1. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    A VERY personal topic

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ProsonicLive, May 31, 2013.

    The last important thread I created was over what scared you. to ALL people who replied, THANK you SO much for your brave insights into fear. I will not disrespect them, You have my word.
    Nut this time I come with another personal issue that some of you will feel an even deeper connection few.
    Let me be clear, you do not even have to ident yourself as a current or former "cutter" if you wish. but just remember that it tends to hit men and women for different reasons these days. As a former cutter or "a friend" of a former cutter", tell me what they got from it. a sense of power, a sense of just being alive, in control, what?
    I had done it peronally for power. and to feel something. and after the pain was gone. then I felt well....in balance.
    I have since quite this with few relapses...talking helped thought it was mostly critical writing or taking logically to myself but I GOT OVER IT. Please, if you feel comfortable talking about it, share as much as you comfortably can. It does me a large favor of and many even help someone else totally. Think you for your time.
     
  2. escorial
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    escorial Member

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    I don't feel anger,I just see red.
     
  3. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    My experience with someone that cut themselves is a bit of an odd one for myself personally. The person cutting was one of my friends when I was about twenty – twenty years ago now – and we found out that he had been cutting on his arms, some quite deeply as well. We were a tight group of friends and none of us judged him for it and talked it over with him, and I was pretty shocked to be included in his reasons for it. He was still a virgin at the time and just had no way to get close to girls. On the other hand he saw me with various girls – my friends used to say I could charm the underwear off a nun – and it made him feel worse about his own lack of a woman/girlfriend etc.

    Long and short of it wasn’t really about me, but just about his lack of confidence, which led to some depression, which led to him doing something he could control, and the cutting he said gave him a release of pressure inside. We got him to talk to his parents, and also helped build his confidence. I helped him with some girls, as he was actually a good looking guy, but just had zero confidence, and let’s face it ladies can smell that a mile off. I don’t know if it was the only reason, he never said, but once he started dating he never cut on himself again. Maybe it was the ladies, or maybe it was the support of his friends and family, or a combination. Whatever it was I was glad as it sucks royally knowing a friend is in pain and harming themselves over it, and that you didn’t see it either makes you feel like you weren’t there for them.

    And as a side note to the OP. I’m glad you are in control of your issues with it as I’m sure it’s a battle.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this has nothing to do with 'general writing'... you should ask a mod to move it to the 'lounge'...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I've never cut, haven't even been tempted, but I've known quite a few cutters. There are almost as many reasons as there are people who cut. Some do it to make themselves ugly and undesirable (among sex abuse survivors). Some are trying to outwardly express an ugliness they believe they wear internally. Some do it for an endorphin rush. Some do it t feel something other than emotionally numb. Some do it as body art. Some do it for self-punishment. Some do it to defy parents or others who will disapprove. Some do it compulsively, like scratching an itch. Some are self-destructive. Some feel they are letting out the pain, or the evil that runs in their blood.

    As I said, there are probably as ma ny reasobs as there are people who cut.
     
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  6. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Make the outside reflect the inside.
    There you see it bleed...? If you're going to be in such god-awful pain then what's so wrong with wanting it to actually hurt? At least that'd make some sense. Look at that...why wouldn't it hurt?

    Let the tears be honest, and not from lies.



    A bit like that.
     
  7. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    to momamia, respectfully, I do not see another place for this thread. It is an exercise in introspection. and the ONLY people that can tell you what they are thinking is those who have done it or been close enough to see it. I am deeply sorry if it offends you, but there is reason behind the question. "what if my reasons for doing it are atypical?" in that case my story could seem hollow, and as many times as I have disagreed with some that have posted here, I would NEVER write about something like this without having a deeper understanding about what they go through. I would never make light hearted of this. if anything, by my writing I wish to pay homage to those who struggle so internally. And to remind them there ARE those who don't judge. thank you all for your replies.
     
  8. Thetrendsetter
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    Thetrendsetter New Member

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    I was first introduced to self mutilation, if that is indeed what you're talking about--it's hard to tell due to your grammar; through the television show Degrassi. There was this one character Ellie, she was gothic and I thought that she was so hot. She cut herself because she was stressed--her mom was a drunk. Luckily she had conscientious friends that stopped her, but in the real world that's not how it works. In middle school I knew this one girl, I would drop her name, but then I would be a snitch. She was hot too. One day I saw cuts on her arm, but I never said shit. Later I learned that her mom hung herself, and this girl was the one that discovered her!
     
