My Battle with Self Injury

Copyright Belynda

Have you ever been so completely enraged that you didn’t know what to do? You find your hands reaching up to your hair and pulling it out in great chunks because that’s the only thing you can do…

Imagine being so depressed and confused… Not knowing even who you are or why you’re here. Wanting to feel alive, feel anything and the only way you can make yourself live again is by hurting yourself. Using knifes, razors, pieces of glass, pins… Anything that you can cut yourself with… And if you can’t cut, picking chunks of skin off yourself with your fingernails… Then resorting to burning yourself on stove hotplates, candles or holding lighters against your skin until it blisters… And not feeling a thing.

Ever driven like a mad person not caring what you’ll run into? Ever lay under water hoping you can drown yourself? Ever woke up in the morning and been dissapointed that the hand full of meds you took didn’t finish the job off? Walked across a busy road without looking and not even caring if you made it to the other side?

Well… That’s what it’s like to be a person who self injures (also known as SI, self mutilation, self harming, etc.). And try to imagine that person who has just cut their arm open, bleeding everywhere and scared… They turn to a loved one for help only to be told how stupid they are. “Why don’t you kill yourself next time?” SI is not an attempt to die. It is not a cry for attention… It is a coping mechanism.

I don’t even fully understand why I SI yet… I’ve been doing it for roughly 6 years now. I have decided to try and stop, not for me but for the people who love me and for the doctors who have to waste their time sewing me up when I’d much rather leave the hole gaping open.

Laura, my old therapist (T) had been helping me overcome this SIing, and Rob, my fiance, has been the one I fall back on. He’s the one who’s taken the razors away and shown me that there is something to live for. Yet I keep hurting him… And wanting to cut. I just want to be able to cut and not care about who I hurt… It doesn’t hurt me so why should it hurt them?! Anyways… Mostly it stems from my childhood. In being told almost daily what a horrible child I was… That I should never have been born… “You’re only nice when you want something”… “You were a mistake… All your fathers fault”… “I used to love you”… “I never swore until I had you”… “you deserve everything that ever happens to you”… “you’re a bitch… slut… you’re easy… you’re fat… pull that stomach in… you never try hard enough…” Day after day I learnt that I was worth nothing. That my own mother didn’t even want me. My own father hardly even knew me. I lived in a house with these people for 19 years… And not one of them ever noticed the scars… The slashes up my arms and legs… That I vomitted after every meal in a desperate attempt to be skinny and pretty like my sister… In my eyes she was a God.

Then she left. My mother had a fit one day and threw Natalie out. I couldn’t see her for almost 2 years. During this time I was blamed for Daniels drug addiction and for Natalie “leaving home”. One day mum yelled at me one too many times… I was in Gidget’s stable and had my Swiss army knife… I took the scissors out and as I was hysterically crying cut out 3 neat holes in the side of my left wrist. All at once I felt calm and able to deal with things. I was 16. From that day on I found myself in my bedroom pulling the blades out of pencil sharpeners and slitting my fingers open… Then pressing the blood out and letting it run over paper… Sometimes I’d even draw with the blood. For a period of time I started “collecting” the blood…

Then the little slits weren’t working and so I progressed to the knife on my army knife. Cutting a few small lines into my wtist… I liked the way the blood beaded out… And I then had wounds to care for… and hide from my family. It started to get too much at school… Counsellors hassling me and my grades dropping but I didn’t care. I remember sitting in English next to Leigh… Pulling my chair out and cutting the letter “m” into my right thigh… I still have the scar. It went on like that for a few years… Until Christmas day when I was 19… I lay on the floor in my bedroom bawling my eyes out… I’d been left alone on Christmas with nobody who cared. So I took out my pocket knife and cut 5 long lines down my left arm… They bled like crazy… And I liked it. The way they stung… And I had to hide them to. That was the last time I SI’ed in that house… Valentines Day 1997 I was thrown out of home after telling my mother about my abuse. She didn’t believe me and I had to leave… I couldn’t take anything with me… I had to leave behind my 6 horses, 2 dogs, all my clothes and other belongings.

