Self-injury and some things I'd like to talk about :)

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Hey there fellow Escapees! :)

Generally quite a sensitive issue, this. Some people get scared or unnerved because they don't understand it, others view it with disgust. Some think it means you're weak, some think it's ugly. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this, so let's discuss :)

I cut myself for a period of over two years. This all ended about six months ago. I won't bore you with a multitude of issues and details, but I was going through an extremely hard time. I had a lot of pent up emotion and stress.

Now, most people self harm for very different reasons. Some feel they actually deserve it. Some use it as a coping mechanism. I personally used it as a visceral, quick chemical rush. It released all of my negative emotions and made me feel good for a while. It helped me relax and express these complexities I was going through in a single stroke of a knife. It was like a soft version of snorting coke. It was extremely hard to give up. But after some haunting arguments that I will never forget I stopped for the people I loved. It made my girlfriend sad, but she tries to understand and loves me no matter what, and still kisses my scars occasionally. But I have met some truly messed up people who slash or burn themselves because they literally hate themselves and feel they deserve the pain and mutilation.

I have a total of 27 large and outstanding scars from that time. I have 9 on the underside of my left arm, 11 on the underside of my right arm, 3 on my left shoulder, 1 on my right shoulder, 2 on my chest and 1 on my right leg. That was a bad time, but I look past it and am proud of myself that I managed to get past that point... Mostly past it anyway. I never hide them and I'm never ashamed. I get shit for it, been in punch ups about it, but at the end of the day I'm proud and I will not hide them for anyone.

So, Escapists. Let's talk :)

Have you ever dabbled in this dark part of being human? How did you feel about it? Did you hide it?

For those who haven't, what do you think when you see someone with scars or cuts? How do you feel about this topic?

Thanks :)

I'm... and odd case. My legs are covered in scars, but I wasn't a "cutter" really. I was planning suicide via x-acto(however you spell that) blade, and I was practicing with it to make sure that I could cut deep enough and that the blade was sharp enough to kill myself when I turned it on my wrists. My logic was that I can hide scars for as long as I need to on my legs, but I only get one shot with my wrists, so I better make damn well sure that I'm prepared.

Then a friend smelled the blood on me, alerted the dean, medical leave, etc. etc.

But yeah. Cut, but not a cutter, I guess is what I'm trying to say. I definitely hide the scars. I don't let the scars be seen. I only wear long pants now. The only two people that have seen them are the friend I mentioned who insisted on patching up my legs, and my doctor who I had to show as the wounds were really infected.

I've never cut, but I did have a friend who cut. His explanation was literally "I was bored". He is no longer my friend. I would have understood if he said he was going through something, or really anything else other than "I was bored".

It's sadly a common method of dealing with emotional turmoil in an uncaring world. However, it also became a popular part of certain subcultures for a few years. I'm not sure if that is dying off somewhat now, but when I was at school it was definatly viewed as "cool" by certain groups.
Whilst I have sympathy, if not actually understanding, of the first instance. I really don't with the second. Though pressure to fit-in will, I'm sure, cause people to do worse things in the future!

Most forums I've seen topics like this, they got deleted because it's been known talking about it can act as a trigger.

I cut to test the water, I suppose. It's oddly comforting, slicing myself and knowing that, if it comes to it, all I need to do is push a little harder for respite. Permanent respite.

Darth Carr:
I've never cut, but I did have a friend who cut. His explanation was literally "I was bored". He is no longer my friend. I would have understood if he said he was going through something, or really anything else other than "I was bored".

He was lying; in a glaringly transparent way... You just abandoned an emotionally awry cutter. Nice going.

Never inflicted any self-harm on myself, and I didn't know anyone who did either.

To be honest I never saw the point of hurting yourself to help yourself. That sounds like a bad way of describing it, but it's how I saw it

I self-harmed during my school years. The motivation to do so was a combination of four primary factors; I saw it as an adequate coping mechanism, I enjoyed the rush of adrenaline post-cut, I obsessed over nursing my wounds and I saw no other way to express the despair and frustration I felt. I eventually dragged myself out of this self-destructive routine as I realized that the seconds of bliss were vastly outweighed by the guilt and the shame I felt as I struggled to hide my cuts and scars.

Back when I used to have panic attacks I would give myself cigarette burns to pull myself out of it. When you have a panic attack you're just suddenly and irrationally terrified, and there is no form of logic that can make it stop. Oh sure, you can try and ride it out, but I found that the combination of the chemical rush the OP mentioned, plus the act of consciously delivering the sort of pain one would normally be somewhat afraid of broke panic attacks immediately. The worst part of the pain was the fear of the pain, the only way to take control was to inflict it myself, and when it was done I always found myself breathing a sigh of relief.

