So maybe I really was crazy and I just refused to admit it. I had notebooks full of suicidal poetry, front page and back. I used to sit and read poem after poem to my step mom but swore they meant nothing. “Give me a topic to write about,” I demanded. She always responded with something so sweet and gentle. “Write about the sound of the rain against the window.” And somehow that rain ended up piercing through my skin and left me dead on the street. I tried like there was no tomorrow to keep things positive. But this was my scapegoat. I took these notebooks everywhere and wrote as soon as I had a bad feeling. I went to sleep with the notebook on my nightstand, pencil ready next to a fresh sheet of paper.
Writing wasn’t my only escape. I developed a ritual because of this dark depression and I never missed out on it. When my parents divorced my dad gave me the jacket he used while serving in the Army. Little did he know, or anyone for that matter, was the reason I kept it tucked in my closet behind all of my clothes. Every morning before leaving for school, I slid my hand in the left pocket searching for what I called “my release.” I grabbed it and poked my finger along each corner. One. Two. Three. “I’ll see you when I get home.” This little piece of glass was always there when I needed it to be, even if it meant just holding it within my palm. But on the days when writing didn’t make surviving easy, I caved.
Yup, you guessed it. I was a cutter. I couldn’t even tell you where this piece of glass came from. Depending on my mood I would use other methods, like rubbing an eraser against my skin until it scabbed or pressing my arm into the corner of my dresser (it was unusually pointy.) But I would instantly feel better. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I could move on with my day. “Hey ma.” Simple as that, like it never happened. It wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know what was going on. She was always good at realizing when any of her kids were going through a crisis. But it was my ultimate goal to not show any signs. I needed this. I wasn’t crying out for help, I wasn’t trying to kill my self. The thought of bleeding out and dying slowly scared the hell out of me. I longed for the feeling of pain, even just a little bit. My ritual gave me just that. And I’d be damned to let anyone find out about it.
Eventually, someone did. And my life changed.