Self Harm

When I was a teenager, my struggle with depression began. Out of it self mutilation was birthed. This was not a learned behavior, I hadn’t seen it anywhere, but one day, I grabbed a blade from my brother’s box cutter and started to cut myself. I’d cut then cry myself to sleep. Sometimes, I’d rub hydrocortisone on them (I’m not sure why) when I was done. As a result of those times in my life, I have 15 cuts on my left arm and a few on my left leg. I was surprised when I found out a few years later that I wasn’t the only one doing it, but millions of people. How did I know to do this? Again, I’d never seen it, read it, or heard of it. It felt like a natural response to the pain I was feeling at the time. I’d cut, bleed, cry, then feel ‘better’… only to do it again. I was so numb to what was going on at the time. It hurt, but obviously not enough to make me stop because I felt, in a sense, that I was bleeding out the pain and hurt that was inside me. As I got older, I’d wear long sleeved shirts, even in the summertime, to hide the scars and to avoid the looks. When the next wave of self mutilation came, I ventured into the world of tattoos and piercings. As a result of that, I have 3 tattoos which I wish I didn’t have, including 2 which are very telling of my mindset at the time.

Even now, over 10 years later, I get self conscious. People ask what happened and I cringe as I begin to tell them that I cut myself. And I still have to fight the urge to respond to pain in a wrong way. I have to examine my motives. Before the Lord saved me, one of my many piercings included my nose. Shortly after the Lord saved me, I removed the nose ring along with my other piercings. In February of this year, I got my nose repierced. It was a decision that took a very long time to make. I’d been thinking about it for over a year before I finally got it done.

With all that said, I cannot lie and say that the temptation has been fully removed from me; it hasn’t, but God, in His perfect grace, has given me the ‘tools’ to fight that temptation with. I’m no longer a slave to self mutilation… for it was ‘for freedom Christ set us free’ (Galatians 5:1)

I’m not sure why I decided to blog about this today, but maybe it will help someone.

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2 thoughts on “Self Harm

  1. Jennie says:

    Hi Jenn, I’ve been checking in with your blog here and there after finding it on the daily scribe. I enjoy your writing and insights. Yesterday I had a meeting with my 16 year old son’s therapist about his cutting, depression and episodes of intense emotions. As a matter of fact, he has been asking for an “industrial” ear piercing for a while and again yesterday. A part of me understands him in that I was bulimic as a teen and these things are related from a psychological standpoint. Anyway, he has intense emotions, is highly sensitive to his environment and “deep,” reflective, intuitive. These things can wreak havoc in his young mind, but have also been responsible for the things that help make him the amazing kid he is, a great athlete, a musician, a wonderful son. When I realized that it helped me realize that I have to honor who he is entirely and help him learn to use his intensity, sensitivity and unique mind in ways do not hurt him, but that serve him…and Him, hopefully someday. Thanks for posting your story.

  2. Eddie says:

    Hi Jen,
    Thanks 4 sharing! Here are some resources that I saw recently and thought I would pass them along. You probably may have seen them already, but I just wanted 2 send it just in case. I haven’t read the book so I can’t vouch for it, but it may be good reading.

    http://resources.family.org/product/p01071b+live+free+series+scars+that+wound.do?code=BW08GEN
    and also:
    http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001810.cfm

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