The difficulty of dealing with self-harm

TraumaAndDissociation Trauma and Dissociation

By Katlynn McKenzie , Staff Writer

Warning: Some people may find this topic disturbing.

Contrary to popular beliefs people don’t self-harm for attention. Most want to hide it from everyone.

The blaring of my alarm jolts me awake from my haunting dream. As I’m turning it off, I think back to it. Still so very clear in my mind. Closing my eyes I see the sliver tip of my knife dig into my clear, pale arm. As I see the blood flow I feel a tear fall down my cheek in real life. That single tear is enough to make me hate myself more because, just by remembering the dream, I want to harm myself.

People who self-harm don’t do it to end their lives or for attention. They harm themselves to feel alive and to feel something besides emotional pain.

Despite my best efforts, I give into the temptation and get my blade out of my wallet. Not wanting to be caught by my parents I make the marks on my already scarred thighs. Slowly the blood bubbles up and covers my thighs in red. It’s these moments that I wish I was normal and that I wish I didn’t hurt myself to feel a sense of relief.

The reasons why people self-harm varies between each person. Though some of the reasons are because they are blaming themselves for something they did or did not do. Other reasons involve mental illnesses, like anxiety or depression, and their situations that make them feel as if they should do it.

I quickly clean my thighs up and change clothes. As I hide the clean blade I sigh to myself feeling mixed emotions. I feel better yet worse at the same time. I feel better because the weight on my chest is gone yet the feeling of guilt consumes my heart. Knowing a lot of my friends will be mad at me I decide to lie and tell them I haven’t done anything.

Slowly the blood bubbles up and covers my thighs in red.”

— Katlynn McKenzie

There are many ways one person can harm themselves. Cutting is the most well know and what is often the first thing people think of when they hear ‘self-harm’. However, the other ways are just as harmful to that person.

As I go through the day I think about what I did to myself this morning and how disappointed my best friend would be in me if I told him. I know I should tell him because I promised him I would but I am scared to see his face fall in sadness and hurt at the bad news.

A lot of people who self-harm think what they do to themselves doesn’t hurt other people, only themselves. However, they know in their heart that its hurting everyone that knows about it. No matter how small the injury or bruise, it is all serious and they need help in stopping.

The second I tell him and I see his face fall I know that I need to stop. Not only do I need to stop this for the people that love me, but I need to stop for myself. What I am doing is making my mental health worse and I can see it killing me and the people I love. It will be a slow and hard process but I want to get better.