I still keep the notion as part of my ICE kit. I haven't had to use it in quite a while, but I do still have the little burn marks on my arm.

I've never cut myself, but I did have this habit of biting arm or hand. I never did it especially hard, just enough to feel a little bit of pain. I used this to release any pent up frustration and to focus my mind on the task at hand.

I don't really do it anymore, since I've learned how to better deal with my emotions.

To be completely and insensitively honest, I don't much like the idea of it at all, because I can't fathom what would ever cause someone to do it. Similar views on suicide, but I won't go into that.

Without trying to offend people, it just weirds me out, a lot. I don't understand how it relieves pressure or stress or upset, and it all seems just really extreme. If I get upset about something, why on Earth would I think "Time to slash my wrist open!"? I've also known people do it for attention, which is even weirder in my honest opinion. Some guy started cutting himself at a party in front of everyone because a friend of mine (straight guy) wouldn't be with him or kiss him. Any kind of attention you get from that can only be negative, so why do it?

I'm sorry if I sound insensitive, but I've known people who I was close to do it and it creeped me out, both because it seems so weird, but also because it would make me very concerned. So my opinion of it may very much out of ignorance, but I'd much rather be creeped out by it than strongly approve of it, so I guess the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing is pretty relevant here.

I cut myself for the same reason I got my tats and I got into fights a lot....

I used to have a thing for pain in my late teens early 20's.

Started in a normalish way. I was with a lass when I was 17 she was 21. We were having sex and she took chunks out of my back with those stupid bloody nails of hers. Problem was I quite enjoyed it.

The whole pleasure pain thing.

I wasn't a depressed self harmer I got a "buzz", if you will, from pain. Didn't have to be cutting which is why I started with tattoo's, I have quite a few of them.

It was a passing fetish though, kinda just fizzled out when my first kid was born and I had to be sensible adult.

Only once, I sat and burned my hands in order to stop thinking about suicide. I hated myself and all I could think about was how much I wanted to kill myself. Some part of me didn't want to actually kill myself, so I burned my hands so that the pain blocked out the feelings of depression.

That wasn't a good day, I'll be honest.

Never cut myself nor have ever felt inclined to but knew quite a few who did in boarding school, for various reasons including the ones you described.

Due to this exposure it's not something I find particularly shocking.
Do it in front of me and I'll stop ya but beyond that I ain't gonna judge.

bojackx:
Without trying to offend people, it just weirds me out, a lot. I don't understand how it relieves pressure or stress or upset, and it all seems just really extreme. If I get upset about something, why on Earth would I think "Time to slash my wrist open!"? I've also known people do it for attention, which is even weirder in my honest opinion. Some guy started cutting himself at a party in front of everyone because a friend of mine (straight guy) wouldn't be with him or kiss him. Any kind of attention you get from that can only be negative, so why do it?

I'm sorry if I sound insensitive, but I've known people who I was close to do it and it creeped me out, both because it seems so weird, but also because it would make me very concerned. So my opinion of it may very much out of ignorance, but I'd much rather be creeped out by it than strongly approve of it, so I guess the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing is pretty relevant here.

It is probably a similar reason to acupuncture, it does enough damage for the brain to release feel good chemicals.

I wouldn't say I have been a "cutter", but I did something similar on a infrequent basis.
I have Psoriasis (on about 70% of my body), and my legs (the shins) are especially bad.
So when I was angry, stressed or sad, I would violently scratch my shins to a bloody pulp.
I would sometimes scratch myself while sleeping, so I used that excuse if someone reacted to the smell of blood or the blood stains on my hands and bedsheets.

I haven't done that in a long time, but I stil have some other issues.
Most often alcohol. I'm not an addict, but I sometimes pull out a bottle of gin when I have a bad day. I'm one of those who get happy and forgets all of life's troubles when drinking.

FernandoV:

Darth Carr:
I've never cut, but I did have a friend who cut. His explanation was literally "I was bored". He is no longer my friend. I would have understood if he said he was going through something, or really anything else other than "I was bored".

He was lying; in a glaringly transparent way... You just abandoned an emotionally awry cutter. Nice going.

While I agree that he was probably lying, that's a pretty damn judgmental thing to say, without knowing anything else about their relationship.

OT: I feel a mix of disgust and understanding towards self-mutilation. I won't bore anyone with details.

Blablahb:
Most forums I've seen topics like this, they got deleted because it's been known talking about it can act as a trigger.

There a source to this info? "It's been known" is rather shaky.

