Is it possible to erase oneself?
It's true what they say about your first time: that you never forget it. I remember it clearly. I remember the initial shock of the sensation. The feeling that penetrated your being, as if your soul was being released. Pure and true Freedom. I imagine it being akin to what zen masters achieve then they reach the point of enlightenment. And, no, I do not speak of my first orgasm.
I was 14. A few of us in shop class were bored so decided to erase our skin with erasers. Don't ask what made us even think of it, or who was the first to try. Two of us stood side by side facing a wall, with others around us. I think that she went first, then I was next. I took the square art erase from her hand and held it in my own. Did I really want to do this? It seemed cool, but was I just being a follower? Being a teenage girl who already did not fit in, I could not say no. So I went for it.
The first motion was light against my wrist. But then I rubbed the eraser hard back and forth across my skin. Oddly enough there was no blood, or at least very little of it so that I cannot recall there being any. It looked like a burn to me. The flesh was whiter than my normal pale color. Two inches long by perhaps half an inch wide. It was strangely beautiful to me, yet ugly at the same time.
The burning in my wrist as the skin began to heat up was like nothing I had known. Then all of a sudden, my entire body felt different. I began to shiver and a creepy sensation ran down my spine. Was that sweat? Why was I sweating? It did not seem so hot a few minutes before. It is a feeling that cannot be explained adequately. Scientists would say it would just be an endorphin rush, but it feels like so much more. Every neuron in your body is firing all at one, yet you cannot move. You stare in disbelief but are not really looking at anything.
Was the other girl feeling this way? Was I the only one? I looked around me to try to tell from the expression on the others faces, but could not decide. Then a way of embarrassment overcame me. I wanted to get past this first layer of skin that the others stopped at. I wanted to see what it would feel like if all my layers of skin disappeared. Would I be able scrape away enough skin so that my arteries were visible? But I had to stop. This was much too personal an experience to be feeling in front of these other people. They now seemed like strangers to me.
I handed the eraser to someone standing next to me. We talked about how much it hurt; how weird it felt. Yet no one really wanted to say they enjoyed it. But you could almost tell that others were eyeing the implement that now sat before us on the counter. Soon we were called to sit around a common desk. Our hands were hidden below the table. I wonder now if we were trying to hide it from the teacher or ourselves.
No more was discussed about it. It was as if everyone thought it was a mistake. Though I was proud of mine. I wanted to show it off. I thought that the initial girl who did it would understand. Fortunately, she did. A few days later, she and I again preformed the same ritual in class. Was this going to become a common event? I was worried but excited. Would I get the same rush? There was more pain this time. Perhaps because I was erasing the same area as a few days prior; going over the same area of skin, getting deeper and deeper.
But that was the end of it. It did not happen anymore. She started to hang out with the cool kids in class, and I became more of an outsider. I did it a few times at home, but did not continue with it. Maybe I was too scared, or enjoyed the release more when I was surrounded by others.
It took me years to realize what was going on: when I finally found the true use of a scalpel blade or an exacto knife. The release could not be found elsewhere. Tattoos and piercings give a similar sensation, but it is different. Perhaps some of us require the self control that is present when we hold our own implement of pain.
Some people may call me crazy. I am certain there are many therapists that do. But that was the beginning of it all. My introduction to self-injury in the middle of a shop class. I wonder which one it was. Wood working? Electric class? Not that it really matters much now that I have found myself.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Aug. 2008