The day I met you*
* More aptly put, 'the day you met me'. But there is a purpose for these words, placed upon this once blank paper as they are. See, I won't let you meet the whole of me at once, it comes bit by bit. Maybe you see a little more of me in the following chapter than I convinced myself of telling you. Maybe you only skim the surface, never realizing who I really am.
My mother came home today. Screaming at me because I lied to her. Screaming and screaming and screaming. Some days I wish I could make her shut up. Just pull her eyes out of its sockets so she cant see me. Can't see the wrong. Rip her tongue right out of her throat. Kick her until she didn't scream anymore. Until she was a mass of bloodied flesh on the carpet, curled up for eternity. Contorted in some hideous form. Mama.
She walked into the front door; leaving the door to bang on the wall behind it. Maybe leaving a scar in the paint for the next owner to wonder about the degree of abuse.
Mama came to a stop a few feet from me. And she stood there staring at me. Staring at the girl she didn't know. Staring at the girl who wanted to end it all so desperately. Staring at the cowardly girl. Staring at me. Mama stood there, looking into my deepest, most satisfying thoughts, and what she saw disappointed her.
That's what I saw when I looked at her. Not from inside myself. From some other place. I saw disappointment. Like she saw evil.
Some days I get sad because I can't say the things I want to. And when that sadness comes, I feel like it's taking some part of me. Ripping some part of me from me. Taking something that doesn't belong to them. Something I need, to make life liveable.
"Why?" Mama said. And even if I didn't see the disappointment in her eyes, her voice carried it across with its shallow rhythm, almost moaning softly as the sound formed in the air. "Why do you do that to yourself?"
"Because it's so painful." I sighed; the kind of sigh that talked of tiredness. Tired of living, something old people achieved before they died, yet some kind of tiredness that had become popular under the youth of today. The kind that stifled a yawn of death in some deep place. "Because if I don't do it, I won't know if I'm alive. If I don't hurt, mama, I wouldn't know if it's an illusion or real."
But mama didn't hear me. She wanted to say what she wanted to say, hearing only what she wanted in response to her mindful questions.
"Why do you cut yourself so deep? Cut yourself so wrongly and hide the scars," she swallowed. "Hide the wounds?"
"Because." I looked at Mama. At the small lines in her face. The slightly sagging skin. "Because, mama, some days the sky isn't blue. And some days I wake up feeling nothing. Because..."
"You don't even see." Mama interrupted me.
"There's things in this world that I don't want to see. No matter how hard you try." I whispered.
"You hurt yourself, you cut yourself. And I feel the pain." A small tear appeared in the corner of her left eye. I watched it slowly well up, and then roll over, travelling down her slightly aged cheek, hovering on her bottom jaw before it drops onto her shirt.
"No mama. You hurt me, and those scars are etched in my skin." I was shaking. "I look at the world, at the ruthless, unsatisfying place that it had become; and when I look at my nakedness in the mirror...I see the blood running from several different open wounds. Wounds that won't heal, because I keep picking at the scabs. Keep picking at them before I burn myself in the hot water."
"Lies." She breathed. Her serene face suddenly contorted with vicious lines of old age; an age that was creeping up on her, prematurely perhaps. Because she didn't want to face what was right in front of her. It's weird really, how small a number of people actually face their fears, actually face the things they don't want to hear.
"Mama. Listen to me. Listen to what I have to say." I begged her, my own eyes drowning in colourless, clear tears.
"You hurt me when you cut at yourself, darling. You hurt me when you tie the rope so tight. When you lie, breathless, underwater in the bath. When you struggle to wake from your drug-induced slumber."
"Each of those instances are no less painful than what you do so constantly. Day by day, night after night. Mama, you cut at yourself yet you don't bleed." I looked at the woman before me, shaking my head, perhaps sadly, perhaps in pity. She had suddenly become old, older than she had ever been. Older than I had ever seen her. "My wounds are as much yours as they are mine. Why?" I sighed. "Because you can't understand what I am doing. You can't, or won't perhaps, understand the reasons for the bleeding scars on my body, the bruised neck I sometimes wake up with, the blisters on my skin...mama, how much do you understand?"
"But why?" she whispered at me, her breath nothing more than a mist as it left her lips to strangle life out of me.
" You never learned to listen, did you?" I retorted suddenly, almost angry. But not yet.
"What are you doing! If you're sick you can't eat that!" she yelled at me, the harshness and crystal clarity of her voice so sudden, that it felt like some unseen criminal had intruded in my mind, shooting at the glass windows; breaking me apart as the sharp peaces fell to the floor. That something so simple would dawn on her at this time...
"I'm not sick, mother." I said, turning where I stood. "I'm lost."
She looked so confused. So very confused as she stared at me, her eyes slowly travelling over my body, pausing at the wrists. I could see her consciously trying to not see the bandages. The slight dark red stains on them, the almost unravelled end where it was held in place by a metal pin.
I think that's where it all started really. The sickness, I mean. Before that I remember knowing that there was something wrong with me. But from that day on, the sickness had a name. Suicide.
Suddenly I was more lost than before, dragged from place to place; my mother tried so hard to save what was left of me. Tried so hard, without understanding any of it.
But the sickness was apart of me, like an extended mind almost. It was there from the day of my birth. I am neither vain nor arrogant when I say that I always knew something was different about me. I wonder sometimes, in the deepest darkest hour of the night, whether there are others out there like me. Other people who live to die, but never will die. People who strive to kill themselves more than any other thing in their lives, but trying, in vain, because they know they will not succeed. People whose want will never be satisfied by mere death.
Mama tried so hard to kill it, but on bad days it would come to lure me away.Summer 2000
It came to me this morning as I was lying in bed; the warm, almost burning, covers pulled tightly up to my chin. The bed where I lay wrapped like a baby in its mother's womb. The bed where I would sometimes wake from a deep slumber, only to find that I was choking myself.
The words floated through my mind. With the speed of an asteroid, ready to strike down everything in its path, fighting its way to being believed in. "I bleed. I bleed. I bleed. I...bleed."
Most times, I wonder, why I bleed. Other times I just know. See, insanity is a hard thing to try and explain to sane people. You never know how they might react, never know whether they might condemn you with their very next word. Their thoughts running rampant in some boarded off corridor deep inside.
Maybe, like me, some people want to be insane. Or, for lack of a better word, maybe they want to be blind. Maybe they don't want to see. Pretensions people, blind to the faults of the world.
I had been dreaming that I was holding my breath. Dreaming that I was under water; that I had been shoved, harshly, underwater and was being kept there by brute force. And maybe a little of my own fear, too.
I couldn't breath. Such a simple truth. I just couldn't breathe, and I knew that I couldn't open my mouth. Water tends to be pulled down. Always down. I couldn't let it get into my lungs. Couldn't let it creep into me and swallow the little flame in my depths. Snuffing out the only thing that gave light to a soul so dark with its own confusion.
I was startled when I woke up. I felt like there was something with me in the room, something sinister that fed off of the dark shadows on the wall. My skin felt thirsty and clammy as I ran a hand down my thigh; thirsty as if it was seeking to be drenched.
"I bleed. I bleed. I bleed. I...bleed."
Maybe that's what I craved to make myself feel more human. And the more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself of it. I needed blood to become alive. I needed blood to live again.
A second chance.
A last chance.