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My Morning Star

I remember the first time I heard about cutting. I was watching a news special filled with pale, angst ridden girls. Their pain both amused and disgusted me. Amusement came from the fact that their lives were so damn good. Most were wearing expensive clothes and were very pretty. They came from nice neighborhoods and obviously had a good family...they got them on TV didn't they? My disgust came when I realized just what self-injury entailed. Bleeding, ripping of flesh, chance of infection. I was turned off by it.

My immergence in middle school found me confronted with cutting more and more. Abused girls and loners were finally tired of being silent and it showed on their skin. In middle school the "goths" and the "punks" used self-injury as a form of expression.They had been wronged, they were pissed off, and most just didn't care. As much as I admired this, I still found the concept of self-injury puzzling.

Then it happened. My golden childhood ended. My mother had died. I don't know how to explain in words what this does to a 12 year old girl. It's an unspeakable horror that I still haven't came to terms with. But one thing's for sure-I had changed. I entered puberty with a bang. But, small steps grasshopper.

People thought after the death of my mother, I went on the path of destruction. But I saw it as the path of self-exploration. I started smoking, with stolen cigarettes. I started drinking-mouthwash. I drank Robo until my eyes crossed and snorted coke until I cried. I even tried heroin.

But that wasn't right for me. It was an expensive escape, a gradual suicide of a 13 year old. I quit and the pain was still there. It was unbearable day after day. One day I remembered seeing those girls long ago on TV talking about cutting. How it made them feel like all their problems went away. That was what I wanted, more than anything. That's what I had prayed for. So I got my razor and made my first cuts. About 20 up and down each forearm. Very light cuts though, barely bleeding. But it was a start.

At first, when I did this, I felt nothing. It wasn't a way to control my emotions. It all seemed just to be an exercise of my obsessive compulsive disorder. I loved haggling the razor out of the lady shaver, soaking it in alcohol, wiping my cut area with peroxide three times. I also loved the aftercare. Something about cleaning and mending wounds did something to me. I loved knowing that I had changed a bloody incision into a pink scar. I loved that my body had the power to do that.

One day I was cutting and pressed harder than I should. All of a sudden a rush of blood came out of the wound, instead of the trickle I was used to. Euphoria-absolute euphoria. It was love. I had found my home in this warm feeling. It was better than heroin, that just made me sick. This made me feel warm and cozy-so alive. It was great.

One day I heard somewhere that pain is beauty and I thought so true. I pulled out my trusty razor ready to get beautiful. I traced a four inch circle on my stomach with a blue magic marker. Then I dug in. I found it a little hard to maneuver but I was fine once I made a small ditch where the circle was. I layed back listening to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and had my razor turning slow circles. My heart raced and the adrenalin put me in a trance. It's the best thing I had ever felt in my life, it was a religious experience. I disconnected from the world and felt for a second enlightenment. I felt as though I almost remembered the secret to life. I felt as though I was on the edge of meeting Jesus Christ...and becoming him myself. Pure orgasmic.

I don't know why, but I fell asleep in the middle of doing this. I guess the endorphins relaxed me and lulled me to the great la la land. Anyway I woke up and started panic. A lot of my stomach was covered with dried blood. I thought maybe I had passed out from lack of blood. It also hurt-really, really bad. It stung and was so sore. I didn't want to touch it. So I crawled in the shower and let the water run over it. It was painful. I used a washcloth and gringed as I felt the blood coming off. I looked down at my stomach.

It was a circle alright. Red, swollen, jagged edges. Peaking out above my navel. I knew I cut too deep because the flesh was coming apart and I think I saw fat. No way in hell the hospital was in my future though. I poured peroxide on it (alcohol would have been torture)and put a bandage on it. I was careful not to move around a lot because that caused a separating sensation. I loved it.

When it became healed I turned it into a pentagram (or is it pentacle?) by decorating the middle. I felt as though magic was what I experienced the night I created the circle. It also attuned me with nature and God. I remembered someone telling me that the five points at one time stood not for the elements but the five places Jesus was wounded-wrists, ankles, and stomach. Whether that's true or not, I found it painstakingly symbolic.

I never became one of those girls who felt as though cutting was the only release. I did find empathy for them though. Cutting never gave me a permanent escape and it never made me "okay." But I felt as though it gave me a gift. The adrenalin gave me the natural high, the pain gave me humility, and the aftercare gave me compassion. All these things I desperately needed after what I had been through. That star, although simply a pink scar now, became one of my most cherished memories. It came to stand for how far I had come and how grateful I should be.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 April 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Myself
Studio: Bedroom
Location: West+Virginia

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