Confessions of the Pain of Payment


Warning: This post has disturbing and profane content.  Be advised that this is not for the faint of heart or anyone who might consider themselves to be unstable.  This is in no way an advocation of the content within.  Read this at your own discretion.

Small, simple, safe price.
Rise the wake and carry me with all of my regrets.
This is not a small cut that scabs, and dries, and flakes, and heals.
And I am not afraid to die.
I’m not afraid to bleed, and fuck, and fight.
I want the pain of payment.
What’s left, but a section of pigmy size cuts.
Much like a slew of a thousand unwanted fucks.
Would you be my little cut?
Would you be my thousand fucks?
And make mark leaving space for the guilt to be liquid.
To fill, and spill over, and under my thoughts.
My sad, sorry, selfish cry out to the cutter.
I’m cutting trying to picture your black broken heart.
Love is not like anything.
Especially a fucking knife.

Just look at me, look at me now.

I’M A FAKE, I’M A FAKE, I’M A FAKE.
“I’m a Fake” – The Used

I’m not a role model.  I never wanted to be one.  I only wanted to be me.  I wanted to be honest with myself at the very least. The honesty starts here and now.

Monday, I caught myself sitting at the kitchen table, alone. My sitter had called off – again. I have problems making other arrangements, as you’ve read in One Day I’m Going to Grow Wings and Spitting Fire. Stress overwhelmed me, sucking the air from my lungs. I thought again, in my still silence, about the idea of having to resign my position. My mind drifted to Zen. He’d be at my side, through it all. Tears streamed down my face. And I crumbled.

A flashback struck me. I had remembered Stacy. She noticed my bandages. So, she showed me hers. I had never encountered another cutter. We sat on the ramps one grey day, in the pale fall light pouring in from the large windows. I confessed to her in whispers; I cut again. She inspected my gashes made by a steak knife. Dismantle a shaving razor. The cuts are cleaner, easier, sharper and can be mistaken for something else.

My little box of lies was born again. When I was a teenager, I had a jewelry box I called “My Little Box of Lies. It always contained a razor, a pregnancy test, and pills I was saving. Today, it is a 1970’s Altoids tin. It only contains four tiny razors and band-aids.

I looked for areas of my skin bracelets would cover. I drew the blade against my flesh and felt numbing pain of the blade. My mind quieted as I watched the blood rush out. I made another slice. And another. I ran the razor diagonally over the gashes. It was enough. I bandaged my still bleeding wounds and carefully hid my tools of self-destruction where they would never be noticed.

Tonight, I am loaded on Xanax. It’s still not enough to purge my mind of the week. My failures at parenting mocked me. My husband’s biting words hurt my heart and soul.

I’m a lazy bitch. I’m a liar. And I’m ungrateful. Totally ungrateful for everything I have been given.

I want the pain to go away. I found myself alone in my bedroom this time. No amount of pills or lies or acts will erase this. I pulled out the blade and retraced my healing wounds. I dug deeper, gushing more and more blood. Tears rolled down my face, blurring my vision slightly.

It still wasn’t enough. I needed more pain. I needed more testaments to my suffering with fresh flesh. I pressed the blade firmly against a new patch of skin and put as much pressure as I could with such a flimsy blade. It seared through me. Again. I desired more. I needed the painful lines to pour out and release the pain inside.

I am so ashamed. I am not the Lulu with a sordid past and insights. I am Lulu, with the band-aids over her life. Lulu, the liar, the fake with a closet full of skeletons and empty words now.

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32 thoughts on “Confessions of the Pain of Payment

  1. Lulu, first off, I love you, and I am hurting now because you hurt. Don’t be ashamed. We all have our skeletons, and the words in this post are anything but empty.

    I really don’t know what to say about your cutting that you don’t already know. When I was in high school, I burned myself – but a grand total of three times. SI never really did for me what it does for many. I chose to abuse myself in other ways, conscious and unconscious.

    I wish I had something more insightful to offer, right now I just want to cry for you.

    I’ll be waiting in your Magnolia Tree, though.

    • One other thing. You wrote, “I’m a lazy bitch. I’m a liar. And I’m ungrateful. Totally ungrateful for everything I have been given.” Not only is that completely wrong, those are not your words. That is not you, that is not Lulu. Those lies have been fed to you, I don’t know by whom, but they are stuck deep.

      But they aren’t you. And they are the furthest thing from the truth that there is.

