I did ballet for eleven years. With the same teacher ever since I was three. I loved performing. It was everything to me. Aside from my teacher Ms. Kay, nothing was more important to me than ballet. Kay was diagnosed with cancer in 1995. There’d be weeks, sometimes months at a time when she’d be gone from classes or rehersals and one of the older company girls would take over. She’d come to visit and say that she was sick but would be back soon. And she always came back. Every time. For ten years. And then one time she didn’t. We all knew it was coming but that day I got the phone call from the company’s secretary, I knew it was over. She was gone. Never coming back. I had had a bit of a problem with scratching and cutting myself for a few years before Ms. Kays death, but the day she died I just lost it. I had always tried to not make the cuts very noticible because you really can’t hide scars in a leotard. I loved the feeling I got when I saw the bleeding, gushing mess on my arm. I felt like I was finally in control. I couldn’t help Ms. Kay but I could control what happened to me. I quit ballet. Then one day one of the ballet girls told on me to the acting Artistic Director. He called my mom .
I’ve always been one of those people that think therapy never helps anyone. So when my mom started making me see a therapist for my self injury, every word that came out of my mouth was a lie. I told her that I had stopped cutting so much and so badly. And then eventually I told her I stopped all together, and she believed me and told my mom that I didn’t have to keep coming. I wasn’t a danger to myself anymore. In reality I had begun cutting almost every day, always in the shower, and much much deeper than ever before. I can’t count the amount of times I woke up in a cold shower with blood all around me, hours after I actually cut, feeling light headed and nauseated. I have never been hospitalised for self-injury, although I really should have been.
People would always see my scars and pull me aside. It was always the same ‘You know people love you and care about you. I’m here if you need to talk.’ Everytime someone told me that I’d go home and cut.
I got to the point where there was no room left on my arms to cut. I’d open up old scars every day and cut over other cuts. I always had a razor in my purse, backpack, bedroom, and wallet. I’d usually cut once a day at school and once at home. If not more. It reached a head this summer. Carving five inch scars down my arms three times a day. Just to see the blood. It was the happiest I have ever been. Knowing that no matter how bad a day I had I could always go home and add a new scar to make myself feel OK.
At the beginning of the school year in September of this year I stopped cutting all together. No reason. No relapse. Nothing. Until the end of December. I just couldn’t take it. That one time on christmas eve let me believe that cutting was an option again. I started to get really bad again. Until I started ballet again. I know that everyone is staring at my scars when I dance, but I know in time I’ll be OK with that. Maybe some day they’ll watch my face when I’m performing. It’s the only time I feel alive, even though Kay isn’t. I can continue her dream of spreading the love of dance. I know she sees me when I dance well, and when I mess up. I know what corrections she’d give me. And I know she loved me no matter how much I hated myself.
Please Tell Me Why?
It started when I was young my life seemed so short so angry so hurt. My eyes would be stung from tears every hour of every day no reason for these tears they said no reason for your pain.
But as I grew older my pain began to sore higher than ever before. I turned to a shaver and cut away the plastic to reveal a shinning metal razor. My arm spread out my eyes squeezed shut I ran it across deep and slow.
It felt as though demons evil hurt pain were rushing from the slice blood dripped to the floor, my chest fell from a big breath my heart pounded with relief I have longed for since I was young.
My first experience was amazing. This is my life, never feel alone.
I would like to share my story of self injury because I want people to understand self injury and me. I started self injuring about four years ago when I was twelve. I couldn’t really say why I started cutting myself, or how I even got the idea at such a young age, having never heard of anyone self injuring at the time.
The first time I ever cut myself wasn’t for any reason, just as an experiment, which I unfortunately took a liking to. From then on I would cut myself every fortnight or so, nothing serious considering the inconsistency and the wounds weren’t too deep. I continued doing that for a year, just as a pass time. Things changed when I was thirteen. I was sexually abused twice, one being rape, and I took a turn for the worse. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my parents, I just kept it inside which tore me apart. I felt a lot of anger but most of it was towards myself so I used my cutting as a way to release my pain and self hatred. My self harm changed from every now and again to every night and the wounds got increasingly deeper, until I reached the stage were most cuts needed stitches. I also added burning into my self injury where I would put a metal object on the stove till it was white hot and pressed it to my skin. The pain was intense but I felt so determined that I deserved it that my body wouldn’t stop.
Ever since then I have been self injuring regularly, and until last year had successfully kept it a secret. Last year my PE teacher noticed the scars and cuts and notified the school and my parents. Ever since then I have had people constantly trying to help me, but the problem is I don’t want the help and they don’t understand me or self injury. They think what I am doing is wrong, and they expect because they want me to stop that I am just going to give it all away over night. What they don’t understand is that I am just righting what is wrong, and if anything my self harm is preventing me from doing anything more drastic. I wish everyone would mind their own business and leave me alone, I know it must be scary for them seeing it but they have never tried to imagine what it is like for me, knowing I hate myself so much this is the only way to fix things. For now I am content with self injury and want only to continue without everyone else’s opinion, when I want help I will find it myself.