As of today, it has been 6 months since the last time I intentionally hurt myself. I was admitted to the hospital on July 24th, after cutting myself several times on July 23rd. It’s a bit surreal. I hurt myself on and off for a long ass time. It’s weird to look at my arms, see the scars, and know that those 5 obvious scars are the only ones people see now.
I have cut my chest, legs, arms, feet, hands, and thighs. I’ve punched walls, and jumped off of houses. I’ve burned my skin with acids, bases, and flames. I’ve taken stitches out too soon to make the pain last longer, and the scars bigger. I’ve provoked animals and (big) men to give me a thrashing. I’ve drunk, and blacked out. My hands are different shapes. My feet are different shapes. I have bones in every part of my body that are not the shape they are supposed to be. Not all of that is from “self” harm. Much of it is from abuse. But the visible stuff, that’s all me.
I want to wish it could go away. I wish I didn’t like the scars, but I do anyway. It’s like a map across my body, marking every injury I’ve had. Each of my knuckles has at least one scar. There are scars on my hands that you can’t see unless you look for them. My chest hair covers more scars than I want to try to count. My knees and shins have discolorations from burns that didn’t quite scar normally. One of my forearms looks like it has a birthmark or some such, which is really a chemical burn.
Why would I want to keep this map? Why cherish every blemish and mark? The answer is simple. I want to remember. I want to remember how I felt in those moments. I want to remember how useless those scars are. I need to remember that none of those cuts, burns, breaks, or hurts lasted. They didn’t change anything. They just left a mark on me, constantly reminding me of my weakest moments.
Remember, self-harm affects every demographic. Macho men, beauty queens, nerds, dorks, athletes, and politicians. There is no group of people that is exempt. If you know someone who self-harms, encourage them to get help, but don’t badger them. Support them, and do not call them names. They may be weak, but they already know that. They are almost never doing it to get attention.
The world is just so damned painful sometimes. Sometimes, there’s nothing to do except try. Sometimes, trying isn’t enough, though. If someone comes to you, asking you for help, then feel honored. They aren’t looking for your pity. They are trusting you with a huge secret, and an overwhelming amount of pain. Those scars are proof of trying to do it all alone. It didn’t work for them, and now they are reaching out. It’s a momentous thing. Respect that, because they obviously respect you if you are who they reached out to.
I love you all, and I keep making myself cry, so I’m going to stop writing, for today. My love and trust to you all. I hope you are enjoying your day.