A/N. I know it's been over a month since I last posted anything, but that's because I've been lacking inspiration severely. A lot of things are going on right now and it's been almost impossible to concentrate on reading or writing fan fiction. Last weekend was especially rough, bringing some old feelings up to the surface. But it's because of these feelings that I was ultimately inspired to write this.
There isn't a very easy way to say this, but cutting is something I have struggled with in my life. Depression is always something that's managed to keep its hold on me. A lot of what you're about to read is real life experience. Camille's feelings, her thoughts, her helplessness, and some of her actions are all taken from times in my life that were especially hard.
I know that I'm not the only one out there who has struggled with this, and it absolutely breaks my heart. Please don't ever harm yourself. Know that what society says is wrong. You're not a freak for hurting yourself, not at all. But you also don't deserve to hurt yourself. You don't deserve to hurt at all. You do deserve to be happy, I promise. And I also promise that you're also stronger than you think you are. You will get through the dark periods in your life and emerge as a better person. You will be happy, please believe that. I love you all, I really do.
This particular story was inspired by the song, "The Way She Feels" by Between the Trees. I don't own anything.
She's upset, bad day, heads to the dresser drawer to drive the pain away. Nothing good can come of this.
She didn't even know who she was anymore. When she looked in the mirror, she no longer recognized the person who stared back at her. It was a complete stranger. It frightened her to see a pale face and dark, hollow eyes that did not belong to her, and she wondered why she was the only one who could see the monster inside of her.
Camille sighed deeply, wishing she could release all her pent-up, hidden emotions as easily as a breath of air. Everything would be so much easier then. She would never be unhappy and she would never have a secret to hide. She could find herself again.
But instead, she found herself, listening quietly to make sure that she was home alone. Her parents went out for dinner together after she told then she wasn't feeling that well. She hadn't exactly lied, but she wasn't coming down with a cold like they thought. Her sickness was much deeper than that. Nothing. No sounds except for her uneven breathing, shaky with tears.
Camille pulled open the bottom drawer in the bathroom cabinets and felt along the wooden surface. Her fingers brushed aside nearly empty bottles of nail polish and old hair ties. She pulled out her hair dryer and set it aside so she would have an easier time of looking. The second time she stuck her hand it, she found it right away. The blade was in reality, only a little heavier than a feather, but to Camille, it was so heavy with all of her shame and all of her secrets that she was afraid she might drop it. She held it tightly between her thumb and forefinger, and then lifted it up out of the wonderful thing was that her parents never looked in this drawer, so she knew that she could keep it hidden in plain sight and they would never find out.
Camille sat down the edge of the bathtub and tried to steady her breathing. Silent tears fell unchecked down her face as she pulled up the long sleeve of her black shirt. She was so glad that even in California, the winters could be cold enough to warrant long sleeves. That way, she didn't have any explaining to do. As for what she would do when it did get warmer, Camille wasn't planning that far ahead anymore.
She opens it up, there's nothing there, there's only left-over tears.
Mom and Dad have no right, she screams, the anger now runs down both of her cheeks.
The tears were blurring her eyesight and making it hard to see. Camille lifted her other arm and brushed it across her eyes. She blinked twice. There. Now she could see. Now she could see who she really was. The scars were uneven and crooked. Some were short, some were long. They were all in different stages of healing. There were several that had marred her skin several weeks ago, and then there were the ones from just last night, still red and sore. She pressed her finger to the freshest cut, the one just above the inside of her elbow and bit her lip as a tiny jolt of pain ran through her entire arm.
Camille rolled up her other sleeve and then held out both arms in front of her. "A perfect match," she whispered to herself. She had made sure that the cuts on her arms were identical with another. For no other reason then the fact that she simply wanted a way to attach the word, perfect, to herself. She was a perfect mess.
