Why? I Don’t Know Either
“You live a pretty good life”, says everyone. “Pretty easy, not too stressful”, they add, “I mean, sure, her parents broke up when she was four, but she’s too young to remember the screaming, yelling and the fighting, the broken plates and shattered glass”. Right?
What they don’t know can’t convince them otherwise I guess.
They don’t know about the emotional abuse suffered at the hands of my mother, I mean, I’m sure she didn’t think that it was abuse at the time but then, who does? I’m sure the guy that assulted me when I was nine didn’t think, as he dragged me by the throat off that shelf, “hey, I’m about to abuse this child in ways she’s never even heard of”, and I’m sure that my ex boyfriend — the second one — didn’t think, “hey, every time I hit my little princess, well what do you know, that’s assult”.
I guess it just goes to show that you can’t judge a person until you’re inside their head, and since that’s never going to happen (unless there are some very significant advances in neurology sometime soon) I suppose that it’s best not to. But some people just can’t help themselves. For the benefit of those few who just can’t control their grey matter, here are the reasons that I drag razor blades over my body, and the reasons that I hold lit matches and soldering irons to my arms, and the reasons that I slam my fists into double brick walls. Damn it, but here are the reasons that I just can’t be happy:
- Have you ever just felt so overwhelmed by everything, that every whisper sounds like a scream reverberating around your head, and every shaft of light looks like burning magnesium? Well, that’s how I felt the other night, my emotions so intense that each physical sensation was magnified a thousand times. That is, before I took that razor blade and dragged it accross my stomach. Now that was intense. So intense, that it felt like the very fabric of my mind was being torn apart, but afterwards, everything was quiet and, dare I say it, normal again.
- Have you ever not felt? Not been able to feel anything? Not happiness, not sadness, not anger, nothing? That is, nothing except pain. In fact, after so much of nothing, wouldn’t pain be the biggest relief, and release of everything that’s been locked up inside you that you havn’t been feeling? You know, cutting yourself with a razor hurts.
- Sometimes, I just wish that the pain would heal. Would just gradually get eaten up by all the good things so that it would disappear, leaving just a fine white line of memory. Some nights, when the memories are just too real, and just too close, I can let them all out through holes in my skin. Watch them drain away in angry red, and fade, slowly fade and heal over the next few weeks or months, from red, to pink, to a fine white line.
- You know, sometimes I just hate myself, I’m so worthless. Disgusting. Lazy. Stupid. And so guilty, it’s all my fault, all the bad things, and all the good things? They were just anomalies, luck. I’m so worthy of my own hatred, which doesn’t mean much because none of my emotions are worth anything either. I shouldn’t exist, I was a mistake, nature screwed up and made me. I’m so ashamed. I deserve the pain.
- Well, sometimes, it just feels good.
Life Story. (This isn’t the full thing, it’s long enough already, but this is a bit of a chronology of the bad things that have happed that I feel have led me to this point.)
My parents split up when I was four, I only remember a few things before then, the fights, and some pretty cool dinner parties, my mum moved out and dad kept custody of me. Nothing much changed for me because I was still being looked after by the live-in babysitters I’d had since I was two or three. When I was seven, mum decided that she wanted custody of me, she got it without a fight and I moved in with her. No more live-in’s. She had quit her job at the bank and was no longer working full time. I don’t know when it started, but after a while, maybe six months, or a year or two, she started becoming depressed, she was drinking quite a lot and threatening to kill herself. I’d stay awake at night in case she got up to get a drink, so I could make sure that she opened the glass cupboard, not the knife drawer. Sometimes, after dinner and two glasses of wine, mum would declare that nobody loved her, she was worthless, she may as well kill herself and reach for a knife, which of course, I would wrest off her. Usually after that she’d get into her car and say that she wasn’t coming back. Or she’d go outside and sit on the letter box saying that she was waiting for the next car to jump in front of. I think this is about when I developed my insomnia. When I was eight, I cut myself for the first time, on the ankle about twenty times, just feather scratches really. I showed the cuts to dad, an ex-policeman, but he saw through my lie of scraping my foot on the rocks outside our house, all the scratches were in the same direction. When I was nine I took tennis lessons at the local tennis club, one day, mum called to say she’d be late picking me up, so the head instructor asked me to help him get some tennis balls off a high shelf. I climbed up the shelves, only to be dragged off them by my neck, and forced to do things i’d never heard of. Being pretty savvy, I didn’t believe his threats of murder, but I still didn’t mention it to mum, I explained the grazes as comming from tripping over on the courts, dad had always said he’d kill anyone who hurt me, and I didn’t want my dad to go to jail. Then I’d never see him. When I was about thirteen, I met a cool bunch of older guys down at the river near our house, I started to hang around with them, I’d never really got on with people my own age. I met a guy there, his name was Mitch and he was eighteen. We started going out. For the first couple of months, it was OK, but he would get pretty annoyed when I’d jump up and run, or hide in the middle of making out. Or when I’d just cower if he ever came up behind me and put his arm around my throat. After about three months, a friend I’d told about the tennis club incident thought Mitch should know, and told him. Well, Mitch was pretty angry, he called me a slut and a whore, and asked why I would give a blow job to a thirty year old stranger, but not to him. We broke up. After four months though we were back together, but this time, it wasn’t so nice. Mitch was increasingly violent, he would punch me, kick me, tell me how worthless I was, and I believed him. Eleven months later, Mitch moved to the US and I haven’t seen him (outside my dreams) since. A great contributor to my not being dead now is my high school music teacher. He is the one that made me overcome a lot of my fears and, well, I don’t really know how he did it, he doesn’t even know that he did, but he is a champion and it is because of him that I am alive and relativly happy today. Well, now I’m eighteen. A couple of years ago my mum got married to my primary school music teacher, he’s great, and she’s pretty good too, I still have a lot of resentment when it comes to her, but she’s fine now, so I’ll get over it. As for dad, he married the mother of a boy at my primary school, I really don’t like her, she’s most of the reason that I havn’t seen dad much in the last few years, but something good came out of it. I now have a four year old half-sister, oh, and a step brother who’s OK, and the man mum married has three daughters, so it’s turned into a pretty huge extended family-ish thing. I still cut, but not as much as I used to, I’m trying hard to at least limit it, and look for other ways to cope with what I’m feeling, but often I slip back to hurting myself, and I don’t know if I can ever stop. Probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me happened nearly exactly twenty-five months ago. I met Philip. Phil and I are engaged, not quite in the traditional way, but close enough. He is the most amazing man who has ever lived. He is perfect.