Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Butterfly's Wings

This past weekend emotionally hit me, boyfriend and his brother hard. Our close friend and one of my best friend deals with depression and self harming. I know, I know she needs professional help. I got news for you people she is on her 4th shrink.

I don't know how I would deal if my parents always promised to come see me on Christmas Day and they never did. They will come see her on different holidays, but Christmas they promise and then they never do. She has been upset by a lot. Her past kept haunting her and she was jealous of me...

I wasn't proud of that at all. I knew how much Mary Ann struggled with her depression and knowing that she was jealous of me didn't make things easier with me helping her to cope. However, I swear God has these angels he likes to call Rasbrowen/Raposo brothers.

When she cut (over 50 slashes to herself and two of them going up and down) on Friday night/Saturday morning that threw us all for a loop. I went to sleep feeling like something wasn't right. I knew Mary Ann had been off tonight. She had confessed to Chris' brother Frankie she liked him. I woke up about 3:45 sweating and I was browsing my Facebook (because isn't that what everyone does when they can't sleep?) I seen the following and I bolted out of my bed pulling on a sweatshirt over my tshirt and trying to move Jackjack without waking him and calling Chris:
Mary Ann's status from two hours before was haunting me. Frankie would watch Jackjack while Chris and I would go check on her. She wouldn't answer the door so Chris being his self resorts to busting down the door like he does when he is on duty with the fire department. What he did next left my mouth hanging open.

She was dizzy and fuzzy from blood loss. Chris check to make non of the slashes were to wide or long and then stripped her down to her underwear and then lifted her into the bathroom. I was horrified at the blood in her house. He flipped on the water and proceeded to haul her right into the shower with her screaming that it hurt and was too hot. He didn't say a word. When he asked for a wash cloth I didn't hesitate I could tell he was in mode to not be messed with. He scrubbed her slashes while she screamed that he was soap and it burned. 

I remember thinking it was odd that he looked relieve that she was screaming and begging him to stop. He explained to me later that his younger brother who used to cut didn't mind water or soap because he liked the pain and sensation. Mary Ann was different, very different. Chris (who is still fully clothed and in the shower with her) flipped the water to cold. I learned that was to constrict her blood vessels. He grabbed a shabby looking towel and dried her off. (I can remember thinking this is weird like 50 Shades and Leila and that thought made me almost laugh.)

What Chris did next made me gasp and made Mary Ann scream. He pour alcohol (not peroxide) onto the slashes. I know that had to be torturous with all of those cuts. She was swearing at him and screaming for him to stop. She finally called him a son of a b****. He laughed and said told her she the nail on the head with that one. She hated that he laughed and decided to call him a bastard. He was quiet for a second and then smiled and said that it was pretty much true. He told her that she could bite him if the next gash hurt when he put the alcohol in. She did and she said she almost passed out from the pain. She started crying that it hurt and he told her that cutting hurts more than just her.

He wrapped her in bandages and then lifted her to me. She looked like a poodle with her wrists and lower legs bandages. Chris went and dug through her clothing until he found loose fitting pajamas. I sat there and dried her hair while Chris talked to Frankie explaining what had happened.

Poor Frankie hadn't slept at all that night learning about self harm. It should when he brought Jackjack over to Mary Ann's. I was so afraid that Frankie was going to look at her with disgust. He looked at her with concerned instead. He handed me Jackjack and walked over to her (while looking at the blood) and sat beside her and searched her eyes. I could tell she almost started crying because you could see the concern in his face and the caring and possible love in his eyes.

He took her hand and started to drawing a butterfly on the back of her hand. He explained to all of us what he had found out while researching self harming. This is called the Butterfly Project:

1. When you feel like you want to cut, take a marker, pen, or sharpies and draw a butterfly on your arm or hand.
2. Name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
3. You must let the butterfly fade naturally. NO scrubbing it off.
4. If you cut before the butterfly is gone, you’ve killed it. If you dont cut, it lives.
5. If you have more than one butterfly, cutting kills all of them.
6. Another person may draw them on you. These butterflies are extra special. Take good care of them.
7. Even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support. If you do this, name it after someone you know that cuts or is suffering right now, and tell them. It could help.
He drew one on his own hand to show her that he was there for her as well. He took her leg and drew a Cookie Monster on her and told if she cut that she wouldn't get any cookies. Frankie sees himself as Cookie Monster because he eats at least 30 cookies of some sort a day. For her this was amazing. We fed her and Chris made her chase him to get her blood pumping. We spent the rest of the day having fun (including Alabama beating Georgia!)

What bothered me was what would have happened had Chris and I not busted down her door (Chris is paying to have it fixed btw.) Would we have found dead? Would she have finally come to her senses? 

I knew she self harmed, but I never dreamed I'd see it first hand. I had begged her to stop. I think part of me blames myself because I had pushed her to stop smoking (but that's equally as bad.) She had stopped smoking. 

Frankie stood out among every man I know last night. I knew the self harmed had bothered him because of his own past. His and Chris' baby brother was a huge self harmer and their own mother committed suicide and poor Frankie had tried to rip his own IV out when he couldn't get better.

Frankie had been working a basket for her. I was afraid a bear, food, and flowers would fade fast. He shocked his whole family and friends because he didn't put food and flowers (he did put a bear.) He gave her a stress ball that looks like a cookie that says if she wanted to release everything squeeze the cookie ball. 
If she wanted to cry, cry into the handkerchiefs that he had printed with sayings like: You are beautiful. You are can go on. You are worth more than what anyone tells you. He gave her two boxes of Twinings Tea that said if she wanted to drink to drink the tea. If she wanted to get high, stand on the foot stool he included and smell his shirt. He wrote on a water gun if she wanted to shoot herself use the it. He took off her bandages and put in it a picture saying if she wanted to her blood then look in the pictures frames with butterflies on them nonetheless. If she wanted to reminder of why she should go on use the note with his information and listen to her heart beat with the stethoscope. He also put a cd and a journal in there. However, the best thing he did. He went and had 3000 pictures printed of her and gave her a pair of dull scissors and told her to cut herself up all she wanted but he didn't want to see anymore scars.

His entire family and several friend was astounded by that last night. It was amazing. These are the guys that give girls hope when the rest of the population of men fail. 

Do not get discourage there is people out there that care this much about you if you are a self harmer. Take what he gave her and use it for yourself.

Mary Ann has now opened up completely. Not only has she cut before, she has also carved, she has also punched mirrors and glass windows to bruise and cut herself, she has scratched until her first layer of skin was gone, she has bit to the point that she made blood, she has pulled at her hair on her arms, put staples in herself and also embedded nails in her body. 

To many older adults they look at in disgusts saying these people just want attention. They do because they are not able to deal with life. I know many of us deal with life without self harm or drugs. Hopefully with time so will Mary Ann. She got saved Sunday so that's a start. 

Shocking fact:
Though not exclusively, the person seeking treatment is usually from a middle to upper class background, of average to high intelligence, and has low self-esteem. Nearly 50% report physical and/or sexual abuse during his or her childhood. Many report (as high as 90%), that they were discouraged from expressing emotions, particularly anger and sadness. - Mental Health America

The above video is from a website that has a great way to help people who self harm. I am checking into the iPhone App right now. Below are the numbers to help yourself or someone you love or care about. Please don't disregard what these people go through it could mean their life.

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255 
Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 
Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743 
Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438 
Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673 
Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272 
Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000 

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