*** warning, may be triggering***

I stare at the pages in disbelief.
It’s as if I am reading about my life right now.
That exact moment.
It went a lot like this.
My mind leaps back to that day…

I am tired, angry, and feel so alone.
I make my way down to the high school counselors office.
She wanted to see me.
What else is new.

“Hey” I say when I approach her door.
“Hey, Kim. Come on in”

I go in and sit in the chair. I fiddle with something on the table. It is an office I know well. I have been in here a lot since freshmen year. Now I am a junior. It doesn’t feel like much has changed. Her office hasn’t. It is small, a large desk takes up one whole wall. Two chairs and a table directly across it next to the door. That is about all that can fit in the office.

She closes the door and sits in her big office chair.
“How are you doing?” She asks.
“Alright” my normal reply.

She looks at me closely.

“I remember you saying that Lisa was moving today. Have you talked to her?”

Lisa was my writing teacher sophomore year. She helped me through a lot. They let her go at the end of the year, we remained friends.

“No, she has been busy I’m sure.” I reply in a bored and annoyed tone.
“Ok. Are you doing alright?”
“Sad, but whatever. She had to move. Can I go now?” I ask.

She looks at me for a minute.

“Sure.” She says.

I get up and start to open the door.

“Kim?” She says. I turn and face her, my hand still on the door handle. “You are not hurting yourself at all, right?”

I immediately start shaking my head.
“What? No!” I say exasperated that she would even ask me such a thing.

“Can you show me your arms?” She asks.
“Why?”
“Just so I can be sure.”

I look at my hand still on the handle, and briefly consider fleeing. My chest is tight. I feel nauseous. I stare at her. My body enveloped in fear.
My hand falls from the door. I close my eyes. There is no escape. Time is up. A year and a half of cutting on and off is finally coming to surface.

“Why don’t you sit back down.”
I sit.
“Can you roll up your sleeves please?”  She asks quietly.

Trembling, I obey.
There before me are my arms covered in cuts. New and old. Scars, some new, some faded. Luckily, I hadn’t cut deep recently.

“Oh, Kim. Why didn’t you tell me?” She says with sadness in her voice.

I snort. “Obviously, I didn’t want anyone to know.”
She asks questions of how long, how often, how deep…
I answer them. Ashamed with my wounds exposed.

The rest is a mess. I freak out because I don’t want her to tell my mom. But at one point, she looks at me. And says “I’m sorry, Kim. I’m sorry I didn’t know.”

I give her a sad smile. “It’s ok. It was my secret. I wanted it that way.”

I close the book. It is too much to handle right now.  I pull up my sleeves, slowly and gently trace over the faded scars. I pull my sleeves down and hug my arms close. My scars. My story. Every story is just a bit different.

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