Christina's battle with cutting

My name is Christina. I am 23 years old. I enjoy music, both playing and listening to it. I play 7 instruments, among them is flute, alto and tenor saxophones and piano, however, my favorite is guitar. I also love playing sports, namely racquetball.  

My life has been normal in the sense that it is all I have ever known. My parents divorced when I was 7 and my dad basically moved out of my life on that day.

When I was 13 I started cutting. I found out about it one day almost on accident. I was really upset and I took a razor and cut my arm and I noticed that seeing the blood pour from my arm really made me feel a lot better. I didn't feel the pain from cutting my skin; I just felt the relief once it was done. The reason behind my pain was the physical and mental abuse I had suffered as a young girl. I had bottled up that pain and told no one about what had happened to me. I carried it around inside and it was eating away at me. I felt the only way to release the agony I was feeling was to cut. I had been cutting for two years. People knew I was doing this but did nothing about it. My mom had seen the marks, scars, and scabs on my arms, but did nothing. So I thought it was ok.

It wasn't until I was approached by an adult friend of mine at my youth group that I started to realize that this was not ok. My friend said to me, "How are you?" I quickly responded, "Great." He just looked at me knowing I was lying, at which time I revised my statement and said "Ok." Again he just looked at me and I said "Ok, stuff sucks." We set up a time to talk and I waited for the day to come, knowing what I would have to tell him about. The day came for us to talk and I was so nervous. I thought for sure he would hate me for what I had been doing and I thought for sure he would make me go to counseling or something lame like that. It took me a long time to get the words out of my mouth and to get the courage to show him the marks on my arms. When I did, all I found was love. He wanted to help me so badly and all I could tell him was that my life sucked and that I wanted to kill myself. He wanted to make me promise not to cut myself for a week, but I couldn't make that promise so I made the promise that I wouldn't kill myself for one week. We met again in a week and I made the same promise again. My friend stuck by my side the whole time.

It was decided that my mom needed to know the extent of the problem, so two of my adult friends who had been helping me for months met with me before we met my mom. I was really mad about having to talk to my mom. I felt like she was doing nothing to help me in the first place, why would she want to help me now? My friends and I went to my mom and told her. She was more concerned about infections and disease then she was the reason behind the cutting. My friends said that they had the name of a counselor that I could see to help me with this. I reluctantly agreed to go. I had been to counseling before and it never helped me, so I had little hope for this one. I went and she didn't really help very much. I felt like I didn't want to talk to her so I just gave her what she wanted to hear.

My mom soon decided that I didn't need to go anymore, even though I was still cutting. One day the pain I felt got to be too much and I attempted suicide. I landed myself in the hospital for 2 weeks and I HATED it. I wanted out so bad that I just started telling the doctors and nurses what they wanted to hear.

When I got out I started going to another counselor and again I didn't like her. I felt like she wasn't even listening to me. So I quit going to her too. My friends were still helping me, making me promise them not to kill myself, etc. It wasn't until a family at my youth group decided that they wanted to take me in that some big changes were made. They said that if I lived with them (which I wanted to so badly) that I couldn't cut anymore and that I had to talk to them about anything and everything that was bothering me. I promised that I would do those things and they said I could live with them.

To this day I still think about cutting sometimes, but I remember the promise I made to my friends, family, and husband and know that cutting is not an option for me. Had it not been for all the people surrounding me with love and care I would have never made it through the dark days of my life alive.

Had I not been so stubborn and actually opened up to the counselors I was sent to I probably could have stopped cutting sooner. Don't be like me; if counseling is an option for you do it and do it with everything you've got, it can help big changes in your life to happen. One of the jobs I do now is counseling and I see the wonders it works when the person is open and honest. Most of all, tell someone about what you are going through, God will work through the people that love you to bring you healing. If you are praying for someone to talk to or to help you, or if you are even just praying...KEEP praying God will come through for you. I can tell you now, as a happily married adult, I am so thankful that I didn't do anything to permanently hurt myself; there is so much to live for. So think about it before you do anything you will regret that could jeopardize your future, because ten years from now or even sooner your life can be totally different.

Now I am working as a social worker with teenagers that are in the same state that I was once in. I am also happily married and looking forward to my future, a day I once thought would never come. I am forever grateful to those who helped me, for if it was not for them I may not have made it to these wonderful days.