Peace

By , Los Altos Hills, CA
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

Although I am a pretty great person, I do not like to think of myself as arrogant. What I would like to establish, though, is that I feel I am somewhat more mature than many of my peers in the sense that I focus on keeping an open mind to forego others’ displeasing actions and opinions. I try not to exaggerate the drama my life; even now, I cringe at the thought of ever playing out woes of heartbreak and self-pity through social media sites as my classmates have, plaguing my screen with the teenage anguish that I find tiresome and at the same time entertaining to read. Therefore, it is critical that one must dispose of his or her premonitions about the thoughts of a teenager whilst reading this essay so as not to dismiss its words as the typical rush of hormones usually attributed to those my age. Unfortunately, like all other teenagers, I have experienced my fair share of turbulence that I one day hope to look back on as opportunities I took to learn, instead of as some nonsensical happening caused by a divine force that may or may not exist. There are a lot of misconceptions on this subject, mainly because many are very sensitive, and it really is an issue that most prefer to sweep under the rug and hope for it to go away. Because it is such a touchy matter, there is a greater need for clarification. Although not jumping to conclusions is out of the scope of human nature, I hope to shed a few rays of light on this concern that, unfortunately, has touched me in addition to hundreds of thousands of others. It has been a mentally and emotionally exhausting journey, but it must be kept in mind that this story is a success story. This story is about cutting.

I hate to say it, but I do believe that there have been times when my cutting was at least some way affected by a hunger for attention, and I will not hide that because I acknowledge that it is present in me, whether I like it or not. Sometimes, sitting in the dark of my room, I wished for somebody to know about my cutting, though even now I am not sure as to what I expected if anybody found out. Looking back, I suppose it was sympathy; I wanted somebody to see me as a poorly constructed levy, and then fix me until I was new again. But of course, I really do hate being so dramatic and sentimental; it makes me feel whiny, for lack of a better word. So, each time I went into public with visible scars, I took great care not to let them be seen, at first for fear that I will be looked upon as pathetic. Later, I would realize that what I really wanted was that if somebody found out that I cut, he or she would treat me the same way as if I didn’t cut. If I ever choose to be more open about this topic later, I hope that by giving others the benefit of my open-mindedness and malleability, I will in turn receive the same. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and so I accept that if the word gets out, people will undoubtedly pin me as attention-hungry, melodramatic, and conformist, because when you make yourself bleed, you are obviously cool and hip and up to date with all the new trends. That is one of the last things I need, and so it stays a secret even with those of my family, other than my eleven-year-old brother. I confided my trust in his ability to keep a secret, but have since then regretted this decision. Through my experience of cutting, I have caught him in a net of insincerity and naiveté. I suppose I trusted in him because of what I saw as the innocence and incorruption that comes with youth; but since then, I found out that it is impossible to convince him of the seriousness of my cutting. I had more than adequately conveyed the secrecy that I trusted of him, and how I did not want anybody to know, but more than once, he has betrayed my secret to his friends, with whom he shamelessly laughed while agreeing with their labels of “wannabe emo” and “depressed freak”. He openly denounced the pressings that my cutting and dark thoughts were very serious problems as ploys to “get [me] to be nicer to [him]”. Since then, I have become detached from my own brother, the only one whom I trusted to keep the skeleton in the closet. As horribly cliché as it sounds, he has since taught me that two cannot keep a secret, and without trust, there can be no pain.

My parents have also shown me that it will be impossible for them to understand that I do not need to be treated as somebody who needs a therapist, but instead just another person struggling with a bad habit. In reality, that will never happen. Every single time have I cut was the result of struggles with people in the family, but only because I know my mother, father, and eleven-year-old brother more than anybody else; their words are the ones able to hurt me the most. Many are able to drive me to insanity and tears, but there are only three people on the face of the planet who have enough power to influence me to bring blades to my skin. Though I hate that my parents would believe that only a specialist would have been able to help me up from my mistakes, I almost understand why that is the only conclusion they are able to arrive at. I love my parents, and my parents love me. They have put a lot of confidence in the fact that they try to raise their sweet little girl to the best of their ability, and the last thing I want is for them to think the horrible thoughts and actions that besieged their daughter were the fault of their incompetency. To save me, out of desperation, they would trust that the only option would be to reach to outside help because they themselves are not enough, and then maybe they could win me back. My mother once told me that she believed she had lost me. She had asked me, “Why have you changed? Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong? Is this my fault?” It was understood that the tears she represented their true belief that only I planned to stay until I could pay for my own place, and then I would leave those whom I only pretended to love. At the time, I impulsively longed to pull up the sleeves of my jacket and the legs of my pants to reveal the unnaturally neat scars underneath, to tell them that this is what was wrong. This is what I have turned to. I would not do this because of anybody. Ironically, although that was the only way I could convince my parents that I truly loved them more than anybody else, it would also hurt them so deeply to see that they have lost my trust and that self-mutilation was the only outlet I had left. So I kept my sleeves down, and dealt with the situation in the privacy of my room where I would again take myself prisoner. If they are ever to read this, it must be known that I am not able to convey how terrible I feel for everything I have done to hurt them, because I know that no matter if I am six or forty-six, when everybody has deserted me, I know I will be able to go home, where mommy and daddy will always wait for me with open arms and loving heart.

I saw cutting as a defense mechanism only in times of need. Contrary to what would be expected, I really was happy a majority of the time. The only difference between my emotions and others’ emotions was that when I was upset, I would be excessively upset. I have discovered myself to be one who has difficulties moving on, and I suppose that in some way, the lasting of the scars was what kept me attached to cutting for so long. In reality, I truly did not like being sad; instead, I ironically clung to cutting as a sort of contradictory rehab, giving me what I wanted while at the same time leaving me what I did not. My lack of self-control pushed me into a great downward spiral, a vicious circle in which I was fighting a seemingly endless war against myself, each clash causing greater battle wounds than the last. Suddenly, out of the blue, I reestablished control of my brain and realized how stupid I was. How ridiculous it is that I have to resort myself to cutting in order to vent my problems. How tiresome it felt to have to cover my scars in public. But most of all, how estranged I was becoming from the people I used to be able to confide so much in. Because of the confidence I put into cutting, I began to rely on it to carry my problems. I forgot about those around me; their credibility was lost in my eyes because I saw that the blades would always be there, while people are easily influenced, changed, corrupted. But by seeing so, I became mentally wrought, and I realized that this was not right. It was not getting me where I wanted to go. As simple as that, I moved on.

An emotional and mentally wearing trip seems like it should have had a more shattering ending, but my life is not a movie; there are no car chases, building explosions, or enough good-looking men. I am more than thankful that I did not need a traumatizing experience to shock me out of my unnecessary misery. It may be somewhat unromantic that the inflection point of my descent involved only a metaphorical, self-motivated slap in the face, but drama really is not something needed by anybody. After I stopped my self-harming habits, dealing with emotions became easier. It is simpler to forget woes and sorrows than to relive them with each accidental brush of my skin. Most of all, I am able to move on with my life. Now, I finally have peace.





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