Cutting Story - The First Chapter
My cutting story begins with a search for peace and freedom. There are a multitude of terms for what I did; self-harm, self-mutilation, and cutting to name a few. I've heard it defined it as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue without suicidal intent. You might call it attention seeking or even crazy. I called it an escape. For me, self harm became an attempt to stop the barrage of emotions, depression, and anxiety -- to escape the thoughts of accusation that plagued me. It was my attempt to find a moment of peace and freedom.
I never considered freedom to be something I deserved. Freedom belonged to good people, not people like me.
After my mother died from a lengthy battle with cancer, I was left to take care of my family. I became a mother to my young siblings, ages six, four, and three. When other girls my age were playing with Barbie dolls, I was cooking dinner and teaching my youngest brother to read. I discovered the knack of avoiding my drunken father and I cried myself to sleep without waking anyone. My father turned to alcohol and became abusive towards me. I was taught that I was an awful child -- a child who didn't deserve happiness or love. I learned to accept being thrown across the room and would kiss my own wounds to make them better.
At age 11 or 12, I discovered eating disorders and anorexia became my best friend. At 13, bulimia entered my life. With these new found “friends,” the little self-respect and self-esteem that I once had seemed to run off... terrified. Needless to say, it wasn't long before anorexia and bulimia introduced me to their buddy, self-harm.
Cutting Story - The Why Behind the Blood
My cutting story progressed rapidly on my 15th birthday. It wasn't serious, just a tiny little scratch on my thigh. I told myself that is was nothing to worry about. Soon, the cuts started to get deeper and deeper. The worse I felt, the deeper the cuts had to be. I would often look down at the blood and think, “This is why I'm hurting.” It all made sense. After only a few month, my dad caught me. I was told to leave and never come back. I lost the only parent I had left, and it crushed me. My thoughts became even more damaging and controlling. Eventually I gave up and let self harm rule my life.
I pushed my friends away and hid in bathrooms so I could be alone with my blade. That piece of metal meant the world to me. I carried it on me and often held it in my hand. It made me feel okay. I knew that if I had my knife, then nothing had the power to hurt me like I could. I was my own worst enemy -- both the perpetrator and the victim.
Usually a bully is punished, but this time she couldn't be because the victim went down with her. That bully worked hard, always reminding me of the words I'd learned as a child. That I deserved to hurt and I needed punishment. I never realized that I was being watched and prayed for by someone who would eventually become my closest friend.
Cutting Story - Finding My Rescue
After feeling isolated and unloved for years, Anita taught me that I was cared for and loved. She told me that there was Someone out there who cried with me -- Someone who wanted nothing more than to “wipe every tear from my eyes.” His name is Jesus.
Anita invited me to her youth service, where I fell in love with Jesus and met some of my biggest supporters: Jody and Sammy. Those three were amazing and I'll be eternally grateful for them. They went above and beyond for me. Me! Anita bandaged my cuts, even though she hated blood. Jody stayed up all hours of the night talking to me even when she'd have to be up early that morning. Sammy chased me down a hill when I tried to commit suicide, although she'd never met me. They were with me through my worst days and played a huge part in making me the person I am today.
I expect I'll remember until my dying day exactly what was happening when the truth exploded within me and set me free. I was standing and singing to Hillsong United's “More Than Life” during a youth service when I began to pray to God. I prayed for forgiveness for everything I'd done and for God to come into my life and transform me. Feeling the power of God for the first time scared me. I flipped and pulled away from Him, but God wanted me too much to let me run away from Him again. It has been almost a year since the night I accepted Jesus to be my Savior. I'm amazed at the changes He's already made in me! I now know that my life is not a waste. I know that I'm worth it.
We are all worth it! God considered the cost for our sins, looked at us, and thought we were worth it!
I now firmly believe that God will never ever abandon us the way our family or friends might do. All of us have times when we feel like we can’t see God, but whether we’re aware of it or not, He’s always right there with us. Even if we don’t love ourselves, even if we do stuff that hurts Him, God loves us more than we can ever imagine. He’s promised that He’ll never leave us, even in the toughest times. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” declares David (Psalm 147:3).
Cutting Story - A New Best Friend
God knows what it's like to be in pain. Jesus Himself bears the scars of His pain, and “by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He knows what it’s like to be lonely, hurt, and scared. We are so special to Him, that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, so that we could be free from all the horrible things the world throws at us.
God doesn’t expect perfection from us, He just wants us to love Him and give over our troubles to Him. He created us and knew us even before we were born, and each of us is incredibly precious to Him.
Jesus said “for only a cent you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
I've learned many important lessons since I became a child of God, but this one I consider the most essential to my life. And that is that life is always better without a razor occupying the space of “best friend.”
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