Nora: I wanted to step outside myself, step completely outside my being, so I could possibly begin to understand the significant damage that one simple action, one completely abstract from the rest of my actions as a human begins could affect anyone other than me. Because I didn’t get it. Narrowly, my mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact how placing that plastic knife at my wrist and hacking away a my, already imperfect, flesh could possibly do anyone any harm but myself.
And since I’ve always been taught that “as long as I’m not hurting anyone else” I thought it would be fine; I honestly didn’t see the harm in inflicting pain on myself -to compensate for the pain I caused others- could really be a bad thing. As long as I wasn’t hurting anyone else (but myself) it was fair game. Because it wouldn’t affect anyone else, right? I mean, how could it?
So I did it. I hacked, I scratched, I dug, I burrowed, and searched for the fiber of my being that could feel, so I could somehow control that feeling, or at least take some control back. I sat there, on the cold porcelain toilet seat and tried to control my feelings, by feeling every possible pain at once.
It only took one cut to see I had made a mistake. One cut to understand how one cut could potentially complicate everything for me, and, for a split second I could’ve sworn that had I stepped outside of myself. I got it. I understood how this one implicit act of self mutilation could effectively spin my entire life out of control. I saw the new wound on my wrist and I understood how harming myself, trying to kill myself rather, would effectively harm the lives of others; because I wasn’t just doing it to myself. Harming myself or even killing myself wouldn’t solve anything for me. I mean sure it would be over, and I wouldn’t have to deal with any of the ramifications, but in a completely abstract way I would, because I wouldn’t be gone like I intended. I’d still be there, a pool of blood and lifeless ambition on the floor of a bathroom, with a broken spirit and messed up conscience, but still there. And I’d never be able to leave. I’d be forced to watch what I had done to everyone around me, or even worse I’d watch how no one cared, either way I’d have to watch. And I’d never be able to feel at peace again with that knowledge.
So that’s why I put down the knife after one cut, not because I couldn’t do it. But because I could, and I wouldn’t be able to live with ramifications, dead or alive, if I did do it.