I decided to share this not out of sympathy or attention but for people with this disorder to know, you are not alone. The below I wrote this in 2007 as I was going through one of my episodes.. I wrote it for a friend who asked why.. He didn’t understand, hell sometimes I don’t understand. These moment generally happen before I know they are happening. Its a emotional shutdown, a black out. I don’t have many moments that before it happens that I can control it. I have done good for a few months now. These moments are where I was able to catch it before it happened and control the situation in some form or fashion. It used to be the times I could catch them I had my dad to talk to, even though he didn’t completely understand.. he always just listened where others would scream, say I was looking for attention and so on. That is truly NOT what someone of this ‘disorder’ do. It’s just the way it is perceived. All instances have been hidden. I recall one moment I had where I just wanted to die, the person with me decided that to snap me out of it was to (I hope make me ‘wake up’ so to speak) attempt to stab me, saying if I wanted to die to let them do it. Yeah, I guess you could say in this situation it did snap me out of the crazed frame of mind I was in. Other times people I tried to talk to even when it was too late and after the fact of the matter was to scream, It was okay looking back.. it was how they coped. Everyone copes different who actually know of this. It doesn’t happen all the time, it happens when I am at a loss for hope in life. For the longest time I felt there was something wrong with me, today I feel that its something I can only work on but will probably be with me for days on end. My first bad episode of this was just before I met my ex husband. I was hospitalized for well over 5-6 months, I had slashed both legs up from the top to the knees with a pair of scissors, not really knowing till the morning and as I darted to the shower to hide my damage my mother caught me in the hallway, people thougth I was in a wreck, I looked do bad. sent to Antonio to a hospital until finally the insurance ran out. using pencils, takign the erasers out to cut with the metal. or erasing litterally. Just before being sent home, I had tried to kill myself in the hospital as I heard the voices of the man who abused me screaming at me, after being put in a body net on a bed and yes breaking out of it, I was thrown in seclusion. It was a couple weeks later I was sent back home to Corpus Christi to be with my parents. Christmas eve of that year in 1995 I overdosed. When I met my ex husband I had lost all friends and believed that he was the only thing I would have and I settled. I finally realized 10 years later that there are people who will still accept me regardless. I don’t let many know about it. I hide all damage.
Here very recently I had a episode and I felt it I put myself a way from all just me in a chair, my body reacted differently the relate that would normally happen turned into shaking, staring at on focal point until I blacked out combing to unable to. Breath, muscles tightened and tremoring. I was proud to have one less scar one less “its to late to know what I’ve done, my last episode prior 2 years ago. I lost my rock, my dad the one who didn’t understand but listened. I could confide in him!
Written February 26, 2007
A ‘cutters’ view
As a teenager I had problems with cutting, and recently I have had a relapse in this. So that has me here sitting and typing to myself and trying to elaborate.
Why do we cut so many will ask? Yet the answers are never understood. The outsiders: whether a friend, loved one, family member or whomever, will say it’s selfish, stupid, immature and no matter how much you try to explain, the answers are never really there for the outsiders who see just that… the outer shell.
A cutter will cut for many reasons, motives are different. Its not necessarily a cry for attention, a cry for help, not wanting to live.. Etc. As for me I do it where it is hidden and no one can see it, its just their way of ‘coping’. But the outside looking in doesn’t understand, they say the person is looking for attention, they must have a reason; they must know why they did this, they must be able to control it. Its like any other thing that happens when emotions are high and people scream or hit.. it sometimes can’t be controlled nor prevented it happens in the moment. From self experiences here is what I have come up with on thinking and trying to put in an ‘understandable view’ for those who ask me the question: WHY?
Punishment– when they feel they have done something wrong.. have disappointed or upset someone, Hurt someone emotionally, its their way of punishing themselves for what, may not seem wrong to others, but does to themselves. Even when others do not think they are in the wrong, the cutter will see it differently at the time and will do whatever it takes to make it seem ‘fair’ to themselves that they have punished themselves for whatever it is they feel they did wrong..
To hurt (Yes sounds logical)- Many times it seems as if they just are not human. They feel like they don’t hurt like they should on the inside, they don’t feel pain, They feel numb and they want to or need to do just that… FEEL PAIN! But often times when the person is cutting, they don’t feel a thing at that very moment, Its only later that they feel it. I have no feeling when I do it, nor do I know how hard I am pressing.. Its like I blank out. Its not about attention at all
To relieve emotional pain- Emptiness, feeling detached, Overwhelmed by things, Emotions get to high and it tops off to numbness, this is a way to relieve this, to relieve tension. Its yet only a temporary relief, a release of endorphins and they then feel calm.
So some say I have issues, I have a deep side, I am abnormal due to depression bouts or with how I handle thing. I say I am human. And yes there is a deep story to be told. I once started writing a book about it but it got lost when my computer at the time died and it was never backed up. But every time I hear the words that “I need to toughen up” or “be strong, get over it” or even deal with it. I have the power to tell myself I have gone above and beyond EVER doing that.. I have survived more than many would.
