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A Razor Blade to Set You Free

It was a long time before I realised that I was a 'cutter'. It was an even longer time before I allowed anybody in my life into my experiences in any way. The first time that I realised that I enjoyed inflicting pain on myself, I was 12 years old, scraping a piece of glass into my leg. I remember being fascinated by the blood trickling down my leg, and by the feeling of my flesh ripping under the force of the broken glass. I remember being confused and scared when my mother told me that this was the behaviour of a 'sick person' and that I should never do it again.

I didn't cut myself for a while thereafter. At 13 I began getting pierced, which fulfilled my desire to change and affect my own body. I became more aware of the fact that I was frustrated with my own existence, and body modification became a way to release that frustration and explore a different way to express myself. After a while I found myself not getting the same rush from 'conventional' piercings (nose, lip etc) and began to get surface piercings. The adrenaline that came with each needle was amazing, and I loved having the jewelery or scars as little reminders of the way in which I'd taken control of my body.

After a while, my mother began to 'forbid' me from piercing my own body. I became surrounded with feelings of helplessness and a lack of control. At 15, for the second time in my life, I took a razor to my skin. Looking back now, I am amazed at how controlled I was throughout the process. With every millimetre of injury to my skin I felt a wave of relief, and an overwhelming sense of control that cannot be paralleled. In years to come, I found self injury to be a more than effective way to cope with various things that I felt.

Originally, cutting myself was a way of dealing with stress and hyper sensitivity to various aspects of my life. As years progressed, I developed a form of clinical depression that would send me into states of dissociation. I felt so numb and dead with every passing day that I began to cut myself deeper and deeper in an attempt to feel alive, if not just for a little while. Around the age of 18, my mother accidentally saw the scars and wounds on my body while I was walking to the shower, and accused me of trying to kill myself. I had long wanted to end my life, and decided that now was a better time than any to try it.

Note: I am in no way condoning cutting oneself or suicide, I am merely sharing my own experience of what has been a very consuming aspect of my life.

So I went to the supermarket and bought some razor blades. As I said, I had long wanted to kill myself, however I don't feel that really does it justice. For the preceding three or so years, my thoughts had been constantly dominated with suicidal ideation, or ways in which I could land myself in hospital or hurt beyond repair. It really wasn't a nice way to live. I took a razor and made four cuts on my wrist and forearm. I made sure that I went deep enough to cut through the superficial veins in my wrist, and sliced through some layers of muscle as well. I'm not sure that I could deal with that kind of pain right now, but at that current point in time I was so numb and unable to comprehend my own state of emotion that I remember feeling absolutely nothing.

I watched myself bleed, and found myself drifting into a state of ecstatic delirium. I thought about all of the things in my life that were beautiful and good, and realised that I didn't want to die. I drove myself to the hospital and had over fifty stitches put into my wrist. Pretty pathetic suicide attempt, I know. What I really wanted to illustrate was that in hurting myself, and almost killing myself, I somehow cured a state of constant depression and pain.

I know that some people see cutting as some form of delusion or depravity, but it really did save my life. Since that moment early this year, I have no longer been consumed with suicidal thoughts. I'm slowly regaining feeling of my left hand, after damaging a few nerves. I have to live with the scars, but they serve as a constant reminder of where I've been, and where I now realise I can go. I do still cut myself sometimes, but I'm now able to recognize when to stop, and ways to minimize the way in which it has the potential to consume my life, and affect those around me in a negative way.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Nov. 2008
in Ritual

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