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the story of a girl.

 I am now on the brink of 23. I have been dealing with self injury alone for about a decade or so.  One might think that's odd. In over 10 years not one person has found out. Maybe that's because I am too ashamed to allow someone in. Maybe it is because I am just that good of a secret keeper.  For me this is similar to the post secret project. Letting my secret free and still remaining anon.

I grew up in a somewhat normal home I guess you could say. My dad was a blue collar worker and my mom a hair dresser. However, my dad is an alcoholic and a pill popper and I've never seen my dad not go without my entire life so I don't know the difference between an alcoholic dad and a sober one. I guess that is where self injury stems from. His lack of control I have inherited?

The first time I cut I remember I was in my bedroom doing my Spanish homework. Oh how I loved Spanish- and still do to this day though I don't remember a lick of it. I was sitting at my makeshift desk and an Easter snow globe fell from the shelf above. It was a gift from my godparents, and I had adored it. I was already in a crummy mood and had been for a few weeks. As I began to pick up the pieces, I began to fantasize about bringing the cold glass to my skin. I bit my lip and threw away every piece but the glass shard. I laid it carefully on my desk and tried to go back to my homework, but I couldn't. I stared heavily at that glass picked it up and laid it against my burning skin. I couldn't even drag it across. I took a few deep breaths and jabbed myself- feeling instant relief and calmness from whatever was wrong in my life.

I was a tomboy and mostly kept to myself at home so it was so easy to hide. After that I began to do it at first every now and then to almost nightly. It didn't matter how it happened. As long as I found the relief I was craving. I used a nail file a few time to etch away my skin on the inside of my ankles. A sensation that burned unlike nothing I have ever felt. It was similar but a lot stronger than when I was a kid and my friends and I would use an eraser to 'erase' our skin out of boredom in school. I was able to use paperclips or whatever I could find. If it were on my arms I would just cover using a sweatband – the kind with the bands and slogans on it.

Fast forward. I haven't always done it daily. For a year or two I did not even think about cutting or etching or whatever you want to say I do or have done. It wasn't until my husband (at the time boyfriend) went long distance. At the very end of it I was really depressed. We were getting married and he talked me into moving across the country to live with him. I would have to leave my entire family behind. When I started back into my habit it was because I was in a state of 'numbness'. It made me feel something and it gave a release so to say.

After moving however, however I would get into a state of hyper-ness . The only thing I could do is clean and move. I would go for a walk to try to clear my mind, but I just couldn't focus. If I were at work I would double and triple clean something trying to make my mind and my body stop. It felt as though I couldn't breathe. I would sneak off into the bathroom stall and use my work issue box cutter blades (I always kept a few clean ones safe from work use) and graze it against my skin. Afterwards I would get really depressed- which gave me another reason to cut. I found that to be inconspicuous that I had to show them off. I always hate that but it's easier because I can always blame it on the work I do (I work in a hardware store) which isn't the problem, but the stares I would get when I lose myself in the act and cut too much. I have even had a co-worker jokingly ask me why I was cutting myself- though a few times he asked more seriously.

I am over much of the hyper I so often felt right after moving away. Now it seems that I am back to the one who just overall craves it. It has been a few weeks though since I have picked up the shiny sharp blade. I am kind of proud of myself for that, even though as I type this I have the metallic taste in my mouth and its power and hold over me is calling my name. This is not something I want to do forever. I have tried to stop many times. I just don't know how. I once read that people who inflict self injury start in their teens, peak in their twenties, and stop by their thirties. Who has that kind of time right?

I urge anyone who is dealing with this issue or knows someone who is to please ask for help. Maybe if I had done so earlier on- this past decade would be different, you know?

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 Dec. 2009
in Ritual

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