Camille wasn't exactly sure when or why she started. She had come to Hollywood with the highest of hopes to become a star. It had been her dream since she was a little girl. A dream she had chased after with all of her heart, certain that it would come true and make her the happiest person in the world. She had wanted to change Hollywood, but Hollywood had changed her. It had taken her sunny, optimistic outlook and shadowed it. It had taken her love of acting and had turned it into a nightmare filling her with so much pressure to be something she couldn't, that she felt like she would burst. It had taken her dream, along with her heart, and had smashed them both into tiny little pieces.
Camille rolled up both legs of her jeans and then sat there, totally exposed. She was still fully dressed, but the real her was finally exposed. Her arms weren't the only parts of her that had been cut. Her legs had several words scratched into the skin. Words that she associated with herself. Ugly. Fat. Broken. Disaster. Fake. Empty. Failure. Scared. Alone.
There was a name too, carved high up on her outer right leg. It was the name of a person who should have pulled Camille away from the edge, and instead had given her a great big shove: Jo Taylor. She had cut Jo's last name into her leg, because her two letter first name hadn't been enough punishment for Camille. Her whole name reminded Camille of how she would never be good enough and that Jo was just the first person to realize this. One day, they all would. Camille tilted her head and squinted. The A and Y in Taylor were both starting to fade, making it difficult to read unless she looked at it exactly the right way. She had thought about doing it again, over the old scars, so that blood dripped again to form the name more clearly. But then she realized that the scar would never really leave her. It might fade completely, but it would always be there. On her heart.
"You were right," she said softly, carefully tracing the name. "You were right to leave. I just wish I could forget you as easily as you've forgotten me."
Jo had promised to write a letter or email or call her at least once a week. And for the first two months, she had kept her promise. She told Camille all about how beautiful New Zealand was and all the people she was meeting. She told her how exciting it was to be the star on a huge movie sight. But slowly, the letters and emails became shorter, the phone calls more distant. Jo became less and less interested in what Camille had to tell her about life Hollywood and more prone to talk about the friends she had been making in New Zealand.
Then came the forgetfulness. She would forget to write, she would forget to call. She started sending quick, hurried emails, that contained half an explanation and half an apology. And Camille believed her at first, thinking that of course she just forgot. She was filming a major movie. She was busy.
But after the distance, after the forgetfulness, came the worst part of all. The deliberate ignoring. Camille's phone calls were never answered, and for the longest time, she wondered why her emails and letters weren't reaching their recipient. Then it had hit her, that they were indeed reaching Jo. Jo just wasn't answering her. Camille could have confronted her. More or less. Since Jo never picked up when she called, she would have had to settle for an email or a letter. Face to face would have been the best option if Camille could have afforded it, but she couldn't. She wanted to ask Jo if she had done something. She wanted to apologize for something, deep down, she knew wasn't her fault. But she never did. Camille wasn't afraid of asking Jo what was wrong and having Jo lie to her. She was afraid that Jo would tell her the truth. A lie would have been her saying that everything was fine between them and that she was just really busy. The truth would have been that Camille simply wasn't good enough for her anymore. And the truth hurt too much for Camille to hear. So, she stopped trying.
Accepting Jo's rejection and betrayal didn't make it easier to deal with. Camille couldn't fathom why it had happened. The only solution she could find was that she wasn't good enough. Jo was a big star now, everyone knew her name. Camille was still struggling to land small roles and get noticed at all. They weren't the same anymore. It wasn't just Jo. Not at all. It was everything in Camille's life that was wrong. And that was a lot. It had been the increasing distance she had been feeling not only with Logan, but with the other guys of Big Time Rush as well. They had been her friends after Jo left, but she had been pushing them away. It had been her parents and how they had been fighting so much lately. It had been her constant failure to land a role that lasted more than a minute campaigning for a brand of chips she would never even eat. No one wanted Camille. She wasn't good enough and she never would be.
