Cutting//Emo//Hope//God

14 Apr

Apparently this is supposed to be comical; I think it's sickening. Yet it's less offensive that a picture of an actual kid cutting herself and less heart-breaking.

I was perusing the Internet to see what hip new resources are out there for “kids” who cut. There were a lot of superficial one-pagers on health sites offering “advice” for questions that kids who cut ask like, how do I stop cutting? Why do I cut? Where do I get help? and so on.

As a recovering cutter (we’re always recovering–it’s a long-life battle), I was a bit dismayed. There wasn’t a lot of great info out there for those who desperately need to know there’s hope–that, yes, you don’t have to use the razor tonight, feel ashamed when you wake up tomorrow, and feel that familiar sting as you clean the dried blood off your arms with antiseptic. Maybe you thought this was the time you cut so deep you wouldn’t wake up (or hoped you wouldn’t) or you wonder if a staph infection will set in and kill you outright. If you’re a cutter, recovering or active, know that there is hope tonight.

You can be His, bought with His blood, healed because of His wounds, and loved because He Is Love. He desperately wants to show you how beautiful you are, to care for you, and to heal you from this habit that’s taken over your life. All you have to do is ask. Let Him takes these crimson ashes of shame and trade them for a crown of beauty.

That being said, there are also a lot of mean people out there who think that cutting is some sort of hilarious joke. I’m 28 and started this deplorable practice when I was 14. I spent half my life battling this demon that wants to tell me I’m not good enough, pretty enough, worthy enough–that I’m just not enough. There’s nothing amusing or “emo” about it, at least not for me.

True, cutting is sort of “trendy” these days, but back when I was in high school; it didn’t even have a name and no one knew how to treat it. Being one of the most difficult disorders to treat because cutting is the symptom of a deeper, darker issue, it’s a practice I wish teens would give up entirely. Don’t do it because your friends do it or to be emo or to write bloody poetry. When you turn 28, you’ll look at your scars with shame, wishing you could be that 14 year-old kid again–this time I’d throw the pink Lady Bic into the trash, and go on my merry way. But I realized that four years too late, and have wrestled with it since. I suppose if people want to mock, they can mock. I just hoped to enlighten their ignorance.

Another “trendy” thing for cutters to do is ban together and support one another by posting pictures and being “proud” of their cutting. In fact, I found one site that has a “cutting challenge” each week. You can post pictures. I moved right along to another sad, slightly sadder, where people would announce that they cut, the extent of the injuries, and that they were sad. Others would offer *hugs* and what not. Then a few days later, the same person would post the same comment and it would happen over and over and over again. A cycle of cutting, gratification, and cutting.

I have a book here on my desk called Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut by Marv Penner. It’s due out next month and I’m supposed to write a review for Backseat Writer. I hope Penner won’t let me down and I’ll have a great resource I can recommend others that will offer good insight, real advice, and not the usual cookie cutter answers. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, dears, please know that I don’t know who you are, why you cut, or how you wandered upon this post, but I am praying for you right now. I am praying that you fight the urge, find the strength, and maybe change the course of your life. Hope is just around the corner and love is right here waiting for you in a God who loves you and wants to heal ALL your wounds, not just the ones on the outside.

If you want to know God personally, here’s a link to help you get started. Or please feel free to e-mail me with any questions. Vulgar e-mails/comments will be ignored and deleted. I’ve also written a bit on this topic, including resources for parents and youth workers. Please e-mail me if you’re interested in any of these materials.

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No Responses to “Cutting//Emo//Hope//God”

  1. marilyn adamson April 14, 2008 at 1:43 PM #

    Hi Amy,

    I am the director of everystudent.com, the link you included (thanks). We have nothing on our site regarding cutting, and your comments about God’s love and desire to heal those who come to him, is a message I would like to include. Do you have a writing that describes how God has freed you from this? My desire is for students to know God as he really is and what it’s like to know him. Could you speak to that? Just so you know, we are a nonprofit organization and authors have contributed to the site. Last year six million people came to everystudent.com (it’s in 25 languages). It would be a great way to reach many.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Marilyn

  2. marilyn adamson April 14, 2008 at 1:43 PM #

    Hi Amy,

    I am the director of everystudent.com, the link you included (thanks). We have nothing on our site regarding cutting, and your comments about God’s love and desire to heal those who come to him, is a message I would like to include. Do you have a writing that describes how God has freed you from this? My desire is for students to know God as he really is and what it’s like to know him. Could you speak to that? Just so you know, we are a nonprofit organization and authors have contributed to the site. Last year six million people came to everystudent.com (it’s in 25 languages). It would be a great way to reach many.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Marilyn

  3. tracy April 16, 2008 at 9:39 PM #

    Amy, i look forward to hearing more about “Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut” by Marv Penner. I’m shocked by the lack of info available. People behave as though this is an uncommon thing when cutting has been a form of dealing with grief/pain for … well … FOREVER! Anyhoo, I’d love to hear if it’s a book I should add to my library.

