Cutting and Self-harm, My Story​

\*disclaimer\* I am not advocating that cutting is right or wrong. For some people, like myself for a good portion of my life, it is just a way that you have to live with when emotional pain becomes unbearable.

This is a reblog in a sense, but really this is an expanded version of a post from when I first started writing this blog in September. It’s a real subject and outside my posts about suicide, it is one of the most important subjects I will ever talk about in my journey here on my blog.

This subject means the world to me. When I look at the scars on my arm, it is a constant reminder of who I was, and how far I have come since I was a teenager. It’s a sensitive subject, but I would rather talk about then push it to the side.

So here is my story, of how cutting and self-harm a major part of my life…

Today I decided to touch a subject that most people hate talking about (or hearing about) which is the subject of cutting and self-harm. I believe that if people knew more about this subject of self-harm that people would be less likely to ridicule someone who has lived through something so traumatic they chose to cut on their skin.

Humans are more connected than ever before thanks to social media. With so many people connected, it opens a floodgate for people to be more open about their lives. Our little lives are just out there on display for all to see. And yes, I realize people don’t have to put their lives out there in the world, but I digress.

Some people just want to post their every thought and emotion on social media simply to make a real connection with the world. The result of people posting about their self-harm and cutting on social media can result in people posting harsh comments.

I have seen people bullied because someone was reaching out to talk about “cutting.” The comments that people leave are part of the problem, but the issue is deeper and darker. It saddens me because I understand, I have lived it, and people making horrible comments only makes it harder for people to get real help for this issue plaguing the mental illness community.

People at times hate what they don’t understand.

When the subject if cutting comes up on social media, people tend to attack it in vicious ways. Most are on one of two sides: the people that cut (I will call them us) and the people that criticize (I will call them, well them.) In this world, there is not much grey area, and people see us as attention seekers.

This is an untrue judgment, the posts we make might just be what gets us through a second, a minute, or day without the feeling of the emotional pain that comes along with self-harm. There is always a history of someone who chooses to self-harm, and most people don’t know that person’s history.

If you knew this history would you still judge us?

So that’s where this post is headed. I want people to know some of my own storied histories with cutting and self-harm. If you see the history of one us, you might understand what leads us down this path. It is not pretty, and it’s a subject in my past that I would rather not talk about here on my blog. But again, I have to write this blog post.

Emotions have always gotten the better of me. The depression side of my Bipolar One diagnosis means my emotions are heightened to the extremes. It is a cruel world and most people prefer not to hear about your problems. They have issues of their own and that’s understandable.

Since I was a teenager and into my twenties I always hid my self-harm. People saw the side I let them see, on the, outside I was an okay kid. I now call it one of the masks I wear in my life. I got good grades and interacted with people the best I could as a teenager. On the inside, I was much different.

Dealing with my problems was never my strong suit (it still isn’t.) I prefer to shut my problems inside, and never deal with them head-on. I have never been a people person, and I prefer to be shut inside writing or the confines of my bedroom to going out socializing with the world.

I had people I knew in school, and I guess you can call them friends. I could never talk about how I felt about cutting and self-harm. Most days life just passed me by. This made me different, an outsider. My problems compiled in my head. I never talked about how I felt. I allowed my pain to keep building until it left emotional scars, and those are the worst kind of scars.

Emotional pain can be an unbearable experience. The world disappears. You get lost in your mind and escape seems impossible. You feel tired. Alone. It is a dark place. You feel like you are holding on to the weight of the world. I would lay there for hours doing nothing but staring into space lost in my mind.

Every human being experiences emotional pain in their lives, but for me, my emotions were magnified by a thousand some nights. The emotional pain would go on for days, weeks, months, and yes, sometimes years. The toll it took on me, it always led me to bad solutions.

It is emotional pain led me to do things like cutting for some of my teenage years and into my early twenties. Physical pain, compared to the emotional pain, is easier to deal with because at least physical pain can be healed. That is why my solutions led me to cut on my arms.

My arms and a razor became my sanctuary. When I cut, the emotional pain was pushed out of mind for a short time. Physical scars heal over time, but emotional scars may never heal. I would hide outside my scars with hoodies that I never took off so that people couldn’t see what I was doing to myself.

The point I am trying to make is that life for some people like me, it can be very harsh. We are human just like everyone else. It has been many years since the last time that I turned to self-harm. I got to a point where I could manage my emotional pain at the level where I didn’t have the need to cut.

I have come a long way but the scars on my arms are still the reminders of a time where I couldn’t deal with life. It hurt. It cut deep. But ridiculing someone because they would rather have physical pain instead of emotional pain cuts just as deep.

