We were living with my grandmother at the time. Her house was nice and clean. Not quite what I was used to. It was bright and airy and felt like a home. I had my own room that fit into the sterile “style” that her home gave off.
I must have been around 11 or 12 years old. I don’t even know how I got my hands on this book. It is a young adult book that went into grave detail of drug abuse and self harm. Maybe my mom just didn’t realize what it contained.
This book was fascinating to me. The fact that it was from the point of view of a young girl struggling to fit in, struggling to find herself. That girl was me.
The girl in the story found a twisted relief in cutting herself. She would describe the blood as it seeped from her arms, the sense of release of all her stress as she pressed down on the back of the blade. So this gave me an idea.
‘I can do this and see if I feel better’
So I went snooping for something sharp. I can’t recall what in the hell I found but I found it.
I sat on my bed with the darkness behind my blinds as stale light from the street peaked through. My precious book lay carefully beside me. I found a sweet spot hidden from prying eyes on my upper arm. I think I was scared.
‘Will it hurt? Of course it will you dumb ass. Just do it!’ I thought.
I pressed down slowly against my skin and dragged the rough edge down my arm. I didn’t get very far. I only made about an inch of weak blood bubble out. For some reason I carved a cross in my skin.. (I was raised catholic) Maybe I saw it as protection. A tattoo? Who knows, but it felt good.
I finally found something I could do to make it all go away for a bit. Something to relieve me of the pain. Pain I had control of.
This wasn’t my last time.