I don’t much remember the first time. My brain didn’t store it to the ‘file and archive’ memory banks. Probably because i didn’t think it would be anything significant at the time. I didn’t think i’d be doing it again.
It didn’t leave much of an impression. There wasn’t much blood or pain and afterwards i’m sure I wondered why i’d even bothered.
But I do remember the fourth or fifth time.
I’d used the blade from a pencil sharpener, one of those metal ones. Unscrewing it with my compass when i found that wouldn’t do the job i’d wanted it to.
Further up on my arm this time, not round my wrist where people could see it, but further up under the sleeve of my school shirt.
They were never deep or long, just enough to sting and draw blood. Unfortunately I cut deeper than I had intended this time and the blood soaked through my sleeve.
I can’t forget the remarks from some, including my closest friends and boyfriend of the time. Did I really want attention that much? What was wrong with me? Attention seeker, stupid, sick.
And I can’t forget the kindness of someone else, a true friend. She took me to the toilets and gently cleaned it up, pressing tissue to my arm until it stopped bleeding. Not once did she question me and she’s never mentioned it since.
Sadly, the taunts and jibes didn’t stop me. It just made things worse.