade, though I don’t want them to. I want to see them, the pale pink lines etched into my body, as reminders. Because although the physical remnants of the past are slowly drifting out of sight, I feel the tears in my inner self as if they are still fresh and bleeding.

I remember how slowly my hands moved, how slowly everything moved, when I passed through the door of no return. I don’t remember if my hands shook holding the weapon of the day, but even now I can see the careful straightness of the lines.

My lips recall that shaky smile, the one that terrifies me to this day. That smile of relief, of pleasure, of emotions I don’t fully understand, was almost the worst shard of the broken mirror that glitters in my memories today.

But the sharpest and cruelest piece, the jagged edge responsible for my never healed internal injuries, was the lack of control. The whole point of the act was to regain a sense of control in a time when I spun out of reach of calmness or deep breaths. When feelings bombarded my mind and hatred poisoned my image of myself to the point that I would rather shatter the glass than look at my reflection – this is when I craved control.

Pain is not complicated or confusing, but it is distracting. That knowledge paired with a bitter desire to punish myself for all manner of reasons caused me to seek control of the situation through self harm. Every slash with a hand brought a sting and a grounding. Pain is something I could count on when everything else was unstable. I proved to myself that I had some control.

But it was actually exactly the opposite. With every rip in my skin and every satisfied smile, a voice buried deep in my head screamed in horror. The voice cried to see my blood well. Somehow in my desperate search for help and stability and control I had locked away the part of me that cared, and I had set free the vicious part of me that was willing to do whatever it took.

I remember the coldness of that soul, the lack of emotion as I deliberately cut myself again and again. I remember its efficient practicality when, finished, it made sure to clean and bandage the wounds. All throughout I sobbed and trembled within myself, ignored. In seeking control I had lost it. No, I had given it away, and I gave away my control several more times, tallying and keeping track on my arm.

When I see the scars, I pause and think gravely of what I did. Rarely do I feel much honest remorse, but that little voice in my head points out that I should feel guilty. The scars remind me that it isn’t just all in my mind. They are battle scars from fights I lost against myself; they are a secret written in plain sight – a secret no one wants to know. They represent a part of me I wish I didn’t have. They speak for the past.
And so when I realized I had to look harder now to see them, I was disappointed. I had thought the scars would be with me forever. I had thought I could bear them, if not with pride, then without shame. I still struggle to keep from adding more. The wounds inside are still raw. So what will I hold onto now, when I find myself out of control? If my pain amounts to no proof now, nothing to show for my struggles – what then but to prove to myself once again that I am in control?

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback