I finally confess ... I'm a cutter
I remember the first time I began cutting. I was 16 years old and going through, what I like to call now, a crazy attack. I was not able to control my overwhelming emotions; which was, at the moment of my first cut, uncontrollable crying. When I was in the shower, I decided to take apart a disposable razor and use a shoelace around my upper forearm and begin my first cut. It was small, but effective. Frankly, it shocked me that I had enough courage to do it but it also helped me with my crazy attack. All I did was watch the blood run down my arm as the water tried to wash it away and I felt better. I finally stopped crying.
I finally found my cure for what my therapist called my "internal amplifier." Although he could not diagnose me with a condition (particularly because he was not a doctor) he did inform me that I had a problem in which my emotions were amplified more than other people would experience.
When I was sad, I cried for days.
When I was happy, I was ecstatic.
When I got upset, I got physically violent.
I found that I could control the emotional amplification, or crazy attacks, through cutting. I hid it pretty well for several years even though the cuts began increasing in length and number. I was very methodical when it came to these therapeutic moments. The cut had to be done slowly, in private, and with intent.
The sight of the blood was not necessarily the thing that I needed to calm down. It was actually the sensation of the skin being torn open that helped my crazy attacks go away. This is the particular reason why my cutting was done slowly. My intentions were always the same: make the crazy attacks go away and regain control of myself. I was never the type to cut because "I was bored" or was looking for attention. As I stated earlier, I hid this for several years.
Then, one day, I did the dumbest thing: I mixed alcohol with my cutting. This was very dumb for a couple of reasons. First off, I was never a drinker, not even socially. If I had to estimate how many times I actually drank by this time, it was about three times. Secondly, I had enough issues to deal with already and I really didn't need to introduce another vice, but my dumb ass decided to be stupid.
One very drunk day, when I was in my mid-twenties, I cut a little too deep. It felt great and I was amazed by how much white, fleshy layers of skin were exposed. For me it was hypnotic...I was released from my emotional confusion, and I regained my composure instantly. The problem was not only the alcohol in my system that made me lose my senses to cut so deep. The problem was that I decided to cut in front of a group of people. I always hid my cutting because I didn't want people to judge me and especially ask questions. These people asked a lot of questions and, frankly, pissed me off for comparing my actions to suicide. My actions were never meant to cease my existence; only to bring me back to it.
This was the moment that I forgot how extremely disturbing cutting was to others. By then I knew that my cutting had to change, mostly for self preservation in the eyes of my friends and family. However, my evolution did not take the form of a socially acceptable nature. But it took on a new form, or at least a new term: self-injurer. I no longer sought out a blade for solace, but now I looked towards tattoos and piercings.
I love piercings because you can pull at them and still be able to tear the surrounding tissue. Tattoos are nice too. They beautify cutting by tearing the skin open, adding ink, and making a pretty picture that will always remind you of that moment you lost control and regained it. I see my pretty pictures and find strength during a very vulnerable time of my life. Both forms of body beautification are awesome not only for the splendorous moment but also in the fact that I was able to hide them from the rest of the world, particularly those who knew that this became my new form of therapy. I hated to have to hide my "artwork" but I hated it even more when I was stared at with confusion, discontent, and broken hearts because of the path I chose to deal with my emotional discord.
By no means am I advocating self injury or cutting. I have noticed that some former cutters found comfort in talking about it, writing, or finding another socially acceptable way of dealing with their problems. I even found a former cutter who is willing to help others from continuing this violent path.
I began my addiction to cutting 16 years ago and have tried to find other remedies to my problems for the sake of my family. I wrote for many years, I have talked to several trained people about my condition, and I have even taken up other activities to help veer me away from self injury; but honestly, they haven't really worked for me. The path always leads me back to self-injury... and, inevitably, back to cutting.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 May 2008