In the middle of ninth grade, I started liking a guy who was also in our nerdy clique of friends, named Evan. By the end of ninth grade, we had admitted that we liked each other and were now “dating.” Quotation marks needed because we were both sheltered, dorky private school kids who couldn’t drive, had never been on a date and who kept our relationship a secret from our respective parents.
I’m not going to go into any more uncessary details, but I was young. I was naive. I thought I loved him. I mean, he was my first boyfriend after all. I was still struggling with depression, made worse by my alcoholic stepfather, who had started to have more and more violent episodes, and I leaned on Evan for support. I told him when I hurt myself and talked to him about the deep feelings inside me. I didn’t even realize how much pressure I had been putting on a boy who was what? Fourteen? Fifteen at the time? So when he broke up with me a few short months later in September, I cut myself the worst I ever had. I used broken glass and I made deep, ragged gashes in my left arm. I think I did 16 cuts. One for each week we were together. It didn’t even cross my mind that he had left me because he no longer knew how to help me and maybe even because he was scared of me.
A few nights later, my mom and I went to see Nightranger in concert. I wore long sleeves, but when I raised my arms up to scream and wave along with the music, my mom saw my cuts. After the concert, she grabbed my arm and roughly shoved my sleeve up to reveal my whole arm. I still remember what I was wearing. A black t-shirt with little white pictures of guitars and lightning bolts on it, with built in waffle knit long white sleeves. Naturally she flipped out. She demanded to know why I did it. I didn’t really have an answer, at least not one that I could tell my mother. The lyrics to “Where is the Love” by the Black Eyed Peas kept echoing in my head.
Shortly after, I was forced into counseling and prescribed anti-depressants. There were ups and downs for the next few years, but I continued to cut regularly whenever I was upset or things felt out of my control. I see now that it was an addiction. It still is. It’s been a few months since I last hurt myself, but the thoughts are always there. Everytime I’m upset or something goes wrong, self harm is the first thing that pops into my head. Id still be doing it regularly if it weren’t for my boyfriend. Last time he found out I hurt myself, he hurt himself too. Nothing is worse than seeing the person you love in pain. Especially if the pain was 100% YOUR fault. So, I haven’t done it since. Im too scared. He has a scar from last time. Im sure I do too, but there’s too many now to notice any new ones.