Spilled Dr. Pepper on Marya. She’d be angry. I desecrated a book. Then proud. I can’t stop reading long enough to take a drink. At least it was diet.
I watched a lot of TV today. When the weather is bad I prefer watching TV or a movie to reading a book. I guess because TV gives the illusion of being around other people. I’m so pathetic.
This afternoon there was a woman on Oprah whose husband had their 13 year old son video tape while he abused her. I’d seen her before on another TV show but I continued to watch anyway. I wanted to see how much her life had changed since I first saw her.
The thing that got me, especially the first time I saw the video, was that it didn’t seem that bad to me. Most of the video was her husband berating her. The same thing happened in my own home every night. Oprah would warn before very clip that the video was not suitable for small children. “Their not suitable for anyone,” she said. “But especially not for small children.” I heard those words every night as a small child. My dad was always saying them, mainly to me, but also to my mom and my brother. It was just a normal night for me. But when the man in the video says these things to his wife everyone is shocked. Why? Because she is his wife? I always wondered why it was wrong my dad to yell at my mom, but it was okay for him to yell at my brother and me. It was okay because we were children and needed correcting. “You’re just too sensitive” is what I was told. And if it was okay, then that meant that all the things he said about me were true. But watching it happen to a wife on Oprah, I’m supposed to believe the man was wrong and the things he said weren’t true. Perspective is difficult for me.
You always ask how I feel physically. Usually I don’t even notice, but this afternoon I did. When I first heard the tape, I felt light headed, like I’d fall if I wasn’t sitting own. Then I felt my stomach clench tighter and tighter until my shoulders started to clench too. By the end of the show I thought I might be sick. I remember that feeling. It’s familiar. It’s how I used to feel as a kid.
When they would show the woman’s name on the screen, underneath is said “Former Abuse Victim” and I wondered how it made her feel to see herself described like that. Since I experienced many of the same things, would they use those words to describe me? I wouldn’t. I can’t. Former, I’m okay with. But abuse doesn’t fit. What he did to me wasn’t abuse; it was just a parent correcting a child. Besides, it wasn’t physical, so it couldn’t be abuse. And my dad loves me. Even though I was a disappointment, even though he hated who I was, he loved me. He would die for me. How can it possibly be abuse? It can’t be, so I can’t be a victim. That’s not me. That’s not my family. It’s can’t be. And I could almost believe that if I didn’t see exactly what it did to my brother
Where to start tonight? I’m about to fall asleep, but I promised myself half and hour every night so…
I’m full of nerves and fears tonight. I hate this weather. I hate it for lots of reasons – because it’s miserable and cold, because it is depressing, because it is dangerous, because it makes me feel trapped and powerless and stupid. How can weather make me feel stupid?
Because I’m stressing out about tomorrow. I should’ve just cancelled my appt and got a ride to work. That would have been the easier thing. But this appointment seems so important to me and I hate it when the choice isn’t mine to make. I’m as bad as a little kid. I’m terrified of driving on slippery roads. I’ve been having nightmares for the last several nights about car crashes.
I asked Sofia for advice – what should I do. Should I cancel? “No,” she told me. “Please don’t be a stupid American.” Then she goes on to tell me that I’m a “chicken shit” if I give in to my fear of driving on ice and stay home.
Pretty funny coming from a woman who never even got her driver’s license because she’s afraid of car accidents. But that’s pretty funny too considering she attempted suicide three times. But we all have our fears and her message was true.
It is normal and okay to be scared. You just can’t make yourself a victim and allow your fear to rule you.
Still, she isn’t the one who has to do the driving tomorrow.
I wish she were here to go with me. It would be so much easier if she were here. Together we are unconquerable.
Alone, I’m a stupid girl who cut tonight because she felt helpless and not in control. Because I was tired of the fighting and the name calling in my head. Tonight I craved the calm and the feeling that I could affect something, that I had some power, no mater how slight.
Maybe it’s true that it takes more power to resist than to give in, but that kind of power takes longer to see and a cut is something I can feel tomorrow to give me strength and courage. And I can feel it tonight to keep me calm. I’m supposed to be a grown woman. Why do I still want someone to take care of me? When will I ever grow up? Will I ever become strong? Sofia tells me that I already am, but I don’t feel that way tonight.
I’m wondering if I’ll ever have the courage to tell you about the other side of my SI. I started to last Tuesday, but then I chickened out.
It’s more than just the calm I crave. I know it sounds twisted, but hurting myself gives me permission to be kind to myself, even loving to myself. I used to purposefully work myself up into a severe state of self-hate so that I could cut and get to that good feeling. I don’t have to work myself up anymore. I’ve cut so often that now I don’t need to be in a mood anymore. I can do it whenever. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad, haha. When I cut, as soon as I see the split edges of my skin and the blood start to flow, it’s like I’m enchanted. Sometimes there is a rush so strong that I feel a wave flow through my body. I lean back and let it wash over me. I try to soak it all in, take all the peace and calm and joy deep inside me. I want to keep that feeling forever. But it fades away too quickly or the blood start to drip on the floor and I have to come back too quickly.
