Shipwreck

Shipwreck

A Story by Lyndsay Castro
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This is a story I wrote for Kristen Hayes' contest. Thanks for inspiring me to put it into words!

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I have to let it out, and there’s no other way to do it. Most people can’t tell by looking at me. But there is so much inside. I’m a geyser. Some say they’re only filled with pain, despair, or hopelessness. But that’s my problem - I am filled with pain, despair, hopelessness. And yet at times, at rare and glorious times, I am filled with the entire universe. Sometimes I am full of the emotion of every sentient being on the planet. Then it’s gone. The hatred, rage, and confusion take its place. Even worse, there are times when my soul is so wholly spent from feeling everything from divinity to desperate depression that I cannot feel anything.
 
Today I can’t feel anything. The pain of my wretched disease is there, in the back of my mind. But it is just out of reach. If I don’t feel something, the emptiness will implode upon itself and I will cease to exist. I can imagine it now - my husband paying half of each paycheck to a reasonably nice facility that would bathe me every other day. They would spoon feed me. I would be put in a chair facing a TV or a window. I would die young, “before my time”. I would rather feel anything than that for the rest of my life.
 
I’m ready. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I find the razor in my drawer. It’s amazing how easy it would be to find it, if anyone cared enough to look. No one ever does.
 
The question is where to make the cut. Arms are obvious, but extremely convenient. Legs hide better. The thigh, then, is where I’ll make my mark. I breathe deeply, savoring the moment, savoring what will soon happen. Some cutters use just the tip, the corner, of the razor. I use the entire length of the blade. Flush against my spotted skin, I slide and push. I look down, lifting the blade. At first nothing happens.
 
I remember the first time I self-injured. I was eight. I thought butter knives were supposed to be sharp. It took me about ten minutes of rubbing before I realized that nothing was going to happen. I needed something sharp, that would stay sharp.
 
And now here I am, in my twenties, married to a man who gives me no reason to live. I’m sick with diseases and illnesses that leave me half crippled and on medication that I’ll be taking for the rest of my life. Because of this I can’t support myself financially, and so I can’t free myself from the hopeless shipwreck I’ve steered myself into. I have no family. My health keeps me housebound, and no one wants a friend that is too needy, who can’t drive herself to meet you for a drink or a movie, that always has something wrong with her.
 
At first nothing happens. Then, very slowly at first and then quicker, beads of red purity welt up on the gash in my leg. I smile. It hurts. I feel pain. More importantly, I feel something. They may send me to a psychiatric hospital because of this. But at least I won’t be catatonic. At least I’ll maintain my human dignity. No one understands that as I watch the blood run down and pool on the tiles, I am letting everything out.
 
I can’t cry anymore. I’ve been so bombarded with wave after wave of searing pain - mental, physical, emotional - that my body or my brain won’t let me feel it. Maybe it’s my brain and my body both. That doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I can’t release the pain, fear and absolute agony unless I can feel them. Lost in thought, I’m making swirls in the blood with my finger.
 
Now I can function. I make six more cuts on my thigh. I don’t care if anyone notices, now. I make four perfectly lined cuts on my left arm. It’s always my left arm. I’m right-handed. My left hand is too shaky, the cuts are too shallow. To top if off I won’t eat anything today. I lean against the bathtub, relaxed for the first time in weeks.
 
I should have said at the beginning that none of this will endear me to you. I really am a sniveling, sad and pathetic lump. I really am a girl, not a woman, who won’t better her own life out of fear.
 
But there is only one person who has never abandoned me. I hold the stained blade between my fingers, wiping it clean with an alcohol swab. Opening my cutting kit, I replace the blade, remove several band-aids, and put them over my new wounds. Now I’m sadly depressed. But at least I’m something.
 
Why don’t “normal” people understand that I’m not trying to kill myself? Not yet, at least. Why don’t they see that I’m not trying to be cool or keep up with some trend that all my friends are following? I tell myself that I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not even hurting myself. I’ll get yelled at for this. He’ll scream, throw things. He’ll threaten to call the police and have me locked up. He’ll tell everyone that I’m crazy, and tell me how worthless I am to him and the world.
 
I lift up one side of a band-aid, just to see a bit of the red still seeping out, crying tears of blood that my eyes can no longer shed. I’m going to be hospitalized. I’m going to be put on even more medication. But I won’t be catatonic. I won’t be the living dead.
 
I can listen to music, now. I’m not sorry I’ve just sliced myself eleven times with a razor. Like I said, I’m not hurting anyone, not even myself. In fact, this is the only way I can let it out. I may be in incredible pain, but at least I feel.

 

 

 

copywrite 2008 Lyndsay Castro

© 2008 Lyndsay Castro


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Featured Review

This is so well written! I completely felt like I was there, feeling what she felt. You have such a way of picking the right words and saying it so it makes perfect sense. I've struggled with depression throughout my life too (damn genetics) but fortunately, not a fan of physical pain. One of my relatives was not so lucky though and cut for a while. Luckily, we have a very tight family and could be there for her when she needed us as they have been there for me. If this is based on feelings that you've felt, I truly hope that someday you will find happiness. You deserve it.

Posted 12 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Sad. Sad that the sight of blood makes one's pain release into ease? I don't think I will ever understand.....but thank you for asking me to review your work. Take care and I hope you don't mind the short remarks! Cheers, lea

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is an awesome piece of writing. It is sad, terrifying, and dark ~ however a person can feel the sense of release ~ almost gaining a compassionate understanding for the act of self mutilation. Although I am not a person that believes that self destructive behavior is ever a way to cope with depression, anxiety, or other actual mental issues...this story gives insight to how a person is feeling when they are brutilizing their own body ~ even if that isn't the original intention. The sweet release of "crying tears of blood that my eyes can no longer shed" is a POWERFUL statement in the body of the story. WELL DONE!!!

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thanks for writing this. Right now, it's the only piece entered into my contest about self-mutilation. This is exactly what I was hoping to get, too. It's all just the truth. It's exactly how I feel sometimes. It feels really great to have someone meet me in the middle. This was well-written and heartbreaking. It's something that people all over deal with, but no one wants to look at. My favorite part was the part about how people don't understand. If I've heard that phrase once, I've heard it one thousand times, but you actually explained what it is that people don't "get" and shrugged off their ignorant pre-conceived notions. A perfect piece; I loved every word. Good luck in the contest. :)
KH

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. This is...very good. Very descriptive and powerful. Kudos.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is so well written! I completely felt like I was there, feeling what she felt. You have such a way of picking the right words and saying it so it makes perfect sense. I've struggled with depression throughout my life too (damn genetics) but fortunately, not a fan of physical pain. One of my relatives was not so lucky though and cut for a while. Luckily, we have a very tight family and could be there for her when she needed us as they have been there for me. If this is based on feelings that you've felt, I truly hope that someday you will find happiness. You deserve it.

Posted 12 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 31, 2008
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Author

Lyndsay Castro
Lyndsay Castro

Houston, TX



About
I am a writer. My goal is to support myself financially through my writing. But the benefits will keep me going, no matter the monetary issues. I am looking for suggestions, tips, criticism, connectio.. more..

Writing
I Need I Need

A Story by Lyndsay Castro