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Self-harm

by yoonsin

Please, if you are considering self-harm or are currently self-harming, please quit.

Let me be an example, a warning to you all.

When I first started, it was a tiny little cut on my thigh, made merely to see how it’d feel- and I can’t lie, it was exhilarating to me. I was thirteen at the time and was enduring copious amounts of abuse from my parents, both physical and verbal, which had been occurring since childhood. It was a strain to my psyche and after that first cut, for once in my life, I felt like I was able to deal with all the pain that I was suffering.

If only I knew what I know now, if only I knew how much that first cut would destroy me.

I’d cut when I was sad, cut to punish myself, cut when I hated myself. In any time of distress, I would cut.

From that moment forward, it became everything I relied on; a coping mechanism that was there when I needed it and even when I didn’t. I carried razor blades to school, there were several occasions in which they were confiscated by the campus psychologist, as well as times my backpack needed to be checked.

Of course, with all this commotion, word eventually got out to my parents. On multiple occasions they were contacted but there will always be that one night that has stayed with me the most: my brothers and I all sitting at the dinner table as my mother yelled at me, her exact words being, “Why do you cut yourself? You should just kill yourself instead.” It was a painful experience, but I digress.

Self-mutilation became all that I knew. I had severe depression at the time, and whenever I felt particularly horrendous, I’d bleed out my feelings, spilling all the darkness that resided within me. It was at my lowest point, the winter of eighth grade, in which I was ready for my own death, that I was hospitalized. Sent to an institution to recover, to overcome my harmful thoughts and behaviors- only I didn’t.

Even in a psychiatric institution, I still found a method in which I could cut. When there’s a will, there’s a way, right? I remember after every meal, the staff would count all the plastic cutlery in order to make sure that no one had stolen one as it could later be transformed into a weapon of self-mutilation. Two other girls and I were secretly hurting ourselves and god, the day that one of them exposed herself as well as her friend for cutting, I was terrified, in fear of myself being revealed as well. They shared a room together, and so naturally, they were separated.

I watched as the orderlies stripped the girl’s bed, all the while investigating for any sharp objects that were hidden. I was safe that day as well as every day onward that I spent inside the hospital. The staff never found out about my self-harm.

Sometimes, I wish they did.

As I entered high school, the severity of my cuts only began to magnify, along with the numbers. The deeper it got, the more it worsened. I adopted the mindset (which I still posses) the deeper, the better. Thin, shallow cuts made me weak, made me fucking horrendous. I wasn’t good enough. I was only successful if I made it deep.

I also joined an online community in which users would post photo accounts of their self-harm. Being able to have access to and view the cuts of others pushed me to worsen my cuts as well. The general consensus: the deeper, the better. We are by no means a pro self-harm community, we do not encourage others to cut, but our fragile state of mind has made us vie for the lacerations that are deepest.

I made my account only to watch how my self-inflicted cuts transform over time, to watch as my cuts become deeper and bigger and the space of unmarked skin become more smaller. I didn’t make it for attention. I mean, it’s not as if I cut solely to upload to the internet. It’s never been that way and it never will be. When I feel bad and I cut, I simply photo document the lacerations so that I will have the opportunity to look back on it.

I have over a thousand followers on the account.

I am seventeen in two days. My worst cut was two months ago. I’ve cut on one occasion since then. It was awful, a bit traumatic if you ask me. Of course I’ve gone deep before, looking at my scarred body can prove that for a fact, but it was the first time I sliced into my skin that deep. The entire cut had hit the fat layer; it was a sight to see. I watched in a trance-like state as my blood left my body, in shock at the sheer size of the gaping laceration in my wrist.

It was only until I wiped away the blood that I noticed a dark blue vein inside. I didn’t puncture it, but god, how I wanted to.

So what’s the point of all this writing? As I stated earlier, let me be a warning to you, a precautionary tale. There was a time when I looked at others in shock, telling myself I’d never become like them, telling myself I could control the severity of my self-mutilation.

I was a fool to believe so.

I have destroyed myself in my attempts to cope with my difficulties. Hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of scars litter my body. Since most of my cuts are deep, I have raised scars. They’re ugly to look at and turn a violent purple when I’m cold. There’s a patch on my wrist that is entirely scar tissue. My scars randomly hurt and ache in the worst way, sometimes for up to half an hour.

