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In the dark so all alone, slowly I walk to the kitchen. Silently I take a large knife from the drawer and sit cross legged in the middle of the floor. I have to know I told myself. I sat and placed the knife on my lap and I watched it. Then I picked it up and looked at it, holding it in my hands and contemplating just how steel used to feel like magnets to my flesh.

Whenever I held it there was a need, a pull to use it. I used to have a calling within asking for pain, begging me to release my champion. Tonight the voices sat silent. Let’s see if they scream I thought, let’s push it, I need to know.

As I sat there holding a knife like the one I used a year ago I couldn’t help but wonder what possessed me to do such a thing. I ran my fingers along its blade, I touch the point and I say to myself “what power does it have over me now.” Curious and needing an answer I stripped off my shirt and I placed it on my scar, I closed my eyes and thought “what power have you. “

After several moments of nothing I put it down on the floor and yelled at it “That is right I am master not you!”

I guess this woke Sarah because a moment later she emerged from our bedroom. She asked what I was doing and I told her she wouldn’t understand. Her eyes grew wide as she saw the knife on the floor and me sitting cross legged before it. I told her it was under control but suddenly she was worried. She then demanded “What are you doing!”

I tried telling her she wouldn’t understand and she said try me. So I did. I told her I was making the knife prove its power. She didn’t understand as I knew she wouldn’t. Hell I don’t understand it but it was helping.

A year ago there was such a pull to the sharps. They had a mesmerizing effect on me.  One year has passed and I can’t see its power any more. It has none. It’s just an empty shell of steel. I had to tell it this but Sarah wasn’t listening. So at ten o’clock she called the doctors and in I went for an “emergency” visit.

I told the doctors all this and they were confused. I told them I had to prove it had no power if I am to be free and left to myself. I had to know for sure. They say this isn’t normal, I ask but is anyone normal? What is wrong with knowing?

I did not tremble, I was not afraid; but it was something I needed. If I am to be free I must know who is master. Is pain my master still or have I moved past pain. I know now that I’ve moved past fear of myself. But what of my former champion? Have I outgrown him as well.

That’s what I was trying to learn. I didn’t finish my conversation with pain. But I think I know enough to know I am over him. He has no control and the knife had no pull. Even when I placed it so close, there was no pull. When I traced its blade all I needed do was press a little and yet it had no pull.

When I placed it to my chest I felt the cold steel and nothing more. No desire, no pull, no longing, no fire, just cold steel. Fifteen years I’ve waited to stand victor over pain. Fifteen years to replace him with a new champion.

Am I crazy for needing to know?

I was sure before I sat down, before I got the knife, before I went in the kitchen. I was so sure of myself, but there was doubt. There isn’t now and they say I am crazy. I just needed to know for sure. Alone, without my ears, with a knife and just pain and I, just we two. I had to know who had the power really.

It’s been a year they kept me from everything I could use to bring my champion pain to bear. Everything I could use to call him forward, to make him report. The forced break was nice but now I am free and I had to know. Why is that so hard to understand?

Am I crazy? NO. I am in control and now I have no doubts left. People will say “normal” people don’t do these things. I am not nor ever will be “normal”. I am Michelle and I am unique just like every other person out there. In the sense I am unique as are the seven billion people on earth then I am “normal” about being unique.

So I’m not normal. But I am free and now I know. They just don’t see it as I see it. My new champion is born, my new champion’s name is hope.

They did let me go home but now Sarah feels she needs to watch me close. I don’t mind her watching me, I like her eyes upon me. I don’t like the doubt and concern I see in her eyes. I knew no one would understand but I had to know for me and I had to do it alone. I faced pain, I challenged it to emerge and yet I stand victor over it. At least now I know.

~Michelle

Others still doubt, I no longer have any. I am free of my former champion, of this I am quite certain.