She's So Sick

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This is part of a series that I hope to keep writing based on other people's perceptions of people with mental health problems.




She’s So Sick


Have you seen

Where the stainless steel teeth bit in

To her skin?

She claims she tries her best

To suppress

To keep it all within

But white and red raised welts

Spell her weakness and her failures

And each trial and torturous test

And each endless night and darkest day

I guess some things

Can’t exactly be talked or medicated away

Have you seen?

It’s so childish

Like school kids with compass scratches

They unsubtly display

What should be a secret shame

She should roll down her sleeves

And keep them that way

Have you seen?

I mean, how hard can it be?

Just keep the knife in the block

She should stop

Trying to shock and elicit sympathy

From us all

We’ve heard it

We’ve seen it all before

And besides, it looks so sore

Burnt, flushed and raw

I can’t help but stare

Even though I can’t stand to look no more

Have you seen?

Why does she have to hurt herself?

I would, like, lash out

If I were cracked

I’d snap

I’d shout and scream

Not take it out on me

Have you seen

I mean, have you really seen?

She’s just so sick if you ask me.

◄ A&E



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Gemma Lees

Fri 7th May 2010 23:03

i was definately attempting to generate debate or at least thought on the subject, rachel, and i think the series (ive not yet written) will (hopefully) do that as an ensemble. thanks everyone for your feedback, i was quite worried about tackling such a sensitive subject and im glad that i havent done too a bad job.

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Fri 7th May 2010 12:30

I guess you have to wear someone else's shoes before you can ever truly understand. Eyes are drawn to horrific sights though. How many times do you curse a traffic jam caused by an accident on the opposite side of the motorway, only to find your own eyes drawn to it when you filter past? It's human nature unfortunately. So long as it doesn't go hand in hand with condemnation, it is to be expected, I guess.
The difficult thing for most of us is knowing what to say and how to help without causing any intrusion or upset.

A difficult subject to tackle, but one that you are doing well and bravely.

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Andy N

Fri 7th May 2010 08:16

i enjoyed this, gem... stainless steel bite works well for me 2..

despite the fact, this is a difficult topic (not one i can write i think) i can defo see this being a series off pieces, gemma and i hope you manage to write them...

good luck

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Dave Bradley

Thu 6th May 2010 19:07

I though 'Keep Talking' was outstanding and this is almost as good. It is so difficult to put oneself in the shoes of others at their darkest. This throws down the challenge to at least try, and does it very effectively.

Rachel Bond

Thu 6th May 2010 11:49

i think its good that you've brought it to the arena for debate...a lot of people selfharm as a response to being unable to communicate pain in words...its good that you can do that in poetry . theres some great images the stainless steel bite x

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Gemma Lees

Thu 6th May 2010 11:33

thanks very much for your feedback rachel. in this poem im attempting to capture both sides of the story, which i have experienced myself. both before when i didnt understand and since when i have to deal with other peoples lack of understanding.

Rachel Bond

Thu 6th May 2010 11:23

i disagree with the sentiment throughout this poem. I see you are presenting 'other' perspectives on mental health issues. this does capture the way some people think.

The scars and pain we see on other girls arms tell more to our own revulsion to empathy and discomfort with anothers pain than with their owners stories.

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