A suppressed memory.
Maybe something not worth remembering. At least, not until it was needed again.
Maybe it was something that happened so that I would be able to, one day, relate?
I was never an unhappy child, nor was I really ever frustrated with my life. So, I’m unsure of why I used to do this but, I did.
I used to cut myself.
I was little. Really little.
The shiny, metal straight razor was hidden in my underwear drawer. It fascinated me the way the sharpness would cut through my fingers and I couldn’t feel it until the blood came, then it would sting. I’d bite the wound and catch the blood on my tongue. I remember how something so painless would become so painful. Yet, I kept doing it. Only on my fingers.
I’d go to my mother and claim it as a paper cut because it behaved the same. A deep, straight cut decorated red, into the plump flesh of fingertips.
Maybe I did it because I loved the attention I received from my mom. The fuss, the kiss, the band-aid. I can’t think of any other reason, other than that.
One day, I went to find the razor blade and it was gone.
Without a word.
Without any fuss.
I never looked for another one and I never cut myself again.
But, I had forgotten this.
Until two days ago.
When I found out some girls I know very well…
They’ve been cutting themselves.
And I don’t understand.
Because, unlike when I used to do it and go to my mom for attention, these girls did it and only told each other.
A secret sisterhood. Of what?
Souvenir scars of emotional teenage journeys.
Kids I would least expect this behavior from. Cutting themselves.
I don’t understand.
A cult, this cutting has become.
Parents, check your children’s arms. Check their legs and stomachs.
They aren’t the cats or paper that are the culprits, safety pins, pocket knives, fingernails…razors.
Self inflicted wounds to mask shame, pain, anger and frustration.
Some cuts too close to arteries.
Cuts too close for comfort.
Way too close.
I just don’t understand. I can’t understand.
When did our happy, care-free children disappear? Where did they go?
Who are these people that have taken their place? So full of secrets and angst.
I don’t remember kids doing this when I was their age. Or maybe I just wasn’t aware of it.
It doesn’t matter. Kids are doing this now.
Kids I know.
Kids I know very well.
Promises cried into pillows. It won’t happen again.
But parents, check. We have to check.
We have to protect them from themselves.
Because one cut.
Just one cut too deep.
In just the right place.
That’s the cut I worry most about.
And then promises would mean nothing.