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Approximately 1% of the population uses physical self-injury as a way of dealing with overwhelming feelings or situations, often using it as a way to speak when no words will come.
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What is S.I.?

Self-Injury is an act of injuring yourself by means of cutting, burning, pulling out hair, etc. S.I. is the act of causing physical harm to your own body, usually as a way of coping with situations and conditions around you.

Why do you think so many feel ugly and alone?

Feeling ugly is something we begin to believe about ourselves because we’ve heard it spoken to us by others, maybe just in fun…(or not), but just the same it’s hurt us deep inside. Feeling unattractive, for whatever reason, can put a person in a depression if it’s left to fester inside. The more we believe what we think about ourselves, the deeper the hole we dig ourselves in. When we feel there’s no one around us who care or who considers us valuable human beings, we begin feeling hopeless.

What draws people into cutting?

It varies for each individual, but for many it’s a way to deal with emotional pain that they can’t seem to get a handle on. Their emotional pain is so deep and they’ve hidden deep inside for so long that reaching for a blade to cut their skin gives them real pain to deal with in place of the heart pain they can’t bear. The pain of injuring themselves seems to almost pacify them until the present crisis is over. Then, they sit back and wait for the next crisis.

For some, it’s experimental. What happens when I harm my body. How will my body react? What will I feel? Who will care?

Usually, cutting is not a suicidal act.

Do you feel it is a mental or spiritual problem and can you explain why?

As many variables that are in cutting and S.I., there would probably be that many reasons to believe that it is mental or it is spiritual. I believe that any addiction that we may find ourselves dealing with has a solution on the spiritual level. Some roots of cutting and S.I. are broken homes, abusive relationships, drugs, physical illness, and the like; but it seems apparent to me that nearly always the issue of low self-esteem plays a big part. If I don’t value myself, then it’s much easier to abuse my own body in whatever way I choose. If people around me send me the message that they don’t value me, then that just adds fuel to my self-abusive fire.

It’s definitely a mental problem that goes hand in hand with a spiritual problem. Even those who believe that there is a God and put their trust in Him, fall prey to addictions. We see it all around us. Cutting is another lie that has us bound to a blade instead of a bottle. We can try to convince people around us that we do in fact have value, but the fact remains that some people just never change. Our faith in those around us may be in vain, so instead we can turn our attention on the One who created us as masterpieces.

Is there Hope for a cutter?

Yes, I’m living proof that there’s hope. The One who created you as a masterpiece wants to take back what is his. There’s a true God for you to come to. He views you as a person of great value. He is the Master Artist, and it saddens Him to see you vandalize His creation. God is forgiving and He wants to pour His love out on you. He wants to erase the scars you carry.

by Maggie
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The Cutting Edge

I'ts the cutting edge
It's the trend now
Incisions it makes
As happiness fades away
All hopes and fears are now lost
Inside a dying soul
Sweet crimson weeps
Sour heart turns cold
The razor poses as a door
A door wide open
The only way out
So inviting it is
So make use of the door
Carve some more
A blushing liquid trickles
Pain isn't felt
Just relief
Away soul, melt

by Ramya
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DIARY

Day 1
Dear Diary - Someone told me that I should start a diary because you'd become like a friend to me. I don't have any friends, so it's worth a shot. I don't trust you. So, I'm thinking why should I write the truth to someone or something that I don't even trust.

Day 2
I have secret places. I find comfort in the dark. It used to be, I loved to lay in the grass in the middle of the yard on a hot summer day and pretend that Jesus was lying there next to me, watching the clouds. We'd pick out animals in the clouds together. That was when I was young. Now He's walked away from me. He doesn't hang around when I'm cutting. He's quite a stranger now.

I cut my wrists last night. It was my first try so next time I'll do a better job.

Day 3
Mr. Demon visited last night. He sits on my chest and torments me in the middle of the night. I can't breathe when he comes. I wake up in a sweat and I'm terrified. I wish he'd leave me alone - like everyone else. He comes while I'm asleep and I never know when to expect him. All the sudden, I wake up in terror. I guess if he would warn me that's he's coming, it wouldn't be very fun game for him.

You don't help me either. You're not the friend they said you would be. You're a brick wall just like all the rest.

Day 4
I'm on the lookout for tools. Everything I see becomes a potential tool. A piece of broken glass, a safety pin, a match. What I do to my body seems surreal. I watch my own hand take a weapon and carve my flesh out. The sharp point digs into skin and makes it's way past the nerves and into a vein. I feel pain. It becomes a challenge to me - I can withstand physical pain equal to the emotional pain that I live with. Tomorrow I will increase that pain - It's a secret I have from the rest of the world. I thought it would bring attention but I was wrong. And now it's an obsession. I hate myself.

Day 5
Living a lie. This whole messed up life is a lie. Jesus is a lie. He's not the same friend who was so real to me when I was a kid. If he was such a friend, then he wouldn't let Mr. Demon in my room. I call out to Jesus in the middle of the night when I'm terrified, but he never answers. Sometimes I would just love to die. Why do I do this to myself - I can't even do a good enough job to kill myself. Maybe part of me wants to preserve my own life. I'm in control of my self. I call the shots. NO one else cares.

