I thought that I would write a post around why I do certain behaviours, that many see as maladaptive or weird. This has come about as because the weather has been hot and I have dared to go out in a t-shirt, and people do stare. my arms in particular a mess from years and years of self harm through cutting. but people don't get it.
The first time I ever cut myself I was 12. by this point I was already deeply disturbed teenager, I had been being abused by my dad for the past 7 years and it was still going on. we had also moved again, and I started high school in the middle (Jan) of the first year, and was being systematically bullied. I wanted out, or at least that's how it felt at the time, looking back now I think I wanted someone to help. I tried cutting my wrists, and although they were only little scratches they gave me such a relief, a calmness I hadn't had in a very long time came over me.
over the next 6 years I was self harming irregularly, to get through school and home, always somewhere no one would see (usually my ankles) I didn't want the attention. I just wanted to cope till I could go to uni.
it wasn't until I just turned 18 and was put on seroxat as my eating had gotten really bad that the self harm escalated to daily, and then a couple of years later I was regularly in A&E.
One thing I want to get across that this isn't a "teenage craze" it takes some kind of need to hurt yourself.
for me its a lot of the time harm minimisation. I still have a lot of thought to take overdoses and other more risky things, and self harm helps me reduce the need. it never goes away. I mean I have only OD once in the last 18 months (a huge deal for me) but at the moment I am finding I am particularly struggling with it.
I'll try an explain it another way. I have two parts of me, one that wants to live and keep fighting to get at him but another who finds everything so scary that she thinks the only way out is to die. these two argue, but often agree to cut before thinking about taking tablets, and 9 times out of 10 this works. its just like the angel and devil on your shoulders.
Simply I cut to stay alive. many people would find this concept weird. but to me its my life.
I am slightly abnormal within people who self harm as I am now 31, many people apparently "grow out of it" by the time that they are 25, well they find another coping mechanism that works for them. I have had years and years of behavioural therapy, but at the moment I find cutting is the best way to keep going. I'm not saying I never want to stop because I do.
I am not say thing that I am the same as I was when I was 18, a hell of a lot has gone on since then, and in the couple of years.
Cutting for me is a coping mechanism, I feel that I am evil, and this is a way to punish me, its a way to hurt myself in a way I am in control - which I feel completely out of control with, because of the sexual abuse that I suffered.
I like to think that my scars are a map of my survival, its not been easy, is been friggin hard, but I am fighting still and its helped me in this position now.