I feel like the night I lost my virginity.
I was trying to hurt myself.
With someone else's body.
I didn't know *** was a celebration of love. A warm body against yours like walking through the gates of Heaven. I thought it was a hard corner I could push myself into. Satin sheets against a sterling silver heart. Cold and lifeless.
I feel like the nights I told you at parties that I am a dangerous girl. Because I am better at playing roulette than I am at beer pong. Tell you stories about the night I taught the medicine cabinet to lose a little weight. Tell you about the night I yelled at my best friend for something as simple as her asking me to stop rubbing my hands together. A nervous tick I had picked up.
They'll tell you that I am quick to anger. I will tell you that when I feel, I become. I feel like a grassfire that has burned its way past fences and through the front doors of my childhood home. How everything I have ever known can be gone in an instant. How quick I am to set fire to those I hold closest. How easy it is to burn pictures and throw away the keys to safe relationships. I feel as lost as the day I threw myself into that same fire. How easy it was for me to decide that's the way I am supposed to go.
I feel like someone who has been lied to. Like someone who has always thought that for it to have been assault, someone else had to have done something to you. But what is assault if is self-inflicted? Because it doesn't make it feel any less violating. Doesn't give me the feeling of ownership of the body I no longer see as my own.
They'll tell you that I am too stuck in the past. And I will feverishly ask you how can I live in the present when something as simple as a song takes me back to the day I lost you. My body has become a deepened void in which ribs drop off into an empty abyss too deep for an excavation crew to help. Or a coroner. I will plead with you to give me the answer when I ask you how can I move on when sleeping in my own bed reminds me of the night I tried to turn my wrists into scarlet ribbons. I'll tell you that I can't unsee that shade of red when even stop signs look like that night. The way they feel like that night. How I've been feeling it ever since then.
I feel like I have been thrown into a room filled with everyone who ever has and ever will decide to love me. How even so, I still feel so alone. Because each one who has loved me, I have decided shouldn't. In this room, I will remember the car ride I took with my best friend when she told me to stop rubbing my hands together. I wanted so badly to tell her that I was only doing so to check to make sure I was still alive. I wanted her to know that I didn't feel like I deserved her attentiveness.
I don't blame you for not wanting to live with me when I don't know how to just live. You'll tell me that everything is a crisis with me. And I will tell you that when everything sounds and feels like a siren, it is hard to prepare for disaster. I will tell you that these trigger warnings will always be here. And we will sit shaking with the recoil thinking about everything we have done to each other. You will tell me that some days, the shell shock is just too great.
They say that whatever starves us, carves us. I will tell you that I know what they mean. I will tell you stories of the day I counted calories at a grocery store. 400, 300, 250, dying girl, 200, 150, 100, dying girl, 50, dead girl. You have told me that I am smart, but I just googled how many calories are in toothpaste. Crunched numbers to try and figure out just how much space I am worthy of taking up. I will tell you about the days I used to wear a measuring tape around my waist. How I used to put my fork down between each bite and drink two full glasses of water between each item just to hush the tick-tick my stomach had already started. The countdown to my own demise. I will tell you how I used to drink coke and chew my cheeks to satisfy my self-hatred but I will leave it at that so my stories do not become your instruction manual.
I feel like the way I did when you begged me to just trust you. To allow myself to fall into you and only think about the positives. About the here and now. To just trust my own thoughts when I am pulled into your embrace. But how can I trust my thoughts when they only speak in hyperboles? I have realized that my thoughts are an unreliable narrator who has just killed your favorite character. You'll say, just trust me. If you loved me, you'd just trust me. But I will tell you that I have been gas-lighting myself for years, so you'd better figure out a new way to get me to sheepishly follow.
You will tell me I need to just be gentle with myself. And I will think about gentleness in ways you'd never think to talk about. I will think about gentleness and how I want to be as gentle as someone who has just poured an entire bottle of pills into her hand and having the dexterity and self-care to take just one. Take one, and put the rest of the pills into the bottle that reads "may cause dizziness", and secure the lid. Remembering how the tiny pills felt cold on her hands, but not wanting to stay like that forever. But, for once, this is something I will feel all on my own. I cannot tell you how this one feels.