A week-end of cutting …

(Photo Credit Psychology Today, 30 Jan, 2010)

(Photo Credit Psychology Today, 30 Jan, 2010)

One of the more foolish ways to deal with emotional stress is to cut oneself.

It’s effective, in the short term anyway, but foolish … for starters, it leaves all those marks that anyone can see – and the reaction of people who see it will almost never be useful concern and desire to help!  It’ll be horror. Even most Doctors will respond with “How could anyone DO that?”

If you want to understand the answer to that question, it’s answered earlier in this blog … in a nutshell, though, depression will eventually lead to a kind of physical and emotional numbness: a complete inability to feel anything … since you can’t make yourself feel pleasure, the next thing is to shock your body into feeling pain!

It works. Sorta. Still stupid!  Even when the cuts have healed, you’re left with old scars that, again, inspire horror, fear, distrust, you name it … a friend of mine has about 300 cut marks on her body, most of them on her arms … apart from scaring people who might have been friends, they tend to scare the shit out of potential employers! No restaurant will hire her. The Military wouldn’t take her. She’s been turned down for sales positions, etc … no one wants their customers exposed to something so ugly and disturbing!

I came to it kinda late in life – and I’m still trying to break the habit! The trouble is, it actually does work – for a little while.  It’s a bad solution, not only because of the effect it has on other people, and your future, but because the relief is only temporary – and the scars are a permanent reminder of weakness and desperation …

It’s been a bad month. Cutting didn’t change that. It doesn’t solve any of the issues depressing me … not my bipolar disorder, not my dissatisfaction with my work, my frustrations as a writer, not my finances, not my loneliness, not my fears for the people I love …

All it did is let me feel, for just a little while.

The walks with My Lady are a slightly better solution:  they leave no scars, evoke no horror, cause no worries, trouble no one, in fact! Who could object to long walks at night with a lovely, gentle woman, with a quiet alto voice, a quick gentle laugh, and soft expressive hands, always ready to hold mine?

The trouble is, she’s not real. She’s not even a hallucination, mores the pity – for a hallucination, at least, might seem real!

Nope. Pure wishful thinking – which is not to say there’s anything vague about her: she’s about 5’3″, maybe 130 lbs, nicely, but not outstandingly, shaped, maybe a pound or two she doesn’t need, carried well … raven black hair, eyes very nearly as blue as mine (look, my eyes are my only attractive feature, ok?  She’s got all sorts of things going for her, so she can afford for her eyes to not be quite as nice as mine!) – oh, and peaches and cream complexion, with lots of tiny laugh-lines around the eyes, and a sweet smile, that easily transitions into something more tender …

Yeah. Totally unreal, though not precisely made-up … most of her features belong to a woman I knew in the Air Force, with some judicious aging added. The personality, on the other hand, has little to do with the actual woman I once knew:  this woman is what I need at the time …

Which kinda sucks. You don’t grow much, just talking to yourself – oh, sure, you can occasionally arrive at a new idea that way: mostly, though, you’re just confirming your already deeply held ideas … there’s no challenge, no debate, no spark of anger or disagreement … when I show up with sliced-up arms, she’s always gently concerned – never repulsed, or disgusted, or enraged!

It just isn’t healthy to hear only and wholly what you want to hear.

And then there’s the other problem: she cannot touch, or be touched …

“You’re crazy!” she frequently says, with a gentle laugh, and twinkling eyes.

“Well, yeah,” I usually respond, “But you knew that going in!”

“I did, yes,” she replies, leaning forward …

There should be a kiss, at this point. There really should be. Doesn’t happen.

I’ve said it before:  there’s something magical about touch … something primal … something more comforting than any words, for the language of touch pre-dates all other language  … before we knew we had souls, we soothed one another with touch … before we made up monsters to people the darkness, we held one another and were comforted … before we knew there was a God to bless marriages, we held hands and faced the terrors of the world as one …

No one touches me. Kayla, my room-mate, in her gentle concern, now and then offers me a hug. No one else touches me at all. Ever.

In the end, no matter how beautiful, how loving, how gentle and caring and wise – no matter how perfect a woman might be, if she can’t or won’t touch you, she’s no better than a figment of the imagination.

Like mine.


~ by dourscot on June 10, 2013.

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