I use a tissue to absorb the blood while I wipe off my blade. I put the blade away and then wipe my cut with alcohol. It doesn’t really sting. I wish it died. I crave that sharp pain. I throw the cotton ball away and put the rest of my supplies away.
I like to leave the wound uncovered for a while. Usually I sit on my couch and watch TV while I watch the blood flow from my cuts. I like to watch it pool. It’s beautiful. After about an hour when the blood has clotted, I go back into the bathroom and start the bandaging process.
I wash my hands then apply Benadryl to the wounds. I try to put extra on so that the bandage won’t stick. They don’t make band-aids that I like, so I use cotton squares from the make-up department. I place a square over my injury then use paper tape to hold it in place. I try to tape down all the edges so that they won’t get pushed up while I sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to find uncut skin to place the tape on so I have to place it over cuts that are still healing. But it’s better than blood on the sheets.
After the bandage is on, I like to watch TV for a while before going to bed. I like to lie there and enjoy the feel of it. The sting of my flesh makes me feel human. The pull of the bandage makes me feel held, comforted. I love this feeling so much. It’s the closest I can come to feeling loved without having my heart broke.
In the morning, the new cuts make me feel my body in a different way. I feel special. I feel my life. I can be tender with myself.
I am seriously weird and sick.
One of my best friends, Callie, is in town. I haven’t seen her and I may not be able because of our schedules and the weather. We talked on the phone last night and as happy as it made me it also broke my heart. She kept telling me she loved me over and over again. I love her so much and I feel guilty because I’m not honest with her. But I’m not really sure I should be.
I guess we have a complicated relationship, although it doesn’t feel complicated at all to me. I used to tell her and her husband, Adair, everything. The three of us used to be inseparable. Adair was actually my friend first. I used to have the hugest crush on him and he thought he might like me too. We went out a few times. Then he met Callie and fell in love. I hated her the first time I met her, both because Adair like her and because I thought he could do so much better. Adair insisted that the two of us go to lunch and get to know each other. Neither of us wanted to, but we both loved him, so we agreed. I was extremely nervous, but it turned out that I had the upper hand. I was three years older and important to Adair so Callie felt intimidated. She wanted to do everything possible to please Adair. It was so awkward at first. We’re both extremely shy and introverted, but my quietness won out. I was so quiet that Callie felt pressured to talk and then she couldn’t stop. She ended up telling me her life story – including her involvement with gangs, her drug use, how she was removed from her parents care and her time in rehab. I fell in love with her. We walked into the restaurant scared of each other and two hours later we walked out best friends.
Her openness with me awed and inspired me. I was already pretty open with Adair, but after knowing Callie I tried to be completely honest with them about who I was. But it didn’t last long.
When I attempted to tell them how I felt I scared them. Scaring Adair was bad enough, but scaring Callie is something I can’t handle. She’s so high-strung and I used to worry that if she got too upset she’d starting using again. Now I know she’d never do that again, but I’m still unable to share with her. Even though we’ve been best friends for eleven years now, I stopped being open with them 10 years ago.
Callie shares everything with me and I feel guilty because I share nothing with her. About 4 years ago they moved to another state. Since they moved, we hardly ever got to talk but I’m still the one Callie calls when she can’t take it anymore and needs to vent. There were several times when she would hide in her closet and all me in tears telling me she couldn’t take it anymore and was thinking of suicide. I feel guilty for keeping my moments from her.
The summer before last, when she was here I wanted to tell her about the cutting. I wanted someone to know that I was getting out of control and that I needed help. There were several time when we sat together that I wanted so badly to say something to her, even if all I could get out was “please help me.” But then she would start talking about what hell her life was and I knew I couldn’t tell her.
Then after meeting Sofia, I knew for sure I couldn’t tell her. Sofia advised me very strongly against telling anyone besides professionals and support groups about my SI. She has had some very negative experiences with sharing. I know she is right. What good would it do to tell Callie? All she would do is worry and she is so far away that she might be tempted to tell someone else to watch over me. It’s not worth it.
Still, when she calls me and asks me what is going on in my life I want to tell her. I want to tell her so badly about therapy at least. I want to tell her how happy I am to find someone who I trust. I want to tell her about the good things happening and how I’m finally starting to make some changes. But I know I can’t tell her any of it and when we talk and I can hear in her voice how much she loves me it makes me so happy and yet so guilty and so sad because I still have to hide myself from her. I’m tired of hiding, but what can I do?! Even when I heal, there will still be this secret between us forever and ever. I hate it.