There are so many people out there, especially at teenage level (when I started cutting) and I speak to them now. It will be okay. If you haven’t already get help. It would mean the world to me if you got help. If you would like to share your story with me please do. I will not share it with the world. If you need someone to talk to, I am always there for you. Cutting is not the end of the world.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Taylor Bryant

 

Please Help me Publish my Memoir

I am almost done editing my memoir “The Bipolar Writer,” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. I am still working towards enough to pay an artist for a good cover. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!

$2.00

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76 Replies to “Cutting and Self-harm, My Story​”

    1. Yes!!! I am like that as well… Running until it hurts… Of lifting weights until the point where you can’t do it anymore… But that’s when you enjoy it most.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, some of that felt like I was reading about my own life. Thank you for being open about it. I’m sure it will help someone hearing your words, knowing they aren’t alone. After my first bout of depression and self harm in high school, I always hoped the things I went through would be able to help someone else someday. Even if you make a difference in one life, sharing your story, as hard as it may be, is worth it, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for putting this up, James. I believed a lot of people need to read this. It gives me so much chills reading this and I feel so wrapped up in my own world right now even though I’m currently in a buzzling coffee shop. A little over two years ago, i cut myself for the first time. I remember i wanted to feel something besides this numbing pain. It was just a shallow cut on my left wrist and it didn’t draw any blood. So, i slit through again, even shallower this time. I laid on my bed for the longest time before driving home to see my doctor. I was admitted for suicide watch which was really funny because i wasn’t suicidal at all. I was sedated heavily for a few days. Anyway, i got better but I’m dealing with another episode right now and I’m trying so so so hard not to harm myself in any way. I wear my wirstband on my wirst 24/7 just to serve as an reminder. I make sure i eat every meal and snack whenever i feel overwhelmed but funny enough i still lost weight. And i smile to people and be nice to them, just to make them feel better. I’m trying so hard but I’m worried. I keep all these to myself and no one knows what I’m going through right now. Only my ex knows. I asked him if he would pull me out if i ever take the plunge to kill myself and he couldn’t give me a definite answer. So, I’m all alone without a safety net. And I’m so scare. So so so scare.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am sorry to hear in that place. I have been there more times than I care to admit, but its not the end. It may feel like it but you are strong. It takes so much to do what you are doing right now– trying. It is a scary place to be where you are, alone, but you can fight this. There is a community out there that is fighting. Don’t lose this fight. I am always here. I want you to look up a song. Nineteen Stars by Meg and Dia. If you need someone to talk email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com

        I answer my emails as quickly as possible. Stay strong. You can fight this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I know how difficult it is, to hide the side of you that you felt that the rest of the outside world can’t accept, and i’d done that too when i was younger, and it’d become emotional burdensome to me, and i’d had my share of suicidal attempts in the past, and the thing is, unless you are in the lows of your life personally, you will NEVER know what an individual who’s driven to harm her/himself was feeling.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for sharing, I hear you and I echo you, that if anyone reading this who cuts, you aren’t alone and you can get help. Find someone safe. Lots of virtual love to you from me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a very interesting relationship with self-harm, cutting in particular. I would say I can be quite judgemental about it, but it’s from fear than more anything else. A lot of that fear comes from a really awful experience I had when I was thirteen. Interestingly it also touches on my group therapy experiences, which James has also talked about this week.

    When I was thirteen I met a girl about three years older than me in group therapy. Let’s call her Ella*. Ella was the ex-girlfriend of an older guy I had a crush on (also in therapy), and he still deeply cared about her. He wanted someone to be her friend and confidant, to look after her now she was no longer near him. I wanted to impress him and had a self-destructive maternal streak a mile wide so I decided that I would be that friend. I quickly became one of Ella’s closest friends, and soon she was kinda treating me like carer type thing. One of the more difficult things she would do (although I didn’t ever open up and say I had a problem with it) was ask me whether I would help her get out of some pretty full-on situations she got herself into, mostly to do with drugs. She also liked discussing everything with me. The main way she’d do this was calling me, particularly later in the evening.

    One night I got up fairly late to answer Ella’s call. Initially, she talked to me quite calmly. She had a brief argument with her mum through her bedroom door, and then there was a pause and the next thing I knew she was telling me about her slitting her wrists as I talked to her. She barricaded her door and told me how she hated her family and didn’t want to live if she had to live with them anymore. I can still remember telling her I was going to the bathroom and calling the ambulance. Then I called her ex and got him to telephone her mum.

    Ella survived, although I didn’t know that for about six months. She never contacted me or her ex again. I think I felt sorry for her at that time of my life, but although it sounds very cruel, all I feel now is fear and anger. I was a child! And that moment in so many ways was the end of my childhood. Every time I think of cutting, I think of that moment and how scared I was that it was my fault. That I had done something to make her cut, to make her attempt suicide. It gave me a severe phobia of self-harm for many years, in fact for about three or four years after I couldn’t look at the underside of anyone’s wrists, including my own.

