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i still remember the first time i ever tried to do it. i stabbed at my arms with a yellow #2 pencil for hours. the lead was gone from the tip and the jagged edges only scratched my skin. my dad was watching television and i was hanging over the back of that ugly brown sofa trying to make him see me.

i'm not sure where i even got the idea. i certainly had no understanding of veins or arteries. i probably saw it in a movie. obviously, i didn't even understand the difference between blunt and sharp objects,  but somehow i realized the drama attached to that fateful act and i wanted to act it out.

back then, it was all about the attention. i know i didn't understand the concept of death at all. i can't remember if it was before or after my grandfather died, but even after that i still didn't comprehend the finality of death, the permanence.

my wrists didn't even bleed that night and no one noticed a thing. the ordeal made me a little hopeless that i would ever be able to get the attention i needed. i went to bed and thought about how next time i would have to do better, to stab harder, to scratch deeper.

six-year-old girls aren't supposed to want to kill themselves, but for some reason i did. or i thought i did. it was an act of desperation. i can't claim to understand it now. i'm sure i didn't understand it then.

i wonder if things would be different now if my dad had looked over to see me. would i be better off or worse? it's hard to say. but i'm glad i still remember that night. it was a major turning point in my life. looking back on it now, it lends an interesting perspective on my current situation.

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February 2012


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