“I am good enough!”
My inner voice whispers, but is cut off by their sharp-edged accusations and demeaning comments. Jabs of a finger explain my worthlessness emphasized by spittle from their ugly mouths. Their condescending tone suppresses the scream inside me, a deafening shriek inside my skull that doesn’t make a ripple in the real world.
“I am somebody!”
Why do they make me feel so small, so insignificant? As if the world isn’t difficult enough, they have to rip at my walls, eat away at the tiny seed of self-confidence I was born with. They leave me naked for the world to see that under my skin, I am a gnat. I’m ignored, cast aside as riff-raff. My opinions are from a brain still forming and therefore, irrelevant.
“I should be punished!”
I’m faulty, defective, not worthy of love. I don’t deserve the acknowledgement I crave. The bombardment of negativity eats away at my resolve. The narrow strip of metal beckons me, promises temporary relief. My pounding head keeps time with the barrage of criticism. I wish they would hit me and get it over with. At least that would be pain I understand.
“I need relief!”
I pull the blade across my skin, an experiment, testing its strength, determining if its elasticity will withstand the abuse I’m about to inflict. This is something I can control; I am in charge. A tiny drop of blood pools along the cold steel, and for one moment I forget the outside world. It’s just me and the slice of costly peace.
“I won’t do it again!”
I know it’s a lie. As long as I’m punished for being myself, it will happen again. The tiny purple welts will heal, but the scars will never recede. Inside they fester and ooze, pointing fingers and placing blame. Soon there will be more ridges, bigger each time, until I find a place where the sharp edge gives me full deliverance.