Camille started to cry. She slid off the edge of the bathtub and onto the floor, shaking with sobs. It hurt so bad that she could barely breathe and she wished, oh she wished, that she couldn't breathe. She wished she didn't have to be alive to feel so much and at the same time, nothing at all. The depression, the numbness, was a curious thing for sure. It fascinated Camille how she could sleep so well at night and take a nap every day, and still feel so tired. Sometimes it was almost impossible for her to get out of bed in the mornings because she was so weighted down by the invisible blanket of sorrow that she could not free herself from. She was constantly exhausted and there were days when she didn't know how she was going to make it. She was sure that she would just collapse under the incredible and never get back up again.
It hurt too. The depression physically hurt. Camille often had anxiety and panic attacks that tightened up her chest and made her heart pound. When she was alone, she would lay on the floor, helpless to do anything but wait for it to pass. And when she wasn't having an attack, there were aches that made her feel as though she were a fragile, sick, dying person. She felt as though her heart would give out. The emptiness inside had become too much.
Then she closed her eyes, found relief in a knife. The blood flows as she cries.
Hardly thinking, because this has become a second nature to her by now, Camille pressed the blade to her leg once again. She dug in deeply until she couldn't hold back a small cry of pain, and then she pulled it over her skin. The blade fell from her hand in an attempt to catch the flow of blood before it stained the bathroom tiles. Camille hastily gathered a wad of toilet paper in her hand and held it against the cut, pressing her lips tightly together so she didn't cry out. The cut stung so badly that it felt like her whole leg was on fire.
Tears flowed freely and she cried for all that she had become. How had she reached this point? How had it become so that cutting herself was the only way she could feel? And what would everyone think of her once they found out? Logan was already asking her what was bothering her every time they saw each other. He was an intelligent boy. Eventually he would find out. She could practically hear them now. James telling her that she was beautiful, so why would she do this to herself? Kendall telling her that she should have asked them for help, because Kendall was as co-dependent as a person could get. Carlos' huge brown eyes would fill with tears and he would ask her what they, what he, had done to hurt her so badly. And Logan. Logan would be so lost and confused that he wouldn't know how to react. He would be like all of his friends mixed together, but the dominant emotion would be hurt.
"Why can't I do anything right?" she whispered once she had run dry of tears. "I'm hurting the people I love because the people who don't love me are hurting me."
All alone, the way she feels, left alone to deal with all the pain-drenched sorrow relief. Bite the lip, just forget the bleeding.
It was a circle of hurt. It confused her. She had ways been taught to be thankful for every blessing she had been given in life and she had also been told that in was important to dream. How could she separate and balance being thankful with being a dreamer. On one hand, if there were people who loved her, then the others shouldn't matter to her. On the other hand, why didn't the others love her. Was there something wrong with her that the ones who loved her hadn't yet seen? In that case, what would she do when everyone saw that she wasn't good enough for any of them? She wouldn't survive it. She just knew it. She was so broken and tired.
Camille didn't even realize that she had cut her leg again until she felt blinding pain that seemed to paralyze her. The cut burned, but through the haze of pain, another thought came to her: She felt no relief. The throbbing pain was all she felt. She didn't feel that crushing relief that came over her that said she had control of her life. There was nothing.
Camille gasped, her breath catching in her throat. She could hardly breathe. She stared hard at the flow of blood that trickled down her leg, waiting and waiting for the euphoria to fill her. "Please," she whispered. But there was nothing. Nothing. It wasn't working. Panic flooded her and before she could think twice, she slashed at her leg. Her leg felt as if it had burst into flames now and the blood was faster and heavier than it had ever been before. She felt a vague tickle in the back of her head as her vision suddenly blurred.
Blinking heavily, she reached for the toilet paper. Her fingers grasped at it, but she fell clumsily to one side. And that was when Camille really broke. She started sobbing loudly and so hard that she couldn't breathe. The pain in her leg was nothing compared to her heart. It felt as though instead of her skin, she had slashed right through her heart and now she was bleeding out. The emptiness was a hand around her through, strangling her. She curled up into the smallest ball she possibly could, trying to disappear into herself.
Then she closed her eyes, found relief in a knife. The blood flows as she cries.
