Self harm. It’s like this beast that I can’t shake off. It lives with me always. Sometimes, we just exist side by side and other times, we cling to each other like it’s all I have.
I have been a self-harmer since I was four years old. A long time for it. It’s part of me now and part of who I am and an addiction I can’t seem to kick. Like my old friend I have to keep going back to.
This last week there are more days I have harmed than I haven’t. I keep trying to not do it, but it’s like when you’re on a diet and that bar of chocolate says one piece won’t hurt, or when you quit smoking and your brain says, just one cigarette, its ok. If you’ve ever tried to quit anything, then you know what I mean.
My other half despairs so I hide it. 36 years of self-harm has taught me how to do it so that no one sees it. I haven’t self-harmed yet today, but it is early and its there. That feeling in my skin calling for me to cut … just to feel that. It’s like taking a breath, holding it until your head pounds and letting it out real slow. Or that sigh you get when you finally sit after a long day … that’s what I need. I can see it in my head. Grabbing my blade, putting it into my skin and sliding it down slowly so that I can make the pain last just a little bit longer.
I can feel my chest wound up so tight as I try not to give in and my brain asking, why am I abstaining? What does it matter if I cut? I’m not hurting anyone.
My other half, my friends, they just don’t understand it. They say it hurts them, but why? I’m not cutting them. I’m cutting me. They eat chocolate and junk food. They drink coffee, watch tv shows. They do stuff that makes them feel better, why can’t I?
I’m not killing myself. I can’t say I’m even scarring myself. It’s just old wounds. The more I sit here and try to analyse why there is a reason to stop … the more I know I am likely to publish this blog post and head straight to my bathroom.
What kicked this off? Someone asked me. I don’t know. My dad died a few months back, but it is so big for me now. Bigger than it was when it happened. I don’t think I paused when he died, and then something happened a month or so ago and it seemed to kick of my grief. It was the strangest thing perhaps. My grief coming months later and now it’s so much inside that it hurts to breathe because he is gone.
He’s gone …
Some people have said, when he died, they were glad he was gone. I think those people forget me, the adult, the son … still the child. They see the man in my books and see him as a monster, but they don’t see the connection that was there. It’s hard to explain to people who see it black and white. We had secrets together, a thing … it made me who I am and made him who he was and now it’s like half of something is missing.
I keep looking at my phone and expecting him to ring.
There’s no one that can make it better. No one who can fix it. I have messages that say he isn’t suffering any more, and I know. I don’t miss that dad. I don’t miss the dad in a bed who needed feeding and cleaning and dressing. I don’t miss the man who suffered.
I just miss my dad.
I can’t …