"Because it's a pain that I can control when it stops, whereas the pain inside. It doesn't stop. It never stops. It's not control over the pain I need, its that power to decide when enough is enough."
That's what she told me when I asked her why she cut. But that wasn't the whole truth. And as the tally etched down her legs, the reverse of the marking of ages against a doorjamb in her parent's house, I saw another truth. I gave her space until she felt safe enough to say it out loud. An addendum to the truth:
"I need the scars, I need to be able to blame them for being unlovable. Need to be able to blame my past, my craziness, the pain and those who caused it for being unlovable. For no one wanting me. Need them to cover my body so people see them first and the shape of me second. I need them as a mask. Because if the scars are gone then the truth is obvious. That no one wants me because of my body first, and my mind second.. and I can't blame anyone but myself for those things. The scars aren't my way of showing I need love and support, they are my way of hiding the fact that I understand why no one wants to give it to me."