To be honest, my very first scar really was a complete accident. I was just a silly 6 year old who managed to slip and hit her head on the corner of the door. Apparently my dad took advantage of my bleeding head on the way back from the hospital so he wouldn't miss the football. So that’s my very first scar out of the way.
When I was about 14 the recruits of the army barracks liked to get drunk and do silly things like smash glass bottles on the pavement. It was my own curiosity that made me pick up the glass and stab the pointy bit of it into my skin. I still have the raised mark on the side of my left wrist and the top of my right hand. But their not raised from the glass. Picking scabs was something I did only when bored. But for some reasons in this instance I didn't do it once or twice. I obsessively attacked the skin attempting to heal and eventually I guess it gave up and gave me little raised bumps.
Long after the event had passed my friends were joking about a fun quiz on the frank site, so I decided to do it. Without thinking I glanced at the self-harm pages, then shut it down. Turned out my secondary school had a monitoring system thing going on. Parents got called in and once the teachers and my parents were reassured by me it wasn't drugs, I had to admit what had happened. I got a “don't do it again” speech and that was that. And I didn't, not for a long time but what it taught was something interesting.
When I hurt myself, or people thought I did, it got my parents to pay attention to me. It started off small, claiming I stuck needles in my hand, that sort of thing. But people didn't really believe me and I never had the guts to provide evidence. So the phase was short-lived. Or at least it didn't seem as if self-harm would ever enter my life again.
I hit 15 and things got more stressful, options, friends that acted more like bullies. Then the people who didn't try to pretend or act and were my bullies. I actually prefer running into the people who outright bullied me to the ones who tried to hide behind a friendship façade. I didn't make any more scars, but I gained a new habit where I banged my head against the wall, or the mental bars that make my bunk bed back then. If I gained a cut, it was purely by accident, but picking scabs still happened though rarely to the extent to leave a mark.
Then I hit college and things got better and worse at the same time. Because I started psychology and I discovered what real friends were meant to be like and I was questioning my sexuality and all sorts of the other stuff. Had and lost my first proper boyfriend. Saw a counsellor properly for the first time to address my issues. Everything was a bit of whirlwind to be honest. You'd think that since I was seeing a counsellor, I'd be fine. But with my parents constant side-comments saying I didn't need it, things proved difficult for me.
If anyone's read “The Event That Altered Everything” then you know the first time I self-harmed knowing completely what I was doing was when I went on holiday to Turkey with my immediate and extended family. I'd had enough of putting up with them and their issues that seemed so tiny compared to mine. I hid in a big closet and scratched away the skin of my knees. The scars for that have mostly faded, but if I get a dark enough tan then you can make out the white marks of where the skin had been continuously hurt.
There are marks similar to them that would appear if I got a dark enough tan along both my legs. That was the area I stuck to because I could hide it. I just had to avoid skirts and dresses. It was something I already did so no one noticed anything different.
Now I'll move onto what I hope is the last scar I'll have self-inflicted. There’s a gathering of around three scars of the inside of my left ankle. I made the three in quick succession, night after night. Then everyday when I got home from work I sat in the bath or in my bedroom and pulled the scabs to pieces. In my mind I excused it as getting the icky threads from my socks out of it. But I knew deep down I just needed to feel the slight pain. Funny since I have chronic fear of pain. I think that's why I never moved onto using instruments. And I certainly would've never had the guts to attack something like my wrists. I was always very logical in my self-harm. It seems even when try to get rid of emotions, my brain would be trying to cut them off.
But it was different this time because they got infected. I had no choice but to show it to my GP, which led to me getting referred for CBT. When I got home, my dad wanted to know what i'd seen the GP about and I had to explain why I was being referred for this therapy. Before you think I go out of my way to hide, I was aware things were bad. I showed it to my mum but she just shrugged it off as scratching in my sleep on a hot night. My dad, not so much. He watched me silently for a few seconds before saying,
“You did that to yourself.”
This all happened this year, February. I feel the need to state that. It doesn’t feel that long ago to me. But I know it is. I know that somehow, I've not done anything to myself since then. I plan to keep it that way.
As for healing my mental scars, looks like that'll take longer. I had my initial CBT consultation where I was told they couldn't deal with my issue and that I had to go to a more specialised place where I'd have to pay. I keep putting off calling them, but I know I'll have to eventually.
But I just wanted to share this, tell you about the physical scars. Of course these barely show the extent to the crap going on in my head. And I know there are others who have done or regrettably still do much worse. I'd like to say I wrote this for them, that would sound noble. But I didn't. I wrote it for me. My constant reminder of what I've done, of how I've stopped. And something to give me the kick to keep fighting the horrible itching sensation that covers my skin when depression or anxiety takes hold.