    I have had other friends who self-harmed later in life. Sometimes I’ve been a good person to talk to it about, most of the time I feel like I haven’t. Basically, I wanted to say that sometimes when a person gets angry or doesn’t understand (which I am certainly guilty of a lot), it is sometimes because of their own trauma. It’s not that they don’t care, or think it’s attention seeking, it’s that they aren’t capable of being able to support you through that in that moment. My coping strategy with not being able to help myself is to make sure I can refer people to good resources, to things that will actually be able to help. Hopefully that way I am doing the best I can not only for myself but for the other person as well.

    *Name changed to protect privacy

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That was a powerful self-harm story. Thank you for sharing. I often look at my scars on my arms, some of them have faded but the deepest ones are still there, visible reminders of a different time in my life. Thank you for sharing as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I often am reminded of that experience when I look at scars on other people. I realise, in sharing my story, that I still have a lot of shame over that fear. It’s interesting how sharing can make us realise that we still have more to process over certain issues.

        Like

    2. I think this is so wise – you are protecting yourself, while still doing what you can to help, but also leaving it up to the person to get help as ultimately that choice will always rest with them no matter what anyway. I think attempting to help when you are being traumatically triggered probably has a high likelihood of making both you and them worse off in the long run. I’m sorry you had to go through that experience and it makes a lot of sense for you to have some anger over it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. I really appreciate the understanding! I know that knowing the resources to help has helped people who have talked to me a couple of times in the past, and I think that was far more helpful than adding my trauma to what they were already experiencing.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you so much for posting! You are amazing and it’s refreshing to see people post true things about themselves. It’s very inspiring, and I’m positive it will keep inspiring more people. Keep up the great work and know you truly aren’t alone in this, even if some days it feels like it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Self harm is so hard not to do sometimes. I openly tell people about how I bite the inside of my mouth instead of cutting. No one finds this weird. I destroy my mouth causing fat lips. I heal quickly and for some reason inside my mouth heals quicker than if I had cut myself.

    When I say I bite I mean I bite out huge hunks of flesh. The blood is oddly claiming. I also have done it for so long I don’t always know when I am doing it until I taste the blood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bite the inside of my mouth but never draw blood. I actually more chew the inside my lip. We all have our way of coping. I hope that someday in the near future you won’t need to any of it. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve had a feel really emotional set backs once or twice the past 2-3 years but I think it’s a lot like drug addiction recovery in terms of self-harm. I never posted on social media about it, I hid it, but I agree that those who do are just crying for help, needing comfort like all of us. They are just going about it differently. I hate when people say it’s all for attention until one day that friend they talked about commits suicide. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you’re very brave being so open about this subject. In fact I was just looking at scars on my own leg when this blogged popped up in my email. So I read it. Thank you for your post. More people need to now the truth behind self harm. And not the “attention seeker” myth. When people ask about my scars (most of which are now tattooed over with meaningful symbols. I don’t want to forget my scars. They are a map of my journey. I tattoo over them with pictures of things that have roped me stop doing it. Quotes that have helped me keep living etc. So they’re still a reminder of my journey) but I have some scars on my leg. And when people see them and ask “what is that scar from?” I say one simple sentence. “These scars are from emotional pain”. Because they are. And so I describe them as such. X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can understand where you are coming from. I cut mostly on my arm and over time some of the smaller ones have faded but the deepest are still there especially on my right arm. They are reminders of where I have been and how far I have come with my journey. Thank you for sharing a small piece of your own journey with my blog.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I may have left my scars on my arms there if I hadn’t got children. When they were born I didn’t want them to see and ask questions. And as they got older maybe even copy. If you see what I mean? It would be hard to explain away that many scars to them. They are inquisitive and curious. So the tattoos are over the ones on my arms. The ones on my legs are still there and the children don’t see them as I don’t often have my legs out! Purely because they are so pale and look like milk bottles haha! I used to be ashamed of the scars. But now I’m not. If I had a scar from a physical illness I would not be ashamed. So I’m not ashamed of these scars either. I haven’t cut for a while now. But I never say “oh I never will again” because I can’t possibly know that. I have stopped for a year or more before and then done it again when I’ve been overwhelmed or low. Always here if you want a chat by the way 🙂 I have bipolar, borderline personality disorder and psychosis. So I understand to some degree. But could never understand fully because you are your own person and not a walking list of symptoms! So although we both have bipolar we are not the same. Anyway sorry. I am rambling 🙄 as usual! Tasks care x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping the same. This issue is such a taboo one that most people keep hidden. And I think if people talk about it, we can maybe help find alternatives to self harm like seeking help.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I have not heard anyone talk about that, thank you! I would never have cut myself when I was you ger because one of the things I was afraid of was dying. I was afraid of everything. Constant fear.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you for sharing this story. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say this story felt like you were telling our story and not just your own. You are doing something amazing with your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow great topic! I do feel torn however about people posting self-harm on social media (instagram for example), as I feel this really becomes a bit of ‘self-harm’ porn and a trigger for people who are vulnerable to it. It can be glorified, sexualised or just the exposure to the images makes me think about it more often, which I don’t find helpful. I think *talking* about it helps, but posting images I find isn’t helpful as I think it fuels their own addiction to it and other people’s addiction too.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yeah, i follow u… i wonder how i missed this post. Well, i hadnt been online for a couple of days before.
    Reading this, first time i felt so understood. I had been into self harming. Actually am. There are these 2 friends of mine trying to whatever they can to keep me away from all this. Not that they do not aunderstand why i do so… just that they do not understand why im not able to stop doing all this.
    Yes, self harming, started it 2 years back and now solution to every problem of mine is to pick up the blade and let it do its job. Soemtimes i regret it. But then, the scars make me feel alive. I do not cut deep so most scars have faded away.
    LOL, i started my story.
    Anyway, im happy u wrote such a post to let everyone know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know the feeling. It helps to feel the pain so that you are no longer tormented by the emotional pain. I regret a lot of my past. And scars sometimes heal. It’s the deeper ones that remind me where I have been. I hope that changes for you. Stay strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much, there is such a stigma surrounding self harm and I have always felt deeply ashamed. I always used to hide my old scars for fear of judgement, but now I don’t care. People don’t understand the truth of self harm, all we can do is try to educate people in the hopes that we might also help people.
    Mt partner would always get so upset and hurt when I would self harm but after many long discussions he has learned how to support me without making me feel judged and since then, I have actually be self harming a lot less

