I was thirteen the first time I cut myself. My father had another stressful day working in his lab. He made crown and bridge work. He came upstairs, pissed off, and there I was. His emotional punching bag. I no longer remember what was said, but I remember finding a box of razor blades. And putting one in my pocket.
His words destroyed me. I already had low self-esteem and I really didn’t need the extra push. That one word “fat” conjured up so many negative views of myself. I was fat and ugly and didn’t think I deserved to live. Only, I couldn’t bring myself to actually commit suicide, though I did make several attempts.
I had no healthy way to express my anger and sorrow, so I began cutting. The first time I did it I barely scratched the surface. Just deep enough to cause me to bleed a little, but enough to ease some of my emotional trauma. I got better at it as time went by.
It became my ritual. I would come home from school and get my Walkman, then go for a “walk”. My parents were thrilled that I was getting some exercise on a regular basis. I would walk the paths that ambled through our subdivision and find a spot that was kind of isolated. I’m right handed so I would roll up my left sleeve. I would get out my razor blade and start to cut. Yes, it hurt, but in a good way. I was self-punishing for all the things I wasn’t. I learn to put more pressure on the blade for better results.
Nobody knew what I did. I wore long sleeve shirts all the time. The one time my mother saw a couple of scratches on my arm I told her I caught it my arm on a thorn bush. She believed me. If she had had me roll my sleeve up she would have seen about fifteen cuts. She wouldn’t have known what to do. I knew that.
This became a ritual for me. Whenever I was in severe emotional pain, I cut. I cut a lot. I think about cutting every single day. It’s been a little over a year since I last cut. I cut then because my mother decided she wanted nothing more to do with me. I sliced up my left leg and left scars. I was hiding it from my husband, but he saw it. Although he understands why I do it, it makes him sad.
I wish I could say that I will stop, but I can’t. I have a whole litany of mental health diagnoses. I’m a mess and whenever I get too “messy” I return to what I know. I am forty seven. I have been a cutter for thirty four years. I know how hard it is for some people to understand why I would do this to myself. So, I’m including a link to help you understand: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/cutting-and-self-harm.htm
Words hurt more than cutting does and the majority of people don’t cut for attention. So, be kind when you can.