To whom it may concern,
When I read your blog, it was as though I was reading my own thoughts. Honestly, it was spooky how much I understood where you were coming from. I won't patronize you and say I know exactly what you're feeling because nobody can ever truly understand another persons pain, but I can relate to the emotions you described. Although I told you how I really admire your courage for speaking so openly about what you're going through, I feel as though I didn't say enough. I guess you could say you've inspired me to be more open about my history. More open than I've ever actually been.
So I cut myself.
It wasn't very deep, just deep enough to cause pain and draw blood, but I achieved my goal. For a little while all I could think of was how much it hurt and that distracted me from all the other emotions I didn't want to feel. Then the realization set in, the realization of what I'd actually done. On top of everything else I was feeling, I also had the feelings of disgust, embarrassment and shame. Fantastic.
Time went by, and while I was nursing a broken heart, battling with a recurrence of my agoraphobic tendencies and getting used to My First Antidepressants (I wonder if they were made by Fisher Price?), with the help of very understanding and supportive friends, I started climbing the hill back towards normality... only to be unceremoniously pushed over the edge of it.
Out of the blue, my Parental Unit (with hell of a lot of encouragement from my Step-Monster) decided I had to move out. This was only a few months after he'd bandaged my self-inflicted wounds as I sobbed my heart out uncontrollably, and now he was telling me I had to leave the only place I had ever called home. Feeling more vulnerable and alone than I think I ever had before, I went. I had no job, no money and now no family to turn to. I had some very dark thoughts those first few months, and I handled them the only way I knew how; with a razor, a knife, a pin, whatever came to hand. I didn't tell anyone, not a soul. I went to the doctors and told them that I was feeling very low and didn't know how to cope, but I didn't say a thing about my new hobby (or should I say "addiction"?). And so began my journey on the never ending mental health merry-go-round, being passed from doctor to therapist to counselor to psychiatrist and back to the doctors again. And it did help. Talking about my thoughts and feelings to a stranger helped get some of the mess out of my head (which is why I love blogging so much). The only thing was, I wasn't telling them everything.
Saturday night. What should have been an amazing night turned into the rollercoaster ride to hell. Long story short (too late?) I was betrayed by people I thought the world of and who I thought I meant something to in return. It was done in a such humilitating and public way, that I actually went into some kind of physical shock. My naivety was to blame to a certain point. I have this unbreakable habit of always believing the best in people, so when I asked them to tell me the truth, I foolishly believed what they told me. Hell, I even had an appointment to see my doctor and talk about my insane overwhelming paranoia. Turns out I was right all along. What made it so much worse is when I found out, half the people involved decided to come clean and admit everything, while the other half told everyone else that I was being dellusional, irrational, that there was something very wrong with me. I believe their words were something along the lines of, "Oh, you know what she's like. She needs to be the centre of attention so she's making something out of nothing." "Nothing", huh? F*** You.
Sunday morning. A couple of friends turned up at my front door to see how I was. I can't remember if I called them or they called me or if they just turned up, and I can't imagine what they must have thought when they saw me. I was still dressed in the same clothes as I wearing the previous evening having stayed up all night staring at the television (it wasn't turned on), my make-up a mess, and my arms were cut to ribbons. I vaguely remember looking for my Lady Bic in the bathroom, but then it all goes blank. I was in a complete daze. So, there I was, wearing a top encrusted with dry blood, trying to convince two friends who were very dear to me that I was absolutely fine. But I wasn't fine. I was so far away from fine that I'd forgotten what fine looked like.
At the end of the day, there is only one person responsible for what I did to myself, and that's me. Other peoples actions may have effected my confidence, my trust and my self respect, but they didn't physically hurt me. I managed to do that all by myself. I bottled up all my fear, sadness, shame and anger for so long that eventually it exploded. My arms still have the scars to prove it.
I'd like to say that this is where that chapter of my life ends, but I haven't lied to you once so I won't start now. That wasn't the last occasion that I hurt myself, but I haven't done it for a while and I'm pretty damn proud of that fact. Thoughts about doing it have occurred more recently than that, but so far I've had the strength to fight them. I can only hope that I always find that strength when I need it.
I'm not looking for sympathy. I don't even want understanding. How can I expect other people to understand when I don't understand it myself? People react to different things in different ways. My way was painful, dangerous and very bloody stupid. I wish I could promise that I'll never do it again, but I can only promise to try.
It's taken me about five days to write this. I kept stopping and starting, asking myself if I was saying too much, not saying enough. In the end I just decided to be as honest as I could bare to be. A majority of what I've written I have never spoken about before. It's good to finally share it with someone I suspect can relate to it. I didn't think that would ever happen.
As Buffy the Vampire Slayer once said...
"The hardest thing in this world is to live in it."
Never a truer word said on television.
Take care of yourself,