I remember doing stupid things when I was a kid. Stupid things to hurt myself. Some clinical experts might suggest that I was doing these things in order to draw attention to myself. Maybe that's true. It is a little difficult to draw attention to yourself when your parents were never around. Plus, being immigrants, they were far too busy trying to raise three kids in a new country, that they were always at work. As early as I can remember, I've always had my own key to the house. Even when I was in kindergarten. I was a very mature, very responsible kid. I'd call my mother at lunch to tell her I got home. And then I'd call my grandparents to tell them I got home okay after school. But there was no one to take care of me...except me. I don't blame anyone; my parents worked hard to get me where I am today. But that's probably why I was such an easy target.
When I was a kid, I'd do things to hurt myself physically. It's hard to imagine doing them to myself now, especially knowing what it would feel like. I have to wonder though, didn't I know what pain was like? I knew that cock sucking could be pleasing. And that fucking could cause orgasm. But that as pleasing as it is to the one with the cock, that the other would have to suffer through physical pain. So why did I do it? I don't know. I don't want to try to psychoanalyze my actions.
My mother told me to turn the stove off and move the pot of rice off the hot burner. I was probably six or seven at the time. I did, but something about the stove's element, those bright rings, entranced me. And I barely thought about what I did next. I lifted my forearm and put it down on the element. I can't remember if I cried at all. All I remember is the smell of searing flesh. My mother walked in at that point and screamed. She grabbed me and pulled me away. Her first instinct was to yell at me, "what did you do? Why did you do that?", but I had no answer. But that wasn't the only time. Remember those old frozen juice cans? The ones you'd need a can opener for? It was so shiny, so jagged, something inside me, maybe a voice, told me to run my entire thumb along it. I swear, it didn't hurt, but I could see the bone underneath, even as the blood flowed down my arm. I remember walking outside to the front of the house, thumb dripping, opening the door, and hearing my sister and mother's startled voices. My sister ran me into the house and put my hand under water, while my mother got the bandages. A few years before, I distinctly remember hearing a voice in my head telling me to, while I was sitting on my bike, throw (or roll) myself down a set of concrete stairs. My father says I woke up laughing when I finally revived.
I spent years, from 14 into my early 20s trying to find a way to kill myself. And I don't even know why. All I know is that I felt like there was a big huge cloud hanging over me that I couldn't escape. And that the only way to get rid of it was to get rid of myself. I drank bleach. I took pills. I stole my brother's car one night and drove into an abandoned parking lot in the middle of the night and tried to gas myself. I tried slitting my wrists. And even though I don't try anymore, I still think the world would be a better place without me sometimes.
As I grew older, I put myself into positions where I'd know I'd be hurt emotionally. Whether it was friends or one night stands (and I've had quite a few) or relationships with men or family, I always made sure I was hurt. I became friends with people who'd use me, and then I'd complain about it later, and lament over why they weren't friends with me anymore. I'd chase after men that wanted nothing to do with me. I'd sleep with men who didn't even want to know my name. I'd date men that treated me like shit. Just anything to get myself hurt. Maybe that was because I didn't think I deserved any better. I have a lot to be thankful for now. But I still don't know if I do deserve any of it.