Don’t let them Know

Copyright, Sweepea, original location

There are many “taboo” subjects in society, death, incest, rape, etc. Well, I’m going to talk about another one, one you may not have heard of. Self-mutilation. Its name alone is enough to conjure up dark horrific images. It’s something that is very rarely discussed, even in the most open of forums. Yet, it exists. How do I know? That’s simple. I have suffered from it.

I hope to offer some education about this problem and perhaps some insight. I began cutting myself when I was 13 years old. It was easy, the only thing I needed to do it, was supplied to me, in art class, an X-acto blade. I sat diligently for about an hour, carving my arm and watching the blood, mystified as it sat on the surface of my skin for a second, before it flowed down.

When I was done, I had a lot of cuts in my arm. Some flowing into each other. I felt a sense of power, and a tremendous relief of the stress I had been feeling. As though I had cut the pain out and brought it to the surface so it could now heal. When I was done, I would just roll down my sleeves and no one would be the wiser. It’s almost a trance-like state for me. Once I go into it, it’s hard to come out, without actually cutting myself.

It can become a repetitious cycle that’s easy to fall into. I would promise myself I would stop, every time I saw a new scar, to no avail. It was the ultimate release for me, and I didn’t mind. After all, it didn’t hurt and no one had to know. What could be better?

For some, burning themselves is the release. I have burned myself as well, but always went back to cutting. It made me feel as though I had really cleansed myself of a lot of the stresses. I’m learning slowly, better ways to handle my feelings, so I don’t lash out at myself. It’s tough at times, because it is easier to hurt myself than to hurt someone else.

I didn’t cut myself because I was crazy, or anything of that nature. And, no one that does it, or has done it, is. For me, it was the only release I felt comfortable with. Why burden others with what I was feeling? They surely had enough of their own problems, and didn’t need to hear about my petty antics.

I wish it were possible for me to express the feelings that are involved in doing this. But, they are too numerous and so personalized, that it makes them hard to explain. On ocassion there was a sense of “I’ll show them!”, when I would cut myself, but I would never show them. It was my secret to keep. And, I wasn’t about to tell anyone and have them take away my release.

As I’ve grown, and changed my ways of thinking and expressing myself cutting myself is rare. I am now better able to get the emotions out, without having to “cut them out.” I’ve since told people about it, and came to find that I was and am far from alone. I carry the scars of my inability to cope, and know I am lucky to have been left with very few. The urges still come, and they are hard to resist sometimes, but with support and understanding from those around me. A phone call or a short talk, is usually enough to bring me out of it.

I will be adding more to this topic, as I go. I just wanted to touch upon it a little, as an introduction. And, to let others out there, that may do the same things, that they are not alone. And thank you, to all my wonderful friends that help me get through, one day at a time. I love you all.


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