Missing language

Tw: self harm

When I was younger I made up a lot of words.

I wish I could remember them. There had to be some good ones in there.

For example: Meeping.

I didn’t know anything about my changing body, nor the strange but good feelings it could produce. I wouldn’t have an official “talk” with my mother until some years later, so I made up a word for that strange feeling. It’s one of the made up things I kept with me over the years, almost like a reminder of how terribly lost and uninformed I felt.

I don’t remember exactly the first time I intentionally hurt myself, but I remember the feeling. Everything felt like too much. There was no outlet for anything. I needed a distraction for the mess in my head. The thoughts going so fast that they blurred around the edges. Besides, other people did it. It was part morbid curiosity and another part helplessness. I never left any marks but I still found a way.

There are resources of course, more holistic ways to help you self-regulate. I think of self-regulation as another one of those things you learn way too late in life. One of my favorite that I’ve yet to try is showering fully clothed. It sounds like screaming with no sound. It’s just fucked up enough.

Saying that I relapsed last night sounds dramatic. Because the regulation rituals I do don’t seem that violent. But this time was different: a different method that required a clean up. Once I was done, my brain finally shut up.

The worst part about this, and mental health in general, is that nothing is wrong. Not really. I was happy enough, looking forward to spending time with friends and a busy weekend. Nothing tangible is ever wrong, and I think that’s where the “illness” of mental illness comes in. You can’t really see it. And I don’t have real words for it; only feelings.

I’ve been re-parenting myself through TIKTOK. Watching “gentle parenting” videos and internalizing the methods. Inner child, trauma hidden in the body, these terms make me cringe. After all, nothing is really wrong, right? But if that were the case, tipsy me would not have been digging for the disinfect spray last night.

I need these language lessons.

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