Copyright, Alley

My name is Alley

I remember the first time I cut. Clear as day, and obscure as the crimson stream leaking out of my inner thigh. My father and I had just gotten into a fight, and there was a safety pin holding my blinds together. I took the opportunity, and began poking holes into my jeans. I had always been a head banger, wrist banger, nail biter, headache getter, and generally had always been pain and accident oriented but had never actually picked up a tool to aid my self destruction. The safety pin remained my friend and ally for two months, after that was up, I found a boyfriend who hit, bit, and raped me and made it unnecessary for me to hurt myself. I was lucky enough to move away from all that, and move to my lovely current town, a bridge, body of water, and two hundred miles away from my beginnings.

I lived in happy denial of the problems of my friends for a total of one month, then I began to date a wonderful man. He was not gorgeous, and he was not tall, his manners were nothing to write home to mom about, and I generally found him to be mediocre. Then he told me that he had been a cutter, and a new romance began. I would look to his scars for comfort. And denied the existence of my own. It’s difficult to say where I’d be were it not for that man.

He put me through such hell in loving him, and on one April night when the moon was at its most fine sliver I decided to take a bath. The water was steaming, and presented a pink hue over my skin after my foot was stepped into it. I let myself into the tub slowly, and then reached up to grab my razor. I shaved all the hair on my body, other than that which was on my head. It took over an hour. Then I closed my eyes, and dragged the blades across my skin leaving small scratches that would not bleed, they only hurt. I tried it again, gaining speed now, crying and muttering frantically, ‘The dead don’t bleed, the dead don’t bleed, oh my God I’m dead! Oh my God! I’m dead!’ I grabbed one of my sister’s exfoliants, and scrubbed hysterically at the mildly tattered skin. By now of course I was bleeding, and I was realising a sense of livelihood that I hadn’t known for five months.

Self infliction is a curse, and I know that as well as anyone. I don’t get turned on by it, and for a long time I didn’t even know why I did it. Masochist, sadist, satanist, fucking goth, fucking punk, fucking emo; titles often given to people who self inflict. None of those titles suit my case. I’m an escapist. I would punish myself to find an escape. It would go on and off. I’d do it, I’d feel guilty and sad, I’d get lost in my guilt, and would do it again. Then I’d repeat the process. This lasted for a good six months. Then finally I came out about it to my mom. She cried and sent me to a therapist who put me on Cilexa. To make a long story short, I hated my therapist, and could hardly stand to be in his presence. I ended up dumping my boyfriend, and came millimetres from slashing my wrists. I went to France, tried drowning myself, came back to the states, met another guy who helped me through a difficult time, and then came back to my home town, only to find the ex with arms and ankles carved up like a thanksgiving turkey. I got back together with him and thereby put myself next to the fire that had burned me so often. The boyfriend I had stopped for refused to stop for me.

The self inflicting boyfriend and I broke up, and I went back into therapy. It’s been one month since I’ve intentionally hurt myself, and I have since found that masturbation, and escaping into my writing are better methods of escape. I have seven friends that keep me from becoming an anorexic again, and a marvellous boyfriend who said that if he were to find one mark on my body that he would begin to cut as well. I couldn’t bear for that to happen to him, and so I don’t cut. It would hurt too many people, myself included. I wish I could say that it was as simple as just stopping and never going back, but a month’s worth of hair on my legs begs to differ. Self infliction is a disease without cure. The only saviour is epiphany and so the multitude sits in waiting for their saviour to arrive. Good luck to my peers, and I beg those who haven’t started but have considered it not to join the multitude. Once you’re in you’re in for life. It’s like being a recovering alcoholic, you’ve always got the illness.


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