I do not take pride in my body or myself because it extremely difficult to find beauty in anything as mutilated and destroyed as I am.

My scars affect my day-to-day life along with my interactions with others. I have received nasty comments, rude stares, been made fun of, and asked invasive questions. It isn’t what I want to live with but now it’s what I’m stuck with.

In addition, finding the strength not to hurt myself is a tough challenge. After becoming so acclimated to resorting to slicing my skin open with anything negative that I encounter, dealing with my issues safe and positively is hard. It’s especially exhausting when I’m stuck in a pit of self-despise for ruining my body, which makes me desire cutting as a form of punishment but is entirely counterintuitive as it was the problem that arose in the first place.

Cutting isn’t anything beautiful and it certainly anything that you want to adopt. It will ruin you.

So please, if you’ve made it this far, consider all that I’ve told you. Consider my experiences and who I am now. Understand that it is not how you want to live.

Please, if you are cutting or considering cutting, please don’t. 

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11 comments

WanderingDreamer91 8/2/2018 - 11:15 am

… Maybe you should get plastic surgery. 🙁

Then maybe you can get a new layer of skin or something.

To be honest, I’m not really sure how it works, but it’s possible to get an entire sex change, right?

So if you could do that, then… maybe you can fix all the poor scars on your body. 🙁

(hugs) I’m sorry to hear all about that…

I have to admit, your fascination with self-harm in the past scares me a little, but I still feel bad for you.

HollowBoi 8/2/2018 - 11:30 am

I never did get why people cut themselves, some says they want to die but i just do see it happening.
Could there be deeper meaning behind cutting yourselves? Someone. Enlighten. Me.

WanderingDreamer91 8/2/2018 - 11:53 am

If it’s not a matter of wanting to die, I guess it’s self-loathing…?

Maybe there’s some kind of weird adrenaline rush that kicks in when your body senses you’re in danger? I don’t know…

xanbxi 8/3/2018 - 5:28 am

they like it. they love it. they love the sensation of cutting their own flesh. that makes them euphoric.

franzeska 9/8/2018 - 10:22 am

It’s a very complicated reaction and different for everyone. Just to name a few:

It can make you numb in moments of mental overload, and gives you energy to keep on going.
It can make you feel in moments of extreme numbness.
It can silence acoustic hallucinations. It can stop panic attacks.
It is a “voice” for the unspeakable. It is a drug.
Wounds are a proof that you are alive and have the ability to heal.
Some use it as a punishment, but I’ve found that most of us don’t really hate themselves.

All together, self-harm is not as strange as it appears. Self-harm behaviour has been seen in apes when in high distress (hitting themselves on the head with rocks).

lost.in.space 8/2/2018 - 6:32 pm

oh i’m so sorry. i know how you felt and how you feel now. i used to cut and it was addicting and i just couldn’t stop but one they my mom saw my scars and she wanted to kill me. and now i can’t just remove them. they want go away just like that. but i am so sorry because you have so much scars. i hope one day some of the scars will disappear. and i am here for you. if you need everything i will try to help you!
and don’t worry and don’t pay attention to the people who insulted you. you are beautiful! and you will always be. no matter how many scars you have..
and good luck. i know it’s hard to stop. but do it for yourself. you can stop!! :)))

fakehappy 8/2/2018 - 9:09 pm

This is intense reading… but I’ve seem people with scars all over and felt an understanding. You’d be surprised at what people will see, and how you can love yourself still regardless. I (used to)get a lot of expectation placed upon my looks so I always cut thighs and shoulders, sometimes wrists(had a lot if trauma/mental health). I found the pain would dissipate, one time was in so much pain I cut every which way… really deep and years later my shoulder is really obviously scarred. So many different ways to feel about it, often I try to let it remind me of surviving. We can only try right? As for ‘the professionals’ they only human, only see what they want to see… you mental health hid that self harm to save a coping mechanism, try to forgive them and yourself if you can. Wish us all good luck on the path to healing. PS. If I’m on my own a lot I put on youtube game stream videos, or music.. even just in the background to keep too many bad thoughts at bay. Replace emptiness with something better, maybe even some laughter… perhaps it could help you?

