Copyright, Milly

I guess you can say I’m pretty much a newbie to this self-injury thing. It’s two weeks and two days since I first did it. Before I write about what I’m doing to myself I need to explain a little about myself.

I am not “normal”. I have always found it really hard to talk to normal people, and get on well with people. I don’t even have the confidence to ask if I can go to lunch with people from classes, and nobody has ever asked me. I’m not popular because I’m bright, geeky and not exactly pretty. A couple of years ago I got the internet at home, and started chatting and made some friends here because I didn’t have any in real life. I fell in love with one, and we met and I realized I didn’t love him in real life, just the one I imagined. I went out with him for 5 months, and when I broke it off I thought he would kill himself, and I thought I was a murderer. He was my first boyfriend, but he never kissed me. We stayed friends for about a month, then he suddenly stopped replying to everything I sent; emails, phonecalls, IRC chats, everything. I harrassed him (literally, if he’d called the police God knows what would have happened) for 6 months, and then forced myself to stop. There is not a day when I don’t think about him, what I did to him and how I thought I had murdered him. That was a year and a half ago. I pretty much hate myself a lot of the time, that’s what I’m getting at. I hate the way I hurt everyone, the way I think I’m special, and my self arrogance, and I hate it when other people say they like me.

So anyway, it was Tuesday and I’d had a really good day; I’d made a real effort to be friendly and even went outside and made daisy chains on the grass at school. Then I had my violin lesson, and it was terrible. My teacher’s really sweet but she criticised me and I’d tried so hard all week that I hated myself that I was getting so upset about it. My violin lesson meant I was 15 minutes late for my private maths lesson, but I was so upset I just sat in the loo crying. I left it later and later to go to my maths lesson, and just cried and cried, hating myself so much for getting in such a state.

Suddenly, out of nowhere I wanted to hurt myself. I scratched my hand in the same place up and down fast for about a minute till it felt like it was burning with friction. The skin was totally gone and it was bleeding a bit. It hurt in a really nice way, like it was hurting “for” me. People asked how I did it, and I made up some excuse about falling over.

That weekend I got really upset over the silliest argument with my dad, and scratched up my arm, but bigger. I did it in three places. When I saw the red specks of blood, I loved it. And I loved the lasting surface pain of it, something to remind me of what I felt inside.

I realized I wanted to see the blood more than I wanted a big surface area of skin removed, and concealing these scratches was getting a bit tricky. I’d resorted to “I fell out of a tree”. So I got the small sharp kitchen knife, and drew it across my arm two times. It barely bled at all, but it was much more blood than scratches, and it hurt more when I did it. Scratching just kind of burns, cutting you feel the knife running through the skin…

You had to work quite hard with the small knife, so next time I used the bigger knife (about 7 inches) just above my knee. I sharpened it, and ran it across the skin. It was much easier than the small knife as I didn’t have to press down so much, and it bled quite a bit. In the blood I wrote the name of my ex boyfriend. I wasn’t upset, but when I did that I felt really surreal.

The next time, I’d had another argument with dad and I’d locked myself in the bathroom. I wanted to cut rather than scratch, and the only sharp thing was a razor. I spent half an hour getting the thing apart. Funnily enough, I was really worried of cutting myself with it as I was taking it apart. There’s a difference between unintentional cutting and real cutting. So eventually I’d got the blade out, and ran it along my leg. It felt much sharper than the knife, but I didn’t go so deep. After two cuts I stopped, but I kept the blade and put it in my makeup bag, although I never wear makeup.

Then at school on Monday, I found myself in the toilets upset again. So out came the razor blade and I made twenty cuts on my legs. Yesterday I got a new blade which was stronger and I went deeper. Every time it bleeds, I write his name in the blood. Today I did two cuts, one not really deep, the other has been bleeding on and off for ages now. I love it, and that’s where I am right now. I don’t want to stop. I lift up my skirt and see just line after line of red scars, and I love it. They’re not very deep, but together they look good.

I think if anyone reads this who has only just started cutting, stop before you find you can’t. I guess I still could, but right now I’m still trying to stop writing to my ex boyfriend again. I know my life seems relatively untroubled in comparison to others, so I count myself fortunate about that. I hope I’ll find a way to stop hating myself one day.


I wrote here before, this is an update on my story nearly a year on:

I continued cutting over the summer, though the scars from the scratches on my arms stayed, my mother got really suspicious about them. Things with my ex-boyfriend got really out of hand, I emailed him saying I cut myself, I was harassing him by going to his website all the time and his boss emailed my parents saying I was mentally ill, and copied one of my messages to my boyfriend saying how I cut myself. I felt so sick. My parents confronted me, I said I didn’t do it any more, it was so horrible, it was just before my last week of school. It was a really awful time, I was cutting every day more and more and got quite deep. I was terrified my parents would think I was mad, that my ex-boyfriend would contact the police and my university about my harassment, the thought of suicide was ever present on my mind.

However, I didn’t do it, and with the stress of school finished, and finally being told that I couldn’t so much as look at my ex-boyfriend’s website because I’d be arrested, I somehow stopped cutting — it didn’t seem necessary.

In the summer a friend who knew my ex-boyfriend came to stay for a week. It took me all night to say to him I cut myself, but I was desperate to tell someone. It was so hard, I spent all evening trying to get the words out. Eventually I did, and I showed him all the scars I had. I felt like I was sick, but so relieved to tell someone. He understood me.

In October I started university, and with this stress started cutting a lot more. This time however I did something about it — I went to my GP, and he referred me to a counselor. I went a couple of times, I didn’t like it, it seemed to make things futile. I stopped going, and didn’t visit my GP again as he had suggested anti-depressents.

Now it’s the Summer term — I cut a few times last term, and I’m thinking about cutting a lot right now which is why I am here. But the thing is, now I am happy. Now I have some real friends, now I am being challenged and with lots of people who are also slightly mad, where people have tutorials whilst punting on the river, where talking to oneself across the quad is normal, where liking ones subject, liking intellectual things is cool and encouraged, I am at home here, this is the environment in which I belong. I feel accepted by this society, and that is why I was unhappy before — I was not accepted. I plan not to cut any more — my scars are there and in a strange way I’m glad they are, I know not to take that path again. I hope I can be strong enough not to.

I need to know that people can be happy, and having found some inch of happiness myself, I do believe that now. I wish everyone here luck in their lives, and that they can find an acceptance in society leading to a natural happiness from living.


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