Can you imagine it?
“Some people self harm as a way to get rid of their symptoms. They feel the stress building up and up inside them until the only thing left they can do is-” he makes a slicing motion on the inside of his forearm. “Can you imagine it? Can you even imagine?”
Yes. Yes I can imagine it.
Because we were late today, we ended up sitting front row centre. I was right in front of him, our lecturer, while he said it.
And I tried not to let any feeling show on my face. Tried to hide the shining of my eyes and the tremble in my lip as he discussed, matter of factly, the statistics surrounding people who self harm later committing suicide. Talking about the stress relieving qualities of self harming as something so abnormal he couldn’t even imagine it. The same tone they use to talk about thought insertion in schizophrenia.
Later on I’m a bit pissed off. He couldn’t have any idea as to the mental state of the people in the room. Self harming isn’t all that uncommon, especially in its milder forms, like mine. Medical school is a highly stressful environment, and doctors are renowned for their high rates of suicide. The possibility that at least one student in the room self harms in response to stress isn’t actually that unlikely.
I had to fight off the temptation to yesterday morning, simply because I was tired, it was early, and I couldn’t seem to get any of their clothes to match. It’s not a reasonable response, I know it’s not a reasonable response. That doesn’t mean that the response isn’t there.
Don’t even know what to think. I don’t really care about some offhand comments a lecturer makes any more. But about this time last year, when I was at my most vulnerable, who knows what the fuck something like that might have done to me?