Dimly, she heard footsteps and a voice, but Camille was so tired. She wasn't sure if it was just the depression or if she had finally cut too deep and she was. . . could she be so lucky to be dying now? Was this what dying felt like? Nothing and everything at the same time? Ice cold but like she was on fire?
"Camille? Are you home?"
Someone was in her apartment looking for her. Camille buried her head in the bathroom rug, trying to muffle her sobs. She hardly had any control over her body and the effort it took was tremendous. She was so weak. Please let this just end she though, closing her eyes.
"Camille, is that you? Are you okay?"
A knock at the door. Camille didn't bother to answer. It was a good thing she had locked herself in. Funny, up until a few minutes ago, she had made no plans to actually end her life. Not today anyway. And yet, here she was, laying on her bathroom floor, possibly bleeding to death
. Someone was pounding on the bathroom door now, yelling at her. Camille's head was already aching and the noise only adding to the jackhammer that seemed to be inside her brain. She squeezed her eyes shut as tight as she possibly could. Her fingers moved around the cold tile floor until they brushed over the blade. She closed her hand into a fist and took up the blade. Just one more time she thought.
Then, unexpectedly, there was a loud crash and her whole body jolted forward, surprised at the noise. The blade fell from her fingers and before she could think of reaching for it again, there were strong arms around her, pulling her up and into a lap. A choked voice was hovering between shocked whispers and hysterical sobbing.
Curled up, she's on the floor, the relief left her, she had hoped for something more from it.
"Camille, no. Please, no. Oh, god."
Was that a prayer or a curse? She wasn't sure. She did know that she was headed straight to hell though, because no one could hurt the angel so deeply and get away with it. Camille wanted to say something, she wanted to apologize, but she couldn't open her mouth. Her entire body felt numb and oddly fuzzy. Her brain was fuzzy. She could hardly think.
"Camille, open your eyes! Please don't go to sleep!"
A hand gently cupped her face and turned it up so that she almost had no choice but to open her eyes again and stare up again. He was crying. His face was so so so pale and tears were streaming down his cheeks. He had released her with one hand and was holding a phone to his ear, pleading with some stranger. "You have to hurry, please! She's dying! She's losing. . . so much. . . blood."
And he leans down the comfort her, she is weeping and he wraps his arms around and around and around.
It was getting harder and harder for him to talk, he was crying so hard. The phone tumbled from his hands and he gathered her into both arms again and held her as close as he possibly could. "Please." he whispered. "Please don't leave me, Camille. Stay with me. I need you, please."
No one needed her. She wanted him to stop wrapping her cuts, but she was too weak to try and pull away. She could only lay limp and nearly lifeless in his arms, while he tried desperately to keep her with him. Tears flooded her own eyes and she started to cry with him.
"Please." It was as if he had been reduced to that one word. "Don't leave me, please stay with me, Camille. I. . . I need you. I love you."
He loved her. Had he really said that? But who in their right mind could love someone like her? She had been given so much and she was still so damaged. Why couldn't he see that he was far too good for her? Why did he love her? Her face was wet with not only her tears, but his as well as he leaned down and pressed their lips together in an act that seemed so full of last desperation. The kiss was short and so gentle, but right before he broke the kiss, he exhaled, as if trying to breathe life into her. As if he were trying to breathe for her and keep her there. It would never work and he had to know that. But he did it anyway.
"I love you." he said again, broken. No. He was shattered. She had done this to him.
A shudder ripped through Camille, though he tried to hold her steady. What had she done? Camille managed to find his hand and give it a small squeeze. He sensed her silent message and leaned in close again, waiting. She tried to take a deep breath and almost choked. But she managed to say one last thing before she lost consciousness. "I'm sorry, Logan."
The deeper you cut, the deeper I hurt, the deeper you cut, it only gets worse.
Everything hurt. That was her first thought when Camille found herself struggling into consciousness again. Her second thought was, I'm not dead. She took a moment to think of how she felt about this. She wasn't dead. She was alive. And, from the blinding white she saw when she cracked open her eyes, she was in a hospital.
