Sweet Ma tried to shape my mind, pounding it like dumpling dough. And the more she tried, the more I became like my mother, so she said. I was greedy, she warned, and could not fill my heart with enough pleasure, my stomach with enough contentment, my body with enough sleep. I was like a rice basket with a rat hole at the bottom, and thus could not be satisfied and overflow, nor could I be filled. I would never know the full depth and breadth of love, beauty, or happiness. She said it like a curse.
Because of her criticism, I acted as if I were even more deficient in feeling, particularly toward her. I found that a blank face and a bland heart were the very things that made Sweet Ma's eyebrows bulge to bursting. My reasoning was this: How could I be wounded when I didn't care? In time, I felt I was growing stronger and stronger. My legs no longer buckled, and I learned to hide from pain. I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I had placed them.
My name is Gabrielle and I am twenty-eight years old. I began to self-injure at age fifteen -- so nearly thirteen years minus a two year period. This website is one about self-injury (self-harm), made to let self-injurers know that they are not alone and to help their friends and family learn more about self-injury and how it affects their loved one.