There is an argument.

Sometimes it's an internal argument, about procrastinating or talking to the cute boy in the laundry room. More often than not, those aren't the arguments to worry about. It's the verbalized arguments, with parents and friends that are dangerous. The kinds with wild gesticulations and points that desperately need to be made. There will always be a single sentence, sometimes even a single word, that came out of my mouth wrong. Sometimes it's too harsh. Sometimes I didn't articulate my thoughts well enough. Every time, it means I am stupid, and I am wrong.

Every time, no matter who wins the fight, I lose.

There's no transition from here. The feeling is sudden, and it takes over every thought, every muscle, every bone. "You have to do this yourself because you fucked up and you deserve it." It only comes on stronger when it's ignored. "The person with the right to hurt you never will." There are fingernails, and I pull them hard across my arms and my face, and I'm wishing that I didn't bite them so often.

"Never. Will."

If there's something within reach, I'll use it. A hairbrush is okay, but they don't bruise fast enough on legs, and there is no time for that many strikes. Metal spoons are better, but they're harder to find. Usually, there are just fists. It's always the right leg that gets it. For some reason, it feels closer. Once, twice, three times, and, "This isn't enough." Once more, with feeling. "This isn't enough."

There are teeth, and I'm frantic enough to use them. It's always the left arm, always the part that faces towards me, and some part of me always thinks with enough clarity to push up my sleeve so I can hide the marks later. And I'll bite ("This isn't enough!"), and I'll hold it ("THIS ISN'T ENOUGH!"), and I'll bite harder ("THIS! ISN'T! ENOUGH!"), and I'll hold it…

There's no transition from here. There is realization, and then I release.

First there are tears because my arm hurts, and my leg hurts, and my face hurts from where I managed to make the faintest of scratches.

Next there are tears because, "Why did I do this? Why do I always. do. this." There is sinking to the floor, and there is leaning against the wall when I can.

And then there are tears because, "I fucked up and I deserved this."

"I always fuck up and I always will."

"Always. Will."

There are fingernails, bitten to the roots, and they resume their scratching.

"This isn't enough."

There is an argument, and I will lose.