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Transitioning - A True Confession by Rae Blair

Article By: RaeBlair
True confessions



My story with self-harm and the alternative outlet I found to cutting.


Submitted:May 14, 2013    Reads: 33    Comments: 4    Likes: 2   


Please Note

I do not wish to offend anybody with this piece, so here is a notice of descretion. Please be aware that this article is rated PG - Parental Guidance is advised - and that it may include triggering topics for those in recovery from self-harm, depression or an eating disorder. Consider the theme of this article before deciding to read; and I may be a little over-reacting here, but rather over-warned than unexpecting.

BYOC: Be Your Own Censorship




I began to self-harm when I was ten or eleven years old; though the idea of it was present in my mind at a much earlier age. When suicidal thoughts first occurred, I was more scared of my parents, teachers or other authority figures discovering that I was having them than I was of the actual thoughts themselves. They started happening around eight or nine. This was a time where bullying had began in my life and things weren't so simple at home. I didn't know what is was called back then, but I am most certainly sure now, as a young adult, that I was suffering from depression.

I was a really creative child; most of what I enjoyed included using my imagination or some form of art. I spent a lot of my time in my room acting out "movies" with my Barbies, coming up with songs on my keyboard, or writing poems, scripts and stories. I still loved going outside and playing with my neighbourhood friends, but most I attended school with and most had started to become outrightly mean kids. So I preferred time spent alone or with my little brother - more often than not, bossing him around. Simultaneously to the time that suicidal and depressed images started creeping around inside of my mind, all of my creative outlets started to turn dark. I would act out self-harm with my Barbies, having one be an "outcast" and feel alone or unwanted - maybe the boy Barbie she had a crush on went for the popular, mean Barbie instead. I would use scissors to cut the Barbies wrists, stomache and thighs before colouring them in with red marker to represent blood. I think that now reflecting on this, the most terrifying realization is that at this point I had never been exposed to anything of that matter. This was all pure creation; at least, as far as I know and recall. It's almost as if cutting is a universal go-to when one starts fantasizing about suicide or self-harm; almost a natural human thought. I soon started to keep journals, made from construction paper, lined paper and glue. I found a few of my early ones later in life when my family moved to my parents first bought home, which included checklists of suicide methods and drawings of death. One that sticks in my mind is a drawing of a gun next to the words "how to get one" underlined in thick marker. Beneath it was blank space. Thank God I didn't have the access.

Part of the reason we moved, I believe, is because I was being so bullied in grade school and by the girls in my neighbourhood - those whom I formerly called my friends. I matured much faster than others my age in a variety of ways; spiritually, psychologically, sexually, and in that way that makes you feel self-conscious about your appearance. The bullying took it's tole on me and I can honestly say that I have since never been the same person that I was prior to it all. Nor will I ever be the person that I would have been without it. I had already changed schools before the move and was bullied once again. Here, I was at my worst in terms of self-harm. Things at home were hectic to say the least. My parents were working their rear-ends off trying to support what we had and afford what we wanted. They hardly saw one another due to opposing shifts and time spent as a family was more often than not stressful, argumentative and exhausting. At school, I wasn't very liked as a person. My intentions were always pure at heart, but I was corrupted and confused and often acted out. I used people, set people up and played mind games. At this point, I deserved what I recieved the most, but believed that I deserved it the least. Ironic, how when we least deserve poor-treatment we perceive ourselves as most deserving and vice versa. I had become quite a mess around this point, as I said, and I had actually began to cut myself for the first time. It wasn't with a razorblade, like most who have been exposed to the infamous "art" of self-harm through the media today. It was with a piece of paper. Countless painful papercuts lead me to believe that I could actually go deep enough to do sufficient harm. What did I know? I had never experienced this in reality, only my acted-out Barbie doll "movies". After the first few slices, I was addicted. And I didn't understand why this terrible self-mutilation felt so damn good.