      • I’m grateful for your kind words. But are you sure that’s not me? I’m not even sure. I’m probably a lot of horrible things that I sweep under the rug.

        I can’t deny the shadows that hide within me. I’m not even 100% sure I can even find any truth.

        I write paragraphs. I re-write them. I delete them. What the hell am I doing?

    • You can find me near the trunk balled up. You won’t have to look far. I’m in the bottom branches.

      I feel like such a child. And I woke up blank. I can’t find my words. It’s difficult to speak. I need a hug. But I sit here in 60 weather, wrapped tightly in a fleece blanket.

      I think I’m losing my mind.

      • I’m certain, beyond any doubt that those aren’t your words. I’m getting this one on knowing you, but also on one of my instincts. And I’ve told you about my instincts before.

        I will climb the tree and wrap my arms around you. I will hold you tight and let you cry, I will release you and let you scream, I will sit by quietly and just be there for you.

        And no, you are not losing your mind, either.

        Believe me.

        • I will climb the tree and wrap my arms around you. I will hold you tight and let you cry, I will release you and let you scream, I will sit by quietly and just be there for you.

          I cried a little when I read this. Because this is the only thing I’ve ever wanted from anyone. And it means the world when it comes from someone who knows this madness personally.

          I would do the same for you in a heartbeat.

  2. I’ve been fighting this urge for a while now. The last time I cut was the day my husband left me. Somehow I have restrained myself since. I’m sorry. This is a weak moment for you. I see you as strong and resilient. You are.

    • Aren’t husbands just fantastic? I won’t go into specifics, but that’s half of the reasons I’m here. When I hit a rocky path, I was tripped instead of taken by the hand.

      I have your hand, Courtney. I know you have mine.

  3. I mean every word of that, Lulu. I hold you in “unconditional positive regard” (to quote a good friend on how I view her as well). There isn’t anything you can tell me that will make me run. You and I are kindred spirits, and that is a bond that nothing can break.

    • I’m really relieved and overjoyed to read that. Too often, people see me as a commodity. They could take it or leave it. When it’s rotten fruit or damaged goods, then they just turn their backs and leave it on the shelf.

      I really believe we are kindred spirits. I really believe that every event unfolds in a person’s life, good and bad, for a reason. It’s not always clear and it’s never exactly predetermined. But there is a reason.

      I’m so glad to have you in my life. Thank you for being here. Thank you for taking the time to read and extend yourself out.

  4. I know that I’m a bit late on this one, but I am here for you as well, Lulu. I may not be as consistent a presence, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you a great deal.

    I’ll be wishing and hoping you find your way back to someplace better quickly. I have no doubt that you will, I just want for it to be soon – right now, in fact.

    • Thanks Always. I’m so glad for your support. With everyone’s kind words and support, I am finding my way back. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I am ok this morning. But, I said that yesterday morning and I was hit with another wave.

      Knock on wood for me.

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  10. Hi. Its TD,

    They don’t make ‘like’ buttons for posts like this so I’ll send you an ’emphasize’! The act of writing itself is an exclamation point! I hurt! I disappoint! Please! Sorry!

    Pleas.

    I think I’m attracted to people with pleas. Men and women. They; we, appreciate life more fully than people without them. My friend Fish and I share our pleas. And our thanks.

    I have a 15 year old friendship with another, tennisbunnne. You’d love her. Pained, honest, courageous, like you. I’m blessed with good friends I’ve never seen.

    Ain’t life grand!

    TD

    • Sadly, my most painful posts are usually the most significant. And even worse, although I re-read these and cringe, I realize that some of my finest work is done in the worst of distress.

      I don’t often ask for help. This is probably why I end up in situation critical mode. This is a plea, undoubtedly. Please, help me. Stop me before I destroy myself. Self-injurious behavior gets ugly quick if I don’t get immediate relief. It’s kind of like how people who are in chronic pain accidentally overdose on pain meds. Looking for that quick fix to a desperate situation.

      Being here, writing, knowing that there is a group of people who not only get it, they’ve lived it, helps me tremendously. I can say anything, and I won’t have an angry mob accusing me of heinous atrocities. The honesty is therapeutic. And even more so, there is a group of people who will wonder, worry, and / or blow my email / phone / front door up if I drop off. That keeps me writing.

      Thanks for your comment. Anything that makes this less disturbing, dark, and twisted helps.

