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My Self-Harm StoryCategory: (general)
Monday, 29 December 2014
07:50:27 AM (GMT)
Destiny Raven Starr Lee
November 20, 2012
English Honors II

Scars and Butterflies

	Most people think it's crazy, that it's a quick way to death. For me, it was my
sanity, and it was my way to feel alive. It started when I was nine. Two years
earlier, when I had just turned seven, my parents separated for a while. My father
left me, my younger brother, Cody, and my mother in a house located in the middle of
nowhere with bills to pay and no car to leave. Now, when I was younger, my mother
made it a fact not to let Cody and I know what was going on. Not to let us know that
my dad had been running in and out of our lives for seven years, not to let us know
that he may not come home from work, not to let us know that we were close to being
kicked out from where ever we were living. Cody and I didn't know any better,
honestly. We had a good life. We had each other. But, that one separation, not the
first or last of many, changed my whole world. After my mother sold the farm we were
stranded on and was given a sad and old car, we moved in with my grandmother, my
Gabby. My father moved in with one of his old friends, I think is his name was
Patrick. Cody and I went at least five months not hearing a word from our father.

         After coming in from playing across the street, my mother asked me and Cody
if we wanted to visit our daddy. Cody, for whatever reason, was scared to and
refused. I, however, couldn't say no. I remember staying in the same room as my daddy
at Patrick's. It was Patrick's daughter's old room. Nothing but a mattress on the
floor, a box full of string-a-lot toys, and a tiny bookshelf filled with coloring
books were in the tiny room. Patrick had a small, fenced in backyard with a really
small pool. I mean, really small. It was one of those plastic ones that would break
if you stepped on the side; it clearly belonged to Patrick's daughter. After sitting
in the pool for a while- because sitting was all I could do- I went inside to play. I
was a normal child, so I was skipping from toy to toy and book to book when I smelled
popcorn. Popcorn. What normal child doesn't enjoy popcorn? Making something simple
into a game, I decided to sneak along the wall with my back pressed against it like
some sort of ninja. All but too short my game ended when I heard words that still
fill my eyes with tears, "Pregnant? We have... Is it a boy or a girl, Shannon? I'm
having another baby girl?!" I will never forget the joy my dad was filled with. I
will never forget trashing Patrick's daughter's room in a fit of anger. I will never
forget crying myself to sleep thinking, I'm Daddy's girl... 

        Don't get me wrong. I love my little sister, Kattie, but I cannot say I ever
wanted her. Honestly, I think she's the reason my family is as dysfunctional as it is
now. Right before Kattie was born, my dad swore he wouldn't treat her like he did me
and Cody. He swore to always be there for her. He swore that he'd give her all the
love he could. Right before Kattie was born, my dad began a series of medical
troubles. Heart problems, kidney failure, diabetes. When Kattie was born, she was the
apple of my father's eye; he often claims she's the reason he's alive. Thanks, Daddy.
After Kattie was born, I slowly began to drift apart from Cody. My parents would
fight in front of us. I almost hated to go home. Because Kattie was born, we had to
move to Chester. I had to leave my life yet again; fourth school in two years. I had
to start second grade in the middle of the year. I was picked on a lot by two kids
because I was new, almost everything I owned had Tinker Bell on it, and I had pink
hair. Now that I'm older I don't understand why it got to me, but at the time, it
killed me. I was called names, you know the saying, "Sticks and stones may breaks my
bones... But words secretly kill me."

        At the time, I felt powerless. All in a period of two years I was having all
of this pain was being thrown at me and I could control none of it! It made me so
angry that I wanted to scream! But I didn't scream. I created my own pain. My own
pain that I could control. Or so I thought.

         Every time a problem wandered away from my grasp, I would grasp control in
other ways. I would bang my head against walls. I would pinch my self. I would cut
myself. I would scrape away my skin with erasers. I would burn myself. I would
scratch myself. I would beat on my legs. I would bite myself. I would pick and pick
and pick at my skin until I was able to dig my skin off. I would pull my hair out. In
short, I would harm, injure, and mutilate my own body. It gave me release. Most nine
year olds had little to no control of their life, and I had total control of
something! Or so I thought. I thought I had total control. 

        My body soon became one big, scabby mess and I almost felt okay with it. I
felt okay until I looked in the mirror. But I wasn't looking at my scabs or my
scratches or my bruises. I was looking at my clothes. I would have to wear jackets on
warm days. I would have to wear pants on gym class days. I would have to wear
long-sleeved shirts during the summer. Bathing suits? Forget it. I found myself
changing my whole wardrobe. I found myself running out of skin; one injury turned
into ten, and ten into a hundred. I found my self lying to others. I found myself
almost all alone. I found myself backing away from others. Jerking away from their
hands as if their fingertips were dipped in poison. I feared they would feel
something under my sleeves or pant legs. I found myself scanning other kids' arms,
hoping like hell that I would see something I recognized. But no. My eyes only saw
pure arms, flawless legs, real smiles, and honest people.

