I slashed my wrists. Both of them. Still feeling pain, still not seeing enough blood. I don’t think there’s any blood at all. It feels great though. Something against my skin. To distract. Maybe even to get rid of the agony. Still slashing and scratching. No one’s here now. My ex is downstairs upset with me, washing dishes. My roommate is next door. No one would know. It seems like no one cares, and why should they? There’s too much of life going on and I’m powerless to it all. They say I have power. What if I don’t want it? I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know myself. I don’t know why I’m here. Then some people say don’t question it and go with the flow. For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I can’t. I’ve slashed enough of my wrists to bleed out my entire body. But I’m still not fainting. Not in and out of consciousness. I look down and see I’ve grabbed a red pen instead. Took the knife upstairs but somehow put it aside and used a pen. I read that somewhere in some article. They say I don’t have healthy coping skills. I’m still slashing my wrists with the pen. Maybe this time it’ll work. It doesn’t.
You decided to do something different. You were going to sit across from me instead of next to me. You said you wanted to make it convivial—(of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable. You are very pleased with yourself. ‘I wasn’t aware of this plan,’ I say. ‘I don’t need to let you know,’ you reply. I don’t see it that way for some reason.
You wait by the bus stop and I stand next to you. You tell me not to hide how I’m actually feeling. I feel like I’ve been showing everything to you this whole time.
This whole time I’ve been trying to avoid all things negative. Negative feelings, negative situations, negative people. I don’t know how to deal with negativity. In fact, I’m absolutely terrified of what I’ll become when I’m faced with negativity.
I know this reflects on what I remember from my childhood. Expressive angry father, silent meek mother, volatile headstrong grandmother. Watching from the crack of a door my older sister being beaten by my father. Freezing in place while my ex-stepfather groped me one night. Learning that he cheated on my mother with a woman who also had three daughters. I guess I felt abandoned one too many times. I guess a stable foundation wasn’t built when I was a child.
Now my twenty-two year old self must deal with the aftermath. I haven’t been dealing with all feelings, “good” or “bad.” I haven’t been giving myself permission to feel how I’m feeling, to let it all happen naturally, because I always felt that I was losing control and I couldn’t accept that. It turns out I’m not actually controlling anything (never have been). All I can control is how I’m feeling and accepting that I’m feeling that way.
So how am I feeling? No judgments here.
I’m feeling in despair. I feel like my heart has been torn out of my chest and shredded into a thousand pieces. I feel crushed, like I’m suffocating from my own weight. I feel grief because I’ve lost you. I feel alone but I keep misconstruing it as being lonely. I feel like an open wound, one that continues to reopen every time I look or talk to you.
That’s how I’m feeling.
A Song to Taste: Love is Rare by Tom Day & Monsoonsiren
I’m not exactly sure how to begin this. All of my pieces from up to almost two years ago have been about you.
I could go into every little detail and memory that’s been engrained into my mind. I could reminisce and fully cocoon myself into every feeling I’ve felt with you—frustration, anxiety, vulnerability, faith, hope, safety, desire, truth, love. I could withdraw and isolate myself just so that I can keep you close to me, as if the end did not just begin.
But it has, and I am here, drifting slowly away from you—and closer to me.
A Song to Taste: For You by Gavin James
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?
I am sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. Far from you. I wonder if you think about me. Do you miss me struggling to tiptoe and kiss your cheek? Does your heart ache when you toss and turn late at night and realize that my side of the bed is cold? Do you remember the gentle good mornings, planting a tender kiss on my forehead as you exaggerated having to wake up with sleepy eyes? Do you chuckle when you are suddenly reminded of a moment where I did something ridiculous and unexpected? Do you feel pained when you notice that I’m not there to share in your laughter and stories? But what I’m really wondering is, do you ever want to talk to me?
Let me count the baggage I carry with me.
- Anxiety that’s been burnt from the core to the skin because of daddy issues (how clichéd!) and now I have abandonment issues (no relationships ever worked out here!)
- Depression (but is it really clinical?) that comes up every now and then, having a good ol’ time with anxiety and tempting suicidal thoughts (but please, it’s just a phase!)
- Anger issues that still resurface from when I was an angry child (it’s a fancy schmancy defense mechanism that actually backfires!)
- Family problems from when I was a child in which my older sister was abused (she was just diagnosed with bipolar II disorder!), my mom divorced twice (she became suicidal after the second marriage failed!), and my ex-stepfather groped me (but I was his favorite child!)
But guess what? If I act now, I might actually get my shit together. You probably won’t be able to accompany me though. I guess I’m just too fucked up for some people.