So this one post may work out a little different than the other ‘Reason’ posts because it’s something I don’t do anymore but it’s still effecting me. Just as a little bonus if you would like to set the mood a little; I was listening to this song as I was writing this; Dmitri Shostakovich – Cello Sonata Op. 40. I felt like the deep and intense cello music helped set the tone.
Reason 3 for doing this blog, is to try and explain my relation to self harm. So yes this is going to be a deep topic, and I couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. Not only is it gloomy and raining heavily, I’m listening to cello music and you’ve probably got a good idea of how I work and who I am. So what better time to smash that image? I may only be partly joking about that.
Let’s start again. Hi my name is Masahiko, and yes, I do have a history of self harm. If people were to draw a ven-diagram of me in relation to society, many people wouldn’t overlap me and self harm, or even connect me to such a category. So before you panic and/or burn your browser history or even call the police, let me outline two truths before we go much further. Yes I did self harm regularly. No I don’t anymore. Just to reassure you some more I’ll tell you how I stopped before explaining the rest. Sadly it’s not a silver bullet to stop everyone in the world from ever self harming again. This tale is more like those consigned to pre-Disney children’s stories and those of demons, tricksters and genies. Despite this description I’m grateful of this event happening the way it did.
A long time ago, in a town significantly less sh*t than where the hero of our tale grew up, there lived a beautiful man. He was tall, nerdy, good at archery, strong and kind. Most importantly for this tale, he looked stunning when the wind caught his hair backwards and both men and women a many, vied for his attention. I mean, (*coughs sheepishly*) he had a good heart. Our hero fell in love with the man on first sight and after many years of angst and admiration, finally wooed the beautiful man and took him as his lover. Years later the man discovered why his loyal, honorable prince was called ‘The Dark Prince’. It wasn’t his manly charm, his dark mysterious nature and he wasn’t one of the Night Children. His prince had a heart of darkness and he was miserable, tormented by his own mind. The prince had kept it hidden for many years, until his lover found the intricate scars that wove a viscous pattern across his arms and found fresh cuts of violent red against the prince’s white skin. Destroyed by the idea of his lover suffering in silence, the beautiful man posed a question to the prince. “I want you to never hurt my favorite person in the world ever again,” he said. The Prince was taken a back. Distraught by the idea of hurting his lover’s favorite person in the world. He cried, agreeing and begging for his lover’s forgiveness. Later the prince asked who this favorite person was, so he could make it up to that person. The man replied; “well it’s you, of course.” The prince was shocked to the core. He couldn’t believe his ears. For a millisecond he felt tricked into agreeing to this, because he was a man of honor and would do anything for his lover, so would not go back on such a thing. Then he was overcome with love, because he was someone’s favorite person in the world. It was something the prince had wanted to be called for so long. He’d never been someone’s favorite person, ever. It was a label the prince was happy to have and one he would share with the world. Later he begun to understand the full gravitas when he broke that promise. For his actions, he witnessed the most dreadful sight in the world. His lover cried, his beauty besieged by pure agony. The sight of his face was enough to rip the prince’s heart out. Never again would the prince cause such pain to such a beautiful creature.
Apologies I was having fun with that, however the story is true. My lover (despite his pure heart,) is quite devious at times. I blame my own influence, entirely. He made me swear that I would never hurt his favorite person in the world and I agreed without even asking who that person was. Now I’m bound by honor to never break that promise again. As it stands I have done twice. When he made me swear, I had (unbenounced to him,) been self harming for 10 years. It was my go to release, to help me deal with my life. I never once did it in a way that would threaten my life. Instead I did it purely for the pain and the adrenaline that came with it. As a result it has drastically altered my brain’s reaction to pain. This borderlines on masochistic. However it also effected my tolerance to pain, this plus nerve damage (from an accident,) and my emotional pain levels mean that I can now become injured and not feel it.
For example I received a 3rd degree burn and didn’t notice until it had gone from 3 cm to 20 cm, approx. (You can see the initial burn within the scar.) I’m now scarred for life. If you ever meet me and don’t believe me, I’ll gladly show you. It’s a petal shape on my right arm.