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel the exact same way. My scars remind me how strong I am now. I haven’t used self-harm in a long time but it’s good to hear you use it less. You’re not alone in this. Thank you for having the courage to share.

      Like

  13. Thank you for sharing your story. I felt your pain, it’s very inspiring to see someone come through such a terrible ordeal to be able to use it to help others. God bless you🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Often it stays hidden because people cut in places that their can’t see. It’s something that has to be talked about. Thank you for reading my blog.

      Like

  14. I feel you. I have tattoos so that I cant cut myself without destroying something beautiful. Usually the sensation of getting tattooed is enough of a release for me, but it’s definitely hard.

    Thank you for sharing 💜

    Like

    1. I am actually looking to get a tattoo to cover up my scars. It’s been a long time but the scars are always a reminder. I am glad you found an outlet.

      Like

  15. Thank you for being so open about this topic. Again, it’s not one people like to openly discuss because it’s controversial. I actually got my tattoo to cover up my scars as well, but sometimes, on bad days, I fall victim to things again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It happens. Relapse into things that help us get through the crap of the world. That’s why I write posts such as these because we need to have a real discussion without people looking at cutting in a negative way. It is a way to deal.

      Like

  16. ‘Physical pain, compared to the emotional pain, is easier to deal with because at least physical pain can be healed.’ I think this sums it up beautifully, in a way that people who judge because the don’t understand can start understanding and even help in times of need. You are right, there is stigma around this topic, so I praise you for stepping out and talking about it. It is something that definitely needs to be addressed, in order for it to change. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Evana. It is an important topic because of the stigma. I want people to know why I made the decision to use self harm as a coping mechanism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly!! People should know, and understand the logic behind it, because to some people, it might not make sense. But that sentence sums it up perfectly. Again, great job!!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Gosh, I felt a little scared clicking on this article, I did not want to be triggered but your stark honesty and thought-process is so good to read…
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad that my blog post was a positive experience. That is what I want out of these types of blog post when the subject matter isn’t something people want to talk about.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for sharing, I know that must’ve been difficult.

    Like

  19. I’m glad you feel you can share this. I always feel like hiding is the hardest thing but it’s necessary for some, or so we think. Sending love your way 🙂

    Like

    1. It is necessary for some, it was for me for years. I found my way through writing and I feel it’s my
      Obligation to be part of the conversation. Maybe you will someday too. It takes time. Thank you for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. ThAnk you for sharing your story. It’s not an easy one. But nevertheless, you persisted- you’re here and you want to help- that’s EVERYTHING. I have so much respect for you. How exactly do we help towards your book?! A link anywhere? Xo! Wishing you nothing but wellness and sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Ely, it made my morning. There is a link at the bottom of most of my pages where you can donate through PayPal. I wish you nothing but wellness and sunshine as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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