Cutter | Teen Ink


July 2, 2008
By Anonymous

I will start with a confession. Since I was ten, I have cut my arms and hands with scissors. It’s been intentional. I have scars up and down my left arm.
Not even my best friend knows why.
For each scar, I developed a concise, explanatory lie. This set of three, here, they were my cat’s fault. Stupid cat, never liked it. And this long one was made by a rake tine when I fell in the yard. This one was the sharp metal bit on the gym locker. And this one, here…At any given point in time, I would have six or seven lies to keep straight. It wasn’t easy, but I deemed it necessary.
Occasionally, I would get the comment, ‘You’re a cutter, just admit it,’ but never with any degree of sobriety. In the minds of my peers, the ‘cutters’ were the kids dressed in black, wore dark eye shadow, and never spoke to anyone.
Now, I am generally a shy person, but I do well in school. I don’t have many friends but I trust the friends I have. My parents are decent folk who don’t drink or engage in illegal activities. My peers have no reason to think of me as someone who would do the things I have done. They don’t want to see me that way.
In schools especially, if you admit to a problem such as this one, it is you will be alienated. And if you decide you wanted to seek professional help, you will only be compounding your problem.
The message that has been sent to me and those like me is this: it is more socially acceptable to hide the scars and tell the lies than it is to tell the truth and try to recover.
When is it, then, that we, as a society, reach a point where the lies are no longer acceptable? When we stop seeing only what we want to see?
Why not now?
Several news sources have reported that nearly 2 million Americans could be labeled as ‘cutters.’
If you have not injured yourself intentionally, then you probably know someone who has; you just may not have taken the time to see through their excuses or lies.
Let me make this plain: people who engage in self-injury are usually not suicidal. They aren’t seeking attention. There is something wrong, even if the person doesn’t show it, even if they don’t quite know what it is.
Believe me, I know it can be hard to get someone to tell the truth about cutting. We are afraid of judgment, afraid others will view us differently.

But please, ask us anyway. Because we aren’t ‘cutters.’ We aren’t wrong.
We’re just people.

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This article has 8 comments.

Don'tlabelme said...
on Sep. 8 2010 at 5:26 pm
 Oh God, I really liked this. I have to admit to the sad truth of having scars covering my wrists as well. I haven't cut in a long time, and I really like one point you make here especially, the point that NOT all cutters are SUICIDAL. I really liked your pointing out that sometimes the problem can be deeper than even what we can see. This really spoke to me, and def hit home. Excellent job

on Aug. 6 2009 at 9:03 pm
Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
30 articles 0 photos 271 comments
i can't remember if i posted a comment! O.o how embarrassing, lol! I'm a cutter too, and i'm addicted to it as well. I feel your pain y'all--literally. Yeah, i have deep, deep, dark, dark brown scars all over my left arm, my stomach and the top of my thighs (try going to the beach on your best friend's birthday.. anyone else's b-day i'd say 'no', but he's my best friend and my crush, and he knows my problem O.O). I can actually feel pain oozing from the article. You're very brave to open up like this. I can't remember is i rated it, how embarrassing again! well, i'll just rate it again. 5 stars!

Yeah, i don't have anyone to kiss my scars either, lita5567, and whenever my mom sees new scars i get....--drum role--.... GROUNDED!! idk, i'm so happy because i've made it 2 DAYS WITHOUT CUTTING! SO HAPPY! this new to me is PRAISE WORTHY, JUST LIKE THIS ARTICLE!

bloodyarms said...
on Mar. 1 2009 at 12:52 am
This is what to do if you are a cutter and don't know what to do: tell someone who cares. I can empitize and know it is really hard to tell, but trust me, it is better than being found out. Hopefully you will somehow get help - if this is just talking to your parents or getting a therapist (they aren't all shrinks you know, some are actually nice) to help you conquer the blade and feel better. If you don't want to give up cutting - you don't know how much better you'd feel if you got over it. It may make you feel better in the moment, but you have to realize you can't stay in the moment forever. I know this all from personal experiance and still struggle - I know its harder done than said.

hiscricket said...
on Feb. 12 2009 at 4:53 am
I am a cutter. that is the first time I have admitted in the past 2 years that I have done it. I want help to stop but I don't know how... my parents would be very dissapointed. Help!

Kwstar said...
on Nov. 9 2008 at 6:18 pm
I used to cut, but they weren't deep enough to leave scars thank God, the counselor at my school helped me and listened and now I am never going back to the horrible feeling of hurting myself

on Nov. 8 2008 at 8:03 pm
I thought that cutting is for suicidal people, but now I know that it's for people with unsolved problems. I don't cut myself, so this article gave me a new perspective on the issue. Very well written!!!

on Oct. 20 2008 at 6:55 pm
You got that right, thank you for writing this. Seeking help is so hard, i don't have a sister to kiss my scars, secretly or otherwise. good luck y'all

lita5567 said...
on Sep. 4 2008 at 3:41 am
I totally know what you mean. I have been dealing with self-injury since my freshman year. My mom cloes her eyes when I don't wear my sweater, my big sister "secretly" kisses my arms while I am sleeping. It's hard and people don't get that. If someone was anorexic or belimic and they stopped they are just another person, but for the res of our lives form the scars on our arms we will always be "cutters."