I don't often quote or refer to the Queen of Talk shows. In fact I haven't watched an Oprah episode in years, but one show, years ago, stood out for me and has stayed with me. She was interviewing a small time director and he was discussing the concept behind his latest documentary.
He took a map of the USA and threw a dart. If the dart landed in, let's say, Texas, he then took a map of Texas and threw a dart again. That dart would land in an area of Texas. Taking a map of that area and throwing a dart once again, the dart would land in a suburb. He then took the telephone directory for that suburb and randomly select a name. He would then dial that person up and make arrangements to meet with them and discuss their story. The idea was that people with the most interesting stories would be interviewed on camera and they would form part of his doccie. What he wasn't expecting was that EVERYONE has a story, a story worth telling and a story worth listening to, from the person who dished up lunches at the local school to the principal. Needless to say he filmed each and every interview he did and it made for a fascinating series. The show had an impact on me then and it still influences the way I look at people today. Everyone is important. Everyone deserves respect. And everyone has experienced sadness, loss, joy, grief, horror and happiness.
To make a short story long, I, like you, have a story, which has lead me to where I am today. It has made me the person I am, warts and all, and no matter where I go or try and hide, my story stays with me. It's a part of me. I don't remember too much of my growing up years. I think I have blocked a lot of it out but I do know that I learned a lesson from an early age, that I can't depend on anyone but me. This rather hard lesson 'taught' me to internalize my problems, to not show or tell how I really feel and it's how I operate to this day.
Sadly all that internalizing needs an outlet and I, through the years, have chosen somewhat destructive ways to deal with issues. From over eating as a teenager to not eating as an adult. I've abused sleeping tablets to numb any pain and I have 'mutilated' my body to feel something, anything.
The cutting, the starving, the tablets, all of these things were / are my way of getting by. They're all destructive, but they're part of my story and only I can sort it out. I remember how the cutting stopped. I had been doing it for a year or so, using anything sharp. Even while in the clinic I found a rather useful tool in the art room, the shards of broken tiles used for mosaics. Contrary to popular belief it's not a feeble attempt at suicide nor is it for attention. I would cut high up on my arms or inside my thighs so no one could see. If I cut my wrists I would then wear a long sleeve shirt to cover up the tell-tale signs. I hid it from Mark, from friends and from work colleagues.
One night Mark and I had had an argument. We were both in the wrong, so I won't go into detail. All I know is he needed to get out the house to clear his head and have some time away from me...and I was at home, frustrated, angry and alone. I grabbed a knife that was on the counter and slashed at my arm, not realizing that it was a rather well sharpened one or that I had slashed rather hard. My skin tore open and I was left with a huge gaping hole, with a layer of fat and even some bone showing. Rather horrified (especially at the layer of fat :) I called Mark on his cell, asking if he wouldn't mind popping home so he could get me to the nearest ER...yes, that's how I said it. "Hi Mark. Would you mind popping home. I've cut a rather big hole in my arm and I might need a stitch or two."
As far as cutting goes I had learned my lesson. With 16 stitches in my arm I realized that it was a rather dangerous habit that I needed to rid myself of. With the help of the correct medication and the scar as a reminder I haven't cut since and I don't think I'll do it again.
Until I find a suitable outlet for my pain and hurt I will continue to make the wrong choices in order to 'heal', but as I walk my walk I know that I'm not alone with the pain, joy, sorrow and sadness I have experienced. Because everyone has a story...what's yours?
|I couldn't resist this - apologies if it offends anyone BUT it certainly tells a story|