A/N: Um. I'm posting this in the fiction section because… That's what this sounds like. That's what this feels like. This whole thing. It's in the fiction section, but it's true. Real. More real than anything I've ever, ever posted here before. I started writing this as a sort of rant, just notes to myself, something I needed to get down on paper. But towards the middle I started to feel so detached, and it began to sound more and more like a short story. So I decided to post it here. Against my better judgment. I don't want to remember, and I don't want to upload it and share it, because somehow that'll make it more real. I don't want it to be – I want it to be a dream. Just some horrible fucking nightmare. I'm posting it because… Well, because I just read something a friend wrote. That she cut herself – not badly. She's just started. And I cried and thought about my past and thought that maybe, maybe, if I had known the truth about life, death, and injury, that I wouldn't have continued down that path. So. Here's my truth. I hope, perhaps naively, that at least one person will get something out of this and put down their razor. Their scissor. Their safety-pin.
WARNING: It gets really, really, really, really graphic towards the end.. I couldn't even type it without getting nauseous [I actually threw up when I was done writing it]. Maybe it's only me having a weak stomach, but I just figured I'd put this warning here. Because the visual really isn't pretty. :/
-changed my name in this because I don't want to be recognized-
I can't feel half my arm. It's been months now, and all the feeling is still gone. And it's killing me inside when I think of the cause behind it. My own stupidity, my inability to take in what my friends, family, and doctors were telling me. Because I didn't listen. I didn't listen when they said, "Eva, it's dangerous, you have to stop!" In the stories you read about, in magazines, in books, on the internet, the cutter always gets away. Manages to pull themselves out before any real harm is done. Either that, or they die. An accident, they go too deep, or suicide. But reality: There's a middle. Between life and death, there is injury. My between is injury: Self-injury.
It was a scissor. I always use a razor – ALWAYS. Unless I'm starting again, after a cycle of "quitting" for a few weeks at a time. But on 4/4/04, for whatever reason, I chose to use scissors. I didn't think about it, the need was just so desperate, it was blinding me, deafening me, the little voice of reason drowned out by the screaming in my head and the pounding of my heart.
"Eva, I don't want to fight!" Small cut above the elbow, just a knick.
"You're being ridiculous…" A little deeper, now on the forearm – I'm just warming up.
"Fuck you, you're the bitch!" Scream, throw the phone at the wall, slash the wrist without even thinking. Glance down, scream again. Shit. I should've thought.
In the ER they give me 17 stitches, 15 on the outside, 2 on the inside. They ask what I used: "Scissors." Was it a suicide attempt? "No." They tell me I'm a lucky girl, and all I can think of to say in response is, "fuck you, you have no clue." And I don't realize until months later how true a statement it was.
What made me use scissors that night? When all I'd ever used before was a razor? Luck? Fate? The realization struck the other night as I was talking on the phone with a friend: "Holy fuck, I almost died. I almost died using scissors…" I stop to think, wondering over this sudden epiphany. "I would be dead right now if it'd been a razor. No questions asked."
In all the stories you hear, she either lives or she dies. What we don't realize, what they fail to mention, is that there is a middle. My middle is that I will never feel the lower half of my arm again. So think about this the next time you hold a knife, a razor, or even a scissor to your flesh. Maybe you won't die. But every single time you pick up your weapon, you lose more and more common sense, you lose more and more feeling. So every time, you'll need to go a little deeper to achieve the same high, or – if you're like me – the same numb. Deeper and deeper, until one day you'll look down, breath catching and think, "Fuck, I didn't mean it…" Common sense kicks in again when you see your bone, surrounded by pink bubbles of muscle, deep crimson welling up slowly, slowly, then pouring out in seemingly endless rivers.
That's my story. "You're a lucky girl." I can still grip and use my hand. Albeit, not as well as before. Just one more centimeter, and I wouldn't be able to grip at all, whatsoever. You know what? I do consider myself lucky. The numb tingling in my arm when I touch it, when it comes into contact with something, is a reminder. The four-inch scar stretching across my wrist and arm is a constant reminder, a warning, the visual aid when that Voice of Reason is drowned out by the screaming chaos in my head. I can't feel the lower half of my arm. I most likely never will again.
Truth? You probably won't die. Truth: In reality, you don't ever come away unscathed.