I moved in with my fiance Rob and things got worse. I couldn’t deal with losing my family and horses… Nobody seemed able to help me,I dont know if I could be helped. I was hooked on tranquilisers… Couldn’t work and could hardly get out of bed. I was an evil person… Nasty to everyone around me… And self destructing. I took a knife from the kitchen and locked myself in the toilet… Cutting and cutting into my wrist until I could stand it no longer. Natalie and Mike came over for dinner a few days later… And my attempts to hide the scars didn’t pass Natalie… I brushed it off and said I was Ok… But on the inside I was falling apart.

I continued SI’ing… Getting worse untill I had to do it every few days. Then I started on razor blades… They cut so much deeper… And quicker. And this is where I am now…

Some days I don’t know if I want to stop… Right now I want more than anything to feel that razor running into my wrist… Tearing everything else away…

I used to “like” my scars… They never worried me and I liked to look at them and touch them sometimes… But now there’s so many of them they just look plain hideous. Most of my left arm, on the inside is marked with lines everywhere… Some long scratches others are raised yucky scars that just wont heal… I wish they’d all go away, I hate being reminded of what a freak I am.

This is a song by Nine Inch Nails… Even though I hate the try-hards that worship NIN I still love this song for its pain and lyrics.

i hurt myself today
to see if i still feel
i focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but i remember everything
what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end
you could have it all
my empire of dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt
i wear this crown of shit
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
i cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
i am still right here
what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt
if i could start again
a million miles away
i would keep myself
i would find a way

This story will be added to as I find the strength to deal with it and put it into words… I cant even bring myself to write about razors right now… Its too tempting…

I want to cut so badly today… Its the 19th August… And it’s been 26 days since I last cut. I wish someone would give me permission… Say it’s OK to cut. But I don’t know if I can do it… And stop before I do it too deep. I want to cut deeper than before… I want to cut more times than before… I want to shred my wrists and play with the blood. I want to tear out all my pain, I want to make myself hurt for being this way… For letting him. If my sister could stop him why couldn’t I?!?

Well… I actually made it to a month!! I know that doesn’t sound like much but I never thought I could make it. Now I have to convince myself to go to 2 months… Then one day I may never have to do it again!

What a joke eh? I think I’ll always be an SI’er. I just can’t get away from it. Every time things start getting hard I feel the urge to cut… Can I really go throughout life behaving like this? And if not… How else am I supposed to deal with things?

It’s now 38 days and my goal is to make it to 40. I don’t know if I will or not. The only thing that’s stopping me from cutting is having to start off at 0 days again… And I don’t know if second time around I’ll be as determined not to cut. I just wish I could say “fuck it… I’m gonna cut” and not have to worry about the consequences. I want to be able to go back to therapy and say I haven’t cut… But then why should I care?

Well… I made it to 38 days and then I couldn’t do it anymore… It all got too much and I cut. 13 cuts into my arm and the word “hate” up my arm too… It’s healing now.

…These days I’m hard pushed making it to a week. I did it again last night. And now I’m having to deal with having people looking at my scars and scabs… I can’t hide them under long sleeves anymore… And I don’t want to. I don’t care if they stare… They’re my scars… And I’ll show the pain that has been forced upon me… I’ll let the world know what I feel like…

Well… I now haven’t cut in almost 2 months. Most of the sores are healed, though I’m still scarred. At Xmas, my mother-in-law was asking what the cuts were and I told her I fell off the horse onto a fence. I think she saw right through the excuse. It’s weird, before I used to kind of “like” my scars, now I’m so ashamed of them… They humiliate me.

It’s now May 1999 and I can hardly remember the last time I cut myself. I look back and think what a prat I was… But I’m so glad to be out of that hell. I feel happy… I dont need to cut, let’s just hope it lasts *grin*.


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