Walking past the piercing place I paused for a second, muttered ‘fuck it’ to myself and went in. I so welcomed the bite of the piercing gun on my earlobe in that moment, it didn’t really hurt enough to satisfy my sudden deep longing for pain, but it was socially acceptable, I couldn’t get a new tattoo right now and it was better than having to try and explain away another self-harm scar.
At least it was enough to bring the level of dissociation I was reaching down a notch. I was now more aware of my surroundings, there were suddenly other three-dimensional people walking around the mall, shopping, laughing, living. They were now more than just a distant blurry backdrop that they had seemed like minutes earlier, they were real and so was I.
The urge to hurt myself was once only related to my eating disorder, mostly punishment for eating the ‘wrong’ thing, too much of something or just because I felt ‘fat’ that day. The scars that were left were supposed to be reminders to make better choices. Nowadays, when someone comments on all the burn scars on my arms I will laugh them off with a quip about being a terrible cook or how the fireplace bites. Never have I told anyone that each mark holds its own story, its own reminder of where I failed at life.
It has been creeping up on me more and more lately, the urge to hurt myself. Luckily for the most part I have been able to stop quickly, distracting myself with various things; but it has just been getting harder and harder. My reasons are different now, it’s not punishment so to speak, though God knows I feel like I deserve it, its more that I feel so detached from the world at times that pain seems to be the only thing that can ground me again, the only thing that proves that I’m not dreaming.
Memoirs of a Wounded Healer
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