Okay, so these few pages come with a HUGE TRIGGER WARNING. I explicitly describe self harm and suicidal thoughts, so please don't upset yourself if you feel unable to handle this. As I announced on Twitter, I am going to be uploading pages from this book every week until it is finished. This part is about 3/4 way through the book, and really focuses on how trapped I feel, how I am stuck in an achingly frustrating cycle.. I would love to hear what you think of this. Thanks followers, Michelle.
The blood on the razorblade that lay on the coffee table is fresh, not yet dry. Its silver, steel frame glistens in the dark and is my only focus. I take a gulp of cold, strong, tar like coffee. Caffeine for my aching mind. I need to eat but won’t, hunger pains comfort me. It’s 5.19pm and it’s getting dark outside. Dark yellow light mixed with a splash of pink is trying to creep in from the streetlamp outside. It’s beautiful but it’s not welcome in here. I don’t deserve anything beautiful, it’s been drilled in to me for too long. I lay on the sofa, my arms lay dead beside me. There’s nothing left for me to live for. No, I don’t want to look at my phone, but I do, through tear-filled eyes simply to fulfil the urge. Just as I thought. Nobody has texted me. Nobody has called me. Nobody gives a fuck. I am nothing to people but ‘an attention seeking’ woman diagnosed with everything under the sun, a woman who self harms ‘just to get an ambulance here’, a woman who has brought all of this misery upon herself and deserves to suffer. I know anger and bitterness does me no good, but people can’t comprehend the things that I have been through, the sights that I have been forced to see, the things I’ve been forced to do. They don’t want to even attempt to understand. It isn’t my fault that the labels that have been stuck on me have been done so due to abuse. Abuse. I close my eyes. The staff, the rules, the fake security net, the overcrowded living room, my tiny cell like bedroom, the same bland beige food day in day out. Gone. The very system that captured me and caused me to feel like nothing but a number I’m actually craving. Institutionalization, my worst enemy. I turn my attention back to the razorblade, my only friend. I need the sharp serrated edge. I pick it up, and I cut my arm. Again. Thick, dark red blood trickles down the length of my arm, to the palm of my hand and starts to drip. I stop. I’m not trying to kill myself. I’m just trying to damage myself enough to be able to get some help, as apparently the mental health team think I don’t fit the boxes for any support, or, more like, feel I’m not worthy of any support. I place the razor, now dripping with blood, back on the coffee table and dial for an ambulance.
‘Hi, ambulance service, is the patient breathing?’ The woman says hurriedly on the phone.
‘Yes I am’ I quickly reply.
‘Okay can you tell me exactly what happened?’ She says robotically.
‘I think, lack of things happening is the issue here.’ I say, before taking a swig of freezing cold coffee. ‘I keep screaming for help and nobody is wanting to fucking listen. I have cut my arm deeply with a razor again tonight.’
‘Okay, is your arm still bleeding?’ She asks, robotically.
‘A little.’ I reply.
‘Okay, help is being arranged to come to you, what I am going to tell you now is how to control the bleeding. Do you have a cloth or towel?’
‘Yes’ I answer.
‘Get the cloth and apply pressure directly on the wound and keep it there until the help arrives okay.’ She says, obviously reading from a script.
‘Okay I’ve done it.’ I say, even though I hadn’t. I just wanted to get this robotic thing off the line as quick as possible.
‘Have you done anything like this before?’ She asks, again with that grating monotone voice.
‘Yep, more times than I can count now. To be honest I don’t want to go over it anymore. I know that nothing will change as all that happens is ambulance comes, ambulance crew see that I’m hurt, they take me to hospital to see the oh so wonderful crisis team and, every time, I am deemed mentally sound and sent walking home.’ I answer, frustrated. There was a short silence. I could sense she wasn’t programmed to be able to answer that.
‘We are all here to help you and you need to tell us everything and then accept the help offered.’ She says back. I swear this woman is half robot. Or, more likely, just incredibly unaware of what exactly is going on out here. I guess she’s lucky to not have felt the hard bang as you fall to the bottom, after falling through all of the cracks in society.
I grit my teeth. I wanted to call her a stupid bitch, a clueless cunt. A judgemental prick. Nah, I just hang up instead. Ringing the crisis team earlier on had simply been out of ticking boxes, so nobody could say that I didn’t ring the right number later on down the line. I will tell the ambulance crew, yet again, that I was told to relax and get a cup of tea and to walk to AE if I felt too suicidal.
My friend killed herself because the mental health team didn’t take her seriously. Tears stream down my face as the streetlamp outside flickers. The rain bangs, bangs, bangs itself against the window and I shiver. I want to be sliced and diced open, gutted like a fish. Take my heart from me please. I don’t ever want to experience love or hurt again. I take another gulp of the dark liquid caffeine. Ten minutes pass until the yellowish blur of the streetlamp is taken over by a flashing blue. Ambulance. I sigh. This has become my life and I feel ashamed, but it’s either keep my head above water any way I can or die. I don’t really have a choice. I hear the doorbell ring and I answer the door. I immediately recognize the two ambulance women standing there, Mandy and Sarah. They look at me as if looking at their own hurt child. That worried, motherly look. I know that they care, and I know that they understand that they can’t help, so I actually kind of feel sorry for them. I don’t want to tell them my life story again. I know that there is nothing that they can do. They don’t make decisions about medication, giving me help, admission to a place with support. From speaking with them the last time, I know that they agree with me. All that they can do is transport me to the hospital again and again, or, when it comes to it, give me CPR to keep my heart beating. Sarah takes a look at my cut and tells me it doesn’t need stitches but advises me to travel with them to AE to see the crisis lot again, despite already speaking with them earlier on. I sigh, and, for the very first time, I hear Sarah sigh. I don’t talk much as the young women do my blood pressure and body temperature in the back of the dimly lit ambulance. They know it isn’t about the physical with me. They also know that in five to six hours I will be sent home after waiting there on a hard chair most of the night. They know that I’m trapped in this system, desperately fighting to stay alive, keep my head above water, and they’ve realized that I’m beginning to sink.