Day 6
I took a can lid to my hand. I did it slowly and watched my flesh part. Man, flesh is interesting stuff. Then the blood oozed out. I came home and showed it off. I still got no sympathy. This life sucks. I talked back to my mom once and she threatened to cut out my tongue with a can lid. I imagine the bloody violence of that scene. She would have to use all her strength to keep me down on the floor as she cut out my tongue. Blood would be everywhere. She doesn't want to hear me talk. That would do it. I don't want to hear her talk either - maybe we could cut out each others tongues. An eye for an eye - and a tongue for a tongue.

Day 7
I moved from the Mr. Demon room, and he doesn't stalk me as much anymore. Sleeping with a light on helps too. He's an evil ugly man who perches right on my chest. What does he want from me anyway?

You never answer me. I have plenty of "friends" just like you, so why do I need one more? Answer me!

Day 8
Silence. And darkness. That's the world I live in. I can't be a friend because I don't know how to be one. I live in lonliness and pain. Why won't this end? How can I make it end.

Day after day, I go to school and I go to work - I even do some social stuff. But nothing ever changes. I'm still desperate. I'm still hated by the people who are supposed to love me.

Day 9
Dear f-ing Diary.
I'm tired of you. I'll cast you out of my life. Like I said; I'm in control. I will cast you out before you cast me out. It's better that way. I have the choice and I'll choose first before you have the chance to. I've built a pretty wall around myself. I have no one to turn to. It's just me and Mr. Demon.

Today
Dear Diary
You didn't help me. I put my trust in you so many years ago, and you failed me just like so many others. I found out that I can't trust you or anyone else… just one person. I became so desperate and God let me come to the end of myself. Only then, when I had reached the complete end, is when He could reach down, scoop me up and rescue me. I found out that Jesus is a real friend. He was there all along… just waiting for me to notice him. All the time I was living in such darkness and desperation, I was crying out for help. I cried out and it seemed that no one heard me. So, I would violate myself in frustration. Hatred and bitterness haunted me.

Then one night, I was cast out by the very people who are supposed to love and support me as their child. I was allowed to stay one more night, and then I needed to move out. I had no one in the world… alone in darkness once again.

"God help me!" I cried for hours. As real as Mr. Demon was, God came into my room and sat with me. He didn't terrorize me like Mr. Demon. Instead, He soothed me and calmed me. I actually slept.

Humans fail me. I fail others, it's an imperfection we all have. I found out that God never leaves me or fails me. Even in darkness, He is there - when I seek Him. When I seek Him, He is found.

Scars on my body bear testimony of my past. They're also a reminder of the pain and agony that Christ endured that I may receive His gift of love. It's a love that I've never experienced before. His flesh was shred apart, and He freely offered himself to his enemies as a sacrificial offering because of His amazing love. My little scars are tiny and insignificant when compared to His wounds. He could've walked away - but He didn't. It was all out of His love for me… … and for you.

by Maggie
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cutting

i penetrate my skin
crimson flows from deep within
draw blood, but deeper yet
making sure i dont forget
hurt me
scar me
make it real
let me know i still feel.

by Amber
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Why did you cut?

I used to cut in order to convince myself that.....

1.) I could still feel.... I felt numb inside, and needed to know that I could still feel.. I felt dead inside.. and I knew if I could feel the pain, and the flow of the blood, that in some way, I was still "alive".

2.) That I was in control..... I could control how deep I cut, where I cut, and I could control whether it kept bleeding or not (I could either pressure it and stop the flow, or let it run.)

3.) I would punish myself by cutting... I would cut in order to block out the need for emotion.... if I showed emotion I was weak.... if someone made me cry, I would punish myself by cutting. If I was told I was stupid, I would cut, In some warped way thinking that it would make me "less stupid".

4.) I would cut to release pain.

How did it make you feel?

Alive... in control... yet at times, pathetic... weak....

How did you overcome cutting?

I don't know how I overcame it.. I still feel the urge to cut every now and then.... when things are really bad... like when my grandpa died a few months ago and I had a huge weight put on me to do stuff... but, I havent cut in a long time (not sure exactly, over a year im pretty sure though), though the urge to do so has been there. I did alot of time praying, that God would help me to deal with things.... it has gotten easier for me to talk to people (I used to not want to tell anyone anything....... now i talk to a select few). That has helped alot too, to find a group of people who won't judge me for how I think or feel. I also removed myself from the physical situation that would cause me to cut.. it took alot... and was very hard.... but I moved away from the home I grew up in almost 2 years ago, and since I have been on my own, without the daily pressures, and abuse I dealt with.... its easier to live life....... Mostly though.... I know that my relationship with God deepening had alot to do with it.... and I try to look at it this way.........We are his body...... he suffered enough pain already... why do I need to add un- necessiary cuts to that......