Camille winced, but tried again, this time opening her eyes all the way. She was indeed in a hospital. The walls were white. The ceiling was white. The floors were white. The lights were white. Too much white. The bed was white too.
The turned to her left and a tiny gasp escaped her lips. "Logan," she breathed. Logan was laying beside her on the bed, his arms wrapped around her as if he had never let go. He was staring at her, as if trying to figure out if he was dreaming or not. His eyes were swollen and bloodshot, still leaking tears.
"Camille," he whispered finally.
"Is she awake? She we call for the doctor? Camille, baby girl."
Her parents' voices were fading in and out as Camille struggled to regain full consciousness. They were both talking so fast that she couldn't understand anything they were saying. But they were also both crying. Crying. She had made her mother and father cry. Logan was running his fingers through her long dark hair, whispering soothing words to her as if her parents weren't there. Even when the doctor was finally paged for and came in, he acted like it was just the two of them.
It was then that she saw the scars. There were invisible, and yet she saw them all the same. She had given him scars as well. Uglier and deeper than hers, they were in his eyes and, she was sure, his heart. For all she had done to herself, the damage she had done to Logan was far greater. "I'm sorry," she whispered, her voice dry and hoarse. Tears again. Would she never run out?
"Shhhhh," he murmured, kissing her forehead and holding her close to him. "Don't apologize, Camille. Just stay with me. Stay with all of us. Please."
Now she's slowly opening, yeah she's slowly opening, new eyes. . .
"I will." she replied. And to her surprise, she really and truly wanted to stay. She felt safe and sound in Logan's arms, even though he was crying and her parents were there and everyone was so upset. Even though she had hurt them so badly, she had hurt them because they loved her. They wanted her to stay with them. They couldn't feel so strongly about her and be wrong, could they?
Camille didn't remember falling asleep, but suddenly she was waking up again. She woke up feeling just as she had when she fell asleep. Surrounded by peace and love. What a different, curious feeling. She didn't want to question it though. She wanted it to last forever. She shifted slightly, closer to Logan, who to her knowledge, still had yet to move. He was awake too. Had he slept at all? Judging from the dark circles under his eyes, no. "Logan," she whispered.
"Hi, Camille," he replied, finally smiling a little bit at the sound of her voice. "How. . . how are you feeling?"
How was she feeling? She wasn't feeling completely healed and whole, but she wasn't feeling empty either. She was somewhere in the middle. Not healed, but healing? "Better," she spoke aloud, because it was for the most part true.
She had been expecting that. Swallowing hard, she shook her head. "I don't know where to start," she admitted.
Immediately, he was comforting her though. "You don't have to tell me now, Camille. But. . . was it anything I did? I'm so sorry, Camille. I should have. . . I should have known. I should have-"
How would he have known when not even her own parents had known? Perhaps she was a better actress than anyone had thought. That was sick irony, wasn't it? "Logan, it wasn't your fault at all." she whispered, because he had to know at least that much.
"But I knew you were upset." he insisted. "I knew something was wrong. And I let. . . I let this happen to you. We all did. How could we do that?"
She opened her eyes and found relief through his life, and put down her knives.
"Because I lied." she said brokenly. "I lied and told you everything was fine. When I couldn't lie that much, I lied and told you something else was bothering me. You would have found out eventually, I knew you would. And I was afraid-
" Logan waited patiently, stroking her hair as he did. "What were you afraid of?" he asked so gently that she knew she could tell him.
"I was afraid that when everyone found out. . . they would leave me. I wanted to be a star in Hollywood, Logan. I wanted to change Hollywood, but it changed me. It rejected me and I felt like I couldn't do anything right. I'm such a failure."
"Camille." he sounded so sad. "Camille, no you're not. You're not a failure at all."
"Then why can't I do anything right?" she sobbed quietly into his shirt. "Why can't I get any acting jobs, Logan? No one wants me. That's why I- I was afraid that everyone would leave me like Jo, and so I decided that I would be the one to leave. I was just so. . . tired of being a burden to everyone. Now look at me."
