I used to love painting. I wasn’t good at it. I just liked looking at colours take their true form on paper. A blank white sheet that didn’t have meaning before, would transform into a colourful canvass that held stories and secrets within its many traverses. It felt soothing to watch, orderly somehow. As though this is how it was supposed to be. Colour seemed to burst out from an empty space filling the void with depth and clarity. Something about seeing blood erupt from under my skin completes me, like seeing that painting come to life. It releases me, to know that I no longer have to contain the pain within me. Let it out, I whisper to myself. It does feel good. Little pin pricks of red scattered across my thighs and stomach map my body. They remind me of birthmarks. When I was young, someone told me that the birthmarks we see on our skin are wounds from our previous birth, and that any serious damage that happened to us, like a gun shot wound or a stab wound would show as a white or grey “patch like” birthmark. I bet in my next birth, my parents would point at these and amusingly speculate how these would have been wounds in this birth. I would then tell them that they remind me of stars scattered in the night sky instead. I wouldn’t want them to think that I’d been wounded this much, this many times. I hope they agree too.


Through this post I wish to remind you that there could be people around you who are hurting inside. Self-harm doesn’t necessarily have to be someone cutting themselves. It could be any form of harm. The person who is inflicting themselves find it a way to “release” themselves or so I’ve been told. They may not tell you up front, nor you may notice it at a glance. Not many of us are psychologists and we cannot offer any sustainable relief. But we can stand by them and offer them courage to get through it and direct them to people or places that can help them.

If you self-harm, please know that we, your friends and loved ones, believe in the beauty within you. No matter how bad things get, or how shitty you feel, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Please reach out to the people who care about you. There is hope.

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2 thoughts on “Birthmarks, cuts and paintings.

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