There are many instances of my life that haunt me. Rhetoric that plays over and over in my head like some sick tape I cannot escape. Actions that color my dreams, jolting me from nightly slumber. However nothing makes me quite as sick as the innocent words of my then 13-year-old sister, remarking on my self-harm:
“…I tried [to cut myself] but I couldn’t do it. I wanted to but it hurt too much. You’re so brave!”
Hearing those words took my breath away. I was 14 when I started- not much older than she. It was my heavy, shameful, long sleeves in July secret for 3 miserable years.
Cutting was not brave, and that self-destructive path was certainly not what I wished to model for my little sisters. It’s been more than 4 years since she uttered those words, and while they still shake me to my core, they also push me to keep fighting, to not give in to temptation, and to show her what bravery truly is.