Beauty in the Mending: Cut, cut, cut away

Beauty in the Mending: Cut, cut, cut away

By Iteti:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I'm not angry; I'm not pissed. I'm just mad as hell!

Mad at myself for feeling this way. Loving a man who doesn't love you back; a man, who it seems will never love you back. A man who would rather love every other woman before he even notices you exist! I am mad as hell! Heck, I'm madder than hell! Who do I think I am, falling for someone as gorgeous and intelligent as he is??? Who do I think I am? Kim freaking Kardashian? He isn't out of my league, is he? He definitely is. He's smart, funny, kind, intelligent, not to mention gorgeous. Feelings, why did you have to aim so high? Couldn't you have settled for someone more inclined to notice a mess like me? Did you have to go and aim for the freaking sun? I am mad, yes and with damn good reason too.

See, it all began a couple of years ago when we got to talking. A time when I yearned for my parents' approval, I longed to be accepted by my peers, wished that I was thinner and struggled with depression. A time when I wanted my world to be right but it wasn't. I told him everything – about my family, friends, ex-boyfriends and the self-mutilation. He listened, he comforted and he consoled, he told me I was one of the prettiest girls he had laid eyes on yet. I was miffed and even as our friendship grew, it didn't cross my mind that we might become too close. One day while we talked, he blurted out an “I would consider dating you”. We considered each other; I probably more than him. He had a long line of admirers but that didn't bother me at the time – I was fine being just friends.

There was hope for me. He had brought light into my world, so we went out a couple of times – ate, drank some wine, talked. I felt special. It was good for a while until I got a crush on him and eventually fell in love, only to find out that the feeling wasn't mutual. Of course I was heartbroken. I thought we had something. I was devastated. I had opened up my heart again, foolishly hoping he was “the one”. I had vowed not to let my heart get hurt again and gone back on my word. He wasn't decided yet, he told me – he didn't know what he wanted. He hadn't found what he was looking for.

My heart sank. Am I not pretty enough? Smart enough? Funny enough? What is it? Isn't the curve of my hips proportional or appropriate? Am I “working it” all wrong? What the hell is wrong with me? No answer.

So I did a slight sojourn in the sewers of self-pity. It didn't take very long for depression to set in and when it did, with it came a darkness of the soul. With every question about my inadequacy came another reason for my need to escape. I wasn't the smartest in my class, nor the classiest, or the most “hip” or fun person to hang out with. I was average and that just didn't cut it – I didn't stand out enough for him. I was a loser and I felt it; he showed me that I was a loser. He took me for a ride and dumped me by the side of a deserted road when he was done. My heart sank lower and lower every day. I needed to get away.

Ecstasy, the man at the club called it. I was ecstatic! I had found the great escape route. One sniff, two, three, four. One puff, two puffs, three puffs of the good stuff. All the questions disappeared, my world was swirling, spinning round and round and surrounding me were bright colours. It felt like living in a kaleidoscope. The bartender said it would be the best grass I ever tasted. And it was. We chewed on it and sipped some brew. We slipped aspirin down our coke cans at the cafeteria. Instead of hubbly and water, we spiked it with a shot of vodka before class. Life was a buzz, it went hard and fast. Its tempo and pace increased with my escalating need to kill the voices in my head; the pain of the fork in my heart. I saw unicorns, and green flying monkeys during my “retreats”. I immersed myself in it with every waking moment. Soon, I was never without my high.

This is where my story begins; when I woke up one morning strapped to a hospital bed with tubes stuck in my arms and down my throat. Sharp pain shot through my arms and legs as I tried to move. Turns out, I had slit my wrists and thighs with a piece of broken glass in one of the bathroom stalls at a party lounge.

The lady in the bed next to mine had a visitor. I heard her say in her local patois, “Hmph! Ungrateful children these days, trying to take their lives.”

Embarrassed, torn, heartbroken and lost, I began to weep. I tried to breath and realised I had forgotten how.

I am only 21. Will I ever be whole again?

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

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