Appearances are like icebergs

As much as I hate to write about anything relating to work, (it’s just too boring and…well…bleh!) this small encounter seemed to pull on a heart string of mine. Last week, I was checking a mother and her daughter out at the register when the daughter handed me another item she wanted. It wasn’t the item at all that intrigued (okay maybe intrigue isn’t the right word) me. It was what was on her wrist. 2 thin horizontal scars about an inch long. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not to recognize them, but I did and it made me start thinking.

What could have gone so wrong in this young girl’s life that made her want to harm herself? Besides the fact that that day their truck had broke down, which her mother informed me of at the check out counter. The pair seemed rather pitiful. Kind of country and kind of poor. The daughter was picking out jewelry for Homecoming. I had heard her mention to her mother the price of the earrings in her hand and her mother’s response was “that’s fine. I have the money.” I am not telling you this so that you can judge them on the other side of this computer screen, but to help you picture the scenario in your head. For whatever that’s worth.

I remember how much of a pain in the ass I was when I was in high school and went shopping for Homecoming. All of those social gatherings add up so for a mother to be that generous was a nice change. But anyways…

For all I know, the daughter could have forgotten those 2 scars were there. For all I know, she may have been silently telling me. I will never know, but witnessing that small yet HUGE thing saddened me.

I have had friends cut (I seriously hate that word) or hurt themselves due to depression or just feeling like they’re life was over. We’ve all had those moments in life when it seems we have hit rock bottom. When one of my then close friends told me what she did one day (over a year ago), I started crying. She showed me the small yet plentiful scabs on her wrist. She’s a brilliant, outgoing, popular girl with so much potential it’s unbelievable, but she has made some mistakes in her life. As we all have.I just hated that at that moment when she was alone she had contemplated hurting herself in order to feel relief. Where was I? What was I doing? You tend to ask yourself these questions like it would have mattered. She wouldn’t have told you right before she did it. She wouldn’t have invited you to join her. So why does it matter what you were doing or where you were? You couldn’t have helped!

It brought up the same question…what could be going so wrong in her life? I even went home later on that day still thinking about everything she had told me in the past wondering if any of it was a plea for help, but I couldn’t come up with anything specific.

*1 quick confession– whoever started spreading around that “cutting releases endorphins” should be slapped. Hard. There are MUCH healthier and safer ways to release those and to be happy. Don’t encourage it, dumbass.

Anyways…

Do people with intense psychological problems cry out for help all of the time, but we’re just too busy to notice? I honestly can’t answer that question because the truth is…it’s quite possible.

The upside to this depressing tale is that the young girl seemed happy. She was smiling and cheerful from what I could see. I really hope she has (or had if it passed already) a truly great Homecoming.

 

*-If you have done it yourself (no judgment!), just remember, you can save yourself, but only if you want to. If you have witnessed a friend doing this, tell yourself it isn’t your fault that it’s happening. You can try to stop it, but you won’t be able to unless that person wants to help themselves. It’s a hard realization to accept, but in all of the psychology classes I’ve taken, it’s actually true.

 

It’s the little things in life…

-C-

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