Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Cutter; Dear Hurting,

I'm so sorry. So, so sorry. I wish I could take you in my arms and hold you but I can't. You are just pictures, right now, just ghastly images on a brightly lit screen, with white and brown and deep red intertwining; dancing together for a moment and then dropping off your arms.

I am you. Some days I fight it, others I cover it, but mostly I deny it, telling peope that "I used to self-injure." I know you so well, every single crevice and rise, everything. You smell and taste and drip the same way I do- yet we're so far apart. Coast to forever coast.

I thought I was the only one who was fascinated by the colors and the dew drops, the way blood looks on a tissue, but you are too. You take pictures of it, like I used to do before I grew older and was scared by it's connotations, you take pictures of it and wait for the responses, like a child waits to be fed.

You're hungry. Love is just a word, and you can't remember if it ever was reality.

Forgot. I forgot what it's really like. Mainly because it's been a long time since I needed to go back to it; like a security blanket, but also because I'm scared it won't work anymore, maybe I've outgrown it. You'd think 10 years would be long enough, but it's not, and I'm not, and it's not getting any better.

You draw pictures, which I was never really any good at. I drew a star once, and it was lop-sided, with some sides deeper than the rest, and I got discouraged and didn't draw much more. But you, you draw stars and rainbows and triangles and crosses.

Crosses. As if they can save you. Oh, I wish I could say you can come into a church and find peace and love, but don't. It's just a rumor. You will be shunned, and the hands and feet of Jesus walked off centuries ago (or maybe they died off). It's not the safe refuge, instead it's the storm.

Words are scattered all over your body; branding you; labeling you. You're not a freak, a slut, a whore or a loser.

Sometimes you sew yourself up, using your momma's needles and thread, carefully drawing the needle through your skin. It's a form of self-medication, just like the butterfly bandages we've so artfully labeled as our own, but really, don't you want someone else to do that? To patch you up and kiss you on the forehead and never, ever let you go?

You shock me, sometimes, with how deep your cuts are. Like some awful creature off of some alien movie from the 80's where the aliens take over the earth. They're hideous, and I can't believe you held your hand still to snap the picture. Has anyone told you they love you? Because I love you. And I love your cuts. Each and every hideous hole you've created in your body, I love them because they are honest, like you.

Raw emotion is what your eyes shine. The fear and loneliness and pain that you can't hide. And I can't give you hope. I don't know hope.

I spoke to her once, far away, while I lay on the tile floor of some bathroom in some psych ward. She told me to love you, and I screamed I didn't know how but she had drifted away by then, and I just cried.

It's such a burden to love you. You're messy and scary and I don't know if you're going to live or die, but it's necessary. One night doesn't pass when I don't see your frightened eyes and hear you crying for help. What do I do? How do I help you??

Oh, you know some scars heal. You know everything about scars. Some stay dark red and others turn white. . still others turn transparent and hurt like hell for forever. What about the ones on your heart? I think those are the transparent ones- the ones that get camouflaged in daily life and the hustle and bustle of school and work, but the ones that won't stop stinging; the ones that hurt like hell.

Darling, I wish I was someone who could help you, but I won't give up. I'll take what I wish someone had done to help me and do it to help you. I'll come over when you're crying and hold you through the night. That's a promise.

Never do I want you to feel the gnawing emptiness that comes when there's no one there to understand, so I'll be there to know. All I ask is for you to trust me, and let me see your scars.

Remember the stars, love. Remember.

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