by Jee

There needs to be more words about genital self injury. 

I’ve spent time deciding whether to get medical attention. I need it. I can’t talk about it. The words won’t come out. I’ve come up with a plan this time. I scribble what’s happened and where on a piece of paper. I get myself to the Emergency Department. I’ve been here before for the same reason I call it the walk of shame, I deserve the judgment I get. I’m dreading going in. It’s very busy and I think everyone there somehow knows why I’m there. 

I’m at the booking in desk. My head is down. They ask me my name and I can’t answer. I’ve written it on the piece of paper along with my date of birth, address and GP surgery. I know the drill. They read what I’ve written but still they ask for more details about the injury. I think everyone can hear. I don’t answer and they get a bit shirty with me. They tell me to wait for my name to be called by triage.

They didn’t give me the paper back. I’m called through to the triage room. The questions start again. I look in my bag to see if I have pen and paper. I don’t. I can’t talk about it the words won’t come out. “How do you think we can help you if you won’t talk to us?!”  can’t talk about it. The words won’t come out. My eyes feel like they will start leaking but I hold them back somehow. I won’t write more words about what happened during that visit but I will say that I vow never to go there again. 

The next time is a very similar experience until I get to the treatment room where the Doctor says “Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I will do everything I can to make this as comfortable for you as I can” My eyes leak and to my surprise I speak the words “Thank you” 

I can’t write more for now. The words won’t come out. I  hope others might write some too. 

People self injure in many different ways and for many different reasons. When I look through lists from the usual awareness places I don’t see genital self injury listed. I Google search from time to time but this brings the same few research papers full of assumptions that aren’t written by people like me. I feel so ashamed and lonely. 

There needs to be more words about genital self injury.