  11. First off I really love that song. I started reading the lyrics and got excited. Haha! Secondly- I feel for you in so many ways. I hope you’re okay. This post is written so beautifully. I’m happy you’re being so honest about this. Much love.

    • I loved this song the first time I heard it. I’m okay now. I’m not sure what triggered it. It could have been a med change. It could have just been what was going on at the time. It could have been just the fact that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time rhythmically. I don’t know, but I can say it doesn’t happen with a lot of frequency. Not to say that the urge doesn’t hit me. I just try to ride it out.

      Much love to you too, Lexi. I know you’re in a bad spot, and I’ve been there too. But, you have me, I can assure you there.

  12. I wanted to append something to this that I might consider putting in the post. Today, I was looking through my spam folder out of curiosity and ran into some pretty nasty comments regarding this post. I’m in a mood, so I thought that I’d put this out there for any future readers who decide that they have some kind of opinion about this and don’t share a similar struggle.

    Nobody asked for your fucking opinion.

    I don’t want to hear anyone’s bullshit about how all cutters are just attention whores. Here’s the reality of my situation. I have been cutting since I was twelve. I stopped cutting for a very long time to keep a promise to a therapist in my teens. And even since then, I’ve been good about it. I can count the number of times I cut each year on one hand.

    If I wanted attention, I’d slice and dice my ass all to hell and run all over town with blood soaked bandages up and down my arms, you fucking asshole. I don’t. I carefully hide them. You know why? Because I don’t want people like you to notice them and give me disapproving, disgusted looks.

    Self-harm is serious business. It’s something that no one wants to talk about, because of people like you. So, people like me will continue to cut in private until we hit an artery and someone has to take notice. We’ll embarrassingly get rushed through the ER and lectured about how stupid we are. And the cycle perpetuates itself.

    So instead of judging people you don’t know, how about you shut the fuck up? Either that, or stop searching posts for “cutting” so you can harm on these vulnerable victims of mental health disorders.

  13. You are still Lulu with all of your good qualities and kindness to others. Don’t feel like you are a monster because you have your own way of trying to release the pain. It isn’t good. There can and will be reprecussions in the future. But you aren’t alone. Many, many people with pain and memories, mental issues they can not deal with, are experiencing the same release. I have never cut, but I have done many distructive things to punish myself or to make the pain go away. I know too that pain does release endorphins that bring pleasure. At my worst point, I got three tattoos with in three months lol. I would tell them, to cut deeper if I didn’t feel enough pain. I know ever though I may not fully understand, the connection between mental pain being released through physical pain.
    I don’t have to tell you what the risks are in doing this kind of behaviour. I know you are an intellegent woman and you will over come this because you are too smart not to keep trying. You are a special person that I especially enjoy sharing with blogging. I am glad you are open about this problem to those who read. I apreciate your trust. You will be in my prayers.

    • LOL, maybe it was because I hadn’t gotten a tattoo in over a year. My last one was July 2010. I like tattoos. They are therapeutic in a sense, and they leave me with an image that is therapeutic as well.

      Cutting, for me, is pretty infrequent. Anytime that it starts with any frequency is where I draw the line. It can become addictive. I know I am susceptible to addiction. So, I’ll put a stop to anything off if I feel a dependency growing. The time that I cut before this is at the very beginning of my blog, “To See If I Still Feel”. And, since this recorded incident, there have been none.

      I always want to be honest about it. Putting it in writing, for the whole world to see, is good for me. It means that I cannot deny it’s occurrence. But, I believe it’s healthy for others to see as well. So that they don’t feel like they are alone. So they don’t feel like awful monsters in their own life. Self-harm is really the product of emotional self-harm in some ways. I take things the wrong way. I absorb things, instead of letting it slide. And it builds up. Cutting is one of those things that happens when I have completely lost control and let myself fall prey to acting on impulses, as an act of self-punishment, or like you said, as a release. That’s the ultimate goal.

      I have a lot more to say on cutting, but I’ll refrain. It’s probably better said in a post.

  14. Hard to hit the “like” button for this, but since it’s one of the most honest and clear writings about cutting that I’ve ever seen, and since it’s flowing right out of your pain and your tears and your gut, I had to hit the like button.

    I have been so so tempted to cut myself lately, to get the pain to live on the outside instead of the inside…. but I know that I would surely become addicted to it. So I refuse the siren call that beckons so seductively…”come on, just once, you’ll feel better…” I have a suspicion that just like sex, once you start cutting you don’t want to stop…. am I right?

