My Relationship with Self Harm
I don’t know when my SI officially started. Was it when I intentionally hurt myself for the first time? Was it the first time I made myself bleed? Or maybe it was when I understood it is becoming a regular thing? I don’t know. It’s hard to pinpoint.
I guess you could say that my self-punishment started when my bulimia did. If I binged, I would feel so guilty, disgusting and out of control. I would feel fat and hate myself. In high-school, I would sit in the classroom, only thinking of how much I ate the day before, and how much I weighed that morning, and I would start scratching my arms with my fingernails. Then, after a few months, I started using a sharp pencil to carve shapes on my arms. I didn’t do it for the shapes, I did it for the pain.
I would use this to punish myself for what I did, and for what others did: If I said the wrong thing, I would feel like a terrible worthless person, and I would scratch myself. If a teacher did me wrong, I would pour the anger on my own skin.
One day I went a bit too far. I was so angry with myself, and the pencil broke my skin. Suddenly, blood came out. That was a feeling I never knew before; seeing the blood. And I loved it.
From that moment on, the goal was to break the skin. It wasn’t scratching anymore; I wanted to cut. I still didn’t know I had a problem, though. I thought “it’s a just thing I do right now; a phase I’m going through.” Then I discovered razorblades, and started cutting with them. I would also start putting out cigarettes on my own skin.
I cut when I feel too much; when I can’t handle the thoughts running through my head. When I can’t handle the feelings I am feeling. I cut when I feel nothing. The void I have inside is more painful than any physical pain I could ever cause myself. I cut to punish myself, when I feel that I don’t deserve to live. I cut to feel real, when I’m so very invisible. I cut to take out all the anger and frustration.
I cut because no one sees my pain from the eating disorder at times when I’m bulimic, and not anorectic. I cut to see the pain that no one else sees. I cut to prove to myself that my pain is real. I cut because knowing, that if people saw my scars they would know how much I’m hurting, makes me feel a little safer. I cut to control my pain. I cut to make a little order in the chaos I live in. I cut because I hate myself. I cut because…