That Time I Slit My Wrist

Written by Kajsa IngelssonApril 17, 2020

Around 9 years ago I slit my own wrist. It was sort of an accident, but not really. You see, I had this default mode that whenever I felt abandoned, I would self-harm to take control of the situation and bring the person that left me back in my sphere.

It was late one night and I was drunk (as always). My boyfriend at the time and I been out partying at the W in Barcelona. Back home we started to fight. He was disappointed that I made out with another woman and wanted to sleep on the couch. I couldn’t bare the thought of him not sleeping next to me, so I went in to the kitchen and picked up a knife.

I had done this before, many times. It always silenced people and made them comply. Emotional manipulation and threats were my go-to to get myself out of situations that I did not want to be in.


However, this time it was different. This particular knife was brand new with a sharp blade. When the knife hit my skin I knew I went too hard, but it didn’t hurt. It just sort of felt like I peeled my arm open like a banana, and out poured this warm red blood.

My guy ran over to me in tears and chock, looking at me in disbelief. Me on the other hand, I could breathe again. He came to me, so it must mean that we were alright again. There was no longer a threat of being abandoned or alone.

(Really Kajsa? This is how you make people stay?)

I tried tying a towel around my wrist and asked him to go to sleep with me. It way my hope that I’d wake up the next morning and it would all be alright. My guy was all of a sudden stone-cold sober, and threw some clothes on me and persuaded me to get down to the cabline on the street. Off to the hospital we went. I remember that the driver was so concerned about getting blood on the seats.

(There must be something terribly wrong with you)


Arriving at the hospital, I crawled out of the cab. I suddenly felt very sleepy. The asphalt was cold but will work as a bed.

(Or did I faint?)

Blank. Blank. Blank.

As I am opening my eyes, I see a lot of people around me. It’s all dark except a strong light shining on my left hand side. I turn towards the light to see what’s going on and see my arm, my flesh, my skin, my bone. I’m in surgery and waking up. This whole thing feels so excessive. Enough already, I just want to go home and sleep next to my handsome guy. A nurse administer some more whatever-makes-you-sleep-fast. I’m gone.

I’m waking up, slowly. Was this a bad dream? Where am I? Why is my arm in a cast? Oh, it was real. The nightmare is real and ongoing.

I am all alone in this hospital bed, the very thing I tried to prevent with this whole circus. I start trying to take the cast of, I need to see what went down last night. Some doctors arrive and tell me in part catalan, part broken english that I slit my wrist and tried to kill myself. I’m answering no, no that’s not true, I did not try to kill myself mister. I was just taking control over the situation.

They look at me, their eyes b l a n k. Apparently I slit thru 3 ligaments and injured the nerve. It will take a lot of physical therapy if I want my hand to work properly again, and the cast will need to be on for at least 6 weeks, they say. But I am lucky, because 1 millimeter more and I would have lost the ability to move my hand at all ever again. They leave and I am all alone.

(Why do you keep pushing everyone away?)


The doctors forgot to tell me about the nerve pain that sets in a few days later. It’s a particularly positive pain from hell. Why positive? Because that pain is indicating that your nerves are firing while they are growing to meet each other. It started on day 3 as short moments of shooting pains. Late evening the next day I have already tore my cast open with my one working hand. I had to you see, because I was 100% sure it was cutting into my bone. How could there otherwise be such a tremendous pain?

Back at the hospital they prescribe me tramadol. It’s like morphin in a pill. They did not help much, unless I took 10 pills or so a day. And so I did, of course. That meant that I was granted with 30 min of sleep before waking up in pain. This lasted for 6 weeks.

At least I was so numb of all the drugs that I did not get too many flashbacks. Although all I needed to do to find evidence of the self-violence was look up in the kitchen ceiling; long, red splatter lines of blood in stark contrast to the white. Lovely.


I want to say I got used to the pain, but not really. I smoked huge amounts of weed, popped pills and watched tv, trying to make time pass. What ever happened with my guy? He stayed with me. I understand now that I sort of forced him to stay out of fear. Our love story was an intensely passionate, unhealthy and crazy one. I learned a lot from it, and I will be forever grateful.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I guess I am cleaning out my closet. This event is no longer something I shamefully want to carry in silence. I have learned from it and transmuted it, finally.

What exactly have I learned?

  1. Alcohol is a poison that will cost me a great deal of suffering before taking my life, if I don’t stop fucking drinking. It’s now been more than 3 years since I had a drink.
  2. Scaring people into staying in your life never works out the way you want it to.
  3. Meditation, observation, non-attachment and self-reflection is the only way to transmute old trauma and pain. You NEED to befriend yourself, to love yourself, be ok with YOU. You CANNOT escape yourself. It’s a one-on-one marriage until death do you part (if even).
  4. Our parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time. It probably wasn’t enough, but it’s up to you to heal now.
  5. I am not my emotions, I feel emotions. This means I do not have to act on everything that I think and feel. I can simply breath and be present with it.
  6. If you can’t sleep alone, get a dog. You know what, get a dog no matter what. Dogs are amazing!
  7. My body is amazing at healing herself.
  8. I’m never really alone. I have all these guardian angels, spirit guides, fairies and my grandmother and grandfather watching over me at any given moment.
  9. Sometimes we fuck it up massively and that’s ok. Try not to make the same mistake too many times though, we have a limited amount of time on this earth.
  10. The love that I am so desperately looking for in others is the love that I need to give to myself.

My scar might not be the prettiest, but it has the strange power to remind me both that my past is real and that we have all the power to heal.