But there were some things that I couldn’t change: I still didn’t trust men. I didn’t hate them, but didn’t trust them. My solution was to beat them at their own game, to become the girl who didn’t want a relationship, who was happy to have a fling. It was less humiliating than getting attached to someone only to find they weren’t interested in anything other than my body—or, to be more precise, sex. By keeping my expectations very, very low, I was able to avoid feeling, well, anything. (60)
The day I’d first cut myself, a switch in my head had been flicked. Instead of feeling horror, I felt nothing, and although I no longer wanted to hurt myself, my episodes of self-harm still felt normal for me in a way. I’d sometimes forget it still shocked other people. (124)
One of the other patients then interrupted. “It seems pretty simple to me. If you didn’t have such high expectations, you wouldn’t feel so stressed when they’re not met, and then you wouldn’t want to harm yourself.” Problem solved.
How could I make them understand that if I lowered my expectations, it would lead to feeling disappointed in myself and feeling miserable…(178-179)
Although it’s now six years since I last picked up a razor blade, I’m still acutely conscious of the damage I did. I can’t be otherwise; whenever I shower, pick up something, shake hands with someone, or even lie in bed at night with a book, I can see the scars. Sometimes i pull the sheet up so as not to be reminded, but really, there’s no way I’m going to be able to forget what I did. And thought. But maybe that’s no bad thing. It’s a warning against complacency, as well as being a constant reminder of how much better things can be. (208)
As I read this book, thinking about how the author viewed herself, I realized I don’t feel this way anymore. I never have the desire to kill myself anymore, and I never have the desire to cut myself anymore. And that’s a liberating thought. At one point, she also mentioned how strange it was for her boss to cut herself—someone who was so clever and caring. No one deserves to feel the need to cut themselves. Life is never as bad as you think it is. You’re stronger than you think. There are other options. I am a caring individual and I am good enough. I am happy that I don’t want to kill myself or hurt myself.