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My Battle Scars

Writer, Age 18

I can clearly remember being a young girl and watching a television show with my mother. It was a talk show, and the topic was self-mutilation. I remember feeling pity, disgust, and awe all at the same time. I wondered what could be so wrong with a person that they could actually cut themselves. Now I know...I look at my own scars and still have those same feelings of pity and disgust. Yes, I disgust myself sometimes. I hate the fact that my scars on my upper arms, forearms, and shoulders will never go away. I hate the fact that sometimes people can see them when they aren't hidden well enough. I hate being a statistic, just another "cutter." Sometimes I hate myself.

The first time I cut myself was with a box-cutter blade. I had been sitting in my room talking to a friend online. My older brother (who is an alcoholic) came into my room and started yelling at me out of nowhere. It wasn't unusual for him to yell at me when he was drunk, and I could take it most of the time. It was different this time. He started calling me horrible names and screaming in my face. I can still remember his breath on my face, and the blank look in his eyes. Finally I just lost it. I started hysterically screaming, crying, and getting right back in his face. His girlfriend came in to stop us, but he wouldn't stop. He went to hit me, but his girlfriend got between us. He would have really hurt me. He had 12 inches and 100 pounds on me, but he didn't care. He stormed out of the house, and I locked my door and sat on my bed and cried. I looked over and saw the box-cutter I had used to cut my carpet. I picked it up and dug it into my wrists and forearms.

I wasn't trying to kill myself. I didn't try to cut my veins. I just pushed that blade into my skin and cried. After awhile, I stopped and looked down to see my bloody arms. I got scared. I went to the bathroom, washed my arms, and went back to my room to lie down and think about that feeling...While I was cutting myself, I felt something that is very hard to describe. It hurt, but in a good way. It helped me ignore the mental pain. For me, physical pain is easier to deal with than mental pain. I found myself staring at my blood with fascination. Since that first time, I have cut myself a lot. I was doing it more and more frequently, and my problems became bigger, and my ability to deal with them became non-existent.

Cutting myself was my escape, my way of not having to deal with thinking about anything. Only cutting. I found it so much easier to cut my skin and feel better that way, than to try to find other solutions. I would cut when I was lonely, when I was depressed, and when I was angry. It was an addiction. I didn't WANT to stop because it was an easy escape.

I haven't cut myself for about six months. It can be very hard sometimes. Sometimes I want to cut myself so badly, but I won't. Partly because I know how destructive it is, and partly because I have people in my life that are very supportive of me, and it would hurt them very much if I did it again. There are also lots of times when I don't even have the slightest urge to cut myself. As time goes on it gets easier. I'm lucky for that. Sometimes I will just look at my scars and remember the pain involved. My battle scars. And then I remember that I don't want to be just another statistic anymore.

Last Modified Date: 1/10/2001
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Self-Injury: The 'Cutting' Disease