“I am not my carvings”

Project Description:

I was fifteen at the time, and I was attending a boarding school in Arizona. My father was abusive, my mother was not willing to deal with my acting out any longer, and so I had been sent to Arizona in hopes that I would, “Come back a better child”. I had dealt with my issues through cutting for 3 years at that point, and needless to say my self esteem was very low. I had been struggling with depression, that often times got so bad that I could not find any motivation to wake up in the morning. I would lie to the nurse and say I was sick just so I didn’t have to face my daily routine. Everything had just felt impossible.

I started dating a boy a few months into my stay at the boarding school, and everything went well, for a while anyway. The boarding school was a small one,; there were about 60 students attending, and it seemed like everyone’s favorite past time was to break others down. I believe it was a way for us to make ourselves feel better about the situation we were in. We all lacked compassion.

I don’t quite remember how the situation had conspired, but one night I found myself with one of my friend’s boyfriend on the field arguing. We were calling each other names and screaming at each other. And then he spat in my face. I had never in my life felt more humiliated and low, Everyone laughed, my boyfriend at the time included. I suddenly was filled with anger and tried to punch the boy who had just spat at me. He was faster than I was and dodged every attempt, laughing as he did. So, I gave up, and started to walk to my dorm, holding back the tears of humiliation and anger that were forming in my eyes. As I walked away, I heard the guy who and just spat in my face say to my boyfriend,

“She’s just a pair of legs to you, isn’t she?”
To which I heard my boyfriend respond, “Yeah, pretty much.”

That night I carved those very words into my right leg.
“Nothing But A Pair Of Legs,”

I regretted my decision instantly. For months after that, the kids at my school would tease me for my leg. They would say those words to me, over and over, or ask me how my leg was doing.
I wanted nothing more during my stay there to just disappear.

After I left the boarding school, I would find myself wanting to cut as a means to cope. I gave in a few times.
But then, it came to the point where when I would get depressed and want to cut, I would look at the scars, the one on my leg specifically, and I would think about my body. Did I want to walk down the aisle one day, hold my soon to be husband’s hands as we made our vows and have that be the thing he noticed? Did I want to move past the painful time I was enduring, or did I want to be reminded of it every time I looked at my body?

I am not saying I am perfect, but from that night in Arizona when I was fifteen, to tonight in Colorado as a nineteen year old, I can honestly say that I am not my carving.