I've said that i'm a recovered cutter, and yet, i'm not.
I was sitting in soc/psych class, and i started to have a panic attack. I had to leave ... asap ... and our teacher doesn't like to let anyone out of the class unless you're gonna spew or something. So i started to pick at my fingers/cuticles until they bled.
And then i felt better. It was like 1000lbs was lifted off my shoulders. Is this not the perfect definition of a cutter? Seeing blood to make things better? It wasn't even about the pain ... It was knowing that I was still alive. Still there. Underneath the sweaty palms and shaking and increased heart rate, i was still a person ... w/ the ability to bleed.
It's kinda funny, b/c i've been doing this all my life. Blood made me feel better. When i saw it, it didn't scare me. It didn't occur to me that i've always been a cutter. That seeing my own blood made me feel like a whole person.
And all along ... i've been fooling myself. Telling myself that my pills and my move and my therapy has made me a better person. Because i can resist the urge to cut when i feel it. I've lied to everyone around me, telling them that i'm better. And i'm really not. I'm not any better than i was a year ago when i was admitted to the psych ward ... I've only become better at hiding it.
So where do i go from here? Who do i tell? How can i admit that i lied ... w/o knowing it?
I've picked at myself so much that 3/10 fingers have bandaids on them. Or maybe i'm just fidgetty. Maybe I'm one of those people that just has to pick at something ... like scabs. But i'm that person too. I don't do it b/c its there, i do it because i know i'll see blood if i pick long enough. Telling myself i'm not a cutter would be lying. I'm not a liar.
There is a point to this ... I promise. You don't need a knife to "cut". You don't need razors or nail clippers or scissors. You need the urge to feel pain and see blood. You need to feel the urge to be a whole person, because you're not if you can't cut yourself up some more. Just because a person doesn't have big long scratches down their arms or other body parts doesn't mean they're not sick (cutting is a sickness). To me, it just looks like i bit my nails a little too much and caused my cuticles to bleed. It happens to the best of us. Only i know the truth. And now you do too.
Sweetie, if you feel like this has something to do with your problem then you're probably right. It also doesn't mean that you haven't gotten any better since last year. I mean...look at yourself! Here you are sitting at your computer helping other people out with their problems. If you were doing just as bad as you were last year you would still be in the psych ward, eh? What you're doing now is at a minimal level, and can be helped. Although I'm sure you figured I'd tell you this, you should probably let your parents know that you think you're still trying to force yourself to bleed. There is a difference between not being effected by the sight of blood, and actually enjoying it. Hon, you've gotten so far so don't give up now. You can get through it!
Hey, Littlesmurfy I'm sorry to hear that you're still "cutting", but I'm glad that you realized it. The first step is realizing that you have a problem. Sometimes it just hits you with a ton of bricks, and your "diagnosis" is probably correct if you feel strongly about it, but that's just an assumption. You should tell someone you trust about what you've been doing, because they can get you extra help if you need it. I think you're really brave for coming to terms with yourself. Sometimes people just push their fears back, and they only get worse. I really hope everything goes well for you. Take care, and I'll be thinking about you
Posts: 500 | From: Ohio, U.S.A. | Registered: Feb 2001
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Smurfaretta doll, we all have our weirdnesses. And sometimes, our weirdnesses are little obsessive-compulsive, semi-self-mutilatory things like picking our cuticles until they bleed, or scratching your inner ear until it bled and got infected (what my boyfriend used to do) or picking your zits and then picking the scabs (what my brother used to do) or scratching itches until they bled and then picking the scabs off regularly (something I used to do).
It doesn't necessarily mean you're broken. Honest. It doesn't necessarily mean you're sick, or wrong, or permanently screwed up. It doesn't even mean you've replaced cutting with pickin' yer hangnails until they bleed (which, incidentally, I did earlier today because it was annoying me so I ripped it off with my teeth and it bled all over the damned place).
It *may* be related to your cutting impulses.
It *may* be a form of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).
It *may* just be a passing thing.
Relax, and cut yourself a little slack. Often, these things will become less prominent and less compelling as we grow older, or when we're under less stress (when I am under LOTS of stress, I sometimes do my scratch-until-it-bleeds thing, but it's pretty rare for me to do that now).
My advice would be to keep an eye on it, maybe mention it to your therapist or to a trusted adult, and not to freak out too much about it. The more you work yourself up about it, the more tension you put on yourself *and* the more emphasis you put on the activity. The more you are able to say "Gee, I don't really want to do this, but it's not the end of the world," the less it'll feel like the end of the world.
*hugs* help, too, so here's a big old hug for you. *squeezethesmurf* Hang in there, tootsie, you're gonna be just fine. Because you're not cutting... and THAT, my dear, is an achievement. So there, nyaaah, you just have to suck it up that you're doing good by not cutting and that you have indeed made progress. Nanny nanny boo boo!
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