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Confessions of a Former Self-Abuser
It started on a cold winter day; December 26th to be exact. I can’t remember why; I just remember doing it.
I was upset. Anger and sadness clouded my vision. All I could think of was pain; I wanted pain. And I wasn’t sure why.
Without thinking, I grabbed the closest thing to me--a blue thumbtack. With it clutched tightly in my hand, I dragged it across the inside of my wrist, little bubbles of red climbed to the surface.
Why am I doing this? I remember thinking to myself. But I didn’t answer myself back...I continued to drag that little thumbtack.
I fell asleep with it still clutched in my hand.
For weeks, I continued to slash up my arms and wrists, each stroke of the blade and every thought, every feeling, every doubt in my mind was concentrated into that little stab of pain.
Nothing mattered but the crimson tears that ran down the fresh, virgin skin of my arm.
I used everything I could get my hands on; knives, pens, scissors, paperclips, staples, razors, glass...I used everything I could get.
After just a few months, my arms were ragged and ripped. Long, raised slits wrapped around me like thin ribbons; blood crusted on the surface. I was lost, and I wasn’t near ready to be found.
My parents weren’t blind; they knew something was up. Why I was locked in my room all the time, why the scissors on my bed were flecked with red, why I always wore long sleeves. I wasn’t the same little girl I had been months earlier. I was sick. They tried to help me, but I refused. I didn’t talk to them and I tried to completely shut them out of my life. They threatened to take everything I had away from me, until all I had left was a mattress, pillow and blanket.
They threatened to take me out of school and watch me 24/7--even in the bathroom. They begged me to stop, they tried to bribe me. They even took away every sharp thing in the house. But I still found a way to cut.
I stole things from school; I stole things from my house. I took the edge of a book and rubbed it on the inside of my write, desperate for a release.
It was like an itch I couldn’t scratch. I would open up wounds with my fingernails, and create new ones with the same denominator. Which drove my parents to cut my nails every day.
I screamed and protested, but they never gave up on me.
Months had gone by, and I had developed an eating disorder and walked around with the only intent of leaving where I was going. I was pale, and thin; my eyes were empty and circled by black; the blackness of no sleep. I was the hollow shell of a girl who called herself me.
I screamed inside, I wanted to leave this place. No one understood just what I was going through, and no one wanted me, or wanted to help.
One night, I snapped; lost my mind, if you will. I laid in a fetal position on my mattress, clutching the bookshelf next to me, the harsh edge of the wood biting into my palm.
I barley knew where I was. Screams and sobs wracked my small body; I wanted to die; I was being eaten from the inside out. My parents were terrified. They tried to calm me down, but every word they said angered me more. I began screaming I wanted to die; I wanted to kill myself. And I was going to do it.
I even had a plan. I would pretend to calm down and once they thought I was safe, they’d go to bed. Then I’d sneak into the bathroom and take every pill I could. Then I’d slit my wrist.
But that was too long to wait...so I decided to jump out my window. I walked over to the window sill and tugged on the frame, desperately trying to open it. My mother walked it and saw me; she demanded to know what I was doing. But I didn’t have to answer; she already knew. This wasn’t my first attempt. Weeks before, I had found myself in the bathroom, the pill bottle open, small little circles cupped in my hand, poised before my mouth; water at the ready...
But this time, my mother intervened. The tugged me away from the window and laid me down on the bed, trying fruitlessly to calm me down. After another 10 minutes of screaming, the family decided to take me to the hospital. And that was the start of my 2 week stay at the ------------- ---------- Psychiatric Ward.
It was not a pleasant experience--I still have nightmares today--but the experience changed me. It took over a year to fully recover--many different medications, therapists appointments and restrictions--and now, two years later from that first cut, I am free of the burden.
Sure, I still have my ups and my downs, but I vowed to myself to never go down that path again. I was swallowed once, and I never want to be swallowed again.