I thought it was scary when I first started this, being so open, raw, and sharing such a deep part of myself I usually hide away…then people started reading it. Then it became real, that people were reading it. I’ve only gotten good feedback (thank god, you know how sensitive I am haha) and the things people have said to me have touched me, and really meant a lot to me. A few of you have said I’ve made you cry, and while I do feel guilty, I know you mean it as a good thing, that I speak to you, and a few people have said that its helping. So, here I am, sipping homemade cider given to me by a ridiculously kind friend of mine, sitting in my apartment channelling my inner, less chic Carry Bradshaw (mostly in the sense that I’m writing a blog and saying it in my head as I type it) trying to figure out what dark little secret to bring out next. How deep to go, and trying not to sensor myself, and stay true to my Brutally Honest intentions. So, why not dive really deep, I’m going to give you a trigger warning right now. I’m going to talk a bit about self harm in this post. Click away now. (Esp if you are in my family and are already holding on for dear life. You wont like this, I’m sorry, but it needs to be said.)
Do you remember the story I told you about how after my grandmother dressing me so long, I was finally able to chose my clothes? I excitedly walked upstairs to show her, she told me I looked to fat, and my little kid heart broke? I think I was nine. That was the first day I cut myself, I used a tin can, and hid it on my ankle. But the reason that day stands out so much, is that was the day I’d had enough. I wasn’t really allowed to express my feelings anywhere in my life, I was being constantly told that I wasn’t good enough, I was too fat, too selfish, too sensitive. Meanwhile people were dying all around me, and I didn’t have a whole whack load of friends (or I didn’t really know how to connect to them properly). That was the day that it all came crashing down, and I believed them, everything that had gone wrong in my life had to be my fault. I was always sneaky about it, never self-harming anywhere people could see, and if I did, I’d make sure it would look accidental. I moved, eventually to my thigh, where I moved up from tin cans, and sometimes would self-harm multiple times a day. It was rough, and that went on for at least nine years straight. Then off and on for the next seven, and if you’re doing this math you know that that wasn’t that long ago. I assure you, it ended fully for years at a time. I stopped completely almost a year ago, or a little more. I remember being so afraid of people seeing the scars, maybe they would not see me as fit for my dream job, maybe they’d judge me, maybe they’d see me. It took me a long time to wear shorts, especially high ones that made the scars more visible. This, self-harming, is one of the symptoms of BPD. (And also a ton of other things.). For me, it felt like I had been boiling over for so long and trying to hold a lid down on my emotions that one day I exploded, and self-harming let a little air out at a time, and made everything else safe (but not really). It also was my way of punishing myself for not ever being good enough for anyone around me to love me. Some of these voices are still there, and I’ve learned to try and hush them, or give them their time to shine so they’ll shut the fuck up. Sometimes I worry that I’m intruding on someone by spending time with them because they can’t possibly think I’m good enough to be around. I know, logically I am good enough. I am trying to learn that emotionally and like everything else it goes in waves. I have weak moments where those voices scream back at me and try to subdue me again, but it doesn’t last as long as it once did. I sometimes would punch myself in the thighs, or punch walls, but acts of anger like that were never really suiting for me. I am not by any means saying that it is okay, and if this post is making you want to, please dont. I’m saying this so that if you see someone with scars, you know that they probably felt like that was their only option. They felt like they needed to do it for some reason or another, they maybe didn’t feel supported enough to find another outlet, or safe enough to express themselves in any other way. Or maybe they were taught to hate themselves, and that was the only logical thing for them to do at the time. I am telling you so that if you know someone, fall in love with someone, become friends with someone with scars, you can see it as a part of the journey, you can kiss them and hold them a little closer for having the bravery to get through it, and stop. Because that is a dark, dark journey. And to get to the point where you see that as a logical thing, a good thing to do, you have fallen far. You are standing in complete darkness, completely alone, even if you’re surrounded. You are hopeless, and can’t, with any part of you, love yourself. I promise, it dissipates. It fades, you get through it, and you might still feel alone even when you’re surrounded, but now and then the veil comes off your eyes and you see all the people that have been standing there beside you the whole time, even for a little while. Next time you want to hurt yourself go outside, sit by the water, feed ducks (seeds not bread), hug your cat, hug your partner, smile to a stranger. I promise it gets better, even when you feel like you’re covered in wounds and holes, and there’s not a single way you see yourself making it, there is. It fades. And you’re loved. I love you, hell, even if I dont know you I love you. You’re good enough.
I read a beautiful poem I wish I had saved, about how your body is like a canvas. All those stretch marks, all the scars, tattoos, those are the paintings, those tell your story. Show off that beautiful canvas, and be proud of it.
On that note, I did a yoga class the other day, showing my whole stomach. (I wore a bra obviously) that was the first time I have ever done that. I was standing directly behind someone which was probably good, gave me less time to criticize myself. But, I survived. I am trying to learn to love my canvas, even if the dimensions might not be what I consider “good enough” but, will it ever be? Isn’t it just a cycle, isn’t there always something else that needs to be fixed? I say (or i’m trying to), fuck it, just be you, because you are amazing.
Over and out
2 thoughts on “Self-Harm”
That was pretty tough reading but I kept reading because I am one of your family and I love you. Is this the poem? I found it on Tumblr.
My body is a canvas.
It has scars, stretch marks, and blemishes.
My body is a reminder of the things I’ve been through
A map of the roads I have been down
A constellation in a sky
Where each star is a place my mind has rested
My body is a canvas.
My body can be decorated to my liking:
The tattoo that reminds me to feel better
The nose piercing that I’ve always wanted
The brown eye shadow that makes my blue eyes pop.
The red lipstick that makes me feel like a goddess
Smiles that bring out the crinkles in the corner of my eyes.
My body is a canvas.
And I will mold it into something beautiful.
Something that I love and feel comfortable in.
My body is a piece of art
It is unique and completely untouched by the thoughts of anyone else
My body is my gift to myself.
So next time you tell me that my body is a temple
And I have desecrated it
I will simply respond with
“No, my body is a canvas,
And I will decorate it how I please.”
Hugs and kisses for you – I am never sure what to say, for it is tough, just know we love you and accept you EXACTLY as you as, warts, whitchity hairs, scars and all.