So now you know what stopped me, I suppose I should go back to the beginning and explain how this started and why at the age of 12 I thought this was ok.
When I was 12 (and possibly before but I can’t remember,) I witnessed my mother self harming on several occasions. At first I didn’t understand what she was doing. However once I saw her crying, her face on the desk, and blood was dripping every where. For some reason I didn’t get my dad, I just patched for up and made her a warm brew and gave her a cuddle. When ever I would ask her about it though she would flip at me and then scream at me until my face was soaked with spit and tears. So after a while I stopped patching her up and just ignore her. It sounds harsh but as a kid, my mother going from suicidal, to screaming, to crying and crushing me with cuddles, then to look at me as if nothing happened…well there was only a few times I could put up with that.
Still I was shocked initially, but after a while I noticed the more scars my mum gave herself the happier she became. So I began to think this was ok, and if I did it too I’d be happy. I would stop caring that I was ignored all the time and would stop caring about my mother’s manic depressed sessions, and my parent’s arguments that had me and my sister cowering under a duvet.
Everyone always thinks I come from an amazing family, but some days I wish I could have their f*cked up families, their abusive parents, because you know where you stand with a parent that beats you. You at least have a chance to run and hide when they snap. Instead my parents play mind games with me, I never know what’s going on, driven mad by constant denials of the last psychological attack. Especially with my mother, because I don’t know how she keeps smiling and acting like a good mother. It hurts when people think my family is great.
So I started by doing simple lines, using any utensils lying around, or broken glass and plastic. I quickly adapted to the pain and then started pouring surgical spirit into the wounds to make them burn even more. I quickly learnt that the top side of my arm hurt more than the softer parts. After a while I graduated from simple lines to intricate patterns, symbols and the insults that were thrown at me. Anything from scroll work designs, vines, alchemist symbols ect.
After some one came close to discovering who I was they threatened to tell my parents and called me all sorts of things. That night my dad announced he’d shoot gay people. When I was alone that night, I carved the word ‘fag’ into my arm. I hated who I was and it served as a reminder of how much people really hated people like me.
Oddly I was never caught. Even when the ‘child protection officer’ at my school had me in front of the police. I learnt how to cover what I was doing quickly, Even disguising the marks as cat scratches. What I still find strange to this day is that I don’t regret cutting my self or any of the times I gave my self large friction burns. The only time I regret hurting myself was during high school. The boys in my class had hit puberty and their voices had started to break. (This was before I knew about being trans, I didn’t even know such a thing could exist.) I was already being bullied at school too. I didn’t fit in with any social group or gender. I was alone and an outsider which made me an easy target. I couldn’t take being bullied any more than I already was. That’s when my voice dropped too, and not by a little amount either. I went from having a high pitched voice with hints of Irish to sounding like the guy from the, I’m on a horse, old spice advert. I had a deep beautiful and masculine voice, that I see now. But at the time it scared me, made me more of an abnormality. I went mute for months, searching for a ‘cure’. It never crossed my mind to go to the doctors or to just accept it. Instead I wrapped several thin cords around my neck then tied it to my door, drank some alcohol I stole from my parents, and screamed and tugged down, until my throat was covered in bruises. It did the trick, however I’m now stuck with a voice that sounds like it’s still braking and I hate it. I want my old voice back, my true voice.
So to round everything up, I haven’t self harmed in almost a year. It’s not the sort of thing I’m going to turn back too. I’m done with it. However I understand that because it was my crutch for many years, it became an addiction and I really don’t know how to cope with my pain. It dogs me everyday, in the back of my mind I have a part of me that begs to hurt in a way that only self harm will cure the itch. I refuse to brake my promise, even if it’s so I never see my pet look at me like that again. I’m stronger than that. I really do love that beautiful man. He’s some how keeping me together and sane-ish. I know what I would be like if we’d never got together, and the outcome isn’t pretty. So I’m thankful of him everyday. i even sent his mother a card that said, “thank you for giving birth to the love of my life”.