Girls, girls, girls

December 18, 2006 at 3:35 am Leave a comment

With school finished, I became a vegetarian and within a few months had shed most of my excess weight. I started chatting online to a girl from Ohio. She was 22 and even more of an emotional wreck than I was. She had been sexually abused when she was a child, raped when she was in high school, suffered from anorexia and had a deeply screwed up relationship with her parents. She was in engaged to a lawyer who didn’t know about any of this.

I fell in love. She was smart and interesting and I desperately wanted to save her. In reality, I couldn’t even deal with my own problems, let alone anyone else’s.

I started to cut myself. You do it like so. You get a disposable razor and a pair of scisors and cut away the plastic pieces around the edge. You stick a fingernail between the blade and the plastic pieces that sandwich it and carefully lever away until the plastic pops off. You now have a razor blade. Proper double-edged razor blades, designed to be fitted into single blade razors are much easier to use, but I didn’t discover that until later.

If you’re in a rush (and when you’re being ripped apart by emotions you don’t know how to control, you’ll be in a rush), you’ll slice open your fingertips doing this. It stings a little, but much less than a paper cut.

The first time you do it, you hold the blade to your skin and barely manage to give yourself a scratch. You try again. The way they show cuts on TV is bullshit. You don’t end up with a line of blood seeping out as you cut. The blood needs time to pool, then overflow. It doesn’t do this as a sheet of blood flowing down the arm, but as a thin trail, oozing along. With small cuts, you hardly bleed at all.

I kept cutting myself. In November, I met a girl called Nicole in a Yahoo! chat room. We exchanged hundreds of emails. The girl from Ohio took a step back and left me to my own devices. In her way she was happy for me. Nicole was from Texas and I fell in love again. In the March after my 17th birthday, I got on a plane and went to stay with her for a couple of weeks.

I lost my virginity on the sofa of Nicole’s friends’ apartment the first night I was in Texas. I had a great time. Afterwards we plotted ways of getting together permanently. Then Nicole moved on. She found another guy – one much closer than me. This would have hurt enough, but she didn’t tell me about him. She cut contact with me. I would call and end up speaking to friends of hers I didn’t know. I even spoke to him once or twice. I finally found out weeks later when one of her friends I knew online told me about him.

It’s difficult to describe the way I felt for the next few months. A whirling vortex of pain doesn’t begin to describe it. My thoughts constantly spiralled around her. My cutting had been relatively minor before. I’d made a large number of small cuts, only going through to the dermis. Now I would cut slowly and deeply, down into the subcutaneous tissue. At one point I put together a cutting pack, comprised of razor blades, gauze and antiseptic spray. The resulting scars were large. Even now, eight years on, these scars are slightly raised, though they have faded to something close to skin colour.

I was working in a convenience store for a ridiculously small amount of money. A dead end job, with no prospects at all. Life at home was as unbearable as ever. I thought about suicide constantly.

Towards the end of the year, I met Emma, the third and last of my online girls. I was looking for something, anything that could save me and she was willing. We got together. I went to my GP and was put on Prozac and was referred for counselling. I felt a little better. Emma and I saw each other once every six months or so. She lived in Georgia, USA.

A year and a half went by and I decided to go to university. It was the only way out. Emma and I had run out of things to say to each other. We broke up a couple of weeks after I arrived on campus.

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Entry filed under: Depression, Docs and Shrinks, Exes, Prozac, relationships, Self-harm, Self-Obsession, Sex, The Past is Another Country. Tags: , , , , , , .

Second suicide attempt Return to work

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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