Copyright Elle

Cutting started for me when I was in eighth grade. It’s hard for me to explain why I guess, just the release. I started out with whatever I could find. I would use a safety pin to carve a little heart on my hand. My mum saw it back then and got really angry with me. She screamed at me, called me a masochist. All that taught me was that I had to hide it better. Later that year my step dad molested me, but I didn’t have any proof to show anyone what he had done to me. Nothing but the blood stains on my bed. The shame followed me, making me feel dirty and disgusting. I was terrified of men after that. I would quit dating a guy as soon as he showed interest in wanting to even kiss me.

When I was in ninth grade I was having a lot of problems at home. My dad’s been an alcoholic ever since my parents got divorced back when I was a kid. He’s still desperately in love with my mum, though he’s remarried. He would knock me around a little sometimes, no bruises really anyone could see. It was the things he would call me that hurt the most. But the hardest part was that I couldn’t just hate him. I loved him so much, and I wanted to be able to help him.

I went to my room one day after my dad had given me his say on why I was so disgusting to him, and noticed that one of my mirrors had fallen off the wall. (I had a group of six hanging next to each other.) I stared at myself finally giving in to him, finally realising how disgusting I was. I punched my reflection, and the shards of glass punctured my hand. It was bleeding badly and I suspected I might have broken a knuckle. I blasted my music and screamed at myself for being so ugly. What had I done to deserve this? By this point, the shards of glass were all over my floor. I didn’t care. I walked on them, I sliced the bottom of my arm with them. It was better than any safety pin could ever make me feel.

In my mind, the cutting was getting rid of the dirty blood in me. It was releasing the pain, not just blood. After this, I needed to cut. I couldn’t make it through the day without excusing myself from class to the bathroom at least twice a day. The brilliant thing was, no one noticed. Some part of me knew it was wrong, knew what my mum would say if she found out. But, what my mum didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. She got on fine for years not knowing that my dad still loved her, how he treated me at home, what my step dad had taken from me.

The cutting wasn’t good enough, I needed more of an escape from reality. I got pretty deep into drugs. Oxy, pot, robo, ben, vicadin, you know, the basics. Nothing I could get too addicted too. I didn’t have the money for the really good stuff anyway.

The cutting and drugs led to suicide attempts. There was no point to keep living. I would try to OD on things, but it seemed no matter what I did, it wouldn’t work. I didn’t have a gun, and figured that the first thing out of my parents mouth if I stabbed myself would be: ‘That selfish girl kills herself, and then leaves us to clean up the mess?’ So, I kept attempting and failing. My most recent attempt was last February, I took every kind of pill I could find. But during that night, I realised that I did have things to live for. So what if my dad was a drunken asshole? I shouldn’t ever let his idiocy get me down. He’s screwing his own life up but I don’t have to let it affect mine.

So I kept myself awake all night. It was hard, but I knew if I fell asleep it would be over. The next morning when I finally let myself fall asleep, it was like being reborn when I woke up.

My dad still drinks heavily, but I just try to be with my mum or hang out with my friends as much as possible so I don’t have to be home. I’ve quit cutting almost completely, although the original scars won’t seem to fade. They are a constant reminder to me of who I was and who I want to be. I realise now how desperate of a condition I was in if it took a suicide attempt to knock me back into reality, but I’m glad I went through what I did. It has really made me understand people and myself so much better. I now have three best friends who have all been through something like what I’ve been through, some worse, some not as bad. It scares me that so many people go through these kinds of things, but we have all pretty much stopped now and are helping each other out just by being with each other.


Permanent location: