Archive for stitches

guess what? I’m not a robot…

Posted in depression, mental health, mental illness, self harm with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/06/2015 by doyourememberthattime

it has been a bleak weekend

there are reasons

and

no reasons.

 

predictably, when I couldn’t decipher my mind

I turned to my scalpel for answers

you know the rest.

 

perhaps the break made me clumsy

or

thirsty

in any case I made a tad too much mess.

 

with no option, but A&E to stem the blood flow

i wrapped my arm in a towel

and

mustered as much calm sanity as I could 

 

my local hospital has undergone quite the transformation

a swanky new uber hospital has sprung up in place of its crumbling victorian predecessor

within its walls the attitudes were more in tune with its origins.

 

The dr I saw was pleasant, he didn’t say much, but everything he was accompanied by a smile

this disarmed me a little

i wasn’t prepared for him to be a dick

he worked at speed that belied any concern for me

his method could only be described as slap dash

he did administer local anaesthetic

just not enough to actually prevent pain

a small part in the centre of each cut was numbed

the rest, I felt.

 

he closed the largest (10cm) gash with four stitches

I had cut clear through the fatty tissues

causing the resulting wound to gape alarmingly

obviously, I am not a professional

but

i have had less serious injuries closed with both internal & external sutures.

this time the dr just yanked together the edges (with some difficulty)

unsurprisingly the stitches had burst 10hrs later.

 

i didn’t challenge him

i just sat there

apart from wincing when the initial stitch went in

i didn’t say anything at all

 

i sat there and let him stitch two deep cuts without proper anaesthetic or care.

 

at the time i just wanted to get home.

later it occurred to me that the way I was treated probably wasn’t ok

i wondered why I didn’t request more local

or 

enquire about his technique.

the only answer I could summon was that I didn’t think I had the right to ask for better

for all my campaigning, 

in that moment my usually vocal defence of my rights was silenced.

it felt that pain relief for me, was a luxury rather than a necessity

the shame is so ingrained.

 

the voice in my head that tells me I deserve the pain is strong

the part of me that shrieks that I’m worthless

 renders me compliant

content to take whatever semblance of treatment is given.

 

afterwards, when these thoughts started to emerge

i even questioned my right to question

 

every day, i fight the thought that I’m nothing

i battle to recreate a life

i push myself to do terrifying things

partly to make me feel like a person who is capable of succeeding

and

partly to stop this shit happening to other people.

but

the truth is

no matter how many people I present to

or

how much they pay me

 

regardless of how better everyone thinks i am

or 

how many days pass without cutting

it still only takes one bad day

and

one cruel person

for it all to come crumbling down.

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you bleed just to know you’re alive…

Posted in mental illness, recovery, self harm with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/03/2014 by doyourememberthattime

self-harm is my abiding companion
it’s that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something vital
for me, that sensation is perpetual.

no setback is too small to trigger my blood lust
every emotion brings with it an attendant need to scar my body.

i miss my skin’s various & simultaneous stages of distress
gaping, fresh, untreated wounds
tidy blue stitches
thick scabs, ripe for picking
hot swollen masses of infected cuts.

i yearn for the pain
and
the itch
and
mess
and
blood

i dream of blood
flashbacks are dripping in it
inside my head is a swimming throng of red need.

the desire is pounding in my chest
each beat screams
cut.

not obeying is perverse
wielding a blade would silence everything
as my blood cooled
calm would rule.

can’t you hear me calling, i’m falling…..

Posted in mental health, self harm with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/06/2011 by doyourememberthattime

the descent into self harm is frightening

you start so small

&

fall to depths you hadn’t imagined existed.

i began scratching my wrists.

just pulling away the skin with my fingers nails.

tiny little patches of skin.

it was enough to offer some relief

for a little while

soon

i had to draw blood

the entire surface of my wrist became an open sore

i could never allow it to heal

never leave  it alone.

the wounds began to creep up my arm

until wrist to elbow was raw

still very superficial

just enough to bleed, to hurt.

of course the need grows

“enough” doesn’t actually exist.

the problem is

you don’t discover that until it’s too late.

and,

so,

i moved onto knives.

kitchen knives at first

until people started to notice they were missing

until the questions started

then i started to buy my own

cherishing a growing collection under my mattress.

the hoarding commenced

i needed to purchase any knife that appeared useful

i had to keep the blooded rags.

i procured a special wicker box to store morbid collection

by this time i was sawing at my forearm.

just over and over until the blood was sufficient

&

i felt calm.

still not deep

not dangerous

very soon it was not enough.

i can’t remember why the thought occurred,

but

i know where i was when it popped into my head

on a bus, returning from stirling.

