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17 May 2004 @ 11:45 pm
Oh. My. God.  
Shut up. Just shut up about the fucking 'cutting.' In fact, stop fucking calling it that! There are an infinite number of ways, and a comparable number of reasons, to hurt yourself.

As for "former cutters" ... please, please, please stop starting off every. goddamn. time with "I cut, but I never did it for attention. Oh no, not me." You have no idea how quickly that kills your credibility. I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who do not go to great lengths to draw attention to their self-mutilation, but the "I never, ever showed anyone my cuts or talked to anyone about it because I did it purely for myself" attitude? Oh, bullshit. Bull. Shit. Even the people I knew who wore long pants and shirts year round and kept it hidden from their family members... well, they sure as hell talked to me, didn't they? No pride, no sense of showing off... but not a lot of shame there, either. Just another part of life, y'know? But the desire for attention is still there... small, but there. You say, "Hey, I do this and I can't stop, what's wrong with me?" and I answer back, "Poor dear, nothing's wrong with you. But I hate to see you hurting." We all want to be loved. We all want to feel special. To know that hurting yourself hurts other people is a special feeling. An epiphany. Something you can get a little addicted to.

I cut for attention. And I don't really mind admitting that. I mean, I did theatre for attention, I draw for attention, I got good grades for attention, I argue with people for attention... not only is it fairly typical Borderline behavior, but [ETA: Ahaha, I'm not actually a Borderline. Life is funny sometimes. What was that I said about 'inexact science'? Yeah, extremely inexact. Note that self-mutilation does not automatically equal Borderline, kthxdie] it's behavior that can definitely be seen in the general population of people who are not mentally ill. (The difference being found in level and intensity.) For me, attention can become VERY overwhelming or irritating, but never entirely unwelcome.

Anyway, peoples' ideas of what defines a serious cutter and what does not are sorely, sorely inaccurate. Someone might be tempted to say I'm a teenie-bopper attention whore because I don't always cover up the scars on my arm? How dare I not make sure that you are spared from a part of my body that you find grotesque?! But I wear t-shirts all of the time. Any season, any climate. I've done so for years. I also work with paint or chalk or clay, and have foolishly gotten into the habit of rolling up my sleeves to keep from ruining my clothes... my god, how could I be so thoughtless as to subject other people to the scar tissue on my arm? I must not be 'serious'! I can't possibly be a 'real' cutter!

Oh boo hoo. 'Cutting' isn't a club. It isn't a 'subculture.' No afternoon get-togethers for tea and crumpets. I don't want to hang around with these people in mass numbers. Some of them intimidate me, some frighten me, and some irritate me to no end. All self-injurers are different people, and something like cutting isn't going to bring a bunch of different personalities together on a long term basis. All 'cutters' do not have some code of solidarity, standing up for one another... absolutely not. (Ask me about the kid in the hospital who told me smugly that my scars couldn't be from cuts, they had to be burns... as if I wasn't doing it right for chrissake.) Besides, I don't give a shit what other people think of the scars on my arm; they're there, I can't take them back, move on with your lives. I hate the romanticism that has been associated with cutting; I wrote a thinly-veiled rant called "Grue" because of it. Cutting yourself is disgusting. It can be painful. It's degrading. It stems from ugly emotions like hatred and aggression and depression. It can land you in not-fun situations, like hospitalization or interrogation by authority figures. Obviously, it can make you a topic fit for ridicule. And yet, I still do it. It's part of my sense of self. It's something I can use to comfort myself or manipulate others. I'm competitive, and how many or how deep your scars are seems to translate to "How big are your problems?" Part of me hates the scars on my body, but part of me is fulfilled. Hurting myself fills holes in my life and personality that I'm afraid I could not fill on my own. Is this true or rational? No, I suppose not. But even in the face of the rational, I prefer self-mutilation. Self-mutilation also takes away feelings that are too extreme, whether they are emotional or sensory. Sometimes I hurt myself to startle my mind out of a bored stupor. That's just life for me.

What's truly disturbing to me, though? Other people trying to fit self-injurers into an inaccurate description that never changes. People self-mutilate for so many reasons, there is no possible way for an ignorant individual to determine who deserves the 'title' of "cutter." People react in so many different ways... have we all suddenly forgotten about the concept of individualism? Does it cease to exist here? A psychatric diagnosis is nothing like a diagnosis of cancer or of the 'flu. There are only guidelines, not a set progression of symptoms. It's called an "inexact science" for a reason, folks.