I've never done any kind of straight up self-mutilation. However, I was part of a sort of "fight-club" in high school. We'd fuck each other up pretty badly, but the rush it gave me seemed worth it. I would also punch hard surfaces a lot. Technically it was for training, the calcium deposits in the micro-fractures you create make your knuckles like brick, but I'd be lying if I said the pain wasn't cathartic.

I started cutting when I was 15. (26 now) I recently broke a almost 3 year "clean" streak.

I hid it for awhile...Finally confessed to my grandmother, who assumed I was doing it for attention and ignored it.

I have a couple different reasons for doing it, but they're not anything I'd be comfortable discussing in a public forum.

Digi7:

For those who haven't, what do you think when you see someone with scars or cuts? How do you feel about this topic?

Thanks :)

I haven't myself, nor have I known someone close to me that has, but I wouldn't knock someone for doing it. While it's obviously not the solution to any sort of problem, it is something people do deal with, so insulting them or otherwise for it seems rather counter intuitive. Kudos for managing to get past it though. <3

=^_^=

Have I hurt myself on purpose? No... but as I am not the brightest person I hurt myself quite frequently. :(

Self Injury is something i never understood to much but i have done some self injury involving my knuckles which are pretty badly scarred. I use to punch wall doors *Which still have holes i have yet to plaster* and more Walls. I took anger management and started to release all the stress through weight lifting, Music and Hanging out with good friends.

i do 2 things one when im thinking deeply i chew the joint where my left pointer finger meets my hand so much so now i have a large callous there that is somewhat odd to explain lol, and two sometimes to clear my head i peels the sin on my lips to taste the blood.

I cut myself once. I was at a psychiatric hospital for 8 months, I encountered it many times.
I feel that anyone who cuts himself (including me), regardless of reasons (Don't get me wrong, I can 'understand' it in some cases), is stupid. Yes, stupid. You were emotionally troubled, what I call being stupid. I was emotionally troubled too, I was stupid as well.
..But maybe that's because I knew, and still know people who do it or used to do it. After a lot of exposure to that kind of stuff, I find myself joking a lot about it, unable to take it with a serious face.

I used to all the time, got bullied so much in middle and high school and cutting just felt like a way to get all my emotions and stress out. When I stopped doing it for a while because I felt it was a bad habit I ended up sticking a .22 pistol to my head because I couldn't take being bullied so much. Now I don't cut, I just smoke cigarettes and drink occasionally. Guess I'm just haunted by the memories of my past.

I guess it's not completely the same but my sister was obsessed with getting skinnier. I remember her strapping belts around her stomach really tight and later learned she was also bulimic. I don't know if everyone feels this way but for her it was definitely the self loath that drove her into doing these things.

I myself have dark thoughts from time to time, but I never get around to actually harm myself, or anyone else for that matter. I've not been in a physical fight since the 9th grade in school where I had to use force to get out of a beating. That was over 4 years ago now.

But I'm curious though, what is the sensation just before you actually make that first cut?

I dunno, sounds crazy to me, but I have a few friends that cut, and besides me trying to gently wean them off of it, I don't judge or get up in their face about it. The only good side I can think of cutting is not minding when you bail hard or get in a fight. Enjoying pain would have it's perks.

I've never understood self harm, it doesn't accomplish anything.

I cut for a bit in HS. It boiled down to personal demons caught up to me. Luckily my scars are gone. Haven't cut in about... 5 years. I did hide it but my brother saw them.

I -would- if I didn't wuss out every time and wasn't worried about getting an infection or something, although I do occasionally slap or punch myself. The most I've done in terms of "cutting" is just making faint marks on my arm.

Many people don't understand self-harming because they've never been really depressed, or believe that their self-harming friend is just doing it for attention. Ignorance is bliss.

To those who don't understand cutting, as far as I can tell people do it because it gives physical manifestation to their emotional pain and provides a sense of cathartic relief. Almost like releasing a poison that's inside their body. If someone wants to correct me on this feel free, but that's always been my understanding.

When I cut, it was because I was in a crappy situation for a long time and every bit of power over my own life had been taken away from me.. so, by cutting myself, I had control over something. It also cleared my head and allowed me to think straight and made my outside match my inside.

I don't hide my scars. They're part of me.

EDIT:

axlryder:
To those who don't understand cutting, as far as I can tell people do it because it give physical manifestation to their emotional pain and provides a sense of cathartic relief. Almost like releasing a poison that is inside their body. If someone wants to correct me this feel free, but that's always been my understanding.

This. One of the most powerful quotes I've ever read was something a friend of mine wrote:

"Everyone looks at you and thinks you're fine. Nothing's fine and no one understands. But, if someone's bleeding, something has to be wrong."

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