“You should see my scars.”
I’m not proud of it, but when I was a teenager and wrestling with my sexuality and depression, I did hurt myself sometimes. Sometimes it was cutting, but usually it was burning or electric shocks. There were a lot of reasons. Mostly, the depression I was suffering made me feel numb to the world around me, and the pain reminded me that I was alive.
Yeah, it hurt, but also it was a release, a release that lasted a few seconds. That may not seem like much, but it was enough relief for me to keep doing it. It was so addictive, and no injury was ever enough. I tried to stay in control instead of ramping up the intensity of the pain. I easily could have lost it.
My mother was addicted to the internet at the time. I confessed to her about my habit of self-harm, and she was furious at me. She yelled at me to just stop, and I did. Cold turkey. With a few lapses. I mentioned it again a couple years later and she didn’t even remember that conversation.
Let me tell you, the urge never went away. It became a part of me, like my sex drive, always bubbling under the surface. There’s potential to hurt yourself everywhere you go, and the temptation is always there. I try to channel that energy into other things, to distract myself, or to go out in public, because if people are watching, I won’t cut or burn myself.
I hear people say that people who injure themselves want attention. Maybe some do, but I wanted the opposite. To this day, I get defensive if anyone asks about a scar, because most people know about my past, and I feel like they’re accusing me of something.
Anyone reading this, please don’t do as I did. Some of my scars still haven’t healed and never will. When you harm yourself, you’re causing emotional pain to the people who care about you, and I don’t care who you are, someone cares about you.