This is it... this is the whole point: You cannot rationalize this. You cannot use logic to figure out why a person cuts, bites, slaps, chokes, burns, or otherwise mutilates himself. You cannot say "This person does it for attention and this person does it for ___ reason." Unless you are a psychotherapist who has worked fairly extensively with people who cut, you should keep your damn mouth shut and not try to make a diagnosis. You will not understand. People who hurt themselves don't understand. Your logic is wasted. This is a much, much different territory.

We're through the looking glass, people.
Current Mood: infuriatedinfuriated
Current Music: Vocal Majority - Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
orangethinking on May 17th, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)
i love you
DrWorm: lovedrworm on May 18th, 2004 09:11 am (UTC)
I very much appreciate the love. Which, hopefully, doesn't sound too egotistical...
fetchslurp on May 18th, 2004 06:28 am (UTC)
Well, i read all that.
I "cut" myself today... I don't really call it cutting, cause I never go in deep... and I usually just use safety pins or thumbtacks, onlya knife a few times... and I stopped doing it (until today), mainly because I keep thinking, "what, are you doing it for attention? that's fucked up." a few months ago I cut myself with a knife, and it wasn't very deep but it was large, and I thought it might be infected, so I showed it to a friend, who's mom is a doctor. And then another friend also saw it.
I get what you mean about everything doing it for attention. And that thing about hurting yourself hurting other people can be addicting... well, now that I think about it, it's completly right. I can remember myself doing it after a fight with someone, and I guess a part of me was "proving it" to them, or something.
So I understand what you mean about everyone doing it for attention, and that supposdly makes it right, but it isn't. hurting people you love...that's not good. The thing is, I never really comprehend I hurt people. Even when I tried t kill myself and ended up in the hospital for that for the second time. I was surprised when people told me they were worried. And I still feel stupid if I say "I cut" because I never consider it that.
And I don't know why I wrote all that. Sorry.
DrWorm: lovedrworm on May 18th, 2004 09:09 am (UTC)
So I understand what you mean about everyone doing it for attention, and that supposdly makes it right, but it isn't. hurting people you love...that's not good.

Oh... damn. I didn't mean to imply that it was a good thing...? When writing, "To know that hurting yourself hurts other people is a special feeling," I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to word that (and it's still awkward sounding, of course). I didn't want to imply that the feeling you can get from other people's pain (mmm, schachenfreude? Is that the right word?) is a good feeling... just that it can feel very good in the heat of the moment. It's also a very unique, very satisfying feeling for some people. That doesn't mean that it's right to hurt the people you love and who love you back. Not at all.

The clincher is that, when I'm hurting myself or talking about hurting myself, I tend to enter a realm of absolute selfishness. Other people don't matter... other people might not even have feelings. I can't experience the feelings of others, so how should I know? But later, when I'm feeling more lucid, I feel terribly guilty for my actions. I hate hurting people most of all, and it's definitely something I have experience with.

I never really comprehend I hurt people. Even when I tried t kill myself and ended up in the hospital for that for the second time. I was surprised when people told me they were worried.

I understand these feelings completely. Completely. And it's horribly confusing, but not uncommon. Small favors, I guess.

And I don't know why I wrote all that. Sorry.

Oh, no, don't be sorry! Thank you for your comment, it made me go back and think some more... I really appreciate hearing from others on this subject.
fetch: tbeslurp on May 19th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
I know that you didn't mean it was a good thing. But just the fact that you (I, we...) do it knowing people can hurt because of it, and still do it, well, that sucks.
I know what you mean about entering a "realm of selfishness". I'm exactly the same. It's not that I want to be hurting people... I don't even think of them when I'm planning on hurting myself, or thinking about suicide, or whatever. And if they do cross my mind, well, I can't make myself feel what they might be feeling. Or might not.
btw, I went to that link about Borderline Personality- I've heard people discussing off and on whether I have it. I read about it before, and it sounded like it could fit me, but like most other things could, you know? But this link seemed to fit exactly. I don't know if it's because it was more general (and then anyone can supposdly have it) or just more informative. Huh.
Also- are you seeing someone? Theraphy or something?
Foosanitycandy on June 4th, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC)
Ha. I used needles. Like a plow tilling my epidermis. I agree with you. I never lied to myself about it either, so it's charming to see someone else spilling the beans.

I've always hated the awe surrounding depression, as if it is some mysterious, rare spectacle.

Cutting is just an accessory to depression, attention-whoring, etc.

Preaching to the choir.

Anyways... you go girl.
Hannah Ecclesvetinarilover on October 19th, 2004 05:48 am (UTC)
cccswashbuckler on July 11th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
hmm...*questionable, contemplative look*