I believe in the bathroom sink.
There were nights, long and dark and soaked in summer heat, that I sat there dying. I was sure of it in a way that only teenagers can be sure. The yellow light cast deep shadows that ran like veins across my face. My cheeks were long dry of tears but I still felt them there. I think, somehow, they found a way to seep through.
I would spend hours there with my legs dangling over the edge. Always with a razor blade in my hand. I would flip it from one palm to the next.
My arms were poster children for ink poisoning. Numbers, names, drawings–all littered in black ink in some mad woman’s scrawl across my skin. Beneath there were angry red slashes made with a Crayola marker, empty and discarded in the floor. And beneath these still, my scars.
Oh, the things one does to survive.
And somehow, every night of that summer macabre, I slid from my perch unscathed.
I watched the world around me change from my seat upon that sink. Outside my tiny window, the trees withered and shed their leaves like skin. The first snow fell, drifting lazily from the sky and freezing the ground. I would creep from sink just hours before the sun could catch me and fall asleep with clean arms. The ink from my drawings faded and I no longer needed a constant reminder of my struggle. I let go.
I learned how to live.
And when I did, my trips to the sink dwindled. I would spend weeks with the door shut tight against my room, afraid that if I went back, I would be opening that door for all my demons. That somehow they had survived there, living off the scraps of my nightmares, waiting for the moment to surface so they could lay claim to me again. I was scared that my source of refuge would become my greatest weakness. So I shut the door against it all.
And deep down, a part of me had to know that I could make it on my own.
It wasn’t until one year later that I realized I had never left my sink. I had carried it with me, in one form or another, the whole long way. I also realized that I was tired of sitting there alone. So I did the only thing I could.
I created The Bathroom Sink.
It is, in professional speak, a web-based forum that provides peer counseling for teenagers. They are the abused, the forgotten, and they are struggling to survive. In other words, they are my heart’s truest reflection. Every day I hand to them a piece of my bathroom sink–a little heartache, a lot of determination, and, in the end, change. There are over thirteen hundred kids on my little bit of cyber space. And one day, there will be more.
I still believe.
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