I’ve been trying to love myself. Showers after work to lull me to sleep. Washing my hair to remind myself that although my beauty is skin deep, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to look pretty on the outside. I slathered myself with coconut oil, warmed in my hands. Leaving me slippery and soft.
But the smell makes me sick. Fear creeps into my chest as I try to figure out what is bringing these memories back. That as I lay in my bed or walk around these confined spaces, I smell the reminder of disgust and self hate. That regardless of how I may feel that day, no matter how much I love myself, I will always be pulled back into that time.
I’m self conscious as I remember scabs forming. Hard and difficult not to pick at. As I spread the oil on myself, they softened. Same as my will to live. Easy to peel away. I couldn’t get rid of them no matter how hard I tried. Another growing where fingers dug into my skin; they were harder and more painful than the last.
I slept with ice packs and prayed this feeling to go away. That this nightmare was really just that. That I’d wake up, grateful I could sleep it off. But I couldn’t. This was mine to keep.
Ice doesn’t remind me of restless sleeps and numb fingers. But every day as I attempt to love myself, I’m reminded of mistakes and regrets. Gently tearing myself apart with this scent.