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March 14, 2014

Jenn’s Story

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Everyone carries scars on their heart. They walk around with a smile on their face and try forget things in their past. Mine are visible. Still, the ones you can’t see are still more painful. My life as a former cutter began when I was very young.

From the time I was very young I knew I was different. I grew up around a lot of boys so my competitive streak was unsettling for most girls. The otherwise effects of being a “Tom boy” is never crying, never showing weakness and never backing down. Though it has made me tough it came at a cost.

When you feel weaker for crying you pick up other outlets. Seeing the boys hit things when they got mad rubbed off on me. One day I hit a mirror and cut up my hand. Instead of freaking out, I stayed calm and cleaned up the mess before my parents saw the wrecked mirror. I realized that the pain in my hand was distracting my outrage that caused me to attack my poor looking glass in the first place. So, my next outburst, I tried cutting intentionally. I carried that secret for years. I was very good at hiding in general so hiding one small portion of my life was surprisingly easy. I did have some positive outlets but they always left me feeling out of place.

Competing was one of the few healthy outlets I had. Boys were something I had to keep up with or I’d lose some of the few people I was even remotely accepted by. I could play basketball, ride dirt bikes, shoot with impeccable aim, was rugby champ and won my fair share of backyard wrestling tournaments. In fact, it was that crazy, short chic attitude that gave me the nickname demon midget. To this day some family members and old friends know me as D.M. Now it’s my Roller Derby identity.

I never needed approval from anyone. I was strong, confidant and a force to be reckoned with all my life. Then one day I realized why and my whole world fell apart.

The day my dad was killed my world was shattered. Every security blanket I had was ripped from my balling fists. He was my backup plan if things got too heavy for me to handle. Now, I’m alone and have to defend myself because he’s not there for safe keeping if I’m not strong enough. He was my confidence. He laughed when I wasn’t funny; he always saw the good in me when I personally felt useless. I was the oldest and he always told me how strong I was and how I could do anything when faced with no choice. He always commented on how I was as strong willed as my mom but as stubborn as him. If you said I couldn’t do something I immediately went out and did it.

Remembering those comments made me look at my mom. Financially she did what she had to do to raise us alone. She was our rock and quietly suffered the lonely nights without complaint. She didn’t have time to complain. I decided it was time to pull up my big girl panties and be who I needed to be. I would face my habits head on and be stronger than any man who was brave enough to put me down.

Ironically, the last cut I ever intended to make almost killed me. I was terrified but I got back up and pushed on. After talking to a doctor after odd things were happening to me they said anymore cutting and my veins would collapse. I had done too much damage and my body couldn’t handle it. So I did what I could to find other ways to express my anger and other negative emotions. But my struggle wasn’t over.

Cutting became a thing of my past and I tried to make healthier decisions but as fate would have it I found abusive relationships instead. I’ve been treated like garbage, pushed around physically and emotionally and brought down to all time lows. I’ve put up with more shit than any self-respecting woman should. In the process I forgot who I was to the point I barely recognized myself at all. It’s like trying to keep your head above water just enough to not lose yourself completely. I finally had enough and walked. I’ve learned a lot from it all and I hope I never forget those lessons. forget those lessons. To help ensure that I got ink that would always remind me of where I’ve been and what I learned. I have a Norwegian rune for moving on surrounded by Gaelic writing that says “Hold fast, little one” to represent my heritage and to remember that I’ll survive the storms. My rib piece is the serenity prayer with the date my dad died. We always disagreed on religion but the tattoo is a tribute to show I still took from what he taught me.

My wrist chakra was done after my nervous break down. It reminds me to never sweat the small stuff. My arm has a bird scene that me and my sister got for her birthday. The birds represent us and my dad is the missing puzzle piece. This reminds be that even though a piece of my heart is missing I’m not alone. I’m certain I’ll add more tattoos as I learn trial and error because when it comes to me, I’ll always leave room for error. Taking risks is the poi t of living in my opinion.

Letting someone make you feel like you don’t deserve anything, you’re not strong enough to be anybody and never deserve love is something I never want to go through again. I may still be finding my place in this world but I refuse to ever again believe I don’t belong in it at all.

Jenn

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