Yes I do it. I’m not quite sure how I got into it. Looking back, I realize now that I was self harming as young as twelve years old, but at that point I was completely oblivious to what I was actually doing and why. I remember not having a nail left on my thumb because I’d stripped it away bit by bit. Once the nail bed on that thumb was completely exposed, I started on my other thumb. My mum picked up on it and told me that I was self-mutilating myself and that I should stop. It was a nervous habit I’d picked up but eventually I had enough control to stop. To stop that particular habit anyway. Over the years I’ve done similar things without realizing it. I’ve suffered life long with depression and probably a few personality disorders too, so it makes sense why I would be doing it.
When I went to college I was exposed to a few new things. One of them being purposeful self harming. The interesting thing is that my Christian parents had told me that cutting is inviting demons into your body. At the time I was naive enough to believe it. I never judged those people who did it, but I was weary of them. The ironic thing here is that self harm comes in many different forms, conscious or unconscious, and that I was already doing it myself in various different ways.
Being exposed to it though over and over again made me more and more desensitized. At that time I had started falling away from my parents religion – Christianity; again I didn’t realize it at the time. One day, I was sewing something, and I was in a dark place. I grabbed the needle and grazed my skin with it. That was the first time I consciously self-harmed. I have a twisted sense of humor, so that day I etched the word ‘love’ into my arm, despite the fact all I felt at that particular time was anything but that. A needle isn’t particularly sharp, but it broke the skin in places. The burn felt good, and the resulting calm made me feel better.
I did that a few times. Eventually though I got fed up of it. I became numb. Stopped caring altogether. That is until an explosion happened at home. I found out my step-dad was abusive, and I told my mum. She was in denial, and let’s just say it was a good six months struggle before she decided to divorce him. During this time, my world was upside down. Everything I knew to be was a lie. I’d lived a lie my whole life. I was thrown back into emotional turmoil. Then one day I got really drunk and my nails were really long and I did the only thing I could. I dug them into my wrists. Over and over and over again. There wasn’t a patch of skin that wasn’t covered in marks. These didn’t break the skin however. It was relatively safe. And it healed fast. But it was a build of mostly raw anger. I had no control over myself. It just happened. And I couldn’t stop it.
Half way through all this was going on, we had a clear out whilst my step-dad was out. We packed all his stuff in order to kick him out, (although he didn’t actually move out for a few months more because he refused. We had to get legal support to get him out – aka, social services, the police, ect.) and when I was going through his draws I came across a whole bunch of unused razors. Now I don’t shave, I wax, so I’d never had need of a razor. Perhaps this was a good thing. Because that day, I quickly hid one of the razors in my pocket until we were done and I hid it elsewhere in my room. Two weeks later, and a mixture of low inhibitions due to alcohol abuse, morbid curiosity, and tumultuous emotions let me to retrieve the razor. I think I’ve regretted it ever since.
Yet the twisted part of me loves it. I only cut once that day. I underestimated how sharp the razor was and cut a little too deep. It scared me and I put it away again. But that didn’t stop me wanting to do it again. By that point, everything had been leading up to this moment – my cutting addiction. So I researched where best to cut and where to avoid and how to stay safe even though I’d told myself that I wouldn’t do it ever again. But of course I was lying to myself. I did actually try to stop. But that feeling you get when you feel off and need grounding, or when you haven’t done it for a while, or whatever. I think only self harmers will understand this. It’s like your wrist practically vibrates with the need to be cut. It’s an addicting feeling in and of itself. It’s just screaming at you to be slit. And you’re there just staring at your wrist, every part of your mind in war with itself. Should I, shouldn’t I? But it would just feel so damn good- no, no. Don’t think about. But I just need to, I hate this feeling. Fuck it all, the only thing that will make this go away is to just get it over with. Rinse repeat. And that is how the downwards spiral into self harm starts.
Truth be told though I don’t think I had any choice in the matter anyway. Looking back, everything had been leading up to this. It’s just one of those things. I realize it is a bad thing, but the other part of me, the twisted part of me, likes it- no, loves it. But it’s at odds with the way I’m starting to get scared. I don’t want to die – but like with any addiction, the more you do it the more you need to do it. The harder, longer, and deeper you need to cut. I mean, whilst I have that razor in my hand, sometimes it takes all my will not to plunge it in any deeper. I wrote all this because I recently relapsed two days ago, and it was the worse I’ve ever done. My whole arm is covered, and it actually makes me feel sick. I can’t bear to look at it – until of course I need that ‘fix’ and then looking at it makes me feel better. It’s almost like whilst the scars are still largely visible, every time you look at them, it sends you back, and you mentally commit the act, which is enough in itself. But once the scars have faded into those little silver marks that are barely visible – that’s when the urge to do it comes back. Until then, I’m safe, even though the addiction is more compelling whilst I’m healing. The healing process kinda symbolizes mental healing too in a way, if you forget about the addiction issues.
So. Here I am. A victim of my own abuse. I guess it’s like I’m carrying on the cycle my step-dad left behind. The interesting thing is though – the longer he’s away, the more disconnected from reality I feel, and these days I cut for the opposite reasons. Just to feel something. Which in my opinion makes things ten times worse. I’m well aware I’m going through psychological trauma, due to many other symptoms. I think I’m relatively stable now not to need my anti-depressants anymore, as I’ve been off them two week now, but then again maybe they never worked in the first place. Depression due to chemical imbalance and depression due to childhood abuse are two completely different things, after all.
One other thing I want to mention though before I go, is that there is that sick twisted part of me that likes the blood. I’m not gonna deny, I have a dark side. And I like to revel in it. I love to expose myself to dark things. I start to feel uncomfortable if I’m away from that side of me for too long. I’m not sure if that’s down to psychological conditioning, or what, but I’ve recently denounced Christianity and turned to Luciferianism. It’s an ideology that emphasizes that the dark and the light nature of a person should be allowed to be balanced, much like Taoism. The way this works, is to accept all the dark parts of yourself in order to be able to see the light and grow above and beyond it. Its foundation is in the dark nature of man, rather than religions like Christianity whose foundation lay in the light. I’m not sure whether this is going to affect me negatively, but so far, it’s teaching me not to be ashamed of things like self-harming that are perfectly natural (and scientifically proven to be natural also). And I think that that is the first step to acceptance. So we’ll see how it goes. I can’t say I’ll indefinitely stop, or that I actually want to stop, but that if I’m going to do it I would rather accept it and keep in control of it, rather than letting it control me.
Also, having to wear long sleeved shirts in summer is a bitch. I should’ve thought that one through.