As a young teen, I would self-harm before it was even “a thing,” not that person who inflict pain upon themselves do so for attention; I’m just saying that before cutting, punching and hurting one-self was known I would engage. (It’s not a contest, I’m not trying to “win” for those who might be suggesting. )
I was taking any sharp object I could get my hands on to scrape and/or stab myself. I would lock myself in the bathroom after an argument with my mom to punch my legs or burn myself with a curling iron. I swear to you, the physical relief pain gives to emotional anger or pain…. indescribable.
I question where or why this starts, and there is a part of me that believes I know the answer. There was a time that I once thought it came from the inability to show anger, sadness or any other negative feeling; As in never learning how to express anything but joy.
My parents say when in trouble, I would act as if I didn’t care. When scolded or punished, they say, I would just stare ahead and not react, pretend I wasn’t bothered.
I will admit, I remember I would think to myself, ” Don’t cry, don’t cry,” only to repeat the words again, while the lecture droned on. I would sometimes pinch myself so emotion would not escape me. To dig my fingernails into my hand was common. I was embarrassed to show I was hurt; I would feel humiliated if I allowed my parents to know that the words spoken to me settled in and affected me. No way did I want them to know it broke my heart that my actions disappointed them. WTH??!! Who thinks this way at such a young age, and why?
And you know, looking back it’s what they wanted. I think they parented by guilt. Be good, look good, make us seem perfect. In my eyes it would mean I lost.
The memories resurfaced on me about 15 years ago when I quit smoking cigarettes. My husband and I were having an argument over the phone, he hung up on me and would not pick up when I called him back. I immediately went to the silverware drawer, pulled a steak knife out and locked myself in the bathroom. It took a couple of swipes into my thigh before I realized I was going back in time. The desire came up again today. What a day it’s been.
I had an awful day at work, just awful. I had a report that took me several hours to complete returned to me, for the 2nd time. So really, this will be my third attempt at this report, and honestly, I’m gun shy. I don’t like to feel stupid, who does? The woman who returned the report and with whom I spoke was quite insulting, and repeated several ways, to return the report and “do it right this time”. It’s a great idea, by the way, to return it done correctly. Suddenly, this crap that I’ve been going through the past year plus, just smacked me, right in the face. I wanted To throw myself at her feet, beg her for mercy and tell her I’ve been Effed over, please, tell me I’m not stupid, tell me it’s you who’s having a bad day, tell me it’s all okay. Please!
Do you see how the transfer of a bad day works?
I want(ed) to find a pair of scissors, knife, something or anything sharp, to relieve the pain that sits on my chest, causing me to gasp for breath. I want to lay in the arms of rest, my comfort, my desire, and my rock. He, who knows my thoughts, fears, and even my needs, he waits for me to come to Him. He calls me by name; it is I who must listen to Him. He has a promise, for me, for you.
Where are you my rest, where are you?
John 10:27-30New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one will steal them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than anyone. No one can steal them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”