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I'm finally back.

There are those people, and you know them well. The chunky bracelets, the eyeliner applied like a widescreen border. They never look at you, so you never know them. These people are the ones with gauges and gadgets, phenomenal poetry, great transcripts to get into ABC college, very peer-pressure, very overbearing parents, maybe a little marital incest, and the like.

I hate these people, because I'm not these people anymore.

That was me, circa 12-17, the happiest years of my life. I wasn't escaping, I was returning, and I loved my scars.

I used to sit for hours in front of a before-school hours computer, scanning the internet for the person I wanted to be. I had her requirements in my head, because to me, Perfection wasn't an obstacle to walk around; it was an application process. She (the perfect me) had to meet the following: Skinny, Scarred, Social, Poetic. There were others, but I'm having trouble remembering them. I was a different person at the time, remember?

I miss her. I miss having secret pursuits of self-perfection, up late at night with my notebook and a Vogue. I'd write furiously, analyze the model-esque poses and expressions, get all worked up and jump of my mattress to eat the entire contents of my parents' fridge, only to stop at the door, run to my room, and do crunches. And leg lifts. And squats, pushups, lunges, endless reps and bends to beat the evil inside, only to collapse and cough up what I ate for the last week (water).

Mind on fire, body numb, I needed to calm down, fast. I ran to my bathroom, grabbed the 89-cent bic, ran back. As I took it apart, I couldn't help but be shocked at the ease these razors could be taken apart. When I had finished, my fingers were scratched up, and inspiration hit. I started to stab the tips of my finders with the corner of the razor, watching the skin give and bead up blood, as if on cue. I unzipped my jeans and stared at my thigh (fat); I raised my arm, razor in hand, above my head, then dropped it down on the bed, the full weight of my right side slicing into left thigh. I gasped, and watched the white line turn an immediate red, and drip onto the towel I was sitting on.

Some people panic their first time. I took off all of my clothes and laid there in my underwear, amazed at the sensation of pain, the sight of self-induced blood. I felt like Winston in 1984, I had won the war over myself. Mostly, I felt calmly empowered, like I had ran a mile, only better.

There's this unstated rule about not being proud of your "defacement"; we hide them inside our thighs, under watches. We cover our scars like they're exposed nipples, we pretend to hate them. Mine have since faded (arms, legs, belly). My regret? That none of them stayed. I wanted to wear my scars like diamonds, not for "the attention", nor for "shock value", but because it was only then, amidst my scars and protruding skeletal structure, that I felt real, complete.

That must've been why I stopped for so long. I was caught in the thick of war; one side screamed that I was satisfying a "negative" stereotype, the other was pissed that the one thing that made me feel real was considered disgusting, disordered. Unwilling to pick a side, I just quit. I never wrote, never listened to music, never cut. I started eating again. All this, for what? So other people wouldn't judge me? So I'd make them happy? Wasn't my happiness important?

I saw then, that my identity was, in a sense, tied in to my pursuit. I wasn't "ill" or "disordered". I was happy. Is there only one road to happiness? I'm tired of satisfying these requirements that deem me "normal". I'm tired of feeling cheated. This is mine, and I cannot give it up, regardless of what I'm called. The sense of belonging cutting gives me is far more persuasive than the "diagnostic criteria" my "actions" satisfy. Give me a reason not to do this, and I'll give you a blank stare, comforting myself with thoughts of why I do what I do.

I don't look like her, but I'm still her, nonetheless. Before today, I hadn't cut in two years. Today, I saw a picture of the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and haven't been able to forget about her since. Her ribs, her scars, "That's me!", I whisper urgently. "Where did she go?" I went to find her.

I took an exacto razor from the back of my cell phone(where I keep it, also under my shoe), and stared at my calf. I wondered how I became so different -- uninspired, unadored, larger than I was and plus one, to boot. I look different, I play the mom role now, and I love my daughter completely. I think that's why I cut, and why I'm here. So many intentions...can I satisfy?

I have satisfied one. From bracelets to bottles, the scars are who I am.

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submitted by: sigh_content
on: 22 Nov. 2006
in Ritual

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