  9. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Self injury. By Mayo Clinic staff

    There's no one single or simple cause that leads someone to self-injure. In general, self-injury is usually the result of an inability to cope in healthy ways with psychological pain related to issues of personal identity and having difficulty "finding one's place" in family and society. The person has a hard time regulating, expressing or understanding emotions. The mix of emotions that triggers self-injury is complex. For instance, there may be feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, panic, anger, guilt, rejection, self-hatred or confused sexuality.

    Through self-injury, the person may be trying to:

    Manage or reduce severe distress or anxiety and provide a sense of relief

    Provide a distraction from painful emotions through physical pain

    Feel a sense of control over his or her body, feelings or life situations

    Feel something, anything, even if it's physical pain, when feeling emotionally empty

    Express internal feelings in an external way

    Communicate depression or distressful feelings to the outside world

    Be punished for perceived faults

    .....................

    Moreover, self mutilation can also be a system of Borderline Personality disorder, which isn't so much a can of worms as it is an entire truck load of them.
     
  10. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I have never self harmed. I had an eating disorder in the past and I think some of the same mentality leads to those because both are unnatural. People are instinctively programmed for self preservation hurting or starving yourself defies all of that.

    I have known three people who cut. All were women and all three started in their teen or preteen years. For one it was highly compulsive and she said it was the only thing that relieved her emotional pain. For another it was pretty deliberate and less compulsive. She felt like she was releasing the pain from herself but she was much more emotionally detached from the act. She also had a lot of markers for an anti social personality disorder. I don't know if that last bit is relevant or not. She just differed from the other two women quite a bit because she was genuinely nonchalant about it whereas the other two were very distraught over it. The third one did it because she said to feel physical pain helped release the emotional pain. She also has a lot of difficulty with expressing her emotions honestly and often bottles them. The first woman did not have an eating disorder and the other two did both on different ends of that spectrum. I don't know if the first two ever quit but I know the third has not relapsed because she is the only one still in my life at present.
     
  11. xdannigirl
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    xdannigirl Member

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    I've been cutting on and off since I was 15 (I'm 19 now). Sometimes I do it when I'm depressed. It got really bad when I was 17/18 after I was raped by my ex. It had been going on since about a month after we started dating (I was 16 then, we started dating at the end of September of 2010), and didn't stop until two nights before he broke up with me. On the last two nights we were together, I had already started cutting again (I had managed to quit for over a year after I promised a teacher I would stop), and he basically told me either I had to cut right then and there or he would do it for me (yeah, I know what you're thinking). So, after that relationship ended, naturally I had a few problems. I spent most of last year with sometimes up to 30 cuts at various stages of healing. I'm finally working through that now (my new boyfriend has helped a lot), so now my reasons are mostly just pent up anger, like if my mom or my boss just get really under my skin and I'm not able to lash out at either, I lash out on myself.

    I originally started (at age 15) because I was getting bullied quite badly in school and my family didn't really like me very much, but always wanted me around, so I felt very confused and...I don't know. It's just, I was expected to be there, but I wasn't wanted. It just wasn't a good feeling.
     
  12. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Cut deeper with the rows, not across the field. Do it, or quit whining. Look at all the other questions people ask and the respective answers they get: Should I be an author? Should I be a doctor? Is writing a part time gig? Be all in or quit whining. I don't see how any of the cliche life advises should differ here. If you decide to off yourself; please, be courteous. Do it in your own home or somewhere out of the way of the people who have the chutzpah to carry on with living. I think I saw a tear over there. If you hurry, you just might catch it.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, as you can see clearly, in large, bolded print over my avatar, my username is 'mammamaia' not 'momamia'... and secondly, i told you where 'another place' is... if you can't see it, then i must assume you haven't looked for it... thirdly, where did i say the post 'offends' me, or even hinted at any such thing?...

    ...what there can you possibly misconstrue as being offended?...

    i was merely being what is seen as 'helpful' by most people...

    that said, i see the thread was indeed moved to the lounge, anyway...
     
  14. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are a ton of forums for self harmers / cutters. Maybe it would help if you joined one of these and announced your intentions, see f anybody wants to share their experiences with you. Here is one but there are very many http://www.psychforums.com/cutting-self-injury/
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I am writing a novel at present, and was seriously considering having my protagonist cut his arms near the end of the story.

