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A Seven Year Struggle

It's hard for me to type this out because I'm used to keeping it inside. I've been self-mutilating myself for seven years. It started when I was thirteen and I was just emerging from years of intense bullying. I was also trying to cope with my newly disagnosed panic disorder and ADD. I remember the first time I did it. I did it and realized I wasn't scared of it and I didn't flinch or cry when I started bleeding. Weeks after that first try, my arms quickly because covered in cuts of all directions. Not thinking that no one could ever know, I had to wear sweaters during the hottest summer days and my parents began to wonder about it. But knowing that I had a self-image problem, I told them I was only comfortable wearing sweaters because I felt fat.

When I graduated grade eight I stopped cutting for one summer. When I started high school, my panic attacks came back with a vengence and I missed almost a month of my first semester. My mom was worried I'd never be able to get back to school and my dad was angry that I couldn't do it. I was put on a low dosage of the anti-psychotic medication called Ripsridol. I was able to return to school but the medication made me put on a lot of weight. Having already been bullied for my weight and suffered extremely low self-esteem, the extra weight I had to put on in exchange for my panic attacks took a toll on me. I began cutting again.

My parents caught me this time, and threatened to send me to a place. I don't know exactly what it is but I know it's a place where they keep teenagers who are a threat to themselves. They live there unil they're allowed to leave and go home. Terrified, I stopped cutting again for a year.

When my parents started arguing and I found out my dad cheated on my mom it triggered the urge to do it again. My weight was rapidly increasing due to me being a stress eater and before I knew it, I'd started again and since then I haven't stopped. I discontinued cutting my arms for fear of something- anyone- finding out. I began to cut on my upper thighs and stomach. No one ever sees those parts of me anyway- cuts or not.

I guess my problem is... is that I don't want to stop. I don't feel like I need to. It doesn't get in the way of my life and I don't think I could stop even if I wanted to. It's the only thing I feel in control of sometimes. It makes me feel strong. To be able to cut open my own skin deliberitly, to be able to do it more than once, to not stop after the first time... it makes me feel like there's something I can do to myself to as a form of punishment and release at the same time.

So that's my story

Jessiex07 Jessiex07 18-21, F 4 Responses Mar 8, 2010

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Is cutting a stress buster? Not really. That's psychological. Please practice kick boxing or practice exercise like a religion just to remove your anger or aggression. That would even help you reduce your weight. Don't you think this sounds great rather than what you are practicing now. You can definitely stop this if you think you can. You have a strong will power and don't give up.

i know how you feel. i have the same problem i live in fear of people finding out, i dont want to be sent away. it just helps me cope i guess. i mean its not like were hurting other people. but i know its unhealthy...ive got a problem here -.-

Hi Jessie,

yep , your story sounds a little like mine, although I'm now older and my pressures are different from yours. The teenage years sounded nightmarish, you poor thing. I also still cut - only when anxiety is out of control and I can't stand it any more - funnily enough cutting always helps ease an anxiety attack. I recently discussed this with my psyche and she said the physical reaction of the body to the injury I cause actually does reduce the amount of stressful chemicals affecting my emotions - takes the focus off and sends it the cut area or something like that. It's not great, but sometimes I don't know what else to do but I know i have to do something.

Main problem is one day you'll quite likely be beyond this and then all the scars are a pain and you may end up avoiding really healing activities like swimming. Do do it as little as possible - but in the meantime, totally understand and you are in a big group of people who understand why you do this.

I did the same on & off for years, I understand the feeling very well, but it's been a long time since I've done it, so I hope you find some way out of it like I did.