Cause of Death: Suicide 8/2/2018 - 9:54 pm

Back in middle school, I knew a lot of folks that cut. Like your momma said, I never cut because I thought I would just kill myself instead. Dam I’m still alive…. I was hoping to be gone way back then. It has been what..10/11 years. I never had any desire to cut but I have been thinking on it lately.

I’ve began to hurt myself and enjoy the pain I receive. For example, I will choke myself, chainsmoke until I am blue and can’t breathe, slam my head against walls and punch myself in the head uncontrollably sometimes hitting a vessel in the eye socket and leaving my eye puffy and black/blue. I had never self harmed before but I was put in the mental hospital for 28 days so I started to hurt myself. Whilst there I attempted to break my own neck because it was the worst feeling I ever had. I thought a broken neck would kill me and I wouldn’t have to wake up in a mental unit. Now my neck is basically hanging on a thread..

I don’t remember the first time I started slamming my hands against my head but I think I was when I was in the mental hospital the second time in Jan. 2015, I had been there for 11 or so days, nothing was happening. I had to keep begging to leave… I’d sit in my room during visiting hours. Their voices scary unfriendly would creep under my door into my room and make my life feel terrifying. Out of frustrations, I don’t want anyone to know. I am alone in my room. I close the door and start slamming my head on the carpet just like enough to not make a sound. I believe a few days later, I take my hands and start throwing fists at myself. How else would I harm myself if I have no knives? Eh I can find my way around. But no one would know because I am quiet in there and they wouldn’t care anyway unless I caused injury to their unit. The second time I self harmed was in the unit in Jan 2016, a year later, at my third mental unit stay. I attempted to break my own neck. The third time I started to hurt myself was when I was put in jail the second time. I was cold and their voices were creeping in, I slammed my head as hard as I could on the concrete wall so I could pass out until one of them had time to take me out of the freezing room and give me my clothes back. I mean they think you can’t kill yourself if they take your clothes so I logically went straight for brain damage on the concrete wall surrounding me. I hoped to die so I hit my head hard enough to at least knock me out. I got out of jail and overdosed on pills. (The psych meds I would NEVER take except for the times they forced needles into my skin) The fourth time must have been when my dad and mom starting using loony and crazier than anything, as how they referred to me. I kneeled my knees down on the garage floor and slammed my head into the concrete at least 15 times until I saw lights. Like are you happy now? The fifth time was when I had to stay alone at the home with my dad and when else do I feel less comfortable, I already have been trapped by these people I dread my entire life, I started slamming my head against the wall, but I stopped because it was causing holes in the walls. I didn’t know the walls were too weak. Great, ya know, another thing they can scream at me about and that I have to fix before I can end my life. I’ve been trying to fix the holes in the wall for at least a year and they still look like shit because my head just really hurts.
I have also injured myself while thinking back on reasons why I was arrested. I was arrested for something I didn’t do. I started taking my nails and scratching up and down my abdomen and arms until they bled.

Anyway apart from that, lately I have been sitting alone as I always am thinking how it would be nice to take a razor to my arms and make a few deep cuts. I have always been afraid of cutting but now I am starting to become friends with the pain.

clipped-wings 8/3/2018 - 12:42 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I started cutting myself in 1979. I have many scars. I’m not proud of them. The last time I cut was a little over a year ago. It bled for four days. I hope I don’t relapse.

anon72 8/9/2018 - 12:04 am

I can’t quit. I know all too well where this is headed. The cuts get deeper, the self-harm gets worse. The nasty comments really suck too. Now I hide my scars.

franzeska 9/8/2018 - 10:07 am

I’m one of the few ones that eventually decided not to hide my scars anymore in my daily life. I’ve been a cutter since 2003 (I have good times and bad times). It kinda annoyed me to hide myself to make others feel comfortable. I do not feel ashamed of the scars though, sure that makes it a lot easier. Showing your scars is kinda like being vegan (hehe). Just do it, don’t talk about it, and if someone asks, answer in a short sentence. I tell them, Yes, it’ self-inflicted; sometimes war is inside of our heads…

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