"I am looking at you." Logan held her gaze and spoke with such gentle intensity that everything, even her thoughts, faded away. "Camille, do you know what I see?"
"A disaster?" she asked.
"No." he brushed away her tears and kissed her softly on the lips. There was so much love in the brief kiss that even when he drew away to look at her again, Camille felt as though he was still there with her. "I don't see a disaster. I see a beautiful young woman with so much talent. I see someone so worthy of love that I can't understand why she doesn't love herself."
"Because-" she tried to say.
"No." he said again. He didn't kiss her again, but instead touched a finger to her lips, silencing her with the utmost tenderness. "Camille, you are absolutely stunning on the inside and the outside. I love your hair and your eyes and your smile and your laugh. I love everything about you, Camille. Except that you've done this to yourself because you can't see what I see."
Her bottom lip trembled even though she had been expecting him to say something like that. He didn't love what she had done and he was rejecting her as gently as he possibly could. It still hurt though.
"You know what though?"
She shook her head. What more was there to say?
"I love you for not leaving me" he whispered. "I love that you're still here. And Camille, I promise to love you no matter what. I don't care what you say or do, but I'm not ever going to leave you. You're stuck with me and one day maybe, hopefully, I'll be the one to make you see who you truly are."
Love. He still loved her? Even after all she had done? Why?
Camille didn't know that she had spoken the questions out loud until Logan answered her. "Yes, I still love you. I will always love you. There is nothing you could say, nothing you could do, to make me change my mind. I love you more than you could ever know, and I will love you until the day my heart stops beating. I love you because. . . because I do." He gave her a crooked smile. "I know that doesn't seem like a reason, but it is. I just do."
"I'm so. . . broken though." she whispered. "I have so many things that are wrong with me."
"No one is perfect," he admitted. "Otherwise, you would be perfect and I wouldn't deserve you at all. Camille, I can't promise you that your life is going to be easy, but I do know that you are wonderful and that you deserve to have an amazing life. It's going to be really hard sometimes, but I promise that you won't ever be alone. I'll be with you every step of the way. Just. . . just let me in, Camille. Please. Let me help you."
She opened her life, and found relief through his eyes, and put down, she put down her knives.
Camille felt something in her heart for the first time in weeks. The wounds were still there, and they would probably always be there. The burden was still there. But she wasn't carrying it alone anymore. She wasn't alone anymore. Logan was right there with her, waiting for her. And so Camille opened up her broken and battered heart and let him in. She let him into her life, the life that she had tried to keep only to herself. Instead of feeling weak or ashamed, she felt relieved. Real relief. She felt again. This was far from the end of her painful journey. But she felt for the first time ever, that she would make it through.
She felt Logan take her hand, and she looked up to meet his gaze so full of love that maybe she did somehow deserve. "Together?" she whispered.
He kissed her fingers, every one of them, his lips lingering on the one that she had accidentally cut the other day. She felt the cut close up altogether, the scar disappearing, and with it, the pain. It was as if it had never been there in the first place. Then he kissed her once more one the lips. A promise. "Together."
A/N. I can tell you know that I have never attempted to take my own life. There have been times where I'm preoccupied with the thought of death, and I've thought of taking my own life. I've thought of how I would do it and when I would do it. But then, something would always get in the way: A high school missions trip that changed my life forever, and opened my eyes to make me see that, just because it's my life, does not mean that it's all about me. Other things that have kept me holding on are smaller, but they mean just the same: A message from a friend, a beautiful sunset, a song, a Bible verse. . . there are reasons all over to stay alive. We just have to stop looking in the wrong places for them. If you've dealt with this, or if you're dealing with any of these things, please don't stay in the place you're in. Don't go through this alone. There are people who love you, people who can help you. There are phone calls you can make as well as emails. You can stay anonymous if you really want to and you can talk to a complete stranger who really does care about you. You can talk to me. I don't have all the answers, not even close. But I can promise that I love you and care about you and want you to realize how beautiful your life is. I want you to be happy. Just know that you are worthy.