Self-Injury — Why?

Copyright Kate

I am fourteen years old and in the 8th grade. I have a lot of great friends, generally OK parents and a regular home life. That’s how I see the world some days. Other days, I feel like I have no friends except for one girl, who cuts also, and that my parents and family is absolutely horrible. I deal with this by cutting.

A lot of times, nothing will have happened and I’ll just cut because I need to. Cutting and self-injury are addictions, just like if you were addicted to alcohol or drugs. But there’s also time that I cut because I had a fight with my mom or a friend. For me, cutting boosts my self esteem and makes me feel, well, I guess the word is good.

But, after I cut, I feel guilty. I look at my scars, scrapes and needles (which I use to cut) and just cry because I realise how screwed up I am. Looking at my scars and needles just makes me want to cut more, too. But, even though I feel this way, I can’t turn myself in for help because I’m afraid of getting in trouble. I know how my mom will act and it’s not something I want to experience.

Cutting doesn’t solve anything and I know that, but I just can’t stop. I just can’t. I have tried, though. I was clean for four and a half weeks (which I consider really good) but every day in the four and a half weeks I spent crying or snapping my bracelets (my ‘on the go’ way of cutting) just so I can get my daily fulfilment of pain.

I don’t know why I’m writing this because I do know that, even though I want to, I’m not going to stop anytime soon. But, oh well. I guess this is just to let all the cutters out there know that you’re not alone.

My Story — or how I came to bear scars

Copyright Kate

I started to cut myself when I was thirteen. I was just beginning to realise my own mortality, often having terrifying dreams about dying or seeing family members die, and it was then that I first experienced depression. I became fascinated with vampires and their immortality, reading all the novels I could find, and finally started researching about the underground movement of ‘real’ vampires. It was at this point I first started to cut myself, cutting small crosses on my body just to be in contact with blood. However as I went further into my teens I became very depressed and withdrawn from my social groups, who consequentially shunned me, and I started to use cutting as a form of release from the pain I felt. I outgrew my fascination with vampires but the habit of cutting stayed with me.

When I was about sixteen I became convinced that I was a bad person, that I was worthless, and acted accordingly. I started going to clubs, drinking large quantities, dabbled in drugs and slept around. I felt totally out of control of myself, ashamed of who I thought I was. I went from using safety pins and scratching myself to using razor blades and even punching myself in the stomach to feel more and more pain. It got so bad at one point that when at home alone I would get drunk so that I could cut deeper than I had the guts to do while sober. I felt angry at my mum, who left my dad when I was eight and I haven’t spoken to since, for leaving me behind and not teaching me more about who I was. Eventually this all came to a head when I didn’t come home one night, instead going to a club and getting off my face before going back to a guy’s house, most of which I cannot even remember now I was so intoxicated. My parents were furious and confused as to why I’d changed so much, and it destroyed me to see how hurt they were. After this I stopped hanging out with the bad crowd of people I’d fallen in with and stopped drinking. I still kept my SI pretty much to myself, I had so alienated my school friends that we didn’t speak anymore and I didn’t feel my family would understand. I still have not confided this to the majority of people in my life.

When I was seventeen, after going through yet another break up from yet another guy who didn’t care or respect me, I found my present boyfriend (the friend of the guy who I broke up with incidentally). He was also a self-harmer, although hadn’t been for as long or as severe as I was at the time. We just clicked. We had been friends for about a year, and I had been confiding in him things I couldn’t tell anyone else for about half of that time, so he knew me quite well. The most important thing is that since being with him I have been cut free, over a year now, which I am so proud of. I try not to rely on him to make me happy, but that is a very hard thing to do, and now he has left to go to university, making our relationship long distance, I feel exposed like I used to. I have been tempted to self-harm again, but when I see the scars, which are only just beginning to fade, I feel motivated to keep going.

I read the stories on here and some of the things that have happened to people, the pain they have endured which caused them to SI, it makes my own pain seem trivial. I’ve had a reasonably good life, a nice childhood, the worst thing to have happened is the splitting up of my parents, which half of all kids go through. I do know that the years of cutting have profoundly changed me, before all of this started I was outgoing, dreamt of being an actress or singer, now I am a much more reserved person, and much less trusting of people. I am now looking forward to a bright future, I’m going to university next year to study creative writing, and am trying to put all this pain behind me. I hope that this story gives hope to someone who feels they’ll never be able to stop, anything is possible. I can’t even remember what my legs looked like before I started self-harming, but hopefully next summer, for the first time in five years, my scars will have faded enough so that I’ll be able to wear a bikini on the beach and will no longer have to hide.