Because people don’t understand and we know in the end that it is painful for someone to watch, we will tend to push everyone away during this time, hid it and keep it our little secret. They tend to be self conscious of their wounds and scars and will try to conceal their behavior from others. It’s often difficult for them to open up and tell about their “secret shame” as when they do there is a lack of understanding or knowledge of how to help. Their intentions are not to hurt those they love and who may have to see this happen.
Now as I look back on everything including what I wrote over 4 years ago.. I sit here on a night of August 9,2011.. to add this to the end of this story: I have much strength within even when I hit a moment out of my control and due to a disorder.
I have survived many things.. some that others have survived, so things that many hope and pray that they or their children will ever have to survive. But lets recap a life of Dana, the “fucked up and hard to deal with at times as some say” and being the ones I love. ( I may repeat some of what my more indepth story was above but I guess this is my own private hidden personal rant so here I go)
As a very young child I was abused, watch my mother and brother be abused. At the age of 3 almost being thrown out of a 3 story window of an apartment, saved by my at the time pregnant mother who grabbed me and covered me for safety. Between the ages of 4-6 molested by my cousin who always told me if I told that I would be beaten. I survived these things by the power of a hero who came into my life when I was 7 and adopted me when I was 8. At this point I never had to see the people who caused me any harm.
I was chased down into the basement by my younger brother with a butcher knife, scared out of my witts as I climbed into the laundry sink in the basement. Later finding out that he had some horrible things happen to him that lead to this behavior.
As a teenager, After moving to Texas I opened up and told of the molestation I had when I was younger, granted it was 10 years later it all finally hit me. I always asked myself why now.. 10 years later, safe and away from any harm, why did these childhood demons appear. I was hospitalized for self mutilation, suicide attempts and depression. First being sent to a MHMR in Corpus and then sent San Antonio for a good deal of time. Coming home in 2005 to a moment when I overdosed. Again placed in the hospital to being released New years day of 2006. So to say the least every new years is important to me in a different special way. Home schooled for the remainder of my Freshman year of school.
I believed and was lead to believe NOONE would want me!
After my divorce, I put myself in some bad situations. I had been raped by a person who I though I could trust, who came to check on me as I would not answer my phone, I was passed out drunk with my door unlocked, accused by a person I loved that I deserved it, and betrayed by both. Over coming this and the real story behind the tattoo on my shoulder as, body identification, Life continued on. After a bad break up I again attracted the wrong kind, and well being me and him needing, or shall I say USING me and then Afraid to leave the situation due to the threats made to not me but those I loved but was running from, I stayed until one night he almost punched my face in missing by inches and clipping the wall behind me.. Still in fear and unable to get him to leave I ended up in a situation where he felt it was okay to do as he pleased as I laid in bed. It wasn’t long after that, my hero = my dad. Came to the rescue. Moving in with me and getting him out..
In one of my episodes of cutting, the person who was trying to protect me decided that tough love and trying to scare me out of the state I was in attempted to stab me. It was a drunken night that sobered me up fast and did in fact snap me out of the situation. I survived it after many days of fear, self blame for my disorder and depression as I got over the issue. But it made me stronger in the long run.
For many years I beat myself up for all of these saying that they were in fact my fault. I would never want to blame or see the bad in others. And well It had to be me, right? Not so much. After many times of therapy, outlets and people to talk to I realized I was just human, I didn’t deserve the things that happened to me. Yet I have still found myself accepting the evil, not wanting to believe advice that was handed to me.. and so on.
I have my demons and challenges as everyone does. I know I’m not perfect, and I know I I may not be ‘normal’ in many’s eyes. But I do know I’m me. I live, I laugh, I love unconditionally. And if ever doubted in my inner strength, I know what I have overcome, so little things that upset me, that I let get to me are nothing. Think twice before you call me weak.
One day a supportive person, not of what I. Do but how to help me through. “This isn’t a childish hey look at me. I hide the wound and when I realize what I’ve done I tell myself I’m stronger than, but domes outta my control as weird it sounds.
I had an incident, I was finally able to control it I set myself away from anything that could harm me. My chemicals if thats what you call it reacted and lashed out a different way. My whole body tensed up, I couldn’t breathe and I don’t know how long I stayed in a daze before I came back too! Shaking and in pain, but atleast I didnt’ bleed, there will not be a scar and my muscles will ease up and my body will like me better for it. 🙂
Added 2012: I realized another thing through the years, It goes back to my child hood but sat and thought when the cutting would start again. I had myself in a situation when the man I was with would scream violently, my black outs would happen again, I heard my abuser in my head my mind went back to a child I would hide in corners, space out and before I knew it there’s blood on the floor, My last incident this man left knowing it was coming, I sliced my arm the way anyone wishing to die would do in the right direction from wrist to elbow, I did not die, I think god and my dad watched over me this night. But through every cut, every scar its not attention and I hate those who will not take the time to see a disorder and learn it if they do care.
Added September 2013: In August of 2013 I attempted suicide by overdose of alcohol and 4o trazadone, I feel like I have very few in my life who even try to understand or take things into consideration. Especially those CLOSE to me, my mom has done well coming around and starting to understand my illness unlike before. I am now in therapy working with a psychiatrist for meds and finding out that alot of my cutting is a disassociation from all the emotions and stuff that pile up.