TRIGGER WARNING: Please be advised that this post contains thoughts on self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Last night, I tried to hurt myself. I was the epitome of composure and calmness and then, suddenly, I was not. Blurry vision. Stifled, choked mind. Emotions violently erupted. I was an embodiment of what seemed to be self-inflicted lies, of perpetual confusion, of self-blame, of self-loathing. But what stood out in the forefront of this raging storm was pain. Raw, numbing pain. Pain that I couldn’t physically feel. Pain that was there but would never show on my skin. Pain that would be etched in the crevices of my mind.
I pleaded for help. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was stumbling around in frigid darkness, my hands pressed forcefully to my temples. As if I could push it out out my mind. Shaky, shallow breaths. Blurry vision with no end to the tears. Tears which no longer felt like a release of the agony I was feeling. I was always crying and now I was getting sick of myself for crying so much.
‘I’m having bad thoughts…’
I remembered a knife. I find my way to the countertop, grab the drawer’s knob, and open it. It slides out quietly, swiftly. I plunge my hand in to feel around its contents, where I know I will find a feeling sharp and cold. Like myself. The first knife is a butter knife and it does me no good; I run my finger on the serrated edge as if to test its authenticity. I steady myself on the countertop, sobbing uncontrollably. My thoughts are not my own. I feel your presence behind me, watching me but not touching. I stumble back to the drawer.
I pull out a second knife. I know its black handle too well. I remember cutting into birthday steaks, Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas hams. It reminds me of an old friend. Just as quickly as I realize this, you are holding my arms firmly, pulling it away from me. You are forcing me up the stairs. I trip over my feet, sobbing, screaming out at the injustice of it all. I am at the side of the bed now, and you are pushing me to sit down. I sit down and then you are pushing me to lay down. I am still not in control of my thoughts. You turn on the light and you come back to sit on the bed. You are never completely close to me, but you are there. You head into the bathroom and come back. You place a pack of floss on the bed by my side. I glare at it, hurling vicious attacks at it, thinking of disappointment, of self-blame, of abandonment, of death.
Yet, somehow, I go through the motions. I don’t know why I need to do it, but I have flossed my teeth, brushed my teeth, washed my face, combed my hair, changed into my pajamas. You are on the bed sitting, watching, pensive, quiet. I get under the covers and you pull yourself over to your side of the bed and lay there for a while. I am numb. Eventually, you get up from the bed, but you don’t say a single word. You head to the bathroom to grab some toiletries, head over to your desk to check for other necessities, and then you turn off the light as you leave the bedroom and close the door behind you.
I am laying in darkness. And the whole time, I have a lingering question in my mind: when did I start to see a knife as my friend?