Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)
TITLE: It Stops Now
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Standing up, I looked into the mirror. My face was blotchy, my eyes puffy, I could hardly see. I listened to the sounds of the house, all was quiet. Good, he’s not here. He must really hate you; he’s never left without giving you a quick kiss. Why can’t I remember everything?
I crawled back into bed. The wheels in my brain were spinning. I remember burning dinner. John was nice, but I was furious with myself. You’re supposed to be the perfect wife. Poor John works all day, and you stay at home doing nothing. Even an idiot can cook a simple dinner without messing it up.
Shaking my head to try to stop the loop of insults, I flopped on my side and squeezed my eyes tight. I didn’t want to start crying again. John didn’t get upset with me until I started saying how stupid I was. He tried to convince me it was a mistake anyone could make. But I kept on hurling insults at myself. That’s when the real fight began.
I sighed and took a deep cleansing breath. That’s when I noticed the coopery smell in the air. Oh no, you idiot, what did you do? I closed my eyes, but the only thing I could see was the scene in the kitchen from last night. I pressed my hands against my temples and tried to squeeze the vision of me picking up the knife from my head.
My stomach started churning again; I threw the covers back. The sun streaming through the window landed on the bed. I leaned in; there were red smears all over the sheets. This time I sprinted to the bathroom; the bile flew out of my mouth before I reached the toilet and splattered all over the walls.
I flung my body onto the floor and wept. Suddenly everything from last night came rushing back. There was nothing I could do to change the past. You finally blew it. I knew it wouldn’t take long before you wrecked your idyllic life. You’ve no business being happy and you’ll never be happy again. The whole world is going to know what a disgusting piece of trash you are.
Growling, my dog came out from under the bed. She looked at me and started barking. Tingles went down my back. I recognized her bark; someone was at the door. For the first time, I looked down at my nightgown; it was covered in blood. There were crusty trails of brown dripping down my legs.
Tingles went down my back when I heard the door open. “Honey, it’s me and the minister; come on out.”
My heart thumped as I fumbled for my sweatpants; wincing I pulled them up and threw on a shirt. Slowly, shaking violently, I walked into the kitchen. I turned my eyes down. John walked over and held me in his arms as I sobbed into his chest. “Shhh, everything is okay. I’m so sorry; I didn’t know you were cutting again. I’ve been so busy at work, I wasn’t paying attention. I should’ve seen the signs. Can you ever forgive me?”
Tears coursed down my face, “I’m the one who’s sorry.”
He covered my mouth, “You have an illness; I wish you’d told me that you were cutting again, but I know the signs. I should’ve called Pastor Jim earlier. He’s made arrangements to get you admitted today to The Healing House. You’ve been self-mutilating for too long. If you want their help, that part of your life can stop today. It’s a difficult journey, but it’s worth it. You just have to take the first step.”
Author’s Note: Self-mutilation, cutting, self-harm is a mental illness that anyone can fall prey to. If you or someone you know needs help contact your doctor immediately. There is also a hotline in the US 1-800-DON’T CUT (366-8288)
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