At first, she talks in circles, as if her tongue needs exercise by running a few laps around the topic. Then she defines it; non-suicidal self-injury. At the point of exhaustion, she focuses, tries to look me directly in the eyes as she clears her throat to begin her well-rehearsed speech. I keep my mouth shut and my head lowered. I’m not ashamed, but I’ve learned this pose helps with the process; helps the counselors feel as if they’re making headway.
She asks to see my scars. I hesitate to turn my wrist upward and when I do, she gasps; her mouth a tiny circle of surprise. She prods me to tell her why I did it. I respond that I did it for love. My answer does not sit well with her, she rephrase the question waiting for a more acceptable response. She moves on to drilling me about my feelings while I was ‘engaged in that kind of activity.’ What was your process she asks, her fingers doing the hundred-yard dash on her apple iPod screen. My lack of response trips up her flowing digits, bringing them to a halt on her touch screen.
I don’t raise my eyes to meet hers. The quiet of the moment is both uncomfortable and calming for me. She clears her throat signaling me that more questions are on the way. I can guess her questions before she voices them. I don’t respond to any.
I don’t tell her that after the second slice, I no longer felt pain. How could she understand that each cut became an entryway into peace? Every line moved my heart a little further away from you; a little closer to reality. The hour drags on, but I don’t tell her a heart can be resurrected after it’s carved up and left bleeding. I don’t say a heart can heal after it breaks.
Toni G. is trying to prolong her life by writing poetry. Additional work by her may be found at Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere on the net.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.