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Little Red Line

By , Mt. Vernon, OH
“I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.” – Girl Interrupted

The year I turned twelve was a time of trial. I honestly can’t remember anything before that year. My whole life, where I am now, is built around what happened that warm summer day in 2007. As I held the razor blade to my skin, I didn’t realize how it would impact my life. I was unaware that self-mutilation was an addiction that would have a grip on me for the rest of my life.

The day I chose to cut wasn’t out of the ordinary. The boy next door, who I was “in love” with, told me it would never work out, that I was too much of a friend. That was me, always the friend, never the girlfriend. I came home to bickering amongst my parents. Somehow, I could always make myself believe that I was the cause of all their conflicts.

My parents were so into their own problems that they didn’t see me reach for the razor blades mom had hid among the misplaced objects in the medicine cabinet. I never understood why she hid them. Up until that very moment, self-mutilation had never crossed my mind. In that second, I decided to take the bottled-up anger at myself, at the world, and turn it into anger that would be visible on my body.

I slid past the yells of my parents and into the sanctuary of my bedroom. I allowed the music in the room to take me over as I entered a state where nothing mattered except to feel the inner pain. As I slid the sharp blade against my skin, I cringed. I didn’t flinch at the pain of steel on flesh. I flinched at the screams that could be heard over the steady bass beat. This was why I must do this. I couldn’t stand up to them, to the world; I could stand up to myself. I could punish myself for the wrongs I believed I had caused.

As I removed the blade from my skin, I saw a little red line of blood trickle down my arm. At that moment I felt a sense of satisfaction. I can’t describe it as anything but relief. I could finally see the immense pain inside of me. During those few moments to myself, I didn’t comprehend that this would be another demon I would have to face for the rest of my life. All I cared about was that I had a visual image. I could now see clearly.

I would like to sit here and tell you that this one incident was the only time I cut, but I would be lying to you. The truth is I battle with self-injury to this day. I have to fight to overcome the urge to slice open my skin whenever things aren’t going my way. As my depression developed, I even began to hit myself if I couldn’t find a sharp object. The demon of depression took over and clouded my vision. All I could see was my own anguish and the desire to harm myself for the wrongs I had convinced myself I had committed.

However, I am a stronger person. The battles I face every day because of this one decision have made me realize I am an amazing person. I learned through many tears and inner-battles that self-injury is a disease that requires strength to overcome. I will fight this battle into the day I die and I know it will make me a better person. After all, I only want to overcome the little red line.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Chelsea.Lynn said...
May 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm
This was a moving piece to me. I've dealt with the issue of self mutilation for the past couple of years. I can really relate to this piece.
 
malursy said...
Feb. 12, 2010 at 12:47 am
lovely. i'm very happy for you. i'm almost there. i've been "you know" since i was about 13... it was kind of an accident. i was helping my grandma move into her new house and i found a pink box cutter. i was so curious. i stopped last month. whenever i feel the urge, i wait at least 15 minutes. and then i wait even longer. i still struggle though. part of it, for me, was aesthetic. i liked seeing the aftermath. it reminded me that i was in control. and it was calming to... (more »)
 
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