I scratched the itch and now I can’t seem to stop bleeding. I have left nail marks on my skin, I fear the scabs will scar. This was the only control I had left, retaining it obsessively until I let it go in such the same way. Now, there is no way to staunch the blood flow, we are past the point of bruising. I cannot recall how I obtained the scratches that eventually turned into wounds, adorning my skin like stars in the sky. They did not matter to me until they started to hurt.

I cannot narrow the ache or the origin. There are too many factors for it to be the fault of one, except the obvious: myself.

At least my clenched fists no longer make me bleed. At least my tongue is no longer trapped between my teeth. No one asked me to do so, it was a self-flagellation of my own idealized martyrdom. I reasoned that people will like me if I try to please them, even if that left me resenting them.

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