When I needed to bleed…

*TRIGGER WARNING*

I was a cutter when I was young. I think the first time I did it was when a bunch of dummy kids in the neighborhood thought carving initials into their arms was a good idea. Let me remind you of how easily I latch on to a new idea. Marie immediately told me I was a retard and not to hang around with “those” kids.

I am only reminded of the cutting this morning as I put a band aid on the accidental slice on my wrist from a dog food can. It happened this weekend and exhausted my energy when it happened. I don’t like cuts. I don’t like blood. Health anxiety does not allow me to just wash it and put a band aid on it.

I remember starting to just cut slowly and gently. Always amazed that it was just a pinch. I was never trying to commit suicide. It somehow made me feel grounded. Made me feel alive. During this time I drank frequently and was in the beginning stages of an eating disorder. Disorder was the name of the game. Any notions of self love at this point in my life were not apparent to me. I felt alone, fat (I wasn’t) unloved and ugly. It was quite sad in hindsight.

I was fifteen when the behavior sort of disappeared. I was in a psych. unit detoxing. I had been taken by ambulance in four point restraints after being found naked and blind maniacal on the street. It was seven degrees. I had been raped. I can’t tell you the gruesome details, I don’t remember. Only the names and the faces, the car that picked me up; climbing a hill whilst taking off the filthy clothes I’d feared attracted attention in the first place. I remember spitting and screaming. I made it to a friend’s house and his very holy mother called for help. I recall spitting while she prayed and wrapped a blanket around my cold naked body. I did not have the ability to accept help that night. I only had the mind to spit.

{Honestly, I still like to spit. It’s one of the benefits of being a runner. Spit freely girls!}

Psychiatric units for adolecsents are really a festering ground for unhealthy bonds. It’s like instant fucked up family. Only locked up together. And dirty. Crabs were an issue – as if issues werent readily available. After the first two days of hallucinations (I told you I drank a lot right?) I was able to settle into a routine at my safe new home. I stayed longer than average and I got get well cards from my teachers and classmates.

The last time I cut myself was there. I don’t know what prompted it. I remember being really determined and breaking a pencil sharpener to get the blade out. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror and gently cutting long crossed cuts all over my face. I just watched myself bleed. I didn’t make any cuts deep enough to cause permanent damage; the effect was all I needed. I needed to bleed. I needed to watch the garnet hue take over what I struggled with daily. It was intoxicating. Im not really sure how the rest of the day played out. It was an obvious cry for help and what I think was a closure for me in that self mutilating behavior.

 I have not cut myself since. I can’t even tolerate a paper cut. I stayed on that unit for almost 60 days. (you would be hard pressed to find insurance to do that today)  I really don’t remember any of the names of those adults that worked to help me at that time. Looking back, I know they saved my life for two months and my mother loved me enough to lock me up.

My wrist is still sore and it has been a good reminder to have a band aid there.

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