By Emma

Sweating and shaking, my eyes burning. The people, the lights, the beeping, the smell of disinfectant. I gasp for air. I’m not here in A&E for me, and yet I tremble. The past is the present; the present is the past.  

I enter through the literal revolving door. The nurses all know my name by now. One of them tells me if I really wanted to die, I would be dead. Another tells me I have ruined my body, the patchwork of scars and stitches everywhere making any beauty obsolete. I am told I am an intelligent girl, why would I do this to myself; I am bashful and ashamed. They say to take responsibility for myself and I feel foolish for even arriving at A&E. I am undeserving, a waste of time and space and resources; I don’t even deserve local anaesthetic. As a prolific self harmer, it seems counterintuitive to ask for medical attention for something that I’ve done. Maybe they are right and I should take responsibility; I exit through the literal revolving door.

Someone is speaking to me, but their words are a haze and I do not process them. There is a tracking device in my hand, but nobody believes me. I go back and forth between A&E and my home for weeks, blurring the lines between the two. Nobody believes me. A scar encircling my hand is now a stark reminder of what happened. I was told I have capacity and was sent home.

Blue lights and sirens, a speedy getaway from a toxic place. I’m told I need a specialist for the cross that marked the spot. I’m close to something vital. I am indifferent this time; the where, when and how mean nothing. I was told I have capacity and was sent home. 

Years later the trauma of these statements, these situations, the things I have done to myself catch up to me. I self harm to stay alive, and yet I am not living. My body is full of unwanted souvenirs and mementos, and yet I did this. Knowingly or unknowingly I did this. The shame, the guilt, the graphic images and still; I did this. Nonetheless I am traumatised by these images, I am traumatised from the way I have been treated or rather untreated, I am traumatised.

Nobody talks about the visceral horror of doing these things to your body. Trauma leads to trauma that leads to trauma. 

Emma tweets @t0nkys