Friday, April 11, 2014

Cutting and Child Abuse

"Cutting is frequently linked to childhood abuse (especially sexual abuse), depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. And although cutting is rarely meant as a suicide attempt, it is not uncommon for people who cut to think about suicide."

"Experts estimate that about 4 percent of the population practice self-injury,1 almost equally divided between male and female. According to researchers, "recent studies of high school and college students put the number at approximately one in five,"2 and nearly 50 percent report physical and/or sexual abuse during his or her childhood.3 Inadequate parental nurturing or a suppression of emotions, like anger or sadness, may also contribute.4 As a result of these tragic situations, teens don't feel free to express their feelings to family, friends or people in trust — the outgrowth of which are some of these negative emotions:

Hopeless Abandoned Abnormal Afraid Threatened Isolated
Misunderstood Judged Unaccepted Rejected Controlled Powerless
Untrusting Unsafe Trapped Unforgiven Imprisoned Ignored  
Unheard Like a Failure Confused Guilty Overly responsible 
Overwhelmed Unloved and Unlovable Uncared for Punished Hated "


an excerpt from the book:

I picked at the scabs that were left over from her meltdown. I figured that making myself bleed would force her hand and finally get her to stop abusing me. If I abused myself, “that woman” would have nothing left to gain, right? Teachers began to notice, but were too afraid of what my father (the attorney) would do to them if they did anything about it. 

I picked and lifted broken skin until I got bored with the consequences. 

It became easier for me to BELIEVE I was a freak, a problem child, a drama queen than it was to fight HER any longer. 

“Why are you picking at yourself like that?” 
'that woman' would complain. 
“You are such an embarrassment!” 

I was starting to get older, and while programmed to believe the majority of what “that woman” told me, I was becoming aware of another voice.  This other voice was faint, but calm and clear. 

In response to “that woman’s” claims that I was “such an embarrassment,” the voice responded…

“Yes, because YOU made me that way.”

Fred and the toilet paper people had done what they could, so they offered this new voice their endorsement.  

It was also becoming painfully clear how different my life was in comparison to the kids I went to school with.  I was socially awkward. I was embarrassed about the damage “that woman” had created. 

She had convinced me that I was the one who was abnormal. It was easier to shut the kids at school out than it was to let any of them in. Lying protected me and allowed me the freedom of escape from their judgments.

If I told anyone the truth, “that woman” would kill me. I was learning that life outside “that woman’s” house was so bold, so raw, so uncontrolled, so new. I didn’t know how to operate within it.  I also didn’t know what to do with this new voice that threatened to change everything.

The confident voice that could stand up to “that woman” started making herself more apparent. Afraid that her temper might provoke “that woman” further, I had to find ways to hide her. I buried her behind the scabs I picked at mercilessly in hopes someone might come rescue me. In these dark moments of despair, the pain kept me alive and alert and at the ready. 

Becoming one with “that woman’s” damage 
allowed me to BELONG to something horrifically mine.   

Desecrating my body would only prove futile. Instead of drawing attention to her inadequacies as a mother, I would simply be fueling “that woman’s” engine. It became easier for me to pick at the inside parts of me that people couldn’t see. 

“Perhaps I would kill myself more quickly that way,” I thought. No matter how hard I tried, though, the new voice would answer, “Pick away. I’ll be here waiting.”


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