I tear my toenails.

I tear them too short.

They hurt. The skin around the nail bed is ragged, raw pink flesh and white where dried out.

I never use clippers.

There is a creepy satisfaction to tearing them, and getting it just right— but that’s rare. I always tear too much, too low, ripping the skin sometimes. And they bleed. The meat around the nail inflames, swelling from the irritation.

It hurts to put on shoes. Socks are fine, usually. Sometimes there is a tiny bit of nail that snags the fabric, and I know if I try and pull it free, I will bleed. It will be too short. Too much nail removed. The most loose fitting shoe still rubs and aggravates.

This is an old song.

I know the chorus by heart.

I keep singing even though I know it’s going to hurt. And I’m going to bleed.




Author: Marisa Cadena

Uncomfortable sharing my words. Fighting against being afraid.

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