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.