Pain for Pleasure



As a child, hurting yourself is possibly the worst thing that will happen to you all day. Mommy dresses the ugly scabs with skin-toned band-aids that give the illusion that nothing ever happened; like the skin below is not broken, bleeding, and sore.

As you age, you do it yourself. The cleaning of the scrape, the dressing of the wound. The healing process is in your very own hands.

One day, you’re late for school. You forgot to do your homework, and well, you’re the only one. The girls talk about TV shows that you never watch and boys talk about video games you never play. You listen to your CD and you wait.

You wait for the minute hand to reach the 2. You leave 20 minutes early to take the flag off the pole, fold it properly in a triangle fold and place it in the vice principal’s office. If you finish early, you leave early.

So you walk, as you always do, past the church, past the park, around the corner, up the stairs.

No one is home.


I sit in silence; in darkness. I externalize that which is going on inside my mind.

I feel wrong. I feel broken.

I feel angry. I’m angry at myself for being wrong and broken.

I’m angry at the world for being right and perfect.

I am angry at my parents for not being home, waiting for me.

I am angry at the world for ignoring my pain.

I am hurt.

I feel like someone has reached down my throat and taken hold of my heart.

I speak no words.

I cry no tears.

I let out no screams.

In silence, I bite down in the back of my arm and I clench my jaw with all of my might.

Blood draws and I release my grip.

In a panic I wrap my arm in toilet paper.

A blissful feeling lingers.

I lay motionless in bed until the sun rises again.


Today I am not late, I have not forgotten to do anything.

My incomplete homework assignments are no longer accidents.

Now, they are choices.

My isolation is no longer forced upon me.

Now, it is welcome.

My wounds are no longer dressed.

Now, they are exposed.



Note: The very first time I intentionally hurt myself I did not know what I was doing. It was a natural reaction to an overall feeling of defeat. I instinctively felt as though I should harm my own body in order to alleviate some of the emotional anguish I was feeling. My inclination to escape my suffering state is/was natural and to be expected. The ways in which I suffered were not clear to someone outside of my mind; thus I made it so.


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