What I Feel I Deserve

The day I learn to love myself will be the most amazing day of my life.

I remember during my freshman year I was sitting in my room, not doing anything, when I suddenly had the strongest urge to hurt myself. I told myself over and over again “You deserve this, you deserve this.” I believed I was the worst person I knew. I was the most horrible friend, sister, daughter, student. Everything I knew myself to be was the worst.

I stood in the shower holding a pair of nail scissors in my hand. It was the sharpest, easiest thing I could find. Staring down at my feet, I held out my left arm and moved the blades back and forth against my skin until I was out of breath. My eyes stung so badly from my tears that I couldn’t see anymore. Two small, perpendicular lines had been engraved on my wrists. I didn’t think anything was wrong; it was just something I deserved.

I got out of the shower, still bleeding, and shoved my wrist underneath the faucet. The pain, though indescribable, was the most calming yet teeth-clenching sensation I’ve ever felt. You deserve it. Remember that. I went on with my life and tried to hide those two cuts as best as I could. No one noticed. Not my parents, not my friends, not my teachers. Thank god, I always told myself. I had found a new way to take my hatred out on myself and no one seemed to care.

I continuously self harmed until April of my senior year of high school.

One morning before school, during my junior year, I was standing in my dining room waiting for my dad to drive me to school. I hadn’t worn a sweater to cover my cuts that day because I was so used to no one noticing me that I didn’t think about it. My dad came out and sternly asked me “What happened to your arm?” I immediately turned bright red with anger because my darkest secret was finally being learned by the people who were suppose to care the most about me. My mom came in and grabbed my arm and stared at it. Never in my life have I felt so naked, so vulnerable. I started rambling how it was my cats and some other bullshit that they seemed to believe. The day went on, but all I could think about was what would happen when they got home from work.

Days passed, and I heard nothing from them. I actively avoided them, which probably made things worse. I was scared they would be mad at me or hate me, but it would never be close to how I already felt about myself. One Sunday afternoon, I was sitting at the dining room table doing homework while my dad was on the couch. Out of nowhere, he said “I know those cuts on your arm aren’t from the cats.” Almost on cue, I started bawling to the point where I threw up. I knew I was the disappoint of the family, and felt like I deserved nothing because of how much I hated myself.

The amount of times I justified what I was doing is scary.

He tried to talk to me about it and I could tell how uncomfortable he was. How was I supposed to explain to my own parents that I despised who I was, that I didn’t want to be on this earth, and that I cut because it made sense and was the only thing in my life I could control?

I ended up going to a therapist, but nothing really helped. No matter how many words I spoke or how many pieces of advice I was given, the way I felt about myself never changed. I just went on silently struggling because, in a way, I didn’t want to get better. I liked doing my normal thing. On the outside, I appeared much happier, but on this inside, I had this secret. After my parents sent me to therapy, they just stopped asking about it; they never checked in with me. It seemed like they didn’t care. It was at this point that it got the worst it had ever been. It got to the point where I didn’t care who saw or what people said because I wasn’t doing it for attention. I was doing it for the sole purpose that I knew I deserved it and that I knew it was the only way to treat myself.

To this day, I still don’t like who I am and I still don’t love myself. I don’t cut anymore only because I don’t have the resources to. I don’t necessarily miss it, but that’s also not to say that I won’t do it again. All I want to say is that there is a lot of bullshit out there about “Everything gets better” and “You’re worth it”, but if you’ve been in my position you know those things don’t feel true or you believe you don’t deserve them. I hope I learn to love who I am, understand that I am worthy to be here, and that I can someday stop telling myself that I deserve to slice my own skin open.

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