So why is it that it felt so good? It took me years and years of on-again, off-again depressions, anxiety, eating disorders, self-hatred and self-harm to discover the connections. I've always been a bit of a lost soul; a chameleon soul. Never has a line so fitted me as the one from Lana Del Rey's "Ride": I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due North, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness as wide and as wavering as the Ocean. Throughout life, this proved itself over and over. I was ever-changing and never certain; always morally and psychologically corrupt and, at times, just plain f*cked up! During the end of my public school education, I began to struggle with my body image and eating. This lead through high school and is a ghost that haunts me to this very day. This not being a central focus of this piece, I didn't much detail it at all. Through highschool, I entered a phase of sexual and love addiction that carries in to my current self, after my first relationship ended. I became severely depressed for many months. The family troubles never ceased, though they mellowed at certain points in time. We all loved one another very much, but as my mother and I have come to realize, we simply cannot succesffully live under the same roof. We are took alike in the ways that will clash, and too different in the ways that are supposed to mesh. At a transitioning age in my life, around seventeen, I met my current boyfriend. I had "moved away" from home a few times after meeting him; home, for some reason, being something I wanted and needed to escape. Never have I missed the feeling of something so badly. When I finally did leave and begin sustaining myself, it was during a time of depression. I quickly became bulimic, something that I'm positive my parents are aware about but has never been brought up. Following, my boyfriend and I found out that we were pregnant. After much mental and physical turmoil surrounding the situation, we terminated the pregnancy. I think that the deciding factor for myself was how absolutely terrified I was of losing what little connection to "home" I still had. My mother would have been disappointed beyond end, and I have never been one to be able to hold up well under the disapproval of others.

In short, much of my life has been entirely out of my control or made me feel utterly powerless over myself, my emotions, my actions and my surroundings. Self-harm became a part of my life to provide a sense of control in times of chaos. Outside forces often brought pain and suffering upon me, whether deserved or not, and I could never stop it. Psychological disorders, family troubles, bullying, abuse, loss, heartbreak - Hell, even the fact that I have suffered migraines since I was very young - they all were seemingly powerful where I was powerless. Cutting myself was administering my own pain. I was the one with the power, the one who decided how much pain, how often, how long the sensation existed, how deep the hurt and how severe the damage. This is why it became such an addiction to me. And soon, like all addictions, what I once had power over began to over-power me. That was, until I found an alternative outlet.

Now, I realize I jump around a bit here - so bear with me. It's tough to keep memories in check and well-organized, especially those which bring back a sense of emotion with them. Right before leaving home, a friend of mine at the time treated me to a piercing for my birthday. I was terrified of it hurting to the point where my body shook violently and my hands began to clam-up while sitting in the piercing chair at Iron Legend's. My nose had been frozen, but I still felt the cool, sharp needle poke through my septum and the soft glide of the metal piercing as the artist fed it through. The feeling was almost therapeudic and I recieved a huge rush of adrenaline. After this, I gained the comfort and the confidence to finally get a tattoo that I had wanted. The month I moved out, I returned to Iron Legend's to get my very first ink. Needless to say, my alternative outlet soon became tattoos and piercings.

I currently have three piercings and two tattoos, not many for someone who uses it as a healing-method from pain and stresses, but I find that an accomplishment in some way. I found that the sting of a fresh tattoo was very similar to that of a blade across my skin and that the release was just as fulfilling to me. The end result, rather than a group of unsightly and dysfiguring scars, is a beautiful piece of art equally as representable of your control and - if you choose - your suffering. It was a new sensation to know that I was not only deciding to undergo this pain, but that I had the will power to endure an entire sitting and that I had the choice of what I put on my body. Like walking on hot coals, enduring imbearably cold climates, or acupuncture, body modifications are a form of spiritual and emotional healing and cleansing to me. Currently, I do not feel the need to self-harm or cut. I haven't in a long time, and there is nothing that I am more proud of than that fact.


Current Modifications

"Don't carry the world upon your shoulders."

A line from the Beatles song "Hey Jude", which has always been close to my heart. I often try to balance more than I can carry on my plate, and end up being brought down by the troubles of those around me alongside the increasing weight of my own worries. It's never a fault to look out for those around you, to care about the opinions and beliefs of others, but never put them before your own. You are important; you have value. Recognize it. You can never be selfless before first being selfish.

Grammophone

Most music that I enjoy is from a time period where you would be hearing it from one of these beautiful machines. Something about the scratch of an old vinyl record against the needle of a record player is so beautiful and poetic to me. Music is a timeless emotion. Though you can capture a photograph, write a book or memoir, or leave an antique heirloom for generations to come, music lives on forever. It is something unseen. It's felt. It's experienced.

Septum Piercing

Also recognized as a "bull piercing". It is a piercing through the septum of the nose - the divided cartiledge between your nostrils.

Angel Bites

Also recognized as having a "double monroe", "double marilyn" or double upper-lip piercings. Two piercings above the upper lip, one on either side of the mouth.

© RaeBlair 2013





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