My scars are visible reminders of my life’s journey. Often I forget that they are there; I am so used to the damaged skin on my arm. Sometimes I am reminded; by the glances of acquaintances, who dare not mention them, or those who impulsively askand then hurriedly change the subject. Occasionally, someone will ask me directly about how these scars came to be on my arms, their real intention to find out why.
The thing is, I cannot give you the answer that your concern or curiosity might desire. I could give you snippets of my story, theories as to what was so bad that it led me to such behaviour, but I choose not to. My life is not a commodity to sell for social return like a soap opera. Do the journey with me, and I am sure you will learn more about me. Ask me questions, if you have struggled with self harm, or have people in your world, and you want to understand more about the complexities involved, it would be my honour to help you. But don’t, please, make up your own reasons why, create a character around some marks on my arm, when you have no basis for it.
As a teenager, I was on a mission: self destruction. Filled with hatred and disgust, overwhelmed with the cruelty of life, physically hurting my body was a way to cope with my inner anguish. In some ways, the pain reminded me that I was still alive, though I felt dead. Sometimes, seeing the blood felt like I was getting rid of the toxin inside me-the toxin that was me. It was a punishment; I had judged myself and found myself to be guilty. It was an anesthetic; momentarily relieving pain which I could not express.
You see these scars?
They are battle scars
And they tell a story.
Not of who I am,
but of who I used to be.