Years ago, I was a cutter.  My last day of cutting was December 12th, 2011.  I still remember bits and pieces of that day, but not all.  You see, the reason I don’t remember much of it is because while I was cutting myself that day, I also attempted suicide.  I had hit the end of my ability to deal with the daily physical and mental abuse I was receiving from my ex.  I had been with him for almost four years and I had turned into a shell of myself.  Throughout those four years, I was abused often.  I eventually blamed myself every time I was hit or cussed out.  So I resorted to cutting.  This was an unfortunate coping mechanism I had learned when I was a teenager to help me deal with the aftermath of a sexual assault, but that’s a story for another time.

Cutting was my release.  It was a way of turning my internal pain into external pain.  I was much better at dealing with external pain than the internal.  But, I finally went into therapy full-blown after I left him in order to fix my broken pieces.  And I did.  I’m so much better today emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

However, the scars remained.  They were a very visible reminder of how much I hated myself.  I’ve looked at those scars every single day for years now.  I always wanted to cover them up because that isn’t me anymore.  That pain is no longer part of me.  I am loved. I am loved by my friends, by my family, by my husband, by my children, and most importantly, by myself.  I needed something beautiful to look at instead.  But, I never could decide for sure what I wanted.

That all changed when my dad died.  I knew almost instantly what I wanted on my arm, and yesterday I finally got it.  His words to me, and to my siblings, all the time and especially when I was struggling to find myself again.

“Love you, kiddo.”

No matter what was going on in my life, in my mind, and during any of my darkest days, I always knew I was loved.  Even when I didn’t believe it or love myself, he made sure to tell me.  What better way to remind myself that I got past the worst and into the best by forever having my daddy’s words on the visual representation of the ugliest parts of my life?

I will forever cherish the memories of my dad, and I will forever be grateful that he loved me even when I didn’t love myself.


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