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“What happened to your arm?” The girl questioned, tilting her head as she noticed the timeworn cloth tape residing on my upper arm.
“O-oh...” My hand involuntarily jumped up to cover the scars, lightly scratching them as I turn my arm, face up, to show her. “You know..”
She stared. “Oh wow, how'd that happen? Like a cat or something?” I looked down at her shoes.
“No… I, uh...” I shrugged. No words could ever explain exactly what I did to myself that night.
“Oh, it's okay.. I don't judge.” The realization was apparent on her face, and even as her words tumbled out of her mouth I felt the judgment of her eyes land on my cheeks. I turned red.
“It's okay, I used to do that kinda stuff too.” She smiled, I wasn’t quite sure if it was genuine or mere sympathy, but it was compassionate nonetheless. My shoulders felt slightly relieved, but I kept my fingers on my scars, replaying the memories that healed within.
I stood at the end of my driveway and stared out at the passing cars and their lights. I pulled out my phone, checking the time.
“10:02… They're gonna be pissed, I'm late...” The thought of going inside nearly killed me, and I wish that it had. My eyes unfocused, blurring out the world. I thought about how easy it would be, to walk in front of the one of ignorant machines, and cause an accident. I didn't want to hurt anyone else, though. I didn't really want to cause a scene, I just wanted to silently disappear, without worrying anyone, without hurting anyone. If I could have disappeared into tiny particles of dust, dissipating into the air, my heart would have felt ten times lighter that night. But the world doesn't work that way.
A car honking at me standing on the curb broke the film over my eyes, and I stumbled backwards. I had been too close to the edge. Too close.
I headed back inside, to face the never ending lecture that always comes. Always a “Why are you late? You know the rules. Why can't you just do what we tell you! Why can't you just follow the rules! You are a disappointment.” My thoughts translated their words. They bombarded me, as always, and I shut them out and went to my room.
I didn't think, I didn't know what I was doing. I grabbed the dusty blade and sunk it deep into my skin. I hated this pain, and nothing would relieve it. I knew that no harm done to myself could take away the pain I was feeling inside, I knew that it wasn’t the right thing to do, but for some reason, I was compelled to do it. Throwing on a big sweatshirt, I cried myself to sleep.
The next day, sitting in my teacher aiding period, I observed the class from afar, sitting in the corner and trying to be as least noticeable as possible. It was Teen Ink day, and everyone was sharing their personal narratives. One particularly stuck out to me. A girl, who is normally quiet, She shared a story about her past, and her experience with self harm.
“I had the guts to get up there, and I had even more guts to get down.” Her words still echo in my mind, and I realized that I'm not alone. There are many people in life who are suffering, who understand many of the feelings that you have, people that you would never have guessed are going through these things, they understand you. I had never thought about my decisions the way that the girl had presented before me. I realized that everyone goes through hardships in their life, but it doesn't mean that you'll always feel the way you feel now. I've always thought that I'll never get better, and I may never get rid of my problems, but that doesn't mean that I can't manage them. Any progress is still a step forward; and I am proud of myself for not stepping into the street that night, not hurting myself worse than I did, and I am proud to still be alive, no matter how many times I've tried to cut my life short.