That Feeling That Makes You Sick
always hurt myself-for as long as I can remember. When I was little I'd sit for hours at night, picking at my skin, opening wounds, masturbating until I rubbed the skin off myself from feelings of guilt. I was always crying, always anxiety ridden, always feeling like a horrible person. I was NEVER abused, physically or sexually. I was popular in school (minus everyone's hellish 7th & 8th grade JR. high years.) I came from a family once removed from abusers. My mom grew up raising herself-lots of alcoholics, anxiety/depressive disorders, schizopherenia. My mom got us out of that and raised us in a very over-protective and lovely enviornment. My dad left when I was 9. I just didn't deal with it, I acted like I didn't care. He was always dating different women and eventually married one with kids that treated me like shit. He left us when I was in the hospital after losing all the lymph nodes in my right leg (he wouldn't visit me) and my mom had her jaw wired shut. I was never calm, always full of anxiety. I'd have panic attacks and breakdowns-there would be this sick space in my stomach and I wouldn't know how to deal with it. In high school I met my current fiance' (THIS DECEMBER!) and things were bad with my mother. She was diagnosed with degenerative joint disease and had surgery after surgery. My step-dad (who is wonderful) worked (and still does) CONSTANTLY. She'd have emotional mood swings that would make your head spin. I started cutting. I used razors and I burned with cigarettes. It calmed me down. It gave me a place to put feelings I didn't know how to describe. Now the sick feeling is only known to me as pain-it's the only way I understand it. In high school I lied about all my scars. Puffy keloid things that my skin happens to make perfectly. When I went to get my first pap at 17 a DR. saw them and because I was under 18, she told my parents I was lying to them and was suicidal. (I wasn't but became so shortly after.) They treated my in awful ways, saying it made them look bad, that people would think they were abusing me. They took my car keys and forced me to go to counseling. When I finally lied and said someone else gave me the wounds, they let up. I started tattooing and piercing on the day of my 18 birthday. They didn't like it, but it was a lot more acceptable. My relationship with them got better, and by that time I had lots of body markings. A tattooist once told me, "We're all born with tattoo's, we just have to make them show." I've never regretted any of my marks. I live on my own now, attending a University-almost done-to be a television producer. My parents went bankrupt after a family member frauded them for just about everything we own. I've paid for school out of pocket, not being able to get financial aid until the last year because of my parents tax situation. A month after my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer after 2 years of mal-practice. I've been stressed and have been cutting a lot. I'm on Zoloft for anxiety disorder. It helps, but recently the old feelings have returned and I've been considering a higher dose. Today I burnt/cut (cut first) a lovely design into my ankle. This was different. I've been thinking of it often-an ode to my own body, a scar to remind me of my scars. When it is finished, healed, I'll send BME a photo. And there it is-the ramblings of my life. It would take me too long to express to you the horrific scenes my body has faced at the hands of itself. I'd be happy to share them if you care to email me. For now, I keep the details of my story for those of you who seek them out. In conclusion: I've read through many of the scarification experiences on this page. There are quite a few self-injurers, and I feel like I should make my own opinions clear to the reader: There is a STRONG difference between SI and body modification, and it is this... +SI happens when that feeling in your stomach that, most "typical" people learn to deal with during their growing process as a child, takes you over. It is hard to express in words the helplessness, depression, guilt, detachment or self hatered a person who SI's usually feels. It is something very few people who do not SI ever experience, or at least experience to the same degree. I am not claiming that those that do not SI do not feel painful emotion, but those who DO SI have grown without the capability to handle many situations-and the causes also often stem from physical chemical imbalances. These imbalances can be caused by birth, or can be caused by series of events that happen to a person throughout their life which help to create excess or lacks of certain natural chemicals. In closing, SI is typically a behavior done on impulse, something to calm, speak, control or inflict certain feelings. It is true that many SI'ers are drawn to body modification-sometimes as an exceptable form of controlling feelings, sometimes as a simple love of art-BUT be CAREFUL to claim that SI and body modification are the same. THEY ARE NOT. +Body modification is done for a number of reasons, as those of you reading this know. It stems from beauty, a need to be different, a need to be original, a chance to heal by permanently deciding who is in control of a body-a test of strength. The list goes on and is typically very different for each individual. I state this all before going in to my own experiences because I feel that we are living in a society where body modification is slowly becoming more acceptable to mainstreamers. I see girls with pierced nipples & noses that would have been talking behind my back in high school. Plenty of little daisies line the ankles of tanned girls. My point is this: An awareness of SI in this society should not be confused with body modification and should NOT be taken to be simply an "angst-filled teen" testing their limits. An SI'er cuts because they know no other way-a body modifier cuts to learn or do something. If you know a person who is cutting, please, watch them for awhile and help them determine the purpose of their actions. Cutting/burning is a thing that we can use to heal ourselves or it is a thing we can use to punish ourselves. The more body modfication is confused with punishment, the longer ridiculous misconceptions about a lifestyle of body modification persist.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 July 2000