WARNING: Parts of my storey are very confronting and some may find upsetting, if you find yourself upset and depressed I encourage you to ring Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224636.
Writing this blog has given me so much, it’s been motivating knowing that Mum’s like me are taking something from my writing, it’s been a relief to finally be able to write about my experiences, and get them all out of my head, and most of all it’s been rewarding hearing from readers about what they have gained, what my writings have meant to them, and how they can relate to what I have written. I have written about topics that have been about awareness, education, depression, and some topics that are not only hard to write about but some that people don’t want to know about, and some of the reasons why stigma is so evident in mental illness. This topic is one of those ‘you shouldn’t talk about subjects’, one that most would rather put their head in the sand over than hear about, and deal with.
Those that know me, even those who have never met me may find this post/topic confronting, it is very serious, and should not be dealt with lightly. These writings you may find upsetting and if that is the case then I strongly urge you to ring the numbers above.
My first experience of being a cutter was from year 9 though to year 12, ’89 to ’93. In 1989, I was starving myself, I was alone, very depressed, abused by a Mother who put extreme expectations on me, and older students at school, and on the school bus who actively bullied me every day physically and mentally.
I don’t remember the day I started cutting, I know it was in year 9, back then I certainly didn’t know why I was cutting myself. What I did know was that when I cut myself each night in the shower I felt a sense of overwhelming relief, I was finally in control of one aspect of my life, and inflicting pain on myself punishing myself for the person I was, and the person nobody wanted.
I would use a razor blade, and while in the shower I would cut my lower back, my thighs, and my wrists. I would watch the blood drain from these cuts, and down the drain. Every night, in silence. Every day I would cover my arms and legs so nobody would see my shame. There was no pain, there was just heartbreak. Nobody knew, nobody noticed. I was ashamed of who I’d become. I couldn’t talk to anyone, but knew nobody who would listen. I didn’t know what my life was to become, didn’t know then that this was just the start of years, and years of suffering.
For a reason I don’t know I stopped cutting after graduating from year 12. Maybe it was because I was finally free of the bullying, the stressors, the loneliness, the hurt. I was entering the workforce, away from the years of torture, that school that had caused me for so many years so much pain. I was free!
For years after, on and off, I would return to being a cutter. I may have escaped the torture that the school environment caused me, but I was still alive, and unknown to me I was leaving one toxic environment to another. I thought that if someone supposably loved me then this self destruction, hatred, hurt, and depression would be gone. That’s what we dream as little girls, Prince Charming sweeps us off I feet, and we live happily ever after? I was to find out that was only in fairy tales, and my storey was a long way from that.
A cheating boyfriend and then husband started me cutting again. Of course, you can’t hide cutting from your lover, there’s no escaping the questions, the yelling. Instead of understanding, support, and help I faced his anger, fighting, beatings, and more cheating. He neither cared for me nor did he see my pain, he, like me, just wanted to punish me. For years, I know now, this toxic environment was meant to be my home, my supposably Prince Charming was meant to be my family, he was meant to protect me, but none of these things happened to me. Once again I was alone at the hands of a bully, at the hands of my own self inflicted hurt, and cutting.
This cycle continued, times when I didn’t need to cut myself, and times when life became so much that cutting was my only option, my only relief.
The day I kicked my husband out of our house I resumed cutting myself, hurting myself, punishing myself for being the wife that caused her husband to cheat, that caused her husband to abuse his wife physically and mentally, I blamed myself, hated myself, and punishing myself was the only answer, my only reprieve. My now ex-husband threatened me constantly that I would never see my son again because of what I was doing to myself.
This time the cuts got deeper, deeper, more pronounced, bleeding more, and finally I felt the pain that I deserved.
It was the extent of my own self inflicted injuries and a subsequent overdose of anti depressants years later, that led me on a one way trip to a psychiatric ward. It took the doctors three days being locked up in hell before they thought it was necessary to put stitches into my cuts, and check that I hadn’t caused nerve, and ligament damage. There was no damage that stitches wouldn’t repair.
I was finally released, I returned home, mostly untreated…….but for reasons I don’t know I didn’t return to cutting, I just continued to suffer in hell.