RAZOR BLADES

it made my stomach fizz

part fear, part excitement.

and,

so,

when i stepped off that bus i headed straight to boots.

i used standard disposable ladies razors.

the type you’d shave your legs with

no one would wonder why i was buying them

or find their existence in my flat strange.

i’d stockpile.

buying packs in every shop that sold them

&

spend hours on the sofa pulling the razors from their plastic holders.

filling little boxes with shiny, sharp razors

making sure i always had one ready when i might need it.

razors provided a new level of control

i could be precise

they were sharper

i could cut deeper in  a single swipe

i lost a lot more blood

i felt said satisfied

i applied more and more pressure

creating deeper gashes

there was so much blood

it was a huge rush

i felt like everything was washing away in that crimson tide.

the frequency grew

the number of cuts rocketed

i began to run out of space on my arm

i moved to my right forearm,

upper arms,

thighs

i needed fresh skin

i needed an outlet

i needed more.

i cut daily during that period

it lasted a few years.

hiding it was hard

very few people knew

i was sore all the time

i’d make hundreds of cuts every night.

everything hurt

i’d wake stuck to my sheets with dried blood

bathing stung

clothes rubbed and stuck and nipped

but i couldn’t stop

and i couldn’t stand still.

the next logical step was a scalpel

they are designed to cut skin

i knew i could easily do damage with a scalpel

i found them in an art store in town

real swann & morton scalpels

i didn’t think it would be that easy

i had an amazing cover story

i’d discuss my art projects with the girls in the shop

i had become a really good liar.

i had also become pretty proficient at self harm

the scalpel both terrified & thrilled me

i did consider not using it,

but once the thought is born

there is no escaping it

it sliced through my skin like butter

i could chop myself up in minutes.

the blood was immense

hard to control some times

i had gone from bloodied rags to blood soaked towels

the more blood i lost

the more blood i needed

i had begun to crave bigger cuts

deeper cuts

wider cuts

at that time i had only hrequired stitches once or twice

times when i had lost control

usually in anger

it has scared me.

the a&e experience had been horrendous

i think, subconsciously, part of me was holding back

and,

so,

my cutting stayed stable for a long period

i cut most days

each cut just one strike

pushing as hard as i could

usually just flesh wounds

occasionally i’d slice through to fat.

i cut prolifically

many, many cuts in each session

i began to get ill

i was losing too much blood

i was beginning to pass out during bouts of self harm

i was sometimes sick

it didn’t bother me

i was too far in

i remember around that time filling old perfume bottles with my blood

i had dozens of them

i have no idea why i did it

i don’t know what i got from it

but

i kept them for a long time

until they stank

i really didn’t want to throw them away

i think about my rubbish from that time

if anyone had ever looked at it

everything was covered in blood

my flat was drenched in blood

 stains on carpets, bed clothes,furnisher

bloodied hand prints on door handles, light switches, taps

i no longer  noticed

it was a very bleak time

i was living for the blood.

i continued in that strain for years

sometimes doing a little better

feeling good

cutting less

living more,

but

always in fear of the storm returning

 living under a cloud

and,

then,

one night i cut as usual

i lived here in this flat by then

it must have been about 4yrs ago,

i was cleaning up

putting away my tools

i felt dizzy

and unsatisfied

i sat in my hall

and

began to think

part of me had always felt inadequate

for not going deeper

for not requiring more stitches

i felt i was weak

i couldn’t even do this properly

just like that my mind flicked a switch

i picked up my scalpel and cut into an already open wound

and i  kept cutting

for about an hour

until i was through the fat

until i could see blue veins clearly

until the blood started to spurt

until my arm was split open like soft fruit

i didn’t think i was capable of wreaking such destruction

i had believed i couldn’t & wouldn’t go that far

but i can

and

i do.

every cut i make is on that scale now

i can not go back

i am forever seeking more

i want each cut to “better” the last

they all need stitched

i rarely go

i keep them clean & let them heal

see a dr if they get infected.

two years ago i was admitted to hospital as they thought i was on the verge of a a heart attack

i was kept in for two days

on a heart monitor & oxygen

i was diagnosed with angina

my haemoglobin levels are so low that there is simply not enough oxygen getting to my heart.

i faint almost daily

i experience extreme chest pain

i am always out of breath

always cold

always ill.

i still cut

i still lose vast amounts of blood

i know what i doing to myself

and,

yet,

i can not stop

self harm has a grip on me

self harm controls my life

it is who i am

what i do

how i survive.

how i wish i hadn’t;

scratched that little patch of skin.

hidden those knives

bought those razors

found that scalpel

lost control.