    • Sort of, but it works in a different way. Sex is pleasurable while you’re doing it, even if it’s just a form of release. I find nothing pleasurable about the blade. I find relief. Akin to the same relief a person can find if they are overwhelmed by a noisy room or a crowded place. I find the act itself is mesmerizing, almost unbelievable as it defies every self-preservational instinct we innately have as humans.

      I am concerned each time I write about it, especially in prose. It provides a romantic, seductive illusion where people may be enticed to engage in the behavior. However, I will put it in the best words I can manage.

      My mind swells with buzzes, murmurs, and whispers that grow to critical volumes. it’s as if there are thousands of conversations happening all at once. But, one voice stands out among them The Voice. It scours my brain for each vulnerability and finds ways to convince me of each of them.

      The tides rise and swell inside me, creating a tsunami of emotion. It barrels toward me, every terrible emotion and thought I could ever have. Suddenly, I feel I am imprisoned inside myself, within a cage of my own misery, shame, anger, insecurity, and self-loathing.

      It swells more and becomes excruciating as I am devoured by this torrent of emotion. And, I am distraught, desperate, frantic to feel something other than this. To find some freedom from that cage. To gain some control over myself. And determined that punishment will absolve me from the atrocity that I embody.

      I find I flinch at the first contact, still determined to draw that blade across my skin. As the pain courses through me, everything else starts to evaporate. Fear, loathing, misery, love, hate, happiness, it all gets sucked into this void of apathy. The blood spills, and I feel everything leaving me.

      I will continue making cuts until I am numb. Until that pain is guaranteed to stay with me for days to come.

      But, once the numbness wears off, I am ashamed once more at clear lack of good judgment and control. My wounds still exist on the inside, except now I wear them as an adultress would be branded with the large red A. That’s why over the years, I’ve become more discrete about how and where I do it. But, nothing brings me the satisfaction of seeing the wound being made.

      It does become addictive in the way that it becomes a coping mechanism. In years past, I was doing it in upwards of once or twice a week. I guess it would be similar to other addictions in the respect that it releases certain chemicals into the brain. But, unlike those chemicals, this is adrenaline, fight or flight. Maybe closer to gambling, but without the hope of winning. There is always that notion that I am doing harm. And that’s part of the intent.

      I hope you can refrain. I have been doing this for the better part of my life now. Sometimes it’s really hard for me not to go for the blade. And it’s not as if a person can go without any sort of sharp objects. It looks enticing. But, it shouldn’t be. It could possibly be one of the most unhealthy, addictive coping mechanisms I have.

      • I totally sympathize with using cutting as a coping mechanism, or a reaction to dark emotions. I only cut myself twice in this bipolar life, but I did a bang-up job. A week before my 34th birthday, I got very, very, drunk and cut my inner arm 34 times — like a b’day celebration in reverse. I felt a weird source of pride that I didn’t feel one shred of pain from that razor, like it was a badge of tough honor. I passed out, and when I awoke I couldn’t believe how much blood drained out during the night. It changed my wardrobe choices forever cuz I just couldn’t let others see what I had done — no more tank tops in the summer, no more cute cocktail dresses…unless I wanted to busy myself with hiding these scars. So, 15 years later I got upset enough to try it again, but I was going to be more strategic with the location of these cuts. This time I was sober, and the pain of that blade was too fierce — just three little cuts to remind myself that I’m still alive, that I still self-destruct, and that my emotions can get so painful that apparently, I will do anything to destract myself from that horrible pain,

  15. Beautiful words of suffering. If it’s possible to say so. I’m with you, friend. Know that we are all here for you.

    Self-harming is addictive. I only self harmed a week ago. The morning before I brought myself back to the psych hospital. When I self-harmed the last two times, it hurt so much. I normally don’t feel the pain. It was horrible.

    I sincerely hope that you are ok after cutting and that at the very least, you used a sterile object to cut yourself with. And that your wounds are clean and ok. Take baby steps and you’ll get there.

    Feel good.

    • This particular incident is a little outdated. I’ve been meaning to take it off the front page.

      That’s not to say that more recent incidents haven’t occurred. I had a few in the Spring. It wasn’t something I was thrilled to talk about at the time.

      I worried my husband would take note. I’ve been trying to use less noticeable areas, so most will only be visible when I am nearly nude, or bathing suit wearing. Funny enough? No one has noticed. I’m glad. It’s one less thing I have to be self-conscious about.

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