Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Deja Vu

Almost 24 years ago my first 'real' boyfriend dumped me.  I put 'real' in quotations because we were fourteen and I don't believe he ever really cared about me.  What he thought he saw in me was an easy mark.  He was determined that he wouldn't be a virgin by the time he turned fifteen in November - such noble aspirations!  We were together for less than three months and in that time he pressured me constantly to have sex with him.  Thankfully I was strong enough, both emotionally and physically, to refuse.  He broke up with me after his birthday, but let's be clear....on his fifteenth birthday he was no longer a virgin, but I still was.  That's right, first fourteen year old boyfriend....had sex with another girl while we were still together and then he blew me off.

I was devastated.  I was hurt.  I was heartbroken.  I was depressed.  I started hurting myself.  I would find a stray staple on the floor at school or a rusty nail on the ground and I would start to scrape it across my skin.  I don't think I would describe myself as an actual 'cutter'.  I didn't do it to feel the pain.  I didn't really want to hurt myself.  Most of the time I didn't really even notice that I was doing it.....but my friends did!!!  My friends would see it and they would stop me and tell me to snap out of it and that I was worth more than that and that he was just a jerk and I was better off without him.....  They would say all the things I needed to hear and all the things that I would eventually come to understand.

But that's not all I did.  One day I walked out in front of a car.  I knew that it was far enough away and going at such a speed that if the driver saw me, he would be able to stop in time.  I actually mentally calculated that and then consciously made the decision to step out in front of him.  He did manage to stop and then he got out of his car to yell out me.  I walked on pretending to be oblivious to the entire situation.  Inside a part of me was shocked that I would do something so dangerous and stupid, but another part of me was just wishing that he had hit me.  I didn't want to die, but I did want to stop feeling all the hurt.

The last straw was the morning that I stood in the shower, crying and staring at the blade of my pink lady razor.  I was watching how the light reflected off it and wondering how much it would hurt to slice into my wrists.  It was in that moment that I truly snapped myself out of it.  It was like my own stupidity had slapped me right across the face.  That was the moment that I did understand that I was worth more than that.  In that moment I became strong and confident.  In that moment I became me and I never looked back.

I feel a need to write about this now, because 24 years later I'm going through it again.  I had a traumatic event in my life that triggered all those same fourteen year old little girl feelings.  This time I saw a doctor and got help.  It's called Acute Situational Crisis.  I wish I had known that then.  I caught myself a few weeks ago with a staple in my hand, using it to pry away the skin on my finger.  I managed to stop myself before I went deep enough to hit blood.  I've also had a few moments driving where I've taken bigger risks than I normally would or I've simply wished that a transport truck would come out of nowhere and hit me.  Just like 24 years ago, I don't want to die.  I just want the hurt to stop.  But also just like then, I know deep down that I have to do this the hard way....through time and by talking things through and listening to the people who love me.  I haven't forgotten who I am or what I'm worth, but that doesn't really help with emotional pain.  Only time will heal me, so I will wait.

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