There’s a person I see almost every day, who has scars running up and down her arm. Every day I see them and I think about to the days where I used to self harm. The scars on my arms are gone and the ones on my wrist are covered up by a tattoo, but they’re still there. I can still see them especially the one that I remade over and over again for years: a heart with a cross underneath. Anyone else wouldn’t be able to tell they are there but I will always see them. Then I see her scars that look recent, and I want to say something but I can never bring myself to mention it as I just remember back to when I did that. And I never wanted anyone to mention anything or call attention to it. So I just wanted to write an open letter that she may never see, but if it helps someone else out there then that works too.
To the Girl with the Scars
I don’t know if you want to hear this or not. I see your scars every day and they remind me of my own though faded as they are. I remember being in your shoes, you didn’t want anyone to notice the scars and are probably embarrassed to even talk about it if it’s pointed out. I know you have probably heard this a hundred times over by dozens of people, and it just seems annoying as they don’t know the demons in your head.
I may not know your demons, but I know what it’s like to deal with them. They say things that seem like the truth, when they are honestly lies. They make you feel isolated and unable to enjoy activities you feel like you should be able to. And they whisper to you to grab the blade, and yell when you refuse. Saying the same things over and over until you cave in, or make you feel worthless.
I wanted to tell you that you’re not worthless. You don’t need to be alone and it gets a million times better. Though the thoughts still linger in my head from time to time, the appeal of actually grabbing the blade or a knife just doesn’t come after a while and it may take years. It a year for me to replace that urge with reflection and creative alternatives like writing and painting. But eventually, the craving to harm yourself will go away and the darkness will lift.
You’ll notice the people around you that were trying to help all along and you’ll talk to someone. Something you never thought you would do, even though you know that’s honestly all you need. Someone to listen and understand the pain or numbness that is inside. Trust me when I say this, life goes on. And you’ve already proven that you are so empathetic; that instead of exerting your pain onto others, you chose to do so onto yourself. Imagine all the things you could do by taking that energy and creating something brilliant.
A Former Self-Harmer