If it wasn't for the scars it would be as if nothing had ever happend...

By , Edmonton, Canada
I tread the halls of my school carefully. Never looking someone in the eye too long, or lingering in one place for large amounts of time. When fourth period comes along I slip into the bathroom and find an empty stall. I change my clothes, being careful not to rub up against the cuts that run up and down my sides,and pulling the ties of my pants tight so as to avoid being pantsed. I continue on down the hallway to the gym, all the other girls casually walk into the change room. There they remove their pants and shirts only to replace them with hardly there shorts and skimpy tank tops. They're all set for gym. I envy them in a way that no one can imagine. They aren't afraid of their bodies. They aren't afraid of what others will think when they reveal their flawless skin to the other girls in the room.
I'm a cutter. I hate that word but it's the only one I know. When I first started a few years ago, I felt alone, I thought that I was the only one. But I'm not. There are thousands of people all over the world who perposefully harm themselves in an attempt to escape the unpleasantries of life. Despite the amount of people that harm themselve intentionally, people still don't quite understand, some don't even know about it - how they managed that I'll never know.
Cutting has made me extremely self-conscious. I dread the day that someone notices, that eyes begin to linger on my arms and legs a little bit longer than they should. The day that people tread around me carefully, scared that they will set something off that will hurt me more. Always watching what they say, not wanting to upset me and cause another gash. People don't understand what it is and what it's about and that scares them. Unfortuneatly when you're a teenager people often treat fear in the worst of ways. They point it out for others to see. They laugh, they tease, they ruin your life. So instead of facing my worst nightmare I cover up. I wear wrist bands and sweaters and clunky overlapping bracelets. I stay away from fashion trends like short shorts and mini skirts and instead wear thick tights with shorts or long flared jeans.
this year in september, my mom found out. her and my brother were playfighting. I walked in to watch my brother get pinned and my mom pantsed me in attempt to make fun of me. Needless to say no one was laughing. I pulled up my pants and ran, hoping that, like my brother, she hadn't noticed. But she had. She came to my room later and talked to me about it. I had to tell her what was going on. I had to show her the cuts and the scars that decorated my legs in the most sickening way. she begged me to stop and I promised that I would. But it's been hard. I've broken my promise a few times which is a few times more than I wanted to. It's like riding a bike. Once you've learned how, you never forget. I think about it every day. How I wish that I had never started. How with one cut I could easily fall into the habit again. How I want to stop more than anything.
Thousands of people in the U.S and canada cut everyday. The majority of them are women although there have been men that have done it too. The strongest of these people have found help. The typical self-injurer - if there was one - would be white, middle classed woman, with above average intelligence who began cutting during adolescence. She would ave a low self-esteem and may suffer from depression. Many self-injureres also suffer from eating disorders or mental disabilitites. 40.5 percent of bulimics cut themselves, 35 percent of anorexics, 34 percent of patients with multiple personality disorder, 24 percent of prisoners with personality disorders and 13.6 percent of mentally retarded people in instituions. Observations conclude that about 1,400 out of every 100,00 people engage in some for of self-injury. Cutting is not considered an addiction or a disease, but it is a problem, and I regret every minute of it.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

allie said...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm
my friend cut herself and it was really hard on me and another one of her friends...cutting effects the others around u not just u...remember cutting doesnt really solve anything...it just covers it up...someone told the counseler about my friends problem and she got help...she has only cut herself once since then...thank u for ur story
 
Shawna L. replied...
Apr. 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm
yeah....cutting really effects those around you. I've seen what it's done to my friends and my mom and I hate that I do that to them. I'm glad that she's stopped and I'm sure you were a big part of that. thank you for commenting
 
Fantasyincolor said...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Stay Strong, Rescue is possible.
I am just like you, but I am experiencing freedom. Relapses will happen, but there is hope.
You are more than just your pain and scars. You are also better things. Remember the stars. They represent hope. :)
 
Shawna L. replied...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm
thank you. Rescue is possible and it is there waiting for everyone who goes through this, we just have to except it. it's hard but we can all stop. I wish you the best of luck. this is not who we are...and we are not alone.
thank you again
 
MiyaQuille This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 11:22 am
You are very brave to write about this. I'm glad your mother found out, and I hope you manage to break this habit. Be strong!
 
Shawna L. replied...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm
Thank you so much. that's definitely appreciated
 
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