I was fifteen the first time I cut myself, and alone in restroom at my high school. I had gotten myself into a bit of trouble that day, although nothing serious at all. Still, I knew if my parents found out, the consequences would be extremely harsh. While growing up in an abusive home, I learnt to keep secrets very well, and to expect the worst in the event that any of those secrets were exposed. I was so sick and tired of it all that day as I stood in the restroom, and wanted to feel as though I had some control over my situation. I told myself, “I’ll go ahead and be the one to punish myself instead of it being someone else inflicting the pain.” With that, I made my first cuts and became terribly addicted to this act and the relief it brought me temporarily.
I continued to cut for sometime after that day, and done so until my stomach and the upper part of both my arms was a complete mess. I let some friends know what I was doing, but other than that, I managed to keep it secret from the people who had the power have me sent away, or at least, tell my parents. Then one day, all of that changed. Someone had reported my self mutilation, and I found myself in the guidance counsellor’s office with them asking me for permission to check me out in the nurse’s station. At that point in my life, and especially on that particular day, nothing seemed real to me anymore. It was as though I was numb, and none of those things were really happening. Sure they were asking me if they could look for my cuts, but I gave them permission, all the while thinking “this isn’t happening.”
They did check my stomach that day, but to my remembrance, they failed to check my arms. My stomach was healing at that time. I had to stop cutting there to let the wounds get better because there was no untouched flesh to be seen, pretty much. A child psychologist came to the school to speak with me, and at that moment, the reality of it all began to set in. For once, I saw myself as a total mess who desperately needed help. It was almost sickening to me as I sat there before her. My parents came to pick me up, and I was taken straight to a hospital to be testing for drugs, then onto a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated. My parents were advised to have me hospitalised, but they were pretty confident they would be able to keep me safe from myself, and took me home. After a couple of weeks, they realised this wasn’t possible as I had continued to cut. I would lay in my bed at night in misery thinking about everything that had happened, and was happening. I needed release, and made sure I got it.
After that, I was hospitalised. I stayed in two different hospitals for about two months all together, and went back home. Although being back home felt almost unbearably strange, I remained free of cutting for a long time. There was one time when I stumbled, but walked away from it after that first cut. For many years, things were much better, and I reached a point where I wasn’t depressed anymore.
Today I am twenty-three years old, married, and have a wonderful family. Two years ago, I even turned to God and my life was changed dramatically. It has been around seven years since my hospitalisation, but today, I am a cutter again. After having been free of it for all those years, I gave in one night in desperation, and now, am doing it quite often. Unlike years ago, I seem to be making deeper cuts. As a result, I have a few scars now which I keep hidden, and will try to do so for the rest of my life. I have always experienced some problems in my life. Anxiety, low self esteem, etc., but never to a point where I felt I couldn’t withstand it all. A few months ago, that all changed, and I felt I needed that release again. Seven years ago, I cut to feel I had some control. Today, I do it for many reasons. I do it because I want to feel some control, because I cannot cry, because I feel I deserve it, and because through all of this confusion of not knowing what is wrong with me, at least I have something to look at with all the wounds. The cuts, I see and understand. Not only does it provide me with immediate relief when I do it, but it also takes away some of the confusion I feel.
Only a few months ago, I would have sworn I would never fall into self mutilation again. Now, I’m trying to hide from those around me. It’s hard to trust another person with this sort of thing when all you’ve experienced is people thinking you are crazy, for the most part. When I fell back into this habit, I became seriously afraid, and made the decision to confide in a close friend of mine. I could tell she was shocked as I revealed the wounds, but at the time, she was very supportive and loving. Now, I don’t hear from her anymore. There are no phone calls… Nothing. This makes it all feel ten times worse. Sometimes, I have no idea how I can keep going on, but I know I have to. One day at a time.
a broken girl so full of fear
ever falling-she longs for tears
tears to wash away the pain
that mounts up deep inside—
the blessing of rain in a seemingly sunfilled sky-
she sits alone—
she screams alone—
she sleeps alone—
she’s dying alone—
her world is spinning—her thoughts entreat
her heart to give herself release
release of all the hidden pain
that eats away her soul—
a drop of blood for tears that won’t flow—
she walks alone—
she thinks alone—
she surrenders alone—
she’s bleeding alone—
I was freshly fifteen when I began to cut. It’s been five months now, and I can hardly believe it’s been so long. My family life was always good. I wasn’t abused, I was treated well. Things were fine.
When my parents got divorced, I told myself it didn’t bother me at all, and I was fine with it. I’m still convinced it didn’t affect me, but I know that the divorce was the beginning of the end. I was thirteen when my parents got divorced. My mother moved out of the house and into an apartment. She had a new boyfriend within a week. He was OK at first, but when he moved in, he started to verbally abuse me. I was always wearing the wrong clothes or listening to the wrong music. I couldn’t do anything right. I was the big loser, and my mother agreed with him. My dad wasn’t there anymore, not emotionally anyways.
Things progressed like this for two years. I still told myself it didn’t bother me at all. School didn’t change things either. I was out of the house most of the day, and away from the boyfriend. But my friends at school weren’t really friends, and I was an outcast. I was convinced I was stupid anytime I couldn’t understand something in class. My self-esteem fell to the lowest ever. I used to be so confident, so sure of who I was. Now, I’m a shell of that person. Everything I do, I believe is wrong.
I started cutting when we were re-evaluating the custody agreement, and had to see a family therapist, who would make the recommendations of where my siblings and I should live. My dad had changed, and I had been living with him, quite happily for the past year. I was a little depressed, but I it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It certainly wasn’t as severe of a depression I am in now. I knew I didn’t want to live at my mom’s house. I didn’t want to go back to the verbal abuse. My mother hardly even talked to me anymore, since I didn’t approve of her boyfriend. I felt that if the psychiatrist found out that I was depressed he would blame it on my dad and send me to my mother’s house to live.
I started cutting to get all that emotion out. It just, made sense, in a weird way. I convinced myself that cutting was just something I had to do now, because I couldn’t talk to anyone about being depressed. I told myself it was just a phase, and after the psychiatrist was done, I would stop. Well, I still make those excuses. I say that I’m just doing it because of this or that. I realise now that I will never stop. It’s an everlasting phase now.