Think Very Carefully
I'm sure that you all have your own very different and unique reasons for cutting, as do I. But in this experience I intend not to focus primarily on the reasons behind cutting, but the act of and the consequences of cutting. Partly because I do not wish to share it and partly because I want to use this experience to try and communicate with people who have not cut before and are thinking of doing so and also with people who are trying to stop.
I will start off by giving you some background information on myself. I am a 17 year old boy and I live in Manchester in the UK. I would not go as far as to say I modify my body in a 'hardcore' way but I have had 12 piercings altogether (these include my septum, both my nipples, my tongue web, my centre labret, both lobes stretched to 16mm and various other ear piercings). I also have two tattoos. I have not cut now for nearly two years and the reason I have decided to write this experience now is that for the first time since I got over the events that led me to cutting in the first place, I considered it a couple of days ago.
Back when I was 14 some stuff happened in my life that I found incredibly hard to deal with and as a result I began to cut. At first it started off with a few scratches on my forearm. I did not really see a problem with this at first as it made me feel better at the time and the scratches healed with out any problem, thus, leaving my arms clean and unmarked. However, as time went on and I became more comfortable in the act of cutting myself, the cutting became far more frequent and the cuts became much deeper.
As the cuts became deeper I noticed that when they were starting to heal, raised up white lines would appear which if you run your fingers over, you can quite clearly feel them, as well as see them. This went on for over a year steadily getting worse and worse until my forearms and upper arms were covered in these raised scars. About this time my mum found out as I could not bear to wear a long sleeved top on this particular day due to the heat. This was on a day that I did not intend to see any of my family members or anyone that close to me so it did not matter to me if anyone saw. By chance I bumped into my mum and she immediately noticed the cuts and scars.
Her first instinct was anger. She could not understand why I had done this to myself and was so cross with me. As you can imagine, this did not help matters at all and led to more cutting. After a couple of months my mum realized she had approached the situation in the completely wrong way. We talked a lot over the next few days and she helped me to sort out some of the problems that had occurred and gradually I cut less and less, until eventually I did not feel the need to anymore, that is until the other day when I found certain things particularly hard to deal with. My girlfriend noticed that I was not happy and I managed to tell her what was wrong. She was amazing and said all of the rite things to make me feel better about the situations and about myself.
So anyway, that is the story behind my cutting but I have not finished this experience yet. Before I shut up I want to talk about how I view my scars now and how they are viewed by the people close to me (the ones that notice, I manage to hide them most of the time)
The people who are close to me don't understand why I felt the need to do this to myself and think it is kind of weird that I did. A lot of the people who notice don't say anything, probably because they don't want to run the risk of offending me or probably because they are scared of the answer I may give to explain the strange markings on my arms.
I have to live with these scars every day of my life and will probably have to do so until I go to feed the worms. Some days I do try and forget about them and get on with my life but others, it is very hard to do as I feel very self conscious about them. If someone asks me what they are and how I got them I simply shut down, I don't know what to say to explain myself. I feel sick.
The message I am trying to get across here is that for some people cutting mite be the only way to deal with things, but for the vast majority of us there is a much healthier way.
At the time I did not think about the consequences my cutting would have during later life. I now resent these scars on my arms. I think they are ugly and they remind me of things I would rather forget. I wish they were not there and I wish that I had never started in the first place. However bad things may seem, cutting yourself should not be the best way to deal with things.
Apart from the few moments the other day when I considered cutting myself again, I have been a very happy person who always tries to get the most out of everything I do. The other day made me realize that there are other ways of dealing with things.
I want to end my experience now by saying that I do not wish to offend anyone who cuts. I have simply told my story and I have made clear how I feel about my cutting today. One of the things I have tried to do here is to discourage people from cutting who have not started yet and trying to tell people who are trying to stop cutting that there are other ways, I think and hope that you will agree with me when I say this is a good thing. Things aren't always as bad as they seem.
I hope you all found my experience helpful in one way or another and if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to email me. Once again I would like to say that this experience was not intended to have a go at people who do cut and continue to cut.
And remember, as the title says, think very carefully before you cut!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 March 2007