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My life as a cutter

Disclaimer: What follows is my life as a cutter as I feel like telling it. I've done some stupid things in my life, so don't do what I did.

I'm an emotional cutter, and damn proud of it. Normally I'd cut when I get really angry or sad. I'm highly introverted, but very emotional, so I find my feelings bottle up inside like a raging cyclone. When I let loose, I'm normally too scared of the ramifications if I lash out at someone else, so I just cut sick on myself (no pun intended). I've tortured myself in as many ways as I can imagine (solo only), but cutting seems to be the only thing that really worked for me. I'm not the type of person to go for a walk. I don't recommend or share my experiences with others, unless I know they're already like me. That way I only ever had to deal with the stigma in my own mind.

I got into self mutilation in grade four. Everyone in my life who was supposed to care either ignored me or abused me in their own ways. I remember hiding under my bed with a knife in the morning before school, intending to use it to kill my brother if he came in. Just so you know, still want him to die, but I want it to be by Karma's way. Anyhow, he came in and I couldn't do it so I tried to slit my wrists instead. Mum heard the commotion, and for the first time in her life, actually came to see what was going on, so we shut up and pretended nothing had happened.

From that day I had the idea of cutting in my head but thought each cut would scar, so I just damaged myself in other ways. Talking back to my brother was my favourite, I used to get the #%!# beaten out of me for that. Swinging a baseball bat over my shoulder and onto my back was okay too, hurt like hell but only seemed to bruise bad if I hit the same spot twice.

My cutting career began late February, 1997. It was my second week of high school, and my younger brother (the cool one) and I were having our morning fight. It ended with me chasing him out the back door of the house, around the side, and up the front stairs toward the front door. Only problem was, he's a mad runner, so I was sprinting full pace across the verandah when my older brother shut the door when I was no more than a foot or two from it. I was going too fast to stop so I ended up going through the plate glass section, ripping up my right forearm and the top part of my left arm.

When those cuts were healing, I didn't do any damage to myself, except take too many painkillers, but that was for fun. Watching them heal was fascinating. I loved picking the scabs off them and letting them bleed everywhere. Some of them are really wide because of it though. After that, scars didn't worry me anymore. My intentional scars are all fairly discrete or coverable, mainly due to the paranoia that people can tell the difference between sources, and partially due to a personal preference to keep my real self hidden from the world.

Over the years, my "roadmap" became less about doing the one thing for myself that I could control, and more about art. When I look at myself, each scar tells its own symbolic story, even though most of them are simple patterns created from straight lines. I don't like curved lines, they hurt and I don't get the rush. I look down and I see my life. The real story behind who I am, not the façade of me. I see all the events that led me to where I am today. I use them to remind myself of my virtues, and to keep me from wanting to kill myself from loneliness. I look at my past and I see my future. That's why I got the butterfly tattoo, to always think "freedom". I see the stories and scars of days past, and dream of the adventures and better times of tattoos ahead. Let's face it, I'd rater be an 80 year old covered in tatts than scars.

As time passes and I'm getting older, I find I'm cutting less and less. Today I cut myself for the first time in about three months. That's the longest I've gone since I first started. I don't know if it's because I'm too used to cutting myself to care anymore, or because I'm in a rut where the story is the same everyday. Either way, I don't think I'll be doing it much longer. Maybe it's because these days I feel numb. Maybe I'm just used to that crazy thing we call life.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: Self
Studio: Anywhere
Location: Gold+Coast%2C+Australia

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