Chapter 6- A Reason to AbsorbA Chapter by BlackFairytales
“I think we made some progress last session, wouldn’t you say?”
“I think we’re getting closer to progress.” I said with a smile. Not a real smile, but I’m learning.
“This session, I’d like to help you get a better understanding of why you think you hurt yourself. How does that sound?”
“It sounds like you’re a therapist.” I say sarcastically. Even her laugh sounds happy. I’ll never understand it.
“Okay, Autumn, this is supposed to be serious.” She pauses, thinking. “I’ll start off by asking a few questions, you can give me the best answer you can come up with and we’ll go from there.”
“Is this going to be like last session, where you ask my favorite color and my answer tells you that I’m insecure and wish I was someone else?”
“No, Autumn, and that’s not what your favorite color told me. You know that.” She says, going over the stack of papers in front of her. “Why do you think you hurt yourself?”
“Wow, you people just get straight to the point don’t you? If I knew the answer to that, wouldn’t I be the therapist?”
“Not exactly. I may have an idea of why you do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Everyone has a different reason. Why don’t we skip that question and come back to it later?” she asks. That’s fine with me. “What are you afraid of?”
What do my fears have to do with anything? It’s not like I see a clown and grab a knife and slice my arm. “What is your tragedy? What good would the answer to that be?”
“Answer the question, Autumn.”
“Okay, well, I’m afraid of the ocean. I’m afraid of snakes. Let’s see…Oh! I’m afraid of large crowds. I’m afraid of heights, and I’m afraid of the dark.” I’m afraid of being trapped in confined places and being locked in dark bathrooms. “Did I pass?”
“Why are you afraid of those things?”
“I’m not really afraid of the ocean, it’s more a fear of things I can’t see. The ocean is dark and it’s scary. I’m afraid of snakes for obvious reasons. I’m afraid of large crowds, because people judge others too much and I hate attention. I’m afraid of heights because I fell out of too many trees when I was a kid. I’m afraid of the dark, because I had a crazy cousin.” Crazy is an understatement. She should be the one in rehab, not me.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I’d rather not talk about that. It was years ago.” My cousin was a lot older than me. My dad would leave us with her when he went to work. I think she hated kids, even though she had three of her own. She’d force us to go to her daughter’s gymnastics classes and make us watch scary movies. The movies weren’t all that bad; it’s just what she’d do afterwards. I would stare at the clock, waiting for my dad to come home and my sisters were playing with her daughter. When they got too loud, she’d lock us in separate rooms with the lights turned off and tell us the Devil was going to get us. It doesn’t seem like much now, but to a five year old, it was terrifying. If we turned the light on, she’d make us stay in there longer. I was afraid to turn the light on. I was afraid to move, so I didn’t. I sat in the fetal position between the bathtub and the commode and I shut my eyes as tight as I could and I cried, while covering my ears. I think that has a lot to do with me being afraid of the dark.
“You won’t get better if you don’t want to talk about it.”
“Maybe I don’t want to get better.” I said.
“Then why tell someone about your problem?” Touché. “What were you feeling the first time you did it?”
“I felt hurt, betrayed, and insecure. I was never a happy person, even before I started cutting, and I was never confident. I had no sense of direction, because I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. At the time, I had no one to talk to. I hated my sisters; my friends wouldn’t have cared or tried to help. They didn’t understand. I didn’t understand. I was fifteen. I felt…lost.”
“Did anything traumatic happen at that time that made you want to do it, a death in the family?”
Thinking back, I can’t even remember. I know my aunt was sick. I was still getting over the death of grandmother two years before. I wasn’t good at dealing with death. I hated myself. I had just started high school a few months before. The older students weren’t mean to me. I wasn’t bullied. I can’t remember what made me do it.
“I can’t remember. All I know is that I was sitting in my closet crying and I found a pair of scissors. I grabbed them and thought about it for a bit, and then I just did it. It didn’t hurt. I liked the feeling. I made three cuts across my wrist. I liked feeling the blood run down my arm as I studied my work. I didn’t hear anyone, even though my mom was having another party.”
“What happened at your mom’s parties?”
“She got drunk. She’d always get drunk. Her friends were all drunk. My sister and I would always get in a fight. Not a yelling fight, we’d actually hit each other and bite each other. She’d call me fat. She always called me fat. I was insecure about my weight, my entire life, and when I started playing softball, I lost a lot of weight. I continued to lose weight, and at 15 I weighed less than I ever had in my life. I didn’t know that though, because according to her, I was still fat. I was smaller than her at the time, but I didn’t know that. Looking back at photos, I can see that now, but at the time, I was still this disgusting…thing.”
“Did you and your sister get in a fight that night?”
“It’s possible. I can’t remember. We fought so many times, it was like an everyday thing with us.”
“Do you think she may have been the reason?”
“I’m not blaming my little sister for this, Dr. Saunders. She wasn’t the only one that would say those things to me. It was my entire family. I never went to weddings and dreaded going to funerals, because I knew someone would comment on how fat Autumn was.”
“Okay, then why do you think you started cutting?”
I’ve never told anyone what I’m about to say. I never thought it mattered, but maybe it’s the reason I do it. It’s the only answer I can come up with.
“I hate myself.”
© 2011 BlackFairytales
Added on September 27, 2011
Last Updated on September 27, 2011