i do not know when most people would date the beginning of my path down the dark road of self-mutilation.
there are various points in the timeline.
the earliest instances i can account for date back to when i was only 8 years old. even before i started biting my nails.
i do not know who i have told and who i haven't. and who would think that a child at such an age would ever intentionally get into a routine of self-injury?
it is not the cutting. the cutting didn't start until my sophomore years of highschool, some 7 years later.
but i came to the realization, at least a few years ago, that what i used to do to myself at such an early age definitely falls into the category of self-injury.
We moved twice during that school year, bringing me to a total of 4 different homeroom teachers in one year(at the second school, they switched me to the advanced class after deciding i was too smart to be in the regular one).
It was not until the second time we moved that this started to occur.
I was both happy and unhappy. Unhappy because new school meant going to square one. I was the new kid. Had no friends. Too quiet. Easy target. Too smart. Too good. Little children do not like anyone who somehow might be better than them. oh, no they certainly do not.
Happy because I was finally free of him. Evil, evil man. Scary man. I used to hide from him when he was angry because if i didn't hide he might get me. Might hurt me. I never knew what he was capable of, how far he would go.
Finally we left him. Finally.
But I was scarred forever. How could my mother allow this person to be apart of our lives? Even for a moment? He was mean and scary and he hurt me. And my sister.
Suffuce it to say, I would never undo this time because.
Because of this time, there exists one of my favorite people in the entire world. I love her so much and would go through that again to have her in my life.
Back to the story, though.
I was scarred. I was alone. Friendless. Frightened. Quiet. Confused.
My teacher did not care that the other kids picked on me. In fact, there were at least two incidences where she only added to the hurt they created. She was a crazy old cat lady. 18 cats. Did not care that I was afraid or alone. No. yelled at kids for stomping on ants. did nothing when i got teased, publicly, right in front of her face.
Meanwhile, at home, even more pain. Physical hurt continued. Worse and more confusing and no way for me to hide and too afraid to say anything. At eight years old, how could I possibly understand what was occurring? What does it mean when the people who are supposed to love you, people you love, hurt you? I was eight. I had little understanding of what was wright and wrong in familial relationships. I had little understanding of boundaries.
So I started taking trips to the bathroom at school. And on these little trips, I found a way to mask the pain. By causing myself pain. How does this make sense? But something inside of me pushed me into it, and not even knowing what it meant, I obeyed.
This is what I did:
I would go to the sink in the bathroom. Turn on the water so hot that steam would rise. Thrust my hands under the stream of water. Hold them there, no matter how much it hurt, until my hands were swollen and bright pink.
I burned my hands. Repeatedly. In this way.
Nobody ever noticed. I do not remember if i ever tried to hide it. Maybe I did. Maybe i didn't. but nobody, as far as I could tell, ever saw this.
This went on for a long time. Continued on into middle school. Right up until the point where I started cutting actually.
or well, there are in-between stages. Things like sticking safety pins through my hands and tying ribbons so tightly around my wrists that i cut off the cicrculation to my hand for several minutes, let it lie there on my desk, all blue-grey and puffy looking.
these are things i know i did not hide. yet nobody ever mentioned them to me. for whatever reason.
my childhood is what it is. there are good things in there somewhere. but good things do not leave marks. and so, are much more easily forgotten.
to this day, i still bite my nails. nervous habit, at this point. feel like i always need to do something with my hands.
i may never really go into detail openly about what actually occurred between me and certain people. i may, in time, speak out about the fact of how very skewed by perception of love became because of it. but that is another story on its own. for another day, if i can ever find the words to describe how scrwed up that view was.