Copyright Dana

I don’t know why I’m doing this, I feel selfish for typing it right now. All I can think is ‘who wants to read my story?’ Ah, there goes that low self-esteem again. I blame it on my family; we all have some kind of disorder. Anyhow, since I’m writing this I might as well get to the story.

There was never really a ‘first time’ for me. I mean, it just goes back as far as I can remember. As a little girl I’d floss my teeth till they bled because I liked the way it felt. I’d pick at my scabs to see it bleed. Now, as a little girl I was terrified of blood, but I just couldn’t bring myself to turn away.

In the sixth grade I saw the book ‘Cut’ in Target. I’d read a little bit every time we went to the store, and then I finally bought it. I think that was the stupidest thing I had ever done. Sometimes I think ‘god, what if I just never saw that book in the first place, could all of this be avoided?’ I read the book and re-read it a second, third, fourth time before I picked up a safety-pin. It started as little scratches over and over in the same spot. I’d slowly scrape the skin away, rubbing the area raw until it bled. I don’t remember much enjoyment coming from it; just lying in bed with my arms out in front of me, burning like acid. The only reason why I did it was because it made me feel strong. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream so damn bad and get my mum and have her kiss it and make it better. But I didn’t. I lay there, and didn’t make a sound. Then the next day I was so proud with myself because I knew that I could handle pain.

Safety-pins gave way to my grandmother’s sewing scissor. I was twelve years old and my mother had divorced my step-dad. I was happy about that, the man was an asshole. We were moving again (7th time, I’ve been dragged all over this damn state) and all the other times moving really didn’t bother me. had always been too young to really get attached to people. Well, I had gone through 5th, 5th and most of 7th grade in that town, and I fell in love with all the people. But it wasn’t just the people, the town itself was beautiful. There was a hill about a mile away from my house, the hill was about three blocks long and ungodly steep, at the bottom of the hill was the old downtown with its coffee shops, cafes and antique stores. In the distance were beautiful, blue mountains, and trees. I had found a place that overlooked it all from the top of the hill. A bench at the very end of a one way street. I loved to go there and lay for hours watching the sky, pretending I was a bird. I called it the end of the world. I didn’t realise it then, but it was a paradise. I’d give anything to just go back to that house, watch the cherry-blossom tree in our back-yard sway in the wind. But this isn’t about that, I’m getting side-tracked.

We moved into my uncle’s garage and lived there for four months. I was in a different school for two of the four months, and it was hell. I had fallen hopelessly in love with someone, and living off the thought of him appearing out of the blue. I would see him in the hallway, although I knew that I couldn’t really be seeing him. I had started talking to myself in school, and starving myself because I thought ‘If I’m thin and beautiful then he’ll love me. He’ll come find me and we’ll love each other.’

One day while at my grandma’s house I went to get her swing scissors and go into the bathroom. My hand brushed against a little box I had never noticed before. Inside was a razor. A beautiful razor that I would learn to love. I took it home with me and from there I knew there was no turning back. Something had broken inside of me — I was numb. I couldn’t even remember the sound of his voice and that was what hurt me the most. Every day I thought about just ending it. Taking some pills and falling asleep and not waking up. The people at school were horrible to me. I was nice to them, and they hated me. I didn’t dress like they did, I didn’t wear make-up and style my hair. I lived out of hoodies and jeans, my hair was always dirty and my eyes were blank. As I walked down the halls they d gather around me and insult me. They would just stand there and bark at me, sometimes throwing things.

Then we moved again. I was so ungodly happy to just get away from that place. I was convinced everything would be perfect. But, there was a catch. We had to give up my dog. Now, to you that might not be such a big deal, but to me she was my everything. There was one reason why I didn’t swallow those pills, and that was her. She needed me, she loved me, and would refuse to eat anything while I was gone. I myself to sleep with her laying next to me, licking my hand for three months. I had already given up the town I loved, the boy I was so attached to, and now my dog? She was the only thing I woke up in the morning for, the only reason why I smiled and said I was OK.

Months passed, we found her a home with an ungodly rich lady who had her own pond, and for the first time I was completely by myself. I was doing OK, although I had fallen into the habit of missing at least one day of school every week.

One day we went back to get the last of our stuff from my uncles house. Something happened and I got in a fight with my mother. It ended with me sinking to the floor because I was so ashamed of myself. My mother wanted me to move, but I wouldn’t. She pulled my hair, called me names, kicked me, and hit my back with anything she could find. Finally, all bruised up I went to the car. I had forgotten one of my notebooks, a journal-type notebook. I wrote in it when I was too afraid to leave my room, when I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My mum read it, and when I came back in to get it she laughed at me.

Laughing turned to hair pulling and hitting. I was shoved to the ground and hit with any object she could find for the second time. That didn’t matter, though. I could take pain, I always have been. In fact, now I’m realising that I like it, in some sense. You see, happiness goes away, pain stays as long as you say, and it’s always something to fall back on. But that’s not my point. That day screwed up my way of thinking for the rest of my life. She was mad at me, because I was sad. In that book I wrote how I didn’t think she liked me, and how I felt alone. She kicked me and hit me because I was sad. Those words repeated themselves over and over in my head, and since then I’ve learnt to never tell anyone how I feel. They don’t want to know if you’re sad, they don’t want to hear your problems; it’s better to just smile and deny everything. I’ve also learnt to apologise for any feelings that aren’t good ones.

In the 8th grade I fell into spells where I’d cut every day, and then I wouldn’t touch it for months. One day I broke apart a shaving razor, and god, it was rapture. I did it over and over and over, and for the first time blood dripped from my finger-tips. It was the best feeling in the world.

I’m in ninth grade now, and since school’s started I’ve been doing it every day. I’ve also started burning myself with matches, to the point where I don’t blow out the flame completely before I press it to my arm. I hit my hands with hammers, and when I cry because I’m not pretty — I hit my hips till they bruise for being egotistical.

At the moment my arm is horrible. I can’t move it without wincing. A few hours ago I was sitting on the floor of my room, I went to push myself up, and pain shot through my arm. Some of the cuts had torn, and were bleeding.

I don’t feel addicted. Sometimes I want to do it, sometimes I don’t, and sometimes I do it just because I feel like I should. I don’t think I’m going to be stopping anytime soon, and that’s just fine with me.

Well, for a girl who thought she had nothing to write I sure did type a lot.


Copyright Dana

Like many, I am not sure what triggered me. I know I always felt like I never had anything special to call my own. I remember reading an article in some teen magazine about cutting, and the relief it used to give this girl. Her part about how much it really hurt her fell on blind eyes, while the description of the relief she believed she felt ensnared me. I first cut with scissors, but found a small kitchen knife far more satisfying. One night, after everyone had gone to bed, leaving me pulling an all-nighter to cram for a huge test, I realised I was exhausted. Exhausted from insomnia due to my atrocious diet (bulimia and starvation), exhausted from over-exerting myself academically, exhausted from trying to convince everyone that I was fine. I decided this cycle had to end. Recovery was long and hard, but worth it. I eat healthy, I exercise appropriately, and I don’t cut anymore. During recovery, I only had one relapse, and it was not severe. I am just now beginning to get the courage to tell my story, first with others who can understand, and hopefully soon with others to educate.


Permanent location: