Beth's Story on Cutting

Hello. My Name is Beth. I am 17 years old. I enjoy playing sports. I play volleyball, basketball, and softball for my school and I help teach tennis to down-syndrome kids over the summer. I for the most part live a normal teenage life. I don’t party, and I always do what my parents tell me to do.

When I was 16, I began cutting myself. My reason for doing that was because I never had a relationship with my parents. On the outside my family seemed perfect, my mom is a nurse and my dad a politician, and I also have an older brother and younger sister. My father is very hard on me about everything. He tends to get my self-esteem so low that I don’t think that I should even be considered his daughter. I know it seems like a lot and that I might be just over reacting, which is what everyone told me when I would first just mention something about how he treated me.

So I just would believe that I was just over reacting and all dads are just looking out for their children and that they are just trying to make us a better person that they know we can be. But it gets old hearing how dumb, stupid, ugly, and fat you are everyday when you know that deep down you aren’t that person that you are being told you are, it begins to hurt and make you unsure about things. I got tired of just trying to forget it, I needed some way to feel the pain I felt inside so I began to cut. The first time I did I was so scared and shaking and I don’t really remember much about it but all I knew was it was a way to calm me down for that moment and that made me feel on top of the world. I continued to cut for about 6 months until I felt like it was controlling my life - everything. I was never happy anymore and my social life totally was fading away and my relationships were physical and nothing else. I felt like everyone was out to get me so I would go home and just cut all the problems away.

One day my friends came up to me and asked me what was up and I said, “Oh, nothing I’m fine.” They didn’t believe me but figured I would just get over whatever was wrong. Then it began eating me away on the inside because I never told anyone, so I sat down to think who would be the easiest person for me to tell because I needed help. I picked my friend CJ. He was always there for me and a great listener and someone who I went to for advice all the time.

So I called him one night and asked him to come over for a bit. He came over and we sat out in his car and it took me about a half an hour to actually tell him what was wrong. The whole time I was crying. It was the hardest thing for me to do, but I did. Then, I began to talk to him whenever I felt like I needed to cut. Sometimes it would work and then other times it would be so bad I would begin to yell at him and then hang up the phone on him and cut anyways. So I felt like I needed to tell someone else. Well by this time basketball season just started and I had a very close group of friends on the team and they could all sense something was wrong and so one day on the way to one of our away games I told the small group. They were all shocked and didn’t believe me because they said I had a perfect life and something like this could never happen to me. Well, they all told me to promise to quit and I told them I would sure try!

After I told them, one of them thought I needed more help than just from my peers so they told our Coach. She was a college student learning about how to help kids like me and so she was happy to help but at first I didn’t want anything to do with her. I figured I could change my ways on my own. She forced me to at least give her a try so one day after practice I went out and we talked for about an hour about the things bothering me in my life. I told her how my dad just put so much pressure on me and how I couldn’t handle it because I wasn’t one to talk back to an adult and tell them my opinions. She gave me some advice to deal with my parents and explained to me that I don’t always need to listen to my parents (I mean, when they damage my self-esteem) and that I should enjoy the things I do instead of worrying if I am being perfect for my parents.

Then I realized that I needed to take control. So one of the girls on my team that I told my problem to, I began telling her the goals I was setting for myself. I began with one week without cutting then I moved to 2 weeks then on to a month and then 2 months and so since then I have been cutting free for over 5 months! And, when things get bad I would get the feeling of how easy it would be to just go and cut myself but then I think about all the promises I made and how my friends mean so much to me and how they will help me through it all.

Another way that helped me get through everything was I wrote my term paper over the topic of Cutting, which gave me a HUGE insight on other people’s lives that cut. I began doing a lot of research and discovered how much it could ruin someone’s life. One of my favorite books is call “Cut” and it is about a girl who is in rehab for cutting and her struggles through getting help. I still look up on websites about people who cut and I understand why they do it, but I go and try to help. I leave messages on websites explaining how much people who cut lose so much from life and how even though things may not be the best in life that you can still make the best out of things and be happy.

I hope that my story helps because I want to reach out to other girls like me that get pressured and help them make the right choices in how to deal with their problems because it is HELL what I went through and I would hope and pray to God no one would ever have to go through all of that.