You asked me why I cut
I shrugged because I couldn’t say the words to tell you what it was like growing up being told sadness was a reason to harm myself because I’m going on the internet seeing girls scarred wrists. Was my type of pain not legitament until I wrote it on my body with razors held like aging flowers in my pale hands? They tell you everyone has an addiction. Drugs, drinking, fighting, cleaning. But I never imagined I’d make a habit out of watching the blood pour down my arms like tears.
When you were little sadness was temporary. Like a tunnel on a highway that made the light at the end seem even brighter. But I wake up every morning with the broken hope that this time I wouldn’t wake up.
I never asked for this. I never stayed up at night dreaming of my teenage years imagining this. Who knew bellies could be filled with things other than butterflies. Like every calculated bite of last nights dinner and the missing weight of thousands of lost meals.
You look at me like I’m a monster as you trace out the word BAD down my arm following the scar lines. I feel sick knowing that you suffered through nine long months to watch the carefully woven skin you gave me be ripped to shreds.
‘I don’t understand’ you manage to say with smooth precision
‘That’s the thing mom, I cut because I do’
—  m.d.m.

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Chops”
because that was the name of his dog

And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo

And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s

and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Autumn”

because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint

And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed

when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.


Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A

and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went

And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her

but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem

And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think

he could reach the kitchen.

—  Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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