you wanted to know…

It starts in my head, minor at first, barely noticeable. But then it starts crawling, slowly, viciously. With a purposeful determination that I know cannot be sedated. My throat tightens, and I close my eyes. Time stops, breathe.

I can feel it now in my chest, a supernova in atrophy. Things build and implode, in milliseconds. And it is still moving, slowly deliberately through my body. There is a longing now, a heat, born of the pressure that is now filling every part of my being. God, I want to scream. To rip something apart, destroy…anything…everything.

I am drowning under the weight of the world’s suffering. The vacuum fills…everything. And the pressure, God the pressure. I want to rip the skin off my body. I can close my eyes and see myself do it. Just peel it off, like the skin of an orange. I pray for the release that comes with that picture, it is the only time I pray. Just to make it stop, release the pressure.

Grab the razor, it’s the only way. Just a small release, nothing really. A pin prick on a balloon. No scar, no one will notice if there are no scars. I am nothing if not conscientious.

A couple of days ago someone asked me what I felt when I used to cut myself. Here is your answer.


~ by aikaterine on July 24, 2007.

7 Responses to “you wanted to know…”

  1. Hmmm. Thanks for sharing–that goes without saying.

    I always appreciate hearing other (yes I am one as well) cutters’ perspectives, stories, feelings and interpretations on what it is like for them or what they *feel*

    It sounds like you get some extremely strong urges that come from…well…somewhere. Or you used to as you ended your post with the fact that you don’t cut anymore. I don’t even want to hazard a guess as to what you felt as these things are way too deep and complicated for me to just start shooting my mouth off in your comment section. And I don’t even know you well enough (yet?)

    I am a very impulsive cutter and I tend to dissociate quite a bit. Usually I am drunk (or have been) as well. I’m not sure if I’ve ever cut when sober? Maybe an attempt once?

    I am scarred. Two that will remain with me for life, one that is debatable–not sure how deep I went there but it didn’t require medical intervention.

    I did a real number on myself the first time. Severed 3/4 of my median nerve and required reconstructive surgery. All of the ER docs and my surgeon were amazed how I missed any major veins and arteries and just got the nerve alone!

    Still have a bit of residual numbness as the surgery wasn’t 100% successful but the surgeon told me that it might not be. He was a very caring doctor. I remember when they took off the cast several weeks later to fit me for various splints (I couldn’t bend my wrist at all or it would just wreck the nerve all over again) I started bawling my eyes out when I saw the cutting and the mess of the stitches and it looking like such hell. He came over and consoled me.

    Not bad for a Hands and Plastics Surgeon to do that for a psych patient?

  2. Wow, the docs response is impressive.

    I have never cut when drunk, I do not get drunk often. And it seems like mine happen when I have reached a level of mania that includes some psychosis. So, I tend to disassociate as well. In fact, this piece was written right after an episode that happened about a year ago. I find it very difficult, if not impossible, to “remember” my cutting episodes. The meds have gone a long way to ending the self injury stuff.

    I do have two scars, one is very thin and long. So people rarely notice it; and, when they do, it looks like a surgical scar. The other one is from an episode that still haunts me , largely because I do not remember doing it at all. In fact, I think someone else did. But he could not have, he was elsewhere at the time. To this day my memory of that scar involves him, even though it seems clear that he was not there.

    Christ, how screwy. I do not like thinking about it, probably because I do not know what to think about it.

  3. Thanks for sharing–again! I very clearly remember every episode. Even though I was drunk. Not that drunk, however.

    My surgical scar looks pretty good but I have an ER one that is so so. Actually kind of “Frankenstein-ish.” I don’t care though. I don’t hide them. Although the surgical is usually hidden by my watch. But beyond that, I practically show them off all the time! “Proud to be a cutter!”

    Well, more like proud to be a nutter. PA’s a real advocate so she’ll share her life, stories etc… with anyone who’ll care to listen.

    I have one episode where I’m not even really sure *why* I did it! I was having a pretty good day, I felt alright and just wanted to unwind with bit of wine. Drank the whole damn bottle. Decided I wanted to cut for some reason. Something must have been going on deep in the dark recesses of my mind as before, there has always been a distinct trigger.

    Self harm is tough for me as now that I’ve cut four times and made a fifth attempt (that was unsuccessful as the blade wasn’t sharp–probably a good thing anyway, right?)
    Now I know that it’s just too easy. I’ve crossed a threshold that I never thought I would…

  4. So strange, how different the experience can be. What I remember about cutting is the release. How everything was ‘fixed’ after I did it. That feeling of peace is something I can tap into just thinking about it. I imagine that this is a horribly, horribly unhealthy thing.

  5. I forgot to come back to this one. I don’t think it’s unhealthy. I think it’s just “fact” of the matter that goes with cutting. So you have recognized what it’s about and you know how it feels and you recall it. Everyone that I’ve ever spoken to has always said this–a release.

    I think what may lie in the what may be unhealthy is the ongoing cycle that it can lead to like I was saying that I fear about myself. I don’t want to criticize any regular cutters and never would. It’s a very tough issue. There are other forms of self harm as well that can be very damaging or unhealthy.

    I think what the idea is or what is best is to try and get it to stop–to try and break the cycle. For some people it is hard to find another way to release the pain. What can you do when you just feel so out of your mind with it?

    I think meds and other supports can assist but “getting there” can be a difficult thing. And then with relapses, cutters can be prone to start it all up again!

    In terms of a release for me…I think it was definitely one but were things really “fixed” as you say? It might have depended upon the reasons why I did it. If the issue was ongoing, perhaps not?

    Okay…well, in taking a sort of temporary pause and thinking about the various reasons, it probably did provide a fix but not to the issues themselves. I think for the most part, it gave a temporary fix and for the majority, the issues seemed to resolve themselves over time?

    I do remember feeling terrible guilt after doing it, however. Now, I do not. I have accepted it as part of the package that goes along with my illness. That is not to say that I wish to take a cavalier attitude about it and when the pain gets really bad I’ll just reach for the knife and say to hell with it all. I really don’t want to do it.

  6. Patient Anonymous –

    Cutting is a very difficult topic, and I can only imagine what people who have not felt the urge think about it when reading this. I am very grateful for the meds. There was one moment in the last year where I felt that build-up. I just took some sleeping pills and knocked myself out before it got too bad.

    Like you, I have accepted that this is just part of the territory. Rather like being a diabetic and not eating certain foods.

  7. I still think that’s great that you’re maintaining good control. I know I hadn’t cut for years and then–whoops! And then it started to happen on a more regular basis.

    Again…you just have to try and manage it like everything else.

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