Liliana G.

The Method to the Madness

Copyright, Liliana G.

I guess that you could call this an ongoing struggle. I mean, I’ve been self-injuring for years, since I was seven or eight. When I was really young, I used to get so angry and so upset and so afraid that the pain of my abusive childhood would consume me that I had to find a release. I remember slamming my head into the wall, gouging at my arms, drawing blood with sharp implements, and yanking out my hair by the roots. I remember forcing myself to fall, to run into things, to suffer ‘accidents.’

The cutting didn’t start until I was 17, during my senior year in high school. The pressure to be perfect had finally gotten to me, and the years of repressed anger, depression, despair and disillusion had reached the breaking point. The abuse in my household had become much more subtle and psychological, and I was coming unglued.

So, when I discovered my best friend’s form of self-medication, I jumped at the chance. It was so easy, so effortless. My mother kept razor blades in the cabinet, and she didn’t even miss it.

I just cut and cut and cut until I ended up with 35 cuts on both arms. The blood was minimal, but each cut yielded a delicious sort of pain and an incredible sort of relief, for the time being at least.

That cutting spree lasted me a good two months, but I had to hide my scars on my forearms with long sleeves and sweaters in the middle of an unseasonably warm Kansas spring. What’d you do to your arms? What happened? My parents were oblivious as usual, and only 2 or 3 people knew. They were more fascinated or were cutters themselves. So, it was easy to hide it.

I continued to cut on and off through college, never as deep or as prolifically as the first time, and I even stopped for an entire year, but I started up again when the pressures of applying to law school got to me, and at law school, I slipped again, cutting almost as much as I did the first time.

I still want to do it. I still want to hurt myself, but I force myself to stop.

It’s almost impossible somedays, but I’m holding out as much as I can.

Who knows how long I’ll last. I noticed that my eating disorders intensify when I don’t cut. Right now, I weigh 110 pounds, eat once a day, and work out 2 hours every day at the gym. It’s so easy to become addicted to self-destruction. Cutting, anorexia, they’re just the tools, they’re just the method to the madness.


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