The winter weather is getting to me already. It only began on Wednesday, but already I feel like I’m going to go crazy if I don’t see the sun soon. Winter is always the worst time of year for me, as I know it is for a lot of people. It’s steadily been getting worse over the last several years. I’ve steadily been getting worse over the last few years. This is the first year that I don’t feel like I might not make it.
I was trying to figure out exactly why that is. I know it has something to do with L, but that worries me, also. We have an amazingly strong friendship for two people who’ve never even been in the same room together. I trust her more than I’ve ever trusted anyone. Still, I know that things could go wrong. I’m scared of what might happen if I do lose her friendship. I know I have to learn to rely on myself. That was one of my goals with starting therapy – to learn how to deal on my own. But I realized today that this is precisely the reason why this is the first winter I’m not afraid. That I won’t make it through – I’m not alone.
I’ve had friends before – great friends. Amazingly, I’m good at friendships, but I’ve always felt alone in spite of my friends. I know they love me – but they don’t know me. They don’t know the inside – the scary parts.
I always remember a man I dated telling me that I “acted as if I were an alien.” He said I tried to deny that I had human needs like love and affection. I blew him off because I was sure he was only telling me lies to get me to do what he wanted. But I was struck by how completely accurate he was. I’ve always believed that I’m not really real. Sometimes I even doubt that I’m human. I worry that I’m just a figment of someone’s imagination. Mostly, I just believe that I’m not a worthy person. I don’t deserve my life, and God, or some force, is punishing me for my sins.
I didn’t think I would ever make a real, all-knowing connection with another person. I mean, I didn’t think I would ever be able to share with anyone who I really am. Now, thanks to you and L, I’ve finally been able to do that. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am connected to someone – like I’m really known and like I really matter. And I even have learned to have faith that someone will be there for me when I need them. That has never happened to me before. I’ve never been a priority to anyone – not even my own mother. L has shown over and over again that I am a priority for her. And even though I can’t always be number one, I know that she is always thinking of me and will be there for me as soon as she can. I never understood how support worked – how having another person be there for you could really help. Now I finally get it. I finally realize how wonderful it is to be known and accepted by another person. And I also realize that even though I need to learn to depend on myself, I can never make it through this life on my own. It’s both scary and soul-quenching.
Also, I keep going back to showing you the scars on my arms. I wish I had been brave enough to look at you. I wish I had seen your expression. Let me try to explain. The more time goes by, the more I really appreciate the experience of sharing my scars with someone. To have someone bear witness to the atrocities I commit upon myself and not condemn or be disgusted by me is so miraculously freeing. I think I’m actually beginning to have more respect for myself. But mostly I just feel more comfortable with myself. The reason I wish I had seen your face when you saw my scars is that it would have been even more of a shared experience. You got a glimpse of what I do to myself, but I could have seen someone else’s reaction – even a professional one would have been something. And maybe it would have been the seal to finally put me at ease. I hope that next week I have the bravery to show you the heart of my SI – my leg. And I hope I have the courage to look at your face.
Speaking of beginnings, this morning I did something I’ve never done before. I cut. Where is the beginning? What led up to it? What makes a person wake up in the morning, walk to the bathroom and cut themselves? Stubbornness, I guess.
Yes, I had a lot on my mind last night and I woke up and it was all still there waiting for me. I cut last night, too. Why wasn’t that enough? I guess I should list the things I was thinking about.
There was the session, of course. I was amazed that I showed you my scars. Maybe it was nothing to you, but it was a huge deal to me. The only person I’ve ever shown them to before is L, and of course, that had to be done over the internet. I sent her a photo of my leg. We weren’t even speaking then – only writing so there wasn’t any human contact. Only two other times has anyone ever seen my cuts. Both times were accidents. They were horrible. I thought I would die. I lied about them. I hope it never happens again.
I was also feeling upset and guilty about the mall walking. That is something I really don’t want to do. I was a little upset at your insistence, especially because you told me that I never had to do anything with you that I didn’t want to. I know it’s not really the same thing. I guess I just really hate being pushed to do something I don’t want to do. Who doesn’t? I’m not sure you realize how much anxiety just thinking about mall walking causes me. I know I need the exercise, but that is not the way I want to get it.
And that brings up another huge issue – my weight and my sensitivity about it. I worry that you are disgusted by the way I look. Especially after seeing my flabby arms. Ack! Even now, I have to change the subject.
So, let’s move on to the other thing bother me this morning – the threat of winter weather. There is the possibility of freezing rain coming up and that causes all kinds of anxiety for me.
I’m sorry, I have to stop for now. I’m just working myself up again. At least I’ve met my goal of writing for half an hour. I’ll try to finish tomorrow night.