Psychologist: Why do it ... why self harm?
Me: I maintained high academic standards and success at the expense of my own blood being spilled. Striving to exceed the standards set by myself and those around me, I began to suppress my own emotions. I no longer did what made me happy, but rather what would make me worthy. Not worthy to myself as an individual, worthy to teachers, to parents, to my peers and to the colleges and scholarships I have applied for. My life was not about the quality of living anymore; instead, it became immersed by the quantity of how much I could do.
Psychologist: How did these high standards lead to such evident marks of vulnerability?
Me: It was this vulnerability that made me engrave marks of self destruction. I became consumed with the persistent desire to succeed that at the first sign of failure I found it imperative to condemn myself to physical affliction.
Psychologist: Did these acts of self condemnation help you achieve your goals?
Me: Help me ... no. Help them ... yes. It was the desperation within me that craved for the acceptance and acknowledgement of my teachers and my peers depending on me. There was no place for error or disappointment from the spectators of my life.
Psychologist: It’s been nearly four years since your first self infliction. Would you consider yourself to still be lost?
Me: I am no longer referring to myself as lost; I have reached a moment of self-realization in which I no longer find it acceptable to excuse myself from my own actions.
Psychologist: A moment of self-realization?
Me: Yes. Last year around the time of Spring I had been assigned to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. I remember one baby boy in particular and I’d love to go by him by his name, however, Hospital Policy forbids me to do so. This baby boy was hooked up to numerous tubes that helped his little lungs receive oxygen, but he was bound to die according to the doctor. Two days later when I had returned to my internship I had been told that he had died. Now this wasn’t my child, but I was upset.
Psychologist: Upset that the doctors could not save him?
Me: No I was upset with myself in that I had life and wasn’t being grateful for it. He was only two months old and he was fighting to stay alive in a world he had just been born into. When I saw him I saw a will to live that I lost four years ago. I essentially found my own inner purpose.