         When I turned twelve I concluded that something was off about my "special
control". Maybe it was the fact that I could no longer control it. I concluded that
my control was controlling me. I decided this one night when I went too far. Too far.
I can remember breaking open a scab with a needle and in one swift moment, the
trimmer in my hands dropped to the floor, along with my jaw. I dropped to my knees in
shock. Blood. Blood was everywhere. On my shirt, my pants, my socks, my floor,
everywhere. I had went too deep. It wasn't a scratch. Not a cut. Not a scrape. A
gash. I could see yellow fatty tissue. I could see red meat. I remember crying and
shaking and praying. I was begging God to make it all better. I probably needed
stitches or something, but I couldn't tell my parents; I'd break my mother's heart.
In the back of my mind I was a small child again calling for my mommy to come and
kiss me back to health. After bleeding through two rags and a jacket, and having to
hold the two slices of skin together, the blood quit I decided to go to sleep. I
swore to God that if he let me live past that night, I'd never hurt myself again. Sad
to say, I lied.

       It seemed my control had gotten worse from that night. I hated what I was
doing, but I couldn't quit. It was an addiction. I'd get upset, I'd burn. I'd get
mad, I'd cut. I'd get frustrated, I'd pull my hair. Harming myself was something I
hated, yet something I loved. It was something I just couldn't live with, but
something I couldn't live without.

       On February 25, 2010, I was thirteen and in seventh grade, and that was the
day I admitted I needed help. I found myself hysterical in the girl's bathroom. My
first boyfriend, my first love, had just broken up with me after six months. He was
the one person I opened up to and he made me happy. But, when he said those four
words- We aren't working out- he made me sick to my stomach. I wanted to die. I
wanted to crawl in a hole and just die. He had no emotion to his voice, the sparkle
in his brown eyes was brighter when he said those four words, which made it harder
for me. I ran from him and hid in the bathroom. I found myself crying until my face
was raw. I can still see the letters of his name dripping crimson tears after being
engraved into my arm with a pen. A pen. To this day I don't know where the pen came
from. But still, I understood that I needed help.

       With no one to turn to, I got online and did research. To my surprise, there
were actually a lot of people like myself; lonely, fragile, and totally terrified.
Terrified of what? Themselves. I found out that I wasn't the only one who looked in
the mirror and saw an ugly monster. I wasn't the only one who would think to
themselves, "Who is this? This isn't me. What is this disgusting creature who stares
back?" I found out that I wasn't the only one scared to death of going "too far";
scared to death of committing parasuicide. I remember hugging knees to my chest,
crying tears of joy. For the first time in years I didn't feel alone. Before that
point, I felt completely abandoned. I knew that I wasn't abandoned and that I was the
one who had walked away from everyone, but I always wished someone would have
followed when I walked away. Followed and hugged me tight and kissed my forehead and
rocked me back and forth and told me, "It's all okay, Destiny. It's all okay." But no
one did. I felt alone because of my own actions, and I knew that. I always felt
alone. I could be in a crowd full of people, but I'd feel completely alone. But I now
know I wasn't. I never was. I never am.

       I began healing myself and finding alternatives to my control. Instead of
injuring, I'd write a poem. Instead of harming, I'd sing or play my violin. Instead
of mutilating, I'd draw a butterfly. Yes, a butterfly. I'd draw it on my arm or leg,
or where ever I wanted to harm myself. I'd name my butterfly after someone I loved. I
couldn't wash away my butterfly, I had to let it fade. If I harmed before the
butterfly was complete faded, my butterfly was dead. It took time, and a lot of work,
but I slowly stopped hurting myself. I began socializing a bit more. I began smiling
a bit more. I began living just a bit more.
When I was thirteen, before I regained control over my control, I tried committing
suicide. I remember standing in my corner, crying and shaking. I had a kitchen knife
above my navel and I gave myself five seconds to think of a reason to live verses all
the reasons to die. One.. Two.. Three.. All at once, my hand shook and I dropped my
knife. At the time, I was furious with myself. I dropped to my knees and held my head
in my hands and cursed myself. I couldn't even do that right, what could I do right?

     It all started when I was nine. Next month, I'll be fifteen. I used to keep my
self injury, self harm, and self mutilation a secret. I used to keep my whole life a
secret, but now I'll tell anyone who is willing to listen. I'm glad I dropped my
knife because now I can prevent someone else from picking up their's. I used to keep
my whole life a secret, but now I'll tell anyone who is willing to listen because I
conquered an addiction and I am a survivor. I have been clean for seven months and
eight days. I am a survivor. A survivor with scars and faded butterflies. A

So, you just read the memoir I had to write for English class.  Again, I made the
highest grade and my teacher wrote in red on the last page, "Yes Destiny, you are a
Last edited: 29 December 2014

‹Lifeless Baby› says:   29 December 2014   644141  
‹Hushpuppy› whispers:   29 December 2014   311080  
thank you for reading it.. ❤❤ 
‹Lifeless Baby› says:   29 December 2014   470605  
Awe, no prob.
Honestly, bc of The Butterfly Project & To Write Love On Her Arms,
some of my best friends wouldn't be here today.
And you're one of them. 
‹Hushpuppy› whispers:   29 December 2014   750597  
you are the sweetest thing, i honestly can't 
‹Lifeless Baby› says:   29 December 2014   221453  
*dances around like a moron* 
Girlwithdreams2503 says:   22 January 2015   687262  
Are you okay now?
‹Hushpuppy› says:   22 January 2015   461112  
I am, thank you for asking.
It's been almost three years since I've harmed. 
Girlwithdreams2503 says :   22 January 2015   500840  
I'm happy for you ^-^


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