Friday, May 22, 2009


So here's the thing.

Even though I'd not call myself a 'recovered' self-harmer it has certainly been a month or two since I last partook in such an activity. For little over a year now I have been baring my arms whenever I felt warm enough, except in times of acute distress or in the prescence of yet another new wound.

In the UK I feel fine doing this, I wander around absently not really noticing myself. But every now and then I will get a comment. Perhaps from the well-to-do businessman who sees me as an inconvenience, perhaps from a deeply principled mother who sees me as a warning to her children, perhaps even from an elderly couple... who think it's just a sign of the times.
For the most part I deflect back at them... tell them that I had an accident, or got my arms stuck in a shredder - yes really, people buy that. But normally I just tell them that I went through a 'rough patch' - I neglect to mention the length of said patch.

In Guernsey I will happily wander around the beaches and cliff paths in a similar manner to my one in the UK... and people do not often ask questions. If I'm unlucky then I'll bump into an old teacher or friend of the family, who are duly horrified.
When I am with my mother or sisters - or any member of family - my arms are under wraps. I wear long sleeves morning, noon and night. I dress in the locked bathroom, I do not comment when others are hot and remove their outer clothes. I keep that part of me, secret.

They've seen them of course, on trips to visit me in a hospital or psych office. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let that happen ever again.

But here, in Alderney... I know no-one. The sea and the sand and the sun have no harsh words for me, no backwards glances. The people here are relaxed, and the holidaymakers too enthralled by the island to notice me. The rest of the people are sailors... and as a sailor myself I know that it's perfectly normal to be covered in bumps and bruises and war wounds - my legs are testimony to many a hostile overtaking at Cowes Week.

My point is, I feel free. I feel I can be myself. I always wear a bracelet on my left wrist - because that scar is too obvious an indicator of my intentions one night. Here though, I consider taking it off.

I don't want a big tan line, after all.


Awareness said...

Niki....your surrounded by healing I think....the ocean is part of your soul. xx

I don't think you took a good deep breath the whole time you were in the UK.... I'm glad you're finding your way with a big grin and beautiful bare arms.

Nikita said...

:) such a lovely message Dana, thank you. I think you are right - free from the constraints of a big city now all I have to focus on, is the sea.


Misty said...

just a quick message... I've relocated! I am now here! :D xxx

Nikita said...

*duly noted Jess* Hope you enjoy blogger! xxx

Gledwood said...

i hope you continue recovering


Nikita said...

Thank you Gledwood! Welcome to my blog. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Nikita,

Thanks for all your comments over at mine... it really means a lot.

You know self-harm and injecting are very, very similar things. When I first started injecting I took enormous pleasue from all the marks and bruises up my arm. I was externalising inner pain. Finally, I had some physical marks to show for the psycological scars.

I enjoyed doing it and I enjoyed showing them off. On a bus or train, holding the overhead rail as my shirt sleeze fell open revealing a hideously cut, blue, mauve and yellow arm. It gave me a secret pleasure... as if in some way it was my expression... my work of art.

That will sound silly to many people, but I think that you will understand that.

I'm glad you feel much better in Guernsey and you can bare your arms. Keep well & I'll do the same... thoughts & love, Shane. x

Rainbow dreams said...

I am so pleased to hear this Niki... exactly what you needed, xx

Nikita said...

Hi Shane, thanks for popping over.
I do understand. When I started self-harming the marks were a good way for me to tell how I was feeling - but I didn't let anyone see them. For me, they have always been a way for me to guage my feelings - I'd had a lifetime of other people doing that so was glad to find something for me.

Now that people can see them... I'm not ashamed of them because they do tell a story. But not a fairytale.

I don't know if I'll ever know exactly how I feel about it.

Much love, Nikita. xx

Thank you Katie - it does feel good. Well, the sunburn doesn't. It's quite a shock to my milky arms!