Ayla is working
I’m not even sure how I should go about writing this entry…
I guess I should start off by saying that I have always in one way or another ‘cut’ myself for the past 8 years. I put ‘cut’ in parenteses because technically that’s not what I do. Thanks to my sister, that’s too obvious and my family knows what to look for. I do something else. Because of 43things warning on this page I can’t go into detail about it, so all I’ll say is that what I do causes just as much of a release and creates just as many scars as regular cutting.
At first there was no emotional attachment to it, it was just an automatic response. Then I began to need it. For the most part this need was kept in check and hidden. This year I started creating marks on my arms, and people finally started noticing. If they thought it was SI they never asked for confirmation. From what I can tell they all believed my lie that it was some form of eczema or a dry skin irritation. That didn’t stop them from hounding me about it, which only made the feelings of helplessness and despair worse. There were some nights were it was all I could do to keep from clawing myself down to the bone. I had never felt such an unyielding urge in all my life.
Hindsight is 20 20. Now that the urge is gone and I can look back on it with a clear head, I think was my lack of control and autonomy that set me off. I have always worked two jobs my entire life. One as primary and the other as a cash cow. Well towards the summer I lost one of them. It was a per-diem dietary aide position at a nursing home. It brought me an extra $400 a month and I truly loved it. I loved the work, the autonomy, the fact that I actually made a difference in the lives of the elderly I served. Had my manager there pulled me to the side and offered me full time and a competitive pay, I would’ve quit my office job in a heart beat. But because I was per diem I was expendable. And when the manager condensed the schedule, suddenly I had no more hours to pick up.
Soon after, things began to snowball from there. And it wasn’t just because of the money. It was the respect that I had there and the job satisfaction. Everyone there knew who I was and what I did. Everyone in the kitchen knew they could go to me if they needed something. Nurses could walk into the dining room while I was out and know immediately that I was working the shift, because the tables were set up like a five star restaurant. And the other aides who worked the morning after me knew when I worked because of how much cleaner the kitchen was. No one else in my department had that much recognition. No one else had that much respect.
With that respect taken from me, things began to snowball. I started thinking about everything else that I had screwed up on; my home life, my relationships, my education, my health. I became as over critical of myself that I viewed my family as. It all began to pile up underneath and cause so much pressure that it felt like I would explode. I needed a release, a pressure valve. So… I started cutting.
That was almost six months ago. All but one of the wounds has healed, and that itself is almost done. I still haven’t been able to garner any more hours at the nursing home, and honestly, I don’t want to anymore. That chapter in my life is done. And even if I did manage to get that job back, it wouldn’t change any of the other problems I have right now. Because I’ve learned a couple of things from this experience. One is that I have some serious issues that i need to take care of; issues that I didn’t even realize I had because I was too focused on my job. And second is that I can’t rely on just one part of my life, such as a job as my source of respect and self worth. I have to be able to gather that from every aspect of my life, and that means changing the way I do things.