It’s the 21st century.
We are now a generation that have been exposed to the idea of prioritising ‘self love’.
And I believe it is very important. But no one teaches or tells you how to turn hate into love.
I grew up in a time that emotions and crying and ‘acting like a little girl’ was a prominent and common term.
Growing up in a very strong female led household it has always been a very important idea to me. The idea of being ‘strong’ , we were not taught to highlight emotions or to reach for happiness.
It was disregarded it was important to be successful and strong. Especially as a woman.
As a ‘abuse survivor’ – I hate , despise that term , being categorised into a section of people that are all so different. It is nothing but belittling. And the term survivor in itself – I’m have been and I am surviving – but that is all nothing more or nothing less.
But right now that term helps articulate what I am getting to.
Having that label hanging over you , it’s even more important for me to view myself as ‘strong’ whatever that term means.
I was a 12 year old child psychically and to the world , but in mind I was past my years.
School , secondary school is already hard in its own way, but the whole school talking discussing your life. Your trauma.
Well that was hard.
The one person I confided in had shared my pain in the most evil way – she shared it because a boy she liked , liked me.
She put my pain on display but not out of kindness out of cruelty.
All over social media .
For my fellow class mates and older peers , for my teachers & superiors.
I can still recall being summoned from class into my head of years office to see my mum reading over print out of this public humiliation. I was made to feel dirty.
If I cried , showed any form of weakness a teacher was by my side , either off their own back or the ones that were just doing their job after a concern fellow 12 year old had alerted them of my feelings. It was important to me to not break.
At home . I knew my family were hurting from the backlash. Blame , confusion and pain filled our walls whilst being painted in unrealistic grins and smiles.
At school . I was on show , my feelings , my story.
A kind teacher I shall not name let me sit in his room from time to time , the times I needed to escape.
A girl , I could name but has no relevance.
I remember her vividly.
We went to primary school together too, she was one year my elder but had always intrigued me.
She would also sometime be in this teachers classroom , the science lab.
I watched her , at lunch , and her friends , I observed them from my quiet corner.
Constantly breaking rules , time after time.
One day I observed her talking to her friends about pain.
I watched the way she dismantled a pencil sharpener from her pencil case.
I recited the motions in my mind.
Why would she do such a thing ?
I then watched her swiftly swipe the tiny ,half rusty – half shiny ,but apparent blade across her arm. I watched her arm slice and the blood rise.
That memory stayed safe in my mind , stays safe in my mind.
Later than day I arrived home… alone in my room with nothing but my thoughts , I too reached for my pencil case.
I recited her actions.
It hurt , but it also felt good. I watched the thin runny red substance form droplets and fall to my wooden floor boards.
It left me confused but happy, the juxtapose in emotions left me overwhelmed but at-least I could feel something. I felt alive rather than surviving by a thread.
I never needed to cry once I had my new best friend in my arms, in my control , in my power. And I wasn’t weak for doing so , in my mind I believed it made me strong as the only person that could feel the consequences to my actions was myself.
In this moment I believed I could protect the world from me… From my weakness. From my pain. From my shame. From my broken mind and body.
I rolled my sleeves down and made my way downstairs due to the calls of my mother alerting me dinner was ready. In that moment I felt strong and in control – I was not crying like a little girl , I was bleeding like a strong man.
This was my new secret.
My new routine.
Not for the world.
Not for others.
Not open to judgement.
But this was something for me , something only me and my body knew about.
And for that reason I am so protective of you my little habit , so committed & so loving to you .
Because you in a dark way saved me when no one else could. You and only you allowed me to breathe whilst being suffocated.
Now I need someone/ something to teach me how to hate the reason I was able to love myself. This character needs to be eliminated , but I know I’m going to have to teach myself how to breath without assistance.
…And I will be lying if I said I wasn’t scared but to commit to the idea of ‘self love’ , my oxygen tank needs to be switched off.
I am nothing but aware .