How it Started

Copyright, Raychel

It started when I was in 7th grade. I was twelve. Now I’m thirteen and in 8th grade. I’ve been cutting now for a year and it’s the worst and the best thing I’ve ever done… Cutting is a way to get all my emotions out, without thinking about suicide. I don’t want to die. Cutting helps me more than it hurts me. But I really need to get a different way to get my emotions out. It’s bad though because it’s so addicting. First it might just be once a week and it just gets more often. I just wrote this because I want other people to know that cutting and any other SI is bad and not to do it. It takes over your life. If you can quit then try really hard to but for some people they have reached a point where they can’t stop. If you ever need someone to talk to or anything, please e-mail me. I’ll talk, I’ll listen, just try my best to help. You can quit, it is possible, anything is possible if you have the determination and the support.


Copyright, Raychel

I’ve been self harming in various ways for as long as I can remember, and I’m eighteen. I just recently told my mother (maybe, seven months ago or so) and we had the whole cry bit, but later is when I really found out some things I needed to know. She told me that since I was around two I wouldn’t let cuts heal. She said I would pick at the scabs and wash off Neosporin and the like. She didn’t know why and she thought it was a phase. But I believe that that is when I began SI. She said when I was three (we lived in Sicily and the Mediterranean “sand” is basically sharp gravel) I would pick up sharp shells and cut my legs with it. Not deep, but it was intentional. Sometimes, I’d be mad or upset, then I would just pick up a shell, cut, and I’d stop. My mother would look over and I’d be bleeding and she’d get really scared. She didn’t know what was happening. after she caught me, she never let me out of her sight, I guess I stopped cutting then. Instead I would burn when I could. If I were in the kitchen with her and she turned her back, I’d touch whatever I thought was the hottest. And when she noticed I did that, she started crying and she sent me away. I was around five. I was sent to a children’s hospital and she visited me every day. They didn’t know what was wrong so they sent me back home. I guess I quit SI for a few years. We moved to Florida when I was about six and a half for only six months or so. I don’t even remember it. I tried to use the shells there. But they were different. They weren’t sharp like the ones I was used to. I had to find some way I guess. I started “climbing” metal street signs. I would come home with bloody gashes on my inner calves and my mom would just cry and cry. (I still have two scars from it.) I had no idea what was going on, what was I doing wrong? After Florida, which was basically just an extended vacation, we moved back to England. I guess by the time I was seven I realised what was making her cry. And so I found ways to hide it. When I was eight, I of course bathed and dressed myself. So I would cut on my chest, I had found her art kit, and that meant exacto blades. I wouldn’t cut deep, or even very often. Maybe once or twice a month. Then when it was summer, I had no problems. Or so I thought. My mom knew I was doing this, and she called all the doctors she could and they all told her it was only a phase. She started going through my stuff, and hiding her blades. I guess I stopped again then. When I was eleven, I began growing breasts. I was disappointed, when I looked at my chest, all my scars looked different. it looked like they’d moved. That disappointed me. I realised I had an older cousin (maybe fourteen years old) who was very thin and had almost no boobs. I decided to become thin, too. I was only ninety pounds and about five feet tall. I gave up almost every food I ever enjoyed. It was very hard. I had seen a television show where a woman was a vegan. She was quite lean and very flat-chested. I decided that was the way. I became a vegan. I refused to eat fruit (the sugars), I’d only eat veggies and drink water. I stayed strict on this plan, but to my dismay I became five foot four inches, one hundred pounds with a 34C chest by the time I was thirteen. I was very disappointed. But all the guys liked me, and my scars were fading anyway. So I didn’t care. And I didn’t SI. I just stopped eating as much. It hurt. And I liked it. When I was fourteen, I got into an accident and broke both my legs. My left femur and my right tibia. I gained fifty pounds when I was in the hospital. They tried to make me eat meat and dairy. I refused, not only did I think I’d become fat, I didn’t think it was healthy to just start eating meats. They put in a feeding tube. Once I was healed and released, I was 5’7” and about 135. I wore a size nine. Now I think that that is a healthy weight. Normal, at least. But I wasn’t normal. My boyfriend broke up with me. He said I had “changed” I didn’t realise back then that I had changed emotionally. That’s what he meant. I thought he meant it was because of my physical changes. But I didn’t go back to my vegan pseudo-anorexic lifestyle. I didn’t go back to SI. I went to food. I just ate when I was depressed. And since my accident left me with an eight inch steel rod for a left femur, I was prohibited to exercise. The pressure is too much, and the rod might become displaced. My dad started teasing me for my weight gain. He told me I’d be unhappy later in life if I got fat. I wanted to prove him wrong. So I continued eating and gaining weight. I was still your average teenager, with friends and drugs and all that. I thought I was normal. I didn’t realise that their isn’t a normal. But he kept teasing, some immature brats at school were teasing me, so I stopped binging. And that’s what re-triggered my SI. I was fifteen the next time I cut. A friend, who lived thirty minutes away, invited me over. I had my mom take me out there, and I knocked and rang the bell and waited for fifteen minutes. But no one showed up. My mom took me back home. I was embarrassed. And I felt like shit about it. So I carved the word “bitch” into my left forearm. It felt so good. That was when I started the nightly ritual of cutting. That was three years ago. During this past summer (2004) I began to see what emotional distress my cutting was causing my friends and mother. So I slowed the cutting down to whenever I really felt the urge. But the urge came nearly every day. In more recent news, I decided to quit cutting a while ago. I was successful for sixty days. Then, I just got an urge. That was January 28th, almost a month ago, and I’ve cut every night since.


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