inspiration on a subway

something i started today


My sister is a cutter.

I watched people on the train today looking at a woman with tattoos.  Her tattoos cover her arms and legs and back.  She’s wearing all black and it seems that every area of exposed flesh is covered in black ink.  They watch her, diverting their eyes so as not to stare because starring is rude.

People look at my sisters scars like .  Both wrists with uniformed lines of raised flesh that’s a lighter complexion than the rest of her skin.  You don’t notice them right away and she’s stopped being ashamed of them.  If you look closely you can see them; these lines of raised flesh.  Horizontal lines starting at the crease of skin where her palm and wrist meet and continuing up her forearm until about her elbow crease.
I remember when I first learned about them.  It was five years ago the summer before I left for New York.  I got a phone call from my mother telling me that my sister tried to kill herself.  That she was in the hospital.  That I should come soon.  We found out later that her boyfriend had found her like that, in the bathroom covered in blood a razor in her hand.  The psychologist told us that she didn’t try to kill herself, really, the cuts (plural) were not deep enough and there were so many of them.  She was a cutter. 

A cutter.  In so much pain mentally, she needed to feel physically manifested self inflicted pain.  That’s what the doctors said.  She did it again, to her other wrist about six months later and again to the first a year after.


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