I have always felt the need to punish myself. Even as a child in a non-practising religious family, I felt compelled to confess my sins. Not knowing what I actually wanted was reassurance for my shamefully obsessive thoughts, I wanted justice and forgiveness for thinking the worst things ever to be thought.
It started out with food. I would deny myself. I would use the ache of hunger to take my mind out of the mental loops. Even if I knew I had not done anything terrible, I still wanted to make things “right’. I felt guilty all the time, even hearing a story on the news about something a thousand miles away. I started piercing, over and over again. Letting the piercing site heal and then doing it again. I started to enjoy the pain.
Then I cut myself. Drunk, on the floor with a blunt kitchen knife on my wrists. I had no intention of suicide, it was just a place. I wanted the scar. I couldn’t stop and then my legs looked a mess.
I wear pants almost all the time now as I wait for the scars to heal; the scars I wanted as a way of proving that I had atoned. It was not until something clicked with the help of a councilor that I realized that pain did not mean healing. It blew my mind. Pain did not mean healing and it was then that I did not want my scars anymore. For the first time, I felt that I had hurt myself and that it was wrong. I felt bad that way I would feel if someone else had hurt me.
I cant even fathom cutting myself again, until those days when I am depressed; then I feel the desire come back a little, but not even close to enough to go through with it. I can’t accept that anymore. It’s almost like I am two people at times.
I am now learning to respect myself and it is so challenging in some ways. I just want to be normal.