Monday, January 23, 2012

A Secret Revealed

The secret I've kept for so long.  The information that was all mine.  The comforting thought that I had secrets no one else knew.  Gone.  The night I cut myself last (Thursday..four days ago) my apartment mate found out.  We live in one of the apartments on campus.  The way the apartment is set up you walk into the open kitchen/living room area and on either side there is a bathroom and two bedrooms.  My friend Megg lives on my side with me.  We just moved in to the apartment this semester and we don't know the other two girls incredibly well.  But that's not important.  Megg and I had gone out to a club with our close group of friends and things got really hectic towards the end.  Well when we got back Megg was on the phone crying because her ex-boyfriends close friend was there and basically made her feel like shit.  Well, that's when I did the excessive cutting.

One, neat, bloody line on my left wrist, another to the inside of my right heal.  Two more parallel cuts to my left upper arm, their duplicates on my right inner thigh.  Three long, deep slices to my right hip.  Stop.  Blood dripping down my body, comforting me in ways words can't seem to.  Speaking to me louder than anyone could yell.  The release.  The relief.  Then the clean up.  Grabbing tissues to mop the blood from my wounds.  Snatching more to wipe the counter, the floor, the sink...  Dabbing at the craters I've left in my skin.  No evidence can be left behind...  No one can know...  
The blood starts to subside.  The bleeding has stopped for the most part.  Drearily I walk to my bedroom. Who knew releasing that stress could be so exhausting.  I lay on the bed and listen...I can hear my apartment mate still on the phone.  Grab the blanket at the edge of my bed, too exhausted to get under the covers.  I curl up in a ball, bury myself in the fuzzy pink  blanket, and wait.  My intention is to comfort Megg when she's off the phone.  She needs my help.  But slowly, my eyes can't hold themselves open any longer.  Slowly my mind is drifting towards dreaming.  Slowly, I succumb to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I realized my light was off.  Did I do that the night before...I don't think so.  Shit...  That means Megg did.  That means she may have seen...

Well it turns out she did.  More importantly, she wasn't the only one who knew.  Or at least suspected.  But before I get to talking about Megg, I need to talk about Erica.  After all I'm trying to go in order.

Saturday night my friends and I went out again, this time to a friends house to drink and hang out.  We were having a great time and I didn't realize how much I was drinking.  And, keeping in mind I haven't been eating much throughout the day, I got really drunk quicker than I anticipated.  I didn't mean to get that drunk to begin with...  We played a couple drinking games and I met this guy Jerry who seemed really nice and he was funny and attractive.  Well, we ended up getting into the back of his truck and things got out of hand.  Now I don't consider myself to be a slutty person, I don't get drunk and hook up with guys all the time.  It's just not who I am.  And basically the farthest I'd gone before this night was making out.  Well...I'm extremely ashamed to admit it but I ended up giving him a blow job.  I felt incredibly disgusting afterwards.  I texted Erica (one of the girls I went out with) that I wanted to get out of the car and go home.  And Jerry wouldn't let me leave.  He kept grabbing me and pulling back.  I was petrified he was going to try and rape me.  He kept saying he wanted to "fuck me" and he wished we had a condom.  But finally I was able to get out of the car and we drove back to my apartment.  That's when Erica and I had a heart to heart.  She was once an anorexic and she's really open about it.  Well she had pretty much figured out that I'm in that position too.  Though I hate calling myself an anorexic because it seems so weird and foreign of a concept...  But we talked a lot about that and then she asked if she could bring up another sensitive subject.  I said of course.  And she brought up the cutting...  She said she had a feeling that I did but wasn't completely sure.  And that's when she said I needed counseling.

Fast forward to the next day.  We talked a little bit more about the benefits and necessities of counseling. And I agreed that I think I need it.  But at the same time I told her I don't particularly want to go.  So she said she would talk to her psychology professor to see if he could recommend someone and we'd take things from there.  Erica and I also talked about how I should talk to Megg about it, especially since we're living together.

Now, Megg has a history of cutting herself and she's talked to me before about how she used to but is over it now and everything.  So, even though it was incredibly difficult for me to bring it up to her, I knew she would understand.  I asked her if she had noticed the night I fell asleep and she came in to turn off my light.  "Yes I did...I just didn't know how to bring it up to you."  She had seen the three cuts on my arm but wasn't sure how to bring it up to me.  So I told her about the others and about the conversation I had with Erica.  We stayed up for hours talking about our lives and everything.  And she thinks it would be good for me to go to counseling.

And now we're up to present day.  Erica spoke to her psychology professor today and he thinks I need more help than the school counseling center can provide.  Alarms start to go off in my head as she says this.  Other counseling centers would need to go through my insurance, I can't afford them on my own.  And going through insurance means telling my parents everything...which is exactly what Erica's psychology professor wants me to do.  He wants me to tell my parents everything.  The eating disorder, the cutting, all of it.  I'm petrified!  I can't go to them.  How will they react?  What if they yell?  What if they disown me?  What if they don't care at all...

I've agreed to start taking the necessary steps to get help.  So here's where I'm at now:
Step 1: meet with the psychology professor.  Erica said she'd go with me to talk to her professor about everything.  Filling him in on details so he can better understand and help me figure out the situation.  I can do this step.  And at any point that I decide I'm not ready to reach out for more help, I know Erica will respect it.  She told me I can do this at my own pace because she knows you have to be ready for recovery for this to help.

The psychology professor also told Erica that if I don't want to go to my parents by myself he'd be happy and willing to help me with it.  To call them and talk with them about the situation first so I don't have to do it alone.  But I'm not at that step yet.  I'm still in the beginning stages.  I've put it out there and now need to take everything slowly.  So I'll set up a meeting with the psychology professor and talk to him.  I'm not thinking about anything after that.  I don't know if I'm ready for anything after that...


  1. Gosh. Gosh. I don't know what to say to that! Things moved really really fast for you!
    Telling the professor about the cutting was the worst mistake of my life. I hate someone knowing that much of me. Cutting was such a close and personal matter and it was the one thing that was mine and mine alone and the one thing that I had to comfort me.

    Having him know about the eating and the depression and the cutting, well, that's more than anyone else in my life knows and I feel so horribly insecure knowing that he knows just about everything else there is to know about me. It gives him a whole lot of power. And I don't think I'd trust anybody not to abuse that power.

    However, that being said, I think you are further along this path than I am. I don't think I need any help or any counselling and I'm perfectly comfortable and happy with my current status quo. I would be a very bad person indeed if I didn't encourage you to get help. If you want help, you should definitely talk to this psychology professor.

    Being able to look at food normally, to enjoy eating, to not worry about every calorie eaten and every calorie burned, to just enjoy life and know that I am loved...wanting that comes second only to wanting to be thin.

    Well, it's not so much wanting to be thin. It's a need that is woven into my bones. But being "normal" with food must be the happiest state to be in, and if you have a chance to grab that happiness, you should leap for it. Update me about what happens! And good luck, with whatever you decide.

  2. I agree with Judith, if that opportunity arises then grab it if that is what you truly want. I also completely understand the insecurity of other people knowing your weaknesses.

    Gosh, it's such a difficult thing to decide. Whatever you decide to do, we're always here for you.



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