Pagan Moss' Peep Show Stories

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I Cut Myself

[Note: This story is about a girl I worked with at a dungeon in Seattle. I only worked there and with her for a couple of months.]

I sat in the dressing room in a chair directly across from Anna. I was already dressed and made up for the day. She just came into work, wearing her usual baggy attire - gray sweat pants and a men’s white t-shirt, donning a pair of old sneakers. She was not wearing a bra (she never wears a bra) and the curves of her breasts and the stiffness of her nipples poking through the fabric caught my attention. I tried to distract myself by asking her how she was feeling.

“Tired,” she said. “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said, leaning back into my chair. I picked up a magazine that was on the floor next to me and pretended to flip through the pages.

Without hesitation, Anna pulled her t-shirt over her head. I watched her bare breasts lift as her arms stretched upwards, revealing black, febrile hair underneath each arm. She sat down on a chair and neatly folded her t-shirt in her lap and placed it on top of her suitcase. She reached with both hands towards the back of her head and undid her hair, which was pulled back in a loose bun. She shook her head back and forth a couple of times until her long, black, curly hair fell down. The color and texture of her hair was in stark contrast to that of her skin, which was creamy white - perfect. Her skin looked like that of a child’s . . . still innocent to the harshness of nature’s elements.

I noticed for the first time that she had a couple of strands of coarse, gray hair near her right temple. I was surprised as Anna was only in her early 30’s and could easily pass for being in her early 20’s. She was remarkably fit as she had been a ballet dancer when she was younger.

She stood about 5’7 and had a dancer’s body - long and lean with beautiful, shapely legs. She carried herself with grace and I admired the way she looked in a short skirt, the way her heels caused her hips to tilt forward ever so slightly, accentuating the arch of her lower back where her long hair hit, and the curve of her behind.

Anna stood up, kicked off her old sneakers and slipped out of her sweat bottoms. She was wearing a nice pair of thin, pink nylon panties which were see-through. I could make out the dark patch of her bush underneath.

She folded her sweats and placed them gently on top of her t-shirt. She paused for a moment and then stood up, turning her chair towards the dressing room table and mirror. She leaned over and grabbed her makeup case which was on the floor next to her. She placed it on the counter and opened it up. She then took a couple of tissues from a box of kleenex and spread them out on the counter.

She reached into her makeup case and picked out several items, placing them neatly on the tissues. She picked up a bottle of foundation and poured some of the ivory liquid on a sponge and began applying it to her face. I admired her bone structure and profile and I enjoyed watching her put on her makeup. When I was little, I often watched my mom perform this morning ritual.

After the palette was prepared, she reached over and pulled out her lipstick. She took the top off, turning the bottom until a creamy red pillar emerged. She brought it to her pursed lips and pressed gently, tracing the contours of her mouth. When she was done, she rubbed her lips together and then gazed at her reflection, admiring her artistry. She then proceeded to apply makeup to her eyes - eyeliner, mascara, then eye shadow. She penciled in her brows until she had perfect arches over dark, smokey eyes, framed with thick, long lashes. She finished by applying light brush strokes of pink blush across each cheekbone. She looked amazing . . . although she looked amazing without the makeup, too.

When her face was done and she was satisfied, she picked up the bottle of foundation again and poured some more ivory liquid on the sponge. She extended her left arm and appeared to be examining it. For the first time, I noticed that she had several thin, shiny, raised scars up and down her arms. I also noticed that she had a fresh cut in the middle of her left forearm. “God, these scars are ugly,” she finally said. “Like the guys aren’t going to see these.”

Not noticing the scars before, I asked her what happened. Without thought or hesitation, she said, “I cut myself.”

I had heard of self-mutilation, but had never known anyone personally who suffered from this disorder.

I wasn’t sure how to respond so I settled on, “That must hurt.”

“Not really,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for a long time.” She started covering the scars with the foundation. It took several layers until she was finally satisfied. She opened a container of powder and dipped a brush inside. She blew the excess powder off and gently brushed the fine powder over the length of her arm. “There,” she said. “That will have to do.”

Anna picked up a long silver necklace with a large pendant dangling off and proceeded to put it on. Her head hung forward as she struggled to get the necklace clasped.

“Do you need help with that?” I asked.

“That would be great,” she said.

I stood up and walked over to her. I took the necklace from her hands. I could see the scars up close now, especially the new wound, which was still quite noticeable under the makeup. I wanted to kiss it - I wish it would be that easy to make her better.

I clasped the necklace. She thanked me and walked back over to my chair.

As she began dressing, she explained that her father and mother were abusive when she was growing up. Her mother suffered from munchausen's by proxy and would poison her intentionally. Sometimes her mother gave her rotten food and sometimes she would add poison to her meals. She said she was always sick as a child . . . she couldn’t remember feeling well.

When she got sick, her mother would nurture her and make her feel better. Anna would eventually recover, only to get sick again. A vicious cycle ensued that continued until she left the house as a young adult.

Anna went on to say that her parents enrolled her in ballet when she was a child and she believes this also contributed to her problems. She was on a rigorous schedule and her instructor was very strict. At one point, she broke her leg during practice. She believes the cutting stems somehow from this period of her life.

Anna said her fondest memory from childhood was when her dad took care of her while her leg healed. She really felt loved for the first time in her life.

She explained that the allure of cutting herself comes from knowing that trapped pain will be released from within. Once she cuts herself and the pain is out, she can then focus on making herself feel better by tending to her wound. “It is the healing part that is the best,” she says with a smile. “Knowing that it is me healing myself . . . not anyone else.”

She went on to say that the good feeling only lasts until the wound is totally healed. After that, she starts feeling the need to cut herself again. When she decides to cut herself, she usually ends up breaking several glass items in her apartment and using the shards to cut with.

When she wakes up the next morning, she is exhausted and the apartment is a mess with glass everywhere.

“That’s why I’m so tired today,” she said smiling.

After listening to her story, I wished there was something I could do. I asked if she had considered getting help.

She smiled, saying, “I’ve been doing this for a long time . . . This is just part of me.” She told me that she feels normal in every other way and has no intentions on getting help. She was firm in her response and although I didn’t agree, it wasn’t my place to push the issue further.

After that day, we didn’t talk much more about her cutting herself.

I watched as the cut on her arm healed. I knew that it soon would turn into a scar like the rest and that a new cut would emerge shortly thereafter.

However, Anna ended up moving to Montana before I saw that happen.

I’m sure the ritual continues somewhere: the breaking of glass, the shard pressing down firmly, cutting into her soft, white flesh, drawing a line of bright red, waking up exhausted, cleaning up the mess, tending to the wound, and savoring the healing process.

All is good again . . .

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