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Deeper Than The Surface

I cut myself. I've often been misunderstood for what I do. I've taken comments, stares and questions from people that don't even know me or what I've been thru. I've been labeled as crazy and irrational. It is hard for people outside of the body modification culture to understand WHY someone like me would resort to this method of release. I have had a very difficult life. I've had to deal with drug-addicted parents, sexual abuse, foster homes, having my father die, mental and verbal abuse, being separated from my brothers and sister, watching my mother die of cancer, and that's just the beginning. All of the things I went thru as a kid deeply affected my self-esteem, and made me very introverted. I became accustomed to holding all my feelings inside and never trusting anybody. I kept diaries of my thoughts, and wrote poetry, but it wasn't long before that was invaded and my foster parents and social worker took that outlet from me. So I began exploring music as a form of release. It was something I could relate my life to, something that made me FEEL. However my foster parents were super-religious fanatics and wouldn't allow me to listen to what I wanted- anything un-Christian was confiscated. I was without release and in a lot of pain. Then I discovered cutting. I was 16. I don't remember the first time I did it or even what made me think to do it. But I remember where I was at in my life... I was depressed, confused, and utterly stifled by the aforementioned foster parents who were constantly raping my thoughts and ideas. I felt totally unheard. I was so frustrated, and so angry with everyone and everything that was making me hurt. Taking a razor to my skin and watching it bleed was cleansing- it was like letting all that pain and unhappiness and frustration out of me. It was control-it was something I could do they couldn't take away. It was a statement- it was showing on my skin what they wouldn't listen to when I said it in words. During this unstable time in my life, it seemed like the only thing I had left. They tried to "fix" me. But they went about it all wrong. It was like, "she's depressed or crazy or something. What's wrong inside her head?" They didn't stop to think THEY were the problem. They didn't fathom that THEY and all they were doing was what was causing this. Anyway, they had me see doctors and tried all these different medications. They gave me a couple more social workers. Then they sent me to a program for screwed up kids. Though I hated that they sent me there, it was at this program I gained the most strength. Being away from them gave me time to breathe, to think, to let go of all that anger that was so welled inside me. They had counselors there that actually LISTENED to me and whom I felt understood what I was talking about and why I did what I did. I also made a couple friends who were going thru similar things and it was great to know I wasn't alone in this- that what I did made sense to other people, too. Being there helped me make an important decision- to leave this foster family. They were destroying me. I had to go. I had tried to leave in the past. But I was trapped into continuing to live there. I had been with this one family for 10 years. My social worker would tell me I was lucky to have lived with one family for that long. And even though I hated it, and the situation hurt me, I stayed because this was the only stable environment I knew, the only "family" setting I recognized as mine, be it awful or not. I went back there after I got out of the program, but they were still the same. The house, the rules, and their unwillingness to hear me or help me... that was all the same and I was different. I was stronger and somehow wiser than them, even at only 17. I left a week later. I didn't know where I was going, or how I'd get there. I just knew I had to go. There was no other choice. It turned out I then lived with this terrific family who genuinely cared for me and my thoughts and ideas. I gave up cutting for a while because I finally felt stable, loved, and in control. Then a few months later I found out my mother was going to die. It was the end of her four-year long battle with cancer. I couldn't take it, and started cutting again. Watching my mother slowly die took an awful toll on me. Cutting was my saviour again. My new foster family didn't understand it, nor did they not try to have me not do it, but I think they grew to accept it and realize that this was what I needed to survive what I was going thru. I stopped cutting when I met a wonderful person when I was 19. The need just vanished. Finally I felt loved, accepted, heard, and even happy. My past hurts still lingered, but I felt triumphant. HE was my cleansing. HE was my voice. I didn't need scars anymore to tell my story. For the first time I could tell someone all my fears, anger, losses and pain with WORDS- not blood. I still use cutting as a release at times when I need to. I don't think that makes me weak. Thru my eyes, I will never see people who cut as having a weakness. If anything, it is a strength- a sign of courage to be able to say, "This is what I do. This is how I feel. It's your problem if you can't accept it." I have come far from where I was at 16, and cutting doesn't take me a step back. It's an outlet- an outlet to get rid of all the bad, and move forward- to let in the good, the growth, the healing. With every scar I've marked upon my body that I have watched heal, I've also healed one inside me. And with every drop of blood that has seeped from my skin, my soul has been purified of any evil that's penetrated it. Cutting, to me, has been a physical manifestation of a much deeper emotional change or growth. I cut myself. I refuse to be ashamed.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 April 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: self
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Location: MA%2C+u.s.a.

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