by Amber
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Is there anything
that can make me feel
alive?
If i cut myself
would i feel
the pain?
Or would I just watch
the blood
drip down this lifeless
scar tissue.
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Jumbled thoughts
6/2/2001

Love has been shattered
rejecting abounding
cant think. cant think
head pounding

another broken promise
another g** damn lie
broken hearts bleeding
big girls dont cry

suck it up
rage is growing
move on
crimson flowing

calm down
keep your cool
dont wind up
a bleeding fool

write it out
rip it apart
life goes on
brand new start

by Amber
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As the stream turns to a drip, and all the pain melts away; I feel like I am useless, should I go or should I stay? The pain it always comes back sinking deeper ever more. I don't want life to be like it was before. As I sit here my arms are two bloody streams. One more little cut, and this nightmare becomes a dream. Out of the darkness a hand reaches down. He comforts my pain and shows me his crown. He fills my life with meaning; love starts running through my veins. Now these scars are memories, nothing more than stains.

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Dear Cutter,

I watch you there in your room,
With your pain.
I know your thoughts, I read you –
It hurts, doesn’t it?
You made yourself believe that someone cared.      (this is
No one really cares. If they did care,               what I
They wouldn’t leave you all alone                   want you
Sitting there in your empty room.                   To believe)
Your heart is cold and numb. Abused.
You’ve been mis-understood. Confused.
People turned you away. Refused.                    (I am
Go ahead – take the knife.                           A liar)
Lance your skin and let pain escape.
No one will stop you now.
You swallowed a hand full of pretty pills.
The detox wagon loaded you up                       (I’m only
And took you away,                                   out for my
When you wanted to stay.                             Own gain)
It’s all right now. You are a nobody.
No one will notice.
Go on now – take the knife.
Score your skin.                                    (In my kingdom
And then you’ll be mine – all mine.                  Of darkness)

Satan


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SECRETLY Watching your own blood spill It's a senseless addiction Something within yourself lures you back to the blade. If you're not happy - if you're not pretty how can slicing your flesh make it better. You feel hate and anger - intensely afraid. Picking up a blade won't solve anything. Spilling your blood won't buy you love. It won't deaden the pain - the pain always returns. You cut yourself. Wait for another day. Cry tears into your open wound. Wash off your wrists and wipe your eyes - step out of the bathroom with long sleeves covering. No one sees. No one cares. Spilt blood... done in secret. by Maggie
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BANDS AROUND HER WRISTS Standing in the crowd of hundreds, music blasting, lights blinding. A band takes the stage with fists in the air. Bands around their wrists and tatooed arms. Sweat runs free as the mosh pit grows. Frenzied freaks kick up the dust , as grinding guitars call out. The band chugs water between songs, spits into the crowd, and shouts. A girl steps into the bathroom to get away from it all. Hurting from another bad relationship. Closes herself off from the world, she takes the blade to her skin again. The band plays on and the mosh pit swirls. The hour is late but the crowd keeps up. A girl steps out of the bathroom with fresh bands around her wrists. Blends into the crowd and raises her fists to the band, with bands around their wrists. by Maggie
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CRIMSON TEARS Crimson tears, spilled out in silence; The dead of night watches on. Heart cries bitterly while eyes stay dry; The warmth of the day long gone. Still dark void of the nightly solitude; Secrets trace their steps on her arm. Stepping carelessly across her thoughts; Walks the illusion of her self harm. Escape the pain, inflict the release; One more stripe laid down. Tears begin to flow in response; As she watches her pain be drowned. Heartache subsides, and pain is numbed; just one more time before sleep. The night lies still as she folds herself up; The dark midnight vigil to keep. Slumber is estranged by rampant thoughts she can't seem to free herself of. Rising above the emptiness and turmoil Crimson tears will be her one love. by Maggie
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S.I. GAMES I feel people looking and trying to count my scars. My scars aren't that visible, those who cut know that. Many hide beneath the outward surface. Still, if it were a contest or a tournament, there'd be many far ahead. I'd be someone in the back, others turn and scoff. It doesn't matter. It's not true that I can't succeed at anything. My scars may be few compared to you, but my pain goes just as deep - If you really have to compare. Play "King On The Mountain" if you have to. Climb all over me. Few scars, and deep pain. Only what is seen matters to some. I could've only cut just once, and it still would make me a cutter. The pain deep inside fills an ocean. Christ bled an ocean. They slashed his flesh and opened him wide. Countless stripes. Not one inch untouched. He bled as hundreds watched. A red river flowed out. He only needed to bleed one drop - it still made Him a Savior. His love and compassion fills an ocean. His unrelenting love. by Maggie
Need someone to talk to?
Contact Maggie here: uglygirlz@hotmail.com

Check out these links for more information:

Lysamena Project on Self-Injury - Christian based self-injury information and resources Self Harm Alliance - Run by volunteers, extensive information for those who self harm and their concerned family and friends.

S.A.F.E. Alternatives - Treatment program and educational resource base.

1-800-DONTCUT - Self injury information line.