Having a keyboard under my fingers feels so normal to me. It’s weird and fantastic at the same time. I haven’t written in quite a while (as usual) but I am here to tell you a winding tale about a birthday, a nose piercing and a few ups and downs. There is some self-harm mentioned so **trigger** warning to everyone that may have an issue. I’ll let you know before I start talking about it if you want to skip over that part. Alright, here we go, my children…
My birthday was this past Sunday. Now, I have an easier time making a big deal out of other people’s birthdays. The spotlight is away from me and easily focused on another person. Plus, most people love celebrating their own birthdays. Anyway, hanging out with friends I met at work on Friday and a casual evening with Lily on Saturday meant I was just about spent. I felt the love in every ounce of my body and had such a fun time. When I went to my parents’ house though, that changed very quickly.
I share a birthday with my maternal uncle. It’s pretty cool, sharing a birthday, because it gives you a special connection to that person that no one else seems to understand or have. Maybe a bit to metaphysical, but still true! Anyway, he came to visit and brought along his friend, Debbie. Now, I love Debbie. I’ve known her since I was a little girl. She’s always bubbly and energetic and fun, albeit sometimes it’s a little much. But overall, she has a good heart…an honest and true aura, if you will. I also invited Ms. Dolores on a whim, thinking it would be enjoyable for her and my mom to catch up. They rarely see each other; Ms. Dolores sort of lives like a hermit and is very hard to reach by conventional means. I’m talking, a carrier pigeon might be easier than trying to send her an email. I also invited Brendan, obviously, but he had to work that day so he was going to show up later. The gang’s all here!
My uncle, Chris, wanted a dish called Chicken Kiev. It’s something to do with breaded chicken and onions…I don’t know. My father made it and it was delicious. The food was great. My problems started with my mom. I got my nose pierced as a birthday present to myself. I really wanted a septum ring and was happy with the outcome. I didn’t tell my parents because I’m now old enough to make most decisions on my own. I had cleared the acceptance of the piercing at work and even planned on buying enough rings that I could flip them up if I needed to look more professional. It was all considered and worked out. Except for my mom’s reaction. I had pegged both of my parents as being disappointed, as they are with most of my decisions, but not overly so. I was ready and armed with a prepared defense; this jury would believe me and would not convict an innocent man! Well, they did. They formed a mob and demanded his head on a pike. I had my back to my mom as she came over to give me a hug and I warned her I had pierced it. When I turned, she cried out and gagged, turning away from me. She shook her head and just kept saying she couldn’t look at it. My own mother couldn’t look at me on my birthday. Thomas and I had been planning a walk so we left for the trail after that. That moment was the beginning of the end for me.
We walked, Thomas dutifully listening to my sob story as I told him how much that hurt my feelings and how I was angry that everything I did was wrong to them. Towards the end of the trail, I started to feel better. We’d changed the subject, were talking about faire folk or something. Then, a jogger passed us. He was wearing a t-shirt that said “Rowan University.” That was where I was interested in going before I fucked up my life. That was where I could have made a decision and instead, chose to do nothing and idly watch my life crumble to pieces like sand through my fingers. Thomas was reassuring and full of brotherly love, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I couldn’t shake that this was how my life was always going to be. Full of disappointments and a reminder of those disappointments flashing like neon signs every single day.
We left, went home and had dinner. It was really good. The conversation was more directed towards our guests, which was fine with me; I didn’t have many nice things to say. Brendan showed up just before it was time to open presents. I was thankful and smiling, but underneath the table, I was holding his hand. The conversation with my mom was still reeling through my head, like a warped record whose needle kept returning to the rim, driving deeper in until it couldn’t, and pulling back to repeat the process. We left, everyone scattering to their vehicles and off in different directions, the darkness swallowing the warm evening.
I bought razor blades a few weeks back in a rather desperate attempt to make myself feel…anything. I was depressed but not quite at the bottom of the pit. I wanted to hurt physically, so I could drain the white noise in my head. I bought them and promptly lost them in the depths of my car, only to find them shortly after restarting my medication. I got off track with it, something that’s rather usual for me, and was feeling the effects. I should have thrown them away but I didn’t. I kept them. I can’t explain why, I just did. I would idly twirl the little case at red lights, listening to the soft tink of them hitting the plastic, thinking. I got in the car the night of my birthday and knew, knew that I wanted the mental pain I was in to stop. I knew there was a way to do it but I also knew there were consequences.
When you cut, normally (at least not me), you don’t worry about scars. You don’t care who sees or who knows, you just want the urge to stop. That was true of this night but not entirely so. I was worried about the people that know my history seeing what I’d done, knowing that I’d relapsed and being afraid. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else but the pain I felt inside was unbearable. I asked Brendan if he’d be upset if I cut and in a rather neutral tone, he declared he wouldn’t be. I’m not sure if he was enabling but he was as supportive as he could be and I was thankful for it.
I drew a bath, sat in the hot water and splayed the four razors on the edge and chose one. I dragged it over my wrist and forearm. God, the rush was so what I needed. It was almost like a drug. I immediately relaxed. My mind was still whirling, thinking of all the disappointment, all the lines, all of it. But the pressure behind it was gone. The driving force that made me want to scream out and cry had disappeared. I was as close to myself as I was going to get that night.
I only ever seem to cut in rows of three. When I got to work the next day, my manager immediately asked me about them. I lied and blamed it on my cat, declaring that he’d scratched me in the process of giving him his daily medication. Whether or not he believed me, I can’t say, but I did feel the genuine concern. Another coworker asked me and where I could have been just as honest with her, I wasn’t and told her the same lie. I’m beginning to spin a web that I don’t want to. I want to be honest with my coworkers. I like them, I care about them, but this is something that I don’t think they can, nor want, to handle.
I’ve returned to group, I’m seeing Craig once a week instead of once every two weeks. Things have started to spiral downhill again. I’m not sure what to make of it. But the keys under my fingers, having it all out and here definitely helps.