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Turning the Tables on Self-Injury


Not only is this story going to be about self-injury, but also about my daily struggle with it, what made me want to do it more, and how I learned to deal with things in different ways.

I first started cutting in sixth grade (I was 12). It started with the initials of a guy that I liked. I had no idea that this innocent way of expressing my feelings for my crush (no one else really knew what I had done) could turn into such a terrible everyday struggle. When junior high started, things were really bad. I wasn't friends with the "popular" girls. In fact, we were pretty much enemies. I got bugged and teased a lot. I was called nasty names, rumors were being spread about me, and people would push me in the hallways. At first I just tried to push it off, until the words I was called got etched into my heart and mind, and I even started to believe the things that were being said, all the names and rude comments. I believed I was this terrible person with such a bad reputation, due to a few rumors (believed to be started by an ex-boyfriend). With everyone else believing these, it only got worse and worse as things started to spread around school and town.

As things continued to get worse, I started seeing the school counselor. I think she knew how much it hurt me, but didn't realize that there was much that could be done other than talking to the main people that called me names every time I passed them in the hallways. Eventually, I lost enthusiasm for school, sports, friends, and life. I don't remember exactly when I started cutting again, but I know it was around the same time I had lost the desire to get up every morning. I'd say I was sick or had a headache. I started getting really bad headaches from all the stress and frustration, so bad that I couldn't lead my normal school life. I'd always end up in the sick room because my head would throb with excruciating pain.

During this year, I became a born-again Christian. I thought that maybe God would help me through it and things would be better. Then I started getting bugged for wearing T-shirts that advertised my newfound faith. So I stopped wearing them, and stopped believing God could help me. I decided to home school for 8th grade because I knew I couldn't take the pressure and stress of everyone back at school. I was so depressed that I would sleep until well after noon, mope around for a while, then play on the computer until all hours of the night.

In the second part of ninth grade, I met someone. This was everything I thought I ever wanted. He was this great guy that totally cared about me and also about my future. He encouraged my schoolwork and everything else in my life. He was 7 years older than me, had gone through the same kind of thing at the same school, and didn't want to see me become like him.

His mom had committed to helping me as much as she could. I started spending a lot of time at his place doing schoolwork, helping with chores around their farm, and babysitting his nieces and nephew. Things were going so great in that year-and-a-half, until we started fighting. I felt all the fights were my fault, and I started cutting again shortly after the anniversary of not cutting for six to seven months. After that it just got worse and worse. It was very, very difficult during those six to seven months to keep myself from doing it. Finally, the fights and emotional pain that I was going through got to be too much, and I couldn't handle it anymore. He wasn't too supportive when he found I started cutting again. He only made me feel like I was a failure, and that I wasn't good enough. We broke up a few days after our biggest fight ever. Three days after he dumped me, he had another girlfriend. This didn't go over too well with me. Two days after I had found out I was so mad I punched my mirror, and I cut myself so badly that a friend suggested going to the hospital, and I scratched my arms so badly that this guy at a restaurant asked what happened. I said, "We have 6 cats," but I know that he knew that I wasn't telling the truth.

A few days after I cut myself, I got really mad and started burning myself. After doing that a few times I decided that cutting was starting to gain control over my life and things had to change. I haven't cut since that day, and don't plan on it either. If I'm mad, sad, or upset I phone someone, write in my diary, do devotions, go for a bike ride or roller-blading. I try to turn my destructive anger and aggression into constructive energy to get something good done. I still struggle every time I get upset or angry. I want to turn to my old ways of dealing with things because it was so much easier. It takes some work to be happy but it's worth it. It's not worth the guilt afterward to feel good for a few minutes. I try to surround myself with positive things and positive people. I constantly struggle to be in a positive state of mind most of the time because I still have a lot of anger and hurt from that last relationship. I try to get as close to God as I can everyday and live my life according to him. I guess over time things will heal, just as long as I continue to deal with things positively.

Last Modified Date: 1/10/2001
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