Copyright, Kate

My name’s Kate and I’m fifteen, nearly sixteen. I’ve been cutting since I was about eleven when my parents got divorced. I thought that when they split up I would at least have my brother, who is seven years older than me, but I didn’t. I found out he was drinking and taking drugs and hardly ever saw him, I’d never felt so alone. At this point I found out that I had a brother that died when he was two days old and I was born because he died, my parents always use it against me saying things like “I wish your brother was alive instead of you”. I don’t know what made me cut, I just saw a pair of scissors and dug them into my arm as hard as I could, the feeling was something that I can never describe, everything just went away and I was happy — well for a few minutes. I cut for about a year or so then I don’t know what happened but I just stopped and didn’t think anything of it. My dad had met someone else and was happy with her and I got on with her to but later found out she was using my dad for money and playing mind games with me. My mum had also met someone else but didn’t tell me about him, I worked it out. I was so angry when I found out because she’d been lying to me, that’s when I was feeling really low again and remembered what I used to do, so I found a razor in the bathroom and cut so deep that I passed out. My brother found me and took me to hospital and nothing more was said of it. I was about thirteen when this happened. By this time I’d been moved between my parents so many times that I felt like I didn’t have a home. I’d also tried suicide a few times by overdosing on painkillers, but I just threw them up, and slitting my wrists, but that didn’t work either. My brother was still taking drugs and drinking heavily. I hated him for it but little did I know that that’s what I’d turn out like in a years time. I didn’t stop cutting and I didn’t want to stop until I found I was going on holiday with my best friend, her parents and brother. My best friend’s parents cared about me more than my real parents have or ever will and I couldn’t bear the thought of them finding out so I tried my hardest to stop cutting so they would just be scars by the time I was on holiday. I managed to do this but started drinking heavily and doing drugs or anything that I could get my hands on. The drinking wasn’t a problem as my friend’s parents let me drink so I could drink in front of them and I was going to the Caribbean and, like, everyone does drugs over there so I could easily get my hands on drugs. I didn’t think this would be a problem. When I was over there I was happy, I didn’t feel that I needed to do drugs or drink, but I did go out getting drunk and smoking weed but I was just being like the fourteen year olds I knew. But just as everything was going right I knew that something would come along to mess everything up but I wasn’t expecting this. I went out with my friend, her brother and some people we’d met over there and it was a free drinks all night club so we got off our faces but when we got back to the hotel my friend passed out on the bed next to mine and her brother was coming over to me but I didn’t think anything of it but then he got on top of me and started kissing me then telling me how much of a slut I was and I deserved everything he was going to do to me. I was so scared that I couldn’t move or scream but I didn’t want to scream as I didn’t want my friend or her parents to find out because I thought it was my fault. As he was raping me I felt the urges to cut so bad but I couldn’t, then I felt my body being scratched by this person raping me, this is going to sound really sick, but I was happy that he was hurting me I can’t really explain it. I really wanted to die after because I felt so worthless and dirty, so I started cutting again but trying to cut where people couldn’t see but when I got home then I was cutting my arms. Recently it’s been a year that it happened and I still have to see this guy almost every day and hear about what a great guy he is. On the anniversary of the rape my boyfriend, who I cared very much about and who I’d told a lot of stuff too and said he cared about me, finished with me. I was so upset even though I was in a club I went into the toilets and cut myself, I think that’s the lowest I’ve ever felt. In the past six weeks my dad has kicked me out twice and I have spent a few nights on the street, which I really don’t want to do again. My dad doesn’t know that I cut myself but he says that I have a problem and I need help, but I refuse to be someone’s next paycheck so it looks like this is what the rest of my life will be like, who knows how long it’ll be before the end. Every night I go to sleep and hope that I wont wake up, but every morning I do, one day — soon, hopefully — I won’t wake up. I know this has been a long story but I needed to write it down and thought that if it helps people who are considering starting cutting not to, and people ho do cut to try and stop before it goes to far. If anyone wants to email me to talk then please feel free to. Who knows, it might help me too.


Copyright, Kate

I have always been a depressed child. I have always felt inferior and useless. I started thinking about suicide and self harming at the age of 14. While most girls were into boys and makeup, I was into death. I attempted suicide at 18. I am 22 today and still cut. I have quit but started again. This has been a hard time and I am sure it will get worse. I am staying alive for my family and hopefully some day I will stay alive for myself.


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