For as long as I can remember I have cut myself. The first time was with a compass in my secondary school toilets.
My Dad died when I was 8, my home life was awful, I was abused by my mother and brother and bullied on a daily basis by my sister and kids at school. From a young age I was depressed. When my Dad died I used to lay there and try and imagine what it would be like to be dead.
My mother lost control and so the abuse began. She lost interest in raising us. My brother was 3 at the time and was soon out of control the older he got. And when I say out of control I don’t just mean a little bit naughty, he would use weapons to hit us and even though younger, he was very strong and allowed to do what he wanted.
We did not have much money and I basically went to school dressed in very unfashionable, almost shoddy clothes. Not always clean as my mum was not good at housekeeping. My mother’s idea of nutrition was lacking, and when I hit puberty, with the diet of food I was given to eat, I very soon put on weight. Other children were horrible, and very quickly I was tormented on a daily basis.
At just eleven years old, I was completely depressed. I didn’t realise it then, but looking back, I know that’s how I was now.
I felt utter despair, in fact, I wanted to be dead. I used the compass to slash at my wrists, not enough to cause myself major harm, but enough to cause injury, enough to draw blood.at times using It to stab myself. At the time as I cut my arms,( where nobody could see) everything else faded into oblivion, all I could feel was the sting and smart of the pain and the warmth of my blood trickling down my skin.
For those few brief moments, the pain and ache in my heart and my head was transferred into a physical pain. It wasn’t always compasses, broken rulers, sharpened pencils, broken glass, pen nibs, anything I could break into my flesh with would do, and it wasn’t always very clean.
As I got older I would do it again and again. Mostly when I felt most desperate and suicidal. The release I felt from doing this stopped me going that one step further. By then, I would always make sure the objects I used where clean. Anything from razor blades, Stanley knives, kitchen knives to sewing needles.
I Self-Harm But Tattoos Help Me
It’s almost as if through the blur and haze in my head I did not feel the pain as I did it until sat there afterwards. It was a cathartic release. But I would always feel so guilty. Wearing long sleeves to cover the cuts and scratches. If it was ever seen I would always say oh the cat scratched me. But the guilt was always overwhelming.
Some days it would be every day I would cut just a tiny little mark into myself enough to make blood flow, or picking open at an old wound. Then I would go for months or even years not doing anything to myself at all.
I progressed from my wrists to my inner thighs and my belly. On there I would carve actual words describing how I felt about myself. On the last occasion I used a razor blade to write “fat, ugly and broken.
Over the years I have lost more people to death, been raped, physically and mentally abused. I had my middle child’s father leave me. My marriage broke down. I have had miscarriages. And on each occasion I have always resorted to the same thing. I have felt so empty and desolate and numb that to actually feel something real other than what I was feeling, I have mutilated my own body.
My arm was so covered in deep scars that I have now had a full length arm tattoo to cover it up. And on my wrists where I would slash if I were to actually go the full step and attempt suicide properly, I have had freedom and strength tattooed. In fact, I would go as far to say that I now get tattooed as opposed to cutting myself.
It has that same sting, that same pain as putting something sharp to your skin, but over and over again a thousand times. I now have thirteen tattoos across my body in various places. The only visible ones used to cover the scars. I find It far less embarrassing and shameful to explain a large tattoo than the myriad of scars I have on my arm.
And yes, I do feel ashamed.
I am very ashamed of my dark little secret.
SO ashamed that the last time I did it, when I still had the blood running out of me(on this occasion they were just scratches rather than deep cuts, more controlled), I took a photo to remind me, in the hope I wouldn’t do it again. Will that be the last time I do it?
Will the photo work? That I cannot say, that I cannot tell you. I cannot promise that I will never feel the need to release like that again. That I will feel my only options are to actually die or to slice and scar myself instead.
I liken what I feel to feeling like my head will actually explode. There is so much going on inside of it, there is no clarity. It’s just a jumble of emotions and self-hatred, extreme anger. I feel trapped in the prison that is my mind.
I have no self-esteem at all. I hate how I look, and despite being told I am beautiful, I will always feel ugly. And the ugly marks show how ugly I feel. I will always feel like I am a nothing, yet the cutting makes me feel real, alive, free and that I am something.
I would hate for my children to do what I do. It would break my heart to know they ever felt the way I do. And I hope they never find out my secret.
I have a friend that cuts, and I always make her promise not to do it again. Knowing full well that its not a promise you can make. But she knows I am there for her no matter what. In fact I am the one that took her to hospital when she OD’d and called for my help.
They gave her the Paracetamol antidote to protect her liver (something they only do for under 25’s) and watched her writhe in agony as the medication leached the toxins out of her system.
There are only a few people that I trust enough to know that I cut. They have similar backgrounds and feelings as I do. They understand to an extent.
Will I ever stop? Will I ever lose control completely and go further than just cutting? Will I ever accidentally go too far?
Yes, I realise how dangerous what I do to myself may be. The risk of infection, of vascular and muscular damage to myself. The risk of hitting a vessel just a bit too deeply and bleeding out. So far I have been lucky enough not to cause any major damage to myself.
And the cuts I make are now quite neat and heal very nicely. But I would still always tell someone else, NOT to do it.
DO NOT DO WHAT I DO. GET HELP.
It’s always so easy to tell someone else what to do. It’s always so much harder to take that big brave step and do it yourself.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is a member of my Facebook mums group. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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