So, I have been here for almost a week. It's hard to believe classes haven't even started yet; orientation has been crazy enough.

Parents let Wed. morning. Mom was crying, but waving her hand behind her and looking away as if by doing so I wouldn't see. Dad hugged me longer than usual. I walked away and didn't look back; it was easier for everybody.

I do not miss them really. I like it here. But it is strange. Even at Pisgah I had Dad in the evenings, and at Southern I had Pisgah friends everywhere. I am making new friends, but starting over is uneasy.

Good too though, I think. I am not hiding my scars. No one has said anything, but I can follow their eyes and it makes me nervous. It's like I'm having to retrain myself. I've been so hypersensitive to them and now I have to pretend like they don't bother me at all (when they do).

For example, I used to tug on my sleeves all the time, now I won't let myself. Or when the wind blows my jacket open, I force myself to wait a bit before righting it. And scratching them is a very conscious thing now, since everyone knows what's itching. But it has been much colder than I expected, so I don't flaunt them often. As long as I act like they don't matter, I figure eventually they won't.

I went to the Counselor's office today, just before writing this letter, filled out forms and made an appointment for next Tuesday. The paperwork questions were tricky to answer and my nerves were already shot from this morning (theory placement exam at 9 – which I didn't pass – piano proficiency at 10 – which I didn't pass but did get out of the piano class, dumb theory again! – and Wind Audition with bassoon at 11 – which I thankfully! passed with flying colors. :-) ) so that didn't help. The hard part was walking into the office at all and then looking them in the eyes when they asked why I'd come.

I said I'd had problems in high school and I was a long way from home so I didn't want them to resurface. Then the guy counselor asked, politely, what kind of problems, and (swallowing hard with my heart in my stomach and my body trembling) I told them (actually, physically talking) "I used to cut." (PHEEW!) and the girl makes a noise and a face but when they discovered I haven't been to counseling before and pretty much stopped by sheer will she praised me for being brave enough to come.

But I don't feel brave at all. Once again I feel weak for ever having the problem to being with, and for waiting to deal with it now. My hands shook the whole time I was there; I about collapsed when I got back to my room. (I should be going to lunch but my stomach is still in knots, so I'm writing this instead.) I just keep telling myself that the hard part is over.

The girl (or actually woman, I suppose) has blonde hair like you, but glasses too. I have a tendency to attach myself to anything older and female (as I'm sure you know, ;-) ) so originally I wanted her but I guess in the long run it'll probably be better that I'm meeting with Craig, the guy (duh).

Oh, I put your name on the paper under Emergency Contact; I really hope you don't mind. I just couldn't risk them calling my parents about something (I figure, if need be, you know how to get in touch with them anyway…) when they don't even know about my cutting, much less that I'm going to counseling. I'm worried about it. I already feel like I'm betraying family secrets. But I've got to do something.

I guess I'm just writing to let you know that I really meant what I said, about stopping. I don't ever want to go back to where I was. I don't ever want to be that person again and I'm taking the necessary steps (by myself and for myself) in order to insure that that's the case. I don't want you to worry about me.

I was going to call you, but I don't trust my voice. I feel very unsure of myself right now and that's the old me, so I'm going to send you these letters. It's just like at your house, I wouldn't let myself ask you how bad my scars looked, because that's an old me fear. And I'm going to be new. I'm going to be free.