I spent a good part of the summer cutting, I think. It is hard for me to rememebr back then. Maybe because it was such a painful time, I block it out. Try to bury the memories of that pain so I won't ever have to relive it. Only now I am reliving it. I know it was summer. Maybe more towards the end, because I remember we were painting my room so I was sleeping on the couch. And I remember being on the couch, that first night with the pocket knife. And I remember still sleeping on the couch when school started up again. So maybe it was closer to the end of the summer. Or maybe we just took a really long time to paint my room. Going back to school made things difficult. I went to a Catholic high school and so I had to wear the typical uniform. A skirt. A skirt that showed my legs, my main cutting area. I tried to scale back; do less so it would all fit on my ankles. I try to not do it as often so that I wouldn't run out of room. It didn't work. I don't know why I didn't just put on bandaids and say I cut myself shaving. I guess I thought it would be suspect that it was happening so often. I decided to start in on my arms then. I don't know why I thought this would be better than my legs. Perhaps I was thinking long sleeves would be easier to pull off. But I know I didn't actually wear long sleeves that often. I can't even begin to explain my thought process on this one. I do know that I tried to make it look like it could be cats, because I would do one cut here, another there. I spaced them out so they didn't look like the typical cuts, straight lines all neat and in a row. It worked. I had a teacher point to them and ask if I had a cat. And I didn't even have to lie. I do have cats. I guess that's a good thing, because the day someone asked if I had cats or if I had done that to myself, I couldn't lie. I couldn't have lied to save my life. I just froze. If the guy who had asked had been the only one standing there, I might have been able to get away with it. But he was the current boyfriend of one of my best friends, and she was standing there with us. She was watching me when he asked, and when I didn't answer right away, she knew. Maybe I just didn't know what to do when someone flat out asked if I was cutting. Or maybe I was just tired of no one knowing. Maybe I wanted her to find out so someone could finally help me. Whatever the reason, I didn't answer, and it gave me away. Now she knew, and nothing I could say or do was going to erase this. Luckily, everyone that ever knew handled it pretty decently. No one was ever any good at talking about it or handling it (there is one exception to this but we'll get to that later) but none of them ever hurt me with their reactions. No one was ever creeped out or disgusted by it. By me. They all gave the obligatory, "I'm here for you if you ever want to talk or need help." bit, but I don't think they meant it. It wasn't their fault. They just couldn't understand it. It scared them so even though they wanted to be there for me, they just didn't know how. She was a little different. I got the same sad, pittying look from her as I did from everyone else, but she also could listen to me talk about it and not look completely terrified. I didn't feel like she was sitting there tensely waiting for me to finish talking about it and move on. And I didn't feel like she was sighing in relief once I was done. But she kind of took the sypathetic look to a whole new level. There were times I felt like she might start crying because she felt so badly for me. For a while, she was the only one who knew, I think. I remember telling some people once I had decided to stop. Or maybe it was because swim practice had started and I didn't have any place to hide anymore so I told them. I remember getting careless with my sleeves being pulled up one day, so another friend saw my arm and found out. I honestly don't remember how most people found out. I remember telling two. I remember two finding out on their own. That's it. I have no clue how the rest found out. I guess I must've told them because them finding out would have been more memorable.
I have told a grand total of three people since high school. Two of them were guys I was involved with. I told them because I didn't feel like I could be involved with someone if I couldn't tell them that about myself. As it turns out, they weren't great people. But they handled it well. Possibly only because they didn't want to mess up their chances of getting laid. Or perhaps they couldn't be bothered to care. Either way, nothing was lost or gained by telling them. The third is one of my good friends. I felt safe in telling her only because her best friend had tried to commit suicide a few times and she had told me about it. I figured if she could go through that with her best friend, she could handle my crazy. We didn't talk about it much. I made it seem like a none-issue like I always do. It was nice to tell someone though. Most of the time these days, I get the feeling that I can't tell people because they all think cutting is "emo" and nothing else. My best friend doesn't know. At least, I don't think she does. There was a day when she asked me what a scar on my arm was from. She was very quick to clarify the scar she was talking about, and it wasn't one I had gotten from cutting. It was very close to one though. I feel like maybe she knows and that's why she was so quick to point out which one she was talking about. She knows I have problems. In fact, she knows all of my problems, except for this one. The fact that I feel I can't tell her makes me worry about our friendship. What kind of best friend do I have if I can't tell her this? But she knows me better than anyone else and is, without a doubt, my best friend. So maybe it's just me I should worry about. What is wrong with me when I feel like I can't tell this to my best friend?