Control My Fear
I couldn't believe I did it. The thought came to mind and I acted upon it without a second thought. It was so easy. Did it make the pain stop? No, but I finally had some sort of control over something.
Everything in my life has been spiraling out of my control. The war was dragging me through the battles where I have become so numb to the fight but every lost has been cutting at me deeper than before. Their deaths following me to my dreams, but at least there were no prophetic visions stalking my sleep. The past can haunt me as long as the future did not taunt me.
I needed to go home to Padmé. She could quell all of this screaming by a light kiss, a gentle hand petting my hair, soft words that chased all demons away.
But I was not home, and it was reaching months since I last touched her.
And now...I've taken things into my own hands.
Where did I even get the idea, I'm not sure. I get cut and banged up plenty in battle. My blood has been shed many times. But causing harm to myself? I must have gone mad. It was all about control.
I snagged myself a small vibro blade a few planets and skirmishes back, no reason why. It has finally shown me how it could be of use to me.
I thought I would have debated the idea but once I was alone I placed the sharpened piece of durasteel against my skin on my left arm and pushed then slid, slowly.
The bite was familiar but this was still new to me. Time moved slowly and my blood beaded out. I squeezed my cut and the blood started to flow more. I held my arm up and watched the droplets fall down my arm and drip to the floor. It was so red and looked so clean.
I'm no stranger to blood, but an injury is dirty, quick, and people worry. But this self-inflicted wound was almost beautiful. A distraction from my thoughts. I laid back on my cot keeping my arm elevated. My blood slowly slithered down my arm and found shelter from my eyes behind my tunic sleeve.
My cut was not deep; it would scab over quickly and be gone before anyone would see it.
My moment of weakness would only be remembered by me.
But it wasn't weakness, it was control.
I pulled my cloak over me like a blanket and rolled to my side and continued to examine my cut; it had stopped bleeding, finally.
I promised myself I would never do that again.
I break promises to myself far too easy.
Once I started I could not stop. One cut for every man I lost, one cut for every failure of my own, one night I just continued to slice at my arm. I cleaned them up; the red lines would heal some before I had the chance or the need to cut again. My arm was still becoming a lined mess, some were starting to scar. Thin white scars, they weren't even raised. If I just stopped, they would all heal and those scars would fade away.
I stopped counting the rotations since I last saw Padmé. I feared what she would say when she saw my cuts. She would know about them, I kept nothing from her. I had to get home and soon before this control issue did become out of control.
It was far too long before I was home again. For once Padmé was not busy with politics and I was not expected anywhere with my Jedi duties. Ahsoka was teaching younglings, Obi-Wan was off planet. The timing was perfect. I just wish I was happier.
I didn't even say a word before I was holding my wife in my arms tightly, burying my face in her hair. It was down, the way I like it, and smelled of her shampoo, I breathed her in deep.
"I've missed you." I said lightly.
"I've missed you too, Ani." Her voice was so sweet and angelic, just hearing her say my name made things better. I squeezed tighter. "Ani?"
"Hmm?" I said into her hair.
"Is something wrong?"
I pulled away gently and laid my hands on her shoulders, but I kept my head bowed. "I…" I couldn't find the words to say, but keeping my new habit from her was not an option.
We moved to the couch and I laid my head in her lap, a common pose for us. This was not the first time I've broken down before her and it would not be the last. I am the Hero with No Fear, but I am allowed to have a hero myself. Padmé stroked my hair gently and took care of me...but I knew she could tell this was different from the stress of the war and different from when the anniversary of my mother's death comes around. I still could not find the words and she would not rush me...but I needed to. Our time together was precious.
I held out my left arm and pulled off my glove, my sleeve fell back and exposed the angry, red, and thin lines and the sorrowful white lines across my wrist and down my arm. I looked up at her, my tears streaming into my hair. Padmé cried silently, cradle my wrist in her hand and kissed my wounds. I didn't want to be alone, so I followed her to the 'fresher where she grabbed the first aid kit, and we returned to the couch as we were before and she cleaned my cuts and wrapped them in bacta bandages. There was no point to it, but I let her. The simple act meant so much.
"Why?" She broke the silence.
"I have control over it." I replied matter-of-factly. "I can't save everyone." As disjointed the statement was, it was my train of thought.
"You need to stop blaming yourself."
"I can't....not until I'm more powerful and I can protect everyone I love and care about."
"Anakin...you're just one incredible man that I love dearly. You already do so much for the Galaxy. You stand up for those no one else will defend."
"But it's not enough."
"It's more than what anyone else does."
"I could be better."
"You are the best. Anakin, my love, for just this once, think of you." The tears glistened in her eyes, her pain was palpable, and it was caused by me. Self-harm isn't supposed to hurt others...just you, as the name implies.
"This is me thinking of myself." I argued, my voice rising higher in volume.
"Think of me." She begged.
"Padmé, I'm sorry."
"Ani, it's okay. You have nothing to be sorry for...we'll get through this."
"I don't want to do this."
"But I can't stop."
"Shhh... let's go to bed, and we'll tackle this problem in the morning. Right now all you need is sleep."
"All I need is you."
"And you have me." She kissed me lightly. "We'll go to bed and in the morning things will be better. You're already healing...I will fight this with you, Anakin."
"I love you..." was all I could say.
"I love you too."
We laid in bed, I embraced her in my arms, and we fell asleep entwined.
Months passed... I healed...I'd recut...but I was getting better. She gave me a holo-recording of her singing; it helped until the transmitter broke. We risked comm's...we did everything in our power to help prevent myself from cutting.
Finally my arm healed fully, lightly scarred. Down the underside of my forearm I had Padmé's name tattooed in white ink. Barely there, but I knew it was. It assured me to think of her first...
Today I found out Padmé was pregnant. I'm getting the name of our child tattooed beside her's once she's born.