    He is not the sort of person who would usually do this kind of thing at all (and fortunately he gets stopped before he does too much damage to himself) but he is incredibly depressed at that moment in time. His prime motivation for cutting himself is guilt. He feels guilty because of something he didn't do—when he should have done it—and someone he loved died because of his inaction.

    Those of you who understand self-harming (which I don't, on a personal level) - would guilt be a motivator for cutting? I notice people mentioned lots of other motivations, but nobody specifically mentioned guilt.
     
  16. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    I'm sorry, but 'cutting' is an angsty, juvenile act that will, if you acquire any common sense, be tuttted over later on in life. If you don't catch an artery, that is. If you want to feel powerful and in control, arm yourself with knowledge. If you want an endorphin rush, do some exercise. If you want to feel centered, learn how to meditate.
     
  17. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, erebh, for directing the bulk of this discussion to where it belongs.

    Thanks, jannert, for keeping the focus on writing.

    Everyone, please keep this discussion civil, and, if possible, helpful. Remember that this is a creative writing forum, even in the Lounge. It's okay to discuss issues like this one, but if we start calling each other juvenile or weak or the like, we're not helping each other.
     
  18. BUDDY GORGEOUS
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    BUDDY GORGEOUS Active Member

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    I have never cut myself but in my previous job as a prison officer I've witnessed all forms of self harm. My first week on the job I had a call from an in-cell-buzzer which allows them to communicate with whoever is in the wing office at the time. When I answered a voice said "I've seen her and done it again" and got a strange feeling, a vibe and left the office to go to his cell. Inside he was sat on the edge of his bed, his legs were shaking. His left arm over his thigh covered in blood and the left side of his neck was cut open. His right arm, which had been split up the forearm was hacking away at the other side of his neck. What remains in my head most vividly was how much blood the guy had spread around the room. His skin was really pale so it lent the wounds and blood more power to shock, if that makes sense. I ordered him to throw his 'sharp' into the furthest corner of the cell so we could enter. He stopped, threw it (two razor blades taped together) and started sobbing, telling us how he had seen Christine again and he couldnt help it. I would have normally felt concerned about an individual who would do something like this to themself but being an officer and knowing what these particular individuals were in for (sex offenders) the complete and utter creature that he is, we got him patched up and taken care of but I had/have no sympathy. But that was my first incident of a bad cut up and was shocked by it. I've found people hanging, mutilation (which was very popular in prison because it comes in a larger and with more variety of ways to finish yourself off), jumping from the tiers, you name it. You dont get used to it but it does toughen you up to a degree where it becomes almost 'normal'.

    I remember a YO (Young Offender) who self harmed by drinking toilet cleaner he had stolen from the prison wing cleaners cuboard. I was on the wing floor and he was on the tier above me and called for my attention. He shouted to me "I'm shitting blood, boss" and I took it to be an in-prison joke involving too much lovin' in the showers kind of thing (which rarely happens believe it or not) but he was quite serious, returning to his cell and fishing out a handful of sopping, crap and blood smeared toiler paper. I went up to his cell and the toilet cubicel was dirty with blood. So he was placed on an ACCT book (Assessment, Care in Custody and Team work) which is used to monitor self harmers on the wing. He had consumed the cleaner because he liked the attention being on an ACCT provides. Things like this happen all the time in so many ways I could go on and on and same goes for the reasons as to why they have done what they have done. A man told me he wanted to castrate himself to stop having thoughts about kids. Annother wanted to feel alive by hurting himself. One liked to hurt himself for gratification. Annother hurt himself to 'play the system' and get his own way.

    I dont mean to come across cold, my point of view is only from within a prison so my knowldege is limited as for in depth pyschological understanding but I've had alot of experience with people harming themselves and others. Lots of stories, lots of memories.
     
  19. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I cut when I was younger. And after contemplating this question for a while, the only explanation that I could come up with was.. It released the hurt.

