Thin line of steel,
Glistening proof that the world
Followed by a lone line of red.
She closes her eyes.
In the dark.
A small fish drowning in a big sea.
She opens her mouth,
Gasps at air.
Alone in the dark,
She cuts herself,
A tribute to depression and
Outside her dark room
Neighbors sit behind blinds
Wrapped in their own worlds.
Downstairs her parents watch
And hear nothing.
The wind howls.
when a person has suffered as huge a trauma as sexual violence, a forest grows, thick with angst and torment. the trees seem sometimes as tall as the sky, so that they block out all sign of the sun or stars. it is as if a cage has been built around the survivor, something wild and unexplored, dangerous beyond belief.
to avoid further hurt, or to ignore and therefore forget the immense pain of their experience, survivors sometimes will choose self-mutilation.
this means a survivor is causing physical harm to their body in order to provide relief from the emotions, memories, or depressions that may plague them.
there are many ways in which people self-hurt: cutting, burning, and bruising are some common forms. some people use razors, others use knives, cigarettes, broken glass, or their own fists. if at any time a person chooses to hurt themselves, that is self-mutilation.
it is vital to remember that self-mutilation will only cause temporary relief, and when that is gone there will be the additional shame and pain caused by self-harm. some injuries may leave permanent scars. there are other ways to cope with the immense pain of sexual violence that do not involve violence against yourself.
if you have an urge or tendency to hurt yourself, take precautions. remove dangerous objects from your line of sight. if you have someone you can trust, call them when you feel the urge to self-mutilate. even if it is just to talk about the weather, talking to someone can distract you until the urge passes. always try to remember that within that forest of pain there is someone frightened, alone, someone you have to care for. when you try to forget your pain you are also trying to forget your truth.
if you have hurt yourself in the past or are still hurting yourself now, please don't let it happen again. visit the blue cocoon for suggestions on ways to cope with trauma that don't involve self-injury.
instead of trying to suppress the pain and fear you feel, try to understand it. it is time that we all stood up, looked around our forests, and made our way to the nearest clearing, where we will find that the sky is visible.