In response to @cillatide 's question from earlier today. I couldn't think of a short adequate response, so I decided I just write it out in its entirety :)
The question was (not verbatim,mind you): "Why did you self-harm?"
I was born to be suicidal.
Did it shock you, reading that? Well, my dear, it will shock you even more to learn that it's the honest truth. I could say that I began my downfall in middle school, when I lost the stability of my mind, or even highschool, when cruel,harsh rumors were at an all-time high.
But, that would be a lie. I was born for suicide.
The day I was born, my adoptive mother says, the room was silent. They actually went so far as to think I was a still birth. I did not utter a single cry- I was noticeably quiet, the only sign of life the blinking of my eyes. I don't remember any of this of course, but that moment has stayed with me my entire life. Not only did I seem to refuse to open my lungs to cry, I also refused to open my mouth to eat and refused to close my eyes to sleep. I was diagnosed with "Failure to Thrive". I guess the prospect of life just didn't appeal to me. Yet, I lived.
These suicidal tendencies followed me like a dark shadow as I grew up. For days, I would be silent, never stirring in my crib. I wouldn't eat at the age of 5,6,7,8,9,10. I just simply refused. Starvation- fasting, like Gandhi, I'm pretty sure is how I justified it- was my death of choice. But my mother wouldn't allow it. Said I was made for something more.
That "more" turned out to be a cycle of eating disorders. Then, lengthy, dedicated hours dancing away the weight that I still seemed to carry- which only achieved muscular calfs and thighs, even larger than my stick thin legs had started out.But I found that I loved the freedom of dance,despite the muscle I gained that made me look fat- and then learned how to love another person. I fell in love with my dance partner, a boy only a few pesky years older than me. Imagine that, me dating an "older man" at 9. Can't say I wasn't motivated.
His story is a tragedy I do not have the heart to tell. I may, at a later point, as his story, if only for a short while, entertwined with mine. A long sob story sgort, I lost him to the very thing that had always threatened to consume me- death. He committed suicide a few short weeks after awakening from a coma, only to find himself paralyzed. I understood his final decisions, as he had always understood my less permanent ones. He was my only tangible connection to the world, and I fell silent yet again in his absence. I stopped dancing- what use was my soul feeling free when it wasn't dwellig with his? What use was my movements when he wasn't there to match them, to catch me when the wind called my name and the birds told me to lift my wings and fly away with them?
I turned from dance and into the arms of self-harm. I was determined to carve the hope from my veins. Even now, four years after- nearly five- I still hate myself for not being there when he needed me most. When a very similar tragedy happed only a year and a half after, I was shattered. The only difference that stays in mind is that I was there for him, this second beautiful boy, although I wish I hadn't been.his death was violent, a gun to the head, a finger on a trigger, and a bullet to end it all. In such a short time, I had lost the only two people I had ever truly loved- so what was life but loss? Then, that September, I lost my grandfather as well. He had battled gallbladder cancer- I had watched him wither away into a slight nothingness that always made me cry when I laid my eyes on it. A small fracture of the man that had been was left on hospice sheets. It kills me I wasn't there for him when he passed either.
So, I lost more and more blood everyday as it traveled its way down the tub drain. My veins were empty, my heart to broken to move on. My punishment of stinging scratches, then deep cuts, and then finally, carved hieroglyphics told my story of heartache on my thighs, on my stomach- I had a novel written there, on my wrists. But that was never enough. I had failed them- couldn't stop the pain from destroying them. I wasn't there when they needed me most. And I was determined to feel what they felt.
I stopped sleeping, began suffering in the dark. The light scared me- it was so bright and revealed everything, even hidden secrets. Light pointed out blemishes, made my ragged skin look old....I kept myself silent, hidden for so long. The moon became my bestfriend, as its light was full of shadows, borrowed- just like my time on this earth had seemed.
Then, when I decided the physical pain could no longer express the mental anguish I felt, I moved on. I started drinking, smoking, abusing my body in all the worst ways. I subjected myself to abuse, all in the hopes that I would be accepted, that my failures would be forgotten. But you cannot easily forget something that looms overhead like a ship mast on the horizon. My failures were always there. They were amplified in my shame- the things I let myself be led into...Like cattle led to slaughter I allowed myself to be used in ways that would make even the holiest saint cast me away- I relished the faux importance, the feeling of being in control- the sheer power in manipulating the feelings of another person gave me so much joy there were times I regarded myself as a lunatic. I was fueled by the buzz a good "job" gave me. It powered me through partially remembered nights. For three years I was either too high or too drunk to remember that I was meant for "more".
There was no "more", not after I spent days in hospitals from blood loss. Not after I let my future slip away from me because I was stuck living in the past.
Today, someone asked me why I had self-harmed for so long. I could say it was because of my history, because of my past. i could say it was because of my lack of hope, my hatred for God and all things associated with religion. I could also claim that it all boiled right down to a chemical imbalance resulting in chronic depression. I could even say, I just couldn't find a "healthy" alternative that avidly explained my pain. I could say a lot of things, but the answer is quite simple, really.
I was born with suicidal tendencies- went on to create my own demons as I lived out my self-created sentence of punishment, and learned to live with the past always haunting me.
What made me want to self-harm also became the reason I quit. So, if you are looking for answers in my story, I suggest you ask. Not for help, but for the answers you seek. The ones I've found in my ongoing journey may be the ones you seek to end your own suffering. Ask, dear friends, and I will be more than happy to help. we don't all need to go through the storm to learn the lessons. xoxo