    I was always a very dramatic kid. I thought I was going to meet the love of my life before high school, and if I didn't, I'd die. lol So when I got to high school and had my first "real" boyfriend at the age of 14, I was sure we were going to get married. Then he cheated on me. With my good friend. Twice. And I found out about it on my year anniversary. But I think what stung the most was the fact that he had sex with Jamie (who had been a friend of mine for seven or eight years) in my best friend Sarah's house. They had a "slumber party" if you will. Sarah was sleeping in her room, Jamie in a guest room. My boyfriend and his best friend had been sleeping in the living room on one of those really big sectionals when Jamie came out of the guest room and cuddled with my boyfriend. After some heavy making out, they went back to the guest room and finish the deed. They slept in the same bed all night and woke up together for all in the house to see. And no one told me. That was the worst. Sarah, who had been my friend first, didn't tell me. I had never felt so betrayed and embarrassed and just... hurt.

    So I cut. Deep. I probably should have gone to the hospital it was so bad. It's hard to think back now, having been ten years, and remember why I thought it was a good idea. I just remember it felt like a release. Like all the pain was built up and the only thing that would make me feel better would be to open the valve and let it flow out.

    That wasn't the first time I had cut, but it was the worst. And it was the last. Now I've found more constructive ways to work through pain. lol
     
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  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Insulting or demeaning those who cut is not helpful, any more than laughing at someone who stutters.
     
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  21. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    There was a period of time a few years back that I was suffering mental problems. Huge highs, bottomless lows on a daily basis (thankfully I've changed my life and am much better for it). Not really going to get into too much detail, but was during the lowest of lows (With depression, you go searching down the rabbit hole for the bottom, but you soon release there is no bottom, it goes on forever - if the depression is chronic). At the lowest I felt so numb physically, yet inside my head it felt like my mind was going to explode due to emotions that during the time I could not explain, not could I now. I broke open a razor and cut across my wrists. Only a few times, and only enough to bleed. I never wanted to actually cause injury, otherwise I'd have walked down the road, not across the street (so to say). Not going to lie, it was the best sensation in the world at the time. As I did it, it felt like every emotion in my head was dribbling down my arm. After that I felt better, and went and saw a doctor the next day. At that moment, it was either that or find someone and take my anger out (To the extreme). This kind of issue is huge ranging though. Many do it for many, many different reason.
     
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  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I was a cutter in the mid 90s. I didn't even know what cutting was or that other people did it. I did an internship at a printing company and 'borrowed' a few boxes of box cutter blades. I used them to cut up my skin sometimes out of boredom, sometimes to test the boundaries of my pain threshold. Sometimes I was just drawn to do it for a need to stimulate endorphins. I was discreet, and I blamed the cuts on my hand or forearms on fights with my cat. People believed me. Luckily I barely have any scars, because I don't scar easily and I mostly did it under my forearms, not on top. I ripped half my face off once in a bike accident (well, ground it into the road and dragged it a few meters) and that didn't scar either. Lucky lucky.

    edit: I stopped ages ago, but I enjoyed cutting for some reason.
     
  23. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    And usually ignorance is what causes someone to minimize the actions of others, because the ignorant usually lack the intimate knowledge of the experience and lack the ability to empathize, which is ironic considering writers should have a seriously cultivated sense of empathy... Or simply it's because they often make the assumption, erroneously, that their perception and experience in life is the same, or should be the same, across the board, because they've only used themselves as reference points. What's even more ironic, is that some don't even employ the common sense that apparently is so easily acquired, when writing their own post, and I find the post to be extremely insensitive and fully unnecessary, going against the entire point of the thread itself, further adding to the irony. We, as writers, are supposed to embody the lives of others and their emotional spectrums, of course, using ourselves as reference points, but at some point we must take a leap and speculate, with as much accuracy as possible, on what the emotional experience would be for any given situation for any given person at any given time. The accuracy is heightened through observation, the ability to look at life and its people and its situations and wonder about their experience. Our own experience only goes so far, but it does allow us to relate, and it is through that relation we can speculate about certain experiences... If one loses their mother, when I've lost a best friend, though the events are different, the grief will have its similarities, and I can build a foundation from my own experience and hopefully speculate about the differences through what I've observed in people who have lost their mothers. Chalking up cutting as an 'angsty, juvenile act,' is not only a generalization, but a self-defeating attitude that's only preventing you from understanding the people who breathe the same air you do, and those of your own characters.
     
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  24. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I couldn't have said it better myself, GoldenGhost.

    I feel the same way about writing and also life in general.
     
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  25. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    'Course...it doesn't necessarily follow that every post you see on writers forums are written by actual writers. A big clue to that is the whole empathy question: writing is the art of empaths after all.
     
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