My mother left home when I was six, and I haven’t seen her since. I hardly remember her face now. A couple years ago, when I asked my father why she left, he said, “Your mother wanted something else.” I still don’t know what he meant by that. For many years I hated my mother for leaving.
I started cutting three years ago when I was 13. I didn’t exactly get why I was doing it, but I was sure my mother had something to do with it. I mean, Jackie’s a nice person, and there’s no one I’d rather have for a step-mom. But she’s not my real mother.
My mother wasn’t the only reason I started cutting. My freshman year really sucked. I felt like such a reject. At Parkview freshmen get no respect, and the same is true for JV cheerleaders. And this girl Brooke at first pretended to be my best friend, but then she found other friends, and started treating me like crap.
It all started with a few little scratches on my arms and ankles. One time I made smiley faces, but I wasn’t smiling inside. Another time I wrote my name. But later that year I cut a little deeper, until blood came out.
Once I screwed up and cut myself too deep. The blood was outta control. I totally freaked. I was home alone, so I had to call 9-1-1. I told the doctor I was cutting a cantaloupe in half with a knife and it slipped. The doctor asked me several times if I was telling the truth, and then he talked to my father. I stuck by my story, and so nothing happened. Close call!
My sophomore year I started using a razor, the pink disposable ones Jackie uses. And sometimes scissors. I cut myself because I felt so much pain inside – I was mad at my mother, mad at my father too for being a jerk and always yelling at me, and the crap at school wasn’t helping either.
I was a varsity cheerleader, so I couldn’t wear long sleeves all the time. So usually I cut my left wrist in about the same place, and wore some bracelets or a wrist band to hide it ‘cuz I didn’t want anyone to find out. Funny thing, I knew exactly which girls in my school cut because of the way they hid their cutting. It’s pretty obvious. And ‘cuz I developed a kind of radar about cutters. But none of us ever talked. I went online a few time where no one knew me, but I used “pinkrazorgurl7” instead of my usual screen name.
So anyway, later when I started smoking, I tried burning myself with a cigarette a couple times ‘cuz a girl from California I met online said she did that. But it sucked, so I went back to my pretty pink razors. I still don’t exactly know why, but when I was stressed or p.o.’d, cutting made me feel better. I guess if I’d had a real mom or a boyfriend to love me and listen to me, maybe even a cool big sister or some real friends, I wouldn’t have done it. I often thought if someone would only really love me, I would stop.
Later I realized Jackie loved me and was pretty cool, and my father loved me in his own way, although he’s not really good at showing it all the time. And now I realize God loves me too, and has given me a purpose in my life.
Part of the problem is that I didn’t understand what love was. Love is very dramatic in the movies, but love in real life is often much more subtle. (Even so, I think people should say they love each other more, especially parents and friends at school, like that will ever happen.)
Anyway, for my 14th birthday I asked for this iPod. It was, like, the one thing I wanted, but my parents didn’t give it to me, so I was like “They don’t love me.” So that night I cut myself. Now I realize that love has nothing to do with iPods. They probably just forgot, ‘cuz I only said it maybe twice, and parents don’t always listen. And even if they decided not to, it still had nothing to do with love.
My junior year, for like three months, I got involved in drugs, and my life really spun out of control. Naturally I crashed and burned a bunch of times, and it would always end up with me cutting when I was down. Then I’d sleep a lot, like 14 hours some nights.
While I was grounded in December because of my crappy grades, one day Jackie accidentally came in the bathroom after I’d been cutting. She saw the fresh marks, and I was so busted. I said Courtney’s cat did it, but she said no way.
I’m really glad she caught me though ‘cuz she didn’t tell my father, at least not right away, and she got me a really good counselor. It was all part of God’s plan, I think, ‘cuz just before that I’d decided drugs were for losers, so I recommitted my life to God, but I needed some help getting back. So then I had three counselors, including my youth pastor, a drug counselor, and Janet, who helped me understand why I was cutting. Plus God, so actually I had four. I also had my friends Scott and Courtney, although Courtney has a big mouth, so I never told her about my cutting.
Janet said my cutting was an “unhealthy coping mechanism.” That means I was cutting like some people are anorexic, or they eat way too much when they’re stressed or depressed. Now instead I pray or talk to my friends or Jackie or my youth pastor. Cutting releases endorphins, making me feel better and relieving stress. But cutting myself is not a healthy way to deal with everything, so these days I’m finding better ways.
I have a purpose in my life now, to serve God and help people, so I don’t have any interest in cutting anymore. Sometimes I feel so ashamed for ever doing it. I mean, what does it accomplish anyway?
So now I want to be a friend for people with problems like mine, although I know I’m not perfect and have a long ways to go. Still, I’m happy now. I’m back on the cheerleading squad after being off a while because I was messed up. And I’m back in youth group and my grades are getting back to normal.