The jacket finally fell from my shoulders, pulling away all the stress and emotional trauma from the day. My arm looked red, a little swollen, and shocking. I could actually feel my breath catching in my throat just from thinking that I was able to do that to myself, that it was my hand that caused those angry red marks across my arm.
Images of the first cut that ever fell on my wrist flashed in my mind, and I felt myself wanting to smile despite the fact that there were tears building behind my eyes once again that day. The way the tip of the needle broke though my skin that first time, how it made me forget everything; I knew I had to do it again.
Except, this time I had a razor blade, dulled a little and rusty in some areas. I reached for it under my mattress, felt the edge of it bite into the tip of my finger. A sigh escaped my lips as I pushed the blade into the center of my arm, hard enough to break skin, but not deep enough to actually damage me the way I was too scared to do.
But then the look of disappointment in my friends eyes when they first saw the cuts flashed before my eyes, and the tears began to fall. The way they looked at me, how hurtthey were; if only they knew I was doing myself a favor by cutting.
"You can't do this to yourself."
"We love you."
"Promise you'll stop."
Their words kept echoing in my mind, and they were all I heard.
"Okay, okay. I promise I'll stop."
I pushed the blade down harder into my skin, and their voices disappeared. Now it was just the sound of my sobs and the fan.
Whoever said cutting doesn't help has obviously never tried it, because it does. It helped; it shouldn't, but it did and I couldn't tell whether or not it became a physical or mental addiction -or both- just that I had to do it.
Whenever I needed to do it, my mind would go into a state like a train wreck and I wouldn't be able to function without breaking, and then I'd cut. Everything running around my mind would halt, and then I'd feel relief.
Every time a cut scabbed over, I'd pick it until it felt raw again, and then I'd continue picking it. It helped during school because I couldn't very well cut during class, so I'd pick at my scabs until I got home to my blade.
I went a month before a teacher found out. A student told her is what she told me. I didn't even know how many people knew, just that rumors were starting to flutter around me and that I couldn't trust anyone because as far as I knew, five people knew.
It bothered me that people found out who shouldn't have, but I felt worse when Mrs.Walker started crying because she saw my arm. She looked so broken, it made me want to erase every scar and cut covering my body.
"Oh, Honey," she cried, passing me a few tissues because seeing her cry made me cry. "Why did you do this?"
The 'why' wasn't as easy to say as the 'I'm sorry.'
And I was sorry, am sorry. I thought that I was only hurting myself, but I didn't realize that people did give a shit about me and that by hurting myself I was hurting them, too. Probably more than I was actually hurting myself.
I told her I'd stop; once again a broken promise.
Telling a cutter to just stop cutting is like telling someone with anxiety to just stop worrying, or a smoker to just stop smoking. And that's basically what my parents told me.
After yelling at me for a good ten minutes they just started saying, "Stop cutting. You don't need to cut. You need to stop cutting."
But I couldn't. I couldn't just stop cutting, it's not that easy and anyone who's ever cut will tell you that. You can't just stop, it's like a go-to, the only thing that you rely on to keep you sane. 'Stopping' just wasn't that simple.
My parents began checking my arms every day for new cuts, and if there was so much as a scratch on me they'd yell and ground me. I had no choice but to find a new place to cut.
My friends and family thought that I had stopped cutting, but I really just moved to my shoulder. And when that became too uncomfortable, I moved to my hip.
I never stopped cutting. It was so easy to put on a mask everyday and pretend I was happy. No one ever noticed the way my smile was forced or that my laugh was fake. Since no one noticed, I assumed no one cared.
I guess, for a while, I wanted someone to notice, anyone. Maybe if I knew that someone was able to see through me, I would have had an actual reason to stop other than 'you can't cut anymore', because I could. I so could.
The 'why' behind my cuts isn't easy to put into words. Then again, it's never easy to think about why you're miserable, just that you are. After cutting my shoulder and my hip, I moved back to my wrist. It was a few months after my parents caught me, my scars had well enough gone from noticeable to ignored. My parents stopped checking, I thought I was safe. I wasn't.
Out of nowhere they checked again. I was terrified of what they would do, of what they would say. Obviously they were angry. They tried guilting me into stopping, but guilt never worked on me. So they tried to make me feel ashamed. And I wasn't. I'm not. How could I be ashamed of something that helped shape me into myself? Cutting was -is- part of me.
Cutting scars you, quite literally. You can never take back a scar, and sure, some will heal, but they're still there.
You can feel them, you know they're still there. Sometimes you don't want them to disappear, because you feel like a part of you -your past- is disappearing, too. But you know that people will judge you for your scars, call you stereotypical things like 'emo freak' that make you wish you never cut.
But it was never like that for me. Their words never phased me, because they didn't know me, and, quite frankly, I didn't want them to. I still don't.
My scars are a part of me, who I am. They'll help people decide stupid things like what kind of a person I am or what kind of job I'll get. But, they make me up, and every time I look at one -whether on my hip, shoulder, or wrist- I know that there is nothing that will ever make me wish I never took a blade to my skin. Because my scars don't -and won't- define me.