Why does a girl wear make-up? Because she thinks it makes her prettier. Not necessarily her idea of pretty, but most certainly society’s. Why does a boy hide his emotions? Because he wants to or has to fit in. Fit into society’s idea of what a “man” should be. Our society has changed drastically in the last century, making people insecure about their bodies and/or themselves, because of the expectations that are set, completely obliterating their entire being. And these insecurities are what because people hide their real selves and come forward as what the media makes us believe the “perfect person” is supposed to be.

A chosen few decided once to rebel against society and the media, to be their own person – to become unique, such as the hippies or emos. But that only made the problem thin out. It made more societies, cliques almost. See, similar people will always group together, this formed these new societies. It made people who had similar views come together and thus laid out their own set of expectations. It is human nature to want to fit in somewhere, to feel loved. To belong. But the truth is, no two human beings are exactly the same, and not just in appearance, but characteristically too. Therefore, we cannot be separated into groups, cliques. Society cannot squash us into the boxes they call perfection, because it makes people hide their real selves. And as much as we don’t want to admit this, we’re all victims of the society we created ourselves.

So this whole hiding from society, then begs the question: Who am I really?
I am Imáney, and this is the real me: the rumbling of thunder is thick in my sub-consciousness. A storm is brewing. Thoughts flood my mind, while droplets streak down my cheeks. The flood started in small droplets, when I was around ten years old. But what I didn’t know was that, three years later, a thunderstorm awaited me. “It’s your own fault!” It’s my conscience trying to remind me of the bad times – also that I’m in control. “It doesn’t hurt. It’s just a trick…” I counter. Just tricks, I say to myself. I paint with a silver brush, use my wrists as the canvas and the paint… is red. “Magic!” I say, my grimace, looking like a smile in the light. Tears fall on my wrist. It burns. The two completely different bodily fluids blend. Blood. Tears.

My argument is this: I hurt myself on the outside, to destroy the monster lurking on the inside. But it only works for a little while. The guilt always returns, then I tell myself I am weak, foolish… worthless. But the worst of all, I’m starting to believe it now. Sometimes I look at my scars and wonder… Why didn’t I just go deeper? All the pain could’ve disappeared so quickly! But instead I patiently awaited the colourful promise to come, to end this storm. Other times I wonder whether I’m the victim, or the abuser…

To tell you the truth, I don’t even remember what I look like without the lesions covering my body. My body is a reflection of my soul. There’s a storm in my soul. A battle. It’s a war between me and my depression. My mind is the battlefield, and the marks on my body are the wounds. And only one can win. My options? Either I win, or I die trying. Look around you and pay attention. It’s quite alarming what one is able to hide beneath a simple long sleeve and a feigned smile. This is what I hid for so long. No, I am not a book that was judged by my cover; I put up my own cover to hide the tears in the pages. I realise now that I can’t change what happened in the past, I can only control the outcome of my future.