(Journal entry dated January 15. 1999)
In 3 days there will be 3 years since I hurt myself….I guess the urges will never go away and there are days that I really, really want to… maybe not want to but the urges are so strong… and it feels like someone is standing beside me and ordering me to do it and at the other side there is someone else that distracts me….gives me something else to think about or concentrate on….
My first memory of cutting myself…maybe I just remember it because I read it in my journal…was soon after I went to school at 17. Then I used the pencil I was writing with. Yes I was writing the journal entry… I don’t know what went through my mind that day though…not really…but the reason for doing it was to “punish”… for what? You might ask… being bad? I don’t know…..yet…
I was 17 years old…. and I had never been away from home alone…. I was terrified…but at first I was relieved to get away…but I didn’t know the world I was going into….I was away from the only place I knew…..from my mother but I hadn’t lost the fear of her. It was like a part of her had come with me to where I was… But I wasn’t able to “escape” her abuse by playing the piano as I could when I was home… I was having a hard time coping and the people I was living with noticed it… I couldn’t tell them what was really bothering me…didn’t really know it myself… so I lied and said I was just homesick…and I got away with that… When I wasn’t in school I closed myself in my new room… I didn’t know how to be around people… I didn’t speak to anyone without them speaking to me first… I felt I wasn’t going to make it…felt I was useless and unable to learn…and I started hurting myself…I felt I deserved it…I needed to feel it…
” …I’m staying with a really nice people…they don’t know me… If I tell them how I really am they won’t believe me… I’m evil and I will only bring them pain… I have to find a way to control myself… Mama isn’t here so I have to do this myself… I have to feel pain… My pencil… I can use is…… …..pain… blood running…..I feel better…..next time when I feel bad I will do this again… But on one can know about this…only crazy people do this…and they will come and lock me up…and I won’t be able to control my evil thoughts…I have to be careful….not do this where other people can see…”
(November 15th 1982)
March 8th 1999, after 3 years and two months, I cut again. I don’t know why I did it…I can’t remember what went through my mind that night….but now I can’t seem to stop. I don’t know whether it’s about “punishing” me or if I’m trying to ease the emotional pain by feeling physical pain. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. My therapist has asked me to try to write down what I’m thinking about when I feel I have to self-injure… I know now that most of the time it’s things that my mother said to me or did to me that comes to my mind… I try to push those thoughts away… Sometimes I’m able to and sometimes I’m not… Or sometimes it’s an event, a song, or a word that takes over my mind and I can’t push it way no matter how much I try to concentrate…
What is it that makes a person take a razor blade or some other tools, sharp or not, and cut themselves open? I can only answer that question for me…I am sure there are many different reasons people have, when trying to explain why they feel the need to hurt themselves.
Basically for me it is to lessen pain. Strange, you might ask… but you do feel pain when you do this? Oh yeah sure I do, most of the time anyway I do… but that pain is nothing compared to the pain I feel inside. When the inner pain gets too bad for me to handle I hurt my body and yes it helps for a while. And “a while” is all I need at that moment. Don’t take me wrong I’m not suggesting this to anyone….and I know I do this because I haven’t got any better ideas to cope with my pain…. I know this is not a very “bright” way of coping, but this is the way I’ve learned to use.
When I started Self Injuring I didn’t do it for those reasons. Then my reasons were more towards self-hatred. All my childhood I had heard my mother tell me how horrible person I was…that I could bring evil things to people just by looking at them or speaking to them. She told me that the only way to keep me from doing anything evil was hurt my body. Every day I should feel pain…but this should be my secret (and hers).