“What does that feel like for you?”

Yesterday one of my favourite people put a hand on a scar, looked at me and asked why I’m doing this. Not in an accusing way that is supposed to tell me how it doesn’t solve any problems (surprise, surprise) but just as if she was asking why I like swimming. Because she wanted to know and understand. Nobody has ever done so. I know that everyone surrounding me thinks something about it, even those who pretend it doesn’t happen. I know that they think about it when they see an injury on me and wonder if it happened on purpose. I know that they think of it when I say I’m not well. I know they think it is stupid, weak, incomprehensible, avoidable, sick, weird, immature or whatever else it could be. And it’s not like nobody’s talking about it. They tell me I should talk about it and wait for me to tell a story. They tell me they are there. They tell me about things I could do instead, after all we’ve all read about skills, sports or telephone counselling. They tell me it hurts them to see me like this. They try black humour although they don’t like mine. But never ever has anyone asked me directly what I feel like when I’m doing it, looked into my eyes and inquired when I couldn’t find proper words. I’m sorry I couldn’t answer better and that this favourite person probably couldn’t see how moved I was by the fact that she would give up an easy, relaxed afternoon by touching my darker thoughts. I am used to people who try not to see my scars and to them trying to find solutions for my misbehaviour. Used to psychologists taking notes about when, how often and how bad. But not to someone asking directly as if it was an incomprehensible but yet normal part of myself. And not to people looking at me in a way that says “I can deal with whatever you’re going to answer.”

So thank you, dear favourite person, not just for that but for all the days where you soften my loud head’s volume. Thanks to the three wonderful people with whom I could wander around between saunas and whirlpools yesterday. Thank you for your understanding and your affection and the place I have with you.


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