  4. tracy April 16, 2008 at 9:39 PM #

    Amy, i look forward to hearing more about “Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut” by Marv Penner. I’m shocked by the lack of info available. People behave as though this is an uncommon thing when cutting has been a form of dealing with grief/pain for … well … FOREVER! Anyhoo, I’d love to hear if it’s a book I should add to my library.

  5. Elaina April 25, 2008 at 3:58 PM #

    Hey, I reviewed a pre-publication copy of Marv Penner’s “Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut,” and it really is quite good. As one of the few Christian books on cutting, I think it’s one worth owning (as is Jerusha Clark’s “Inside a Cutter’s Mind”). See my review on Amazon if you’re looking for more info about the book(s). If you’re looking for something “short and sweet,” you can download my e-booklet from InterVarsity Press at . Peace!

  6. Elaina April 25, 2008 at 3:58 PM #

    Hey, I reviewed a pre-publication copy of Marv Penner’s “Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut,” and it really is quite good. As one of the few Christian books on cutting, I think it’s one worth owning (as is Jerusha Clark’s “Inside a Cutter’s Mind”). See my review on Amazon if you’re looking for more info about the book(s). If you’re looking for something “short and sweet,” you can download my e-booklet from InterVarsity Press at . Peace!

  7. Elizabeth May 9, 2008 at 6:09 PM #

    Hi Amy,
    Where can you find the book “Inside a Cutters Mind”
    I was hopeing on reading it..i read more about it on Amazon.com
    It seems like a book i’ve been seaching for to help me. Thank you
    for praying and for understanding me in my last message..

    Hope-to-Hear-from-you-more,

    love Lizzie :]

  8. Elizabeth May 9, 2008 at 6:09 PM #

    Hi Amy,
    Where can you find the book “Inside a Cutters Mind”
    I was hopeing on reading it..i read more about it on Amazon.com
    It seems like a book i’ve been seaching for to help me. Thank you
    for praying and for understanding me in my last message..

    Hope-to-Hear-from-you-more,

    love Lizzie :]

  9. Amy May 9, 2008 at 6:47 PM #

    Lizzie,

    I got your e-mail earlier, and I’ll definitely write back! I haven’t read this book…but I liked A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong. However, I wouldn’t recommend reading it unless you have stopped cutting. There are a ton of books available on cutting right now, and one that looks pretty good is Cut: Mercy for Cutters by Nancy Alcorn. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read other books by this author. A lot of the books on cutting are for people working with cutters, not cutters themselves. Sigh. I’ll look around a little bit more and let you know. I do have a few worksheets I made that you might be able to use. We’ll chat more on e-mail.

    Love,
    Amy

  10. Amy May 9, 2008 at 6:47 PM #

    Lizzie,

    I got your e-mail earlier, and I’ll definitely write back! I haven’t read this book…but I liked A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong. However, I wouldn’t recommend reading it unless you have stopped cutting. There are a ton of books available on cutting right now, and one that looks pretty good is Cut: Mercy for Cutters by Nancy Alcorn. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read other books by this author. A lot of the books on cutting are for people working with cutters, not cutters themselves. Sigh. I’ll look around a little bit more and let you know. I do have a few worksheets I made that you might be able to use. We’ll chat more on e-mail.

    Love,
    Amy

  11. Karen July 30, 2008 at 8:41 AM #

    umm i need help were can i get a copy of your book?

  12. Karen July 30, 2008 at 8:41 AM #

    umm i need help were can i get a copy of your book?

  13. Amy July 30, 2008 at 9:08 AM #

    Karen, I sent you an e-mail. 🙂 I don’t have a book out…yet. But thanks for wanting to read my book that doesn’t exist.

  14. Amy July 30, 2008 at 9:08 AM #

    Karen, I sent you an e-mail. 🙂 I don’t have a book out…yet. But thanks for wanting to read my book that doesn’t exist.

  15. Debra August 7, 2008 at 9:13 PM #

    I started c. when about 50. I had never heard of this but one sad night a knife was on the kitchen counter and thought a great solution to prevent more severe harm. It escalated. I went for help knowing this was bizarre but it did not seem to be much of a big deal to psych. or psychi. It has diminished. I am tired of concocting stories to explain and lying and hiding being secretive. Besides it really is not normal for someone my age as I have discovered. One thing that helped is to look at a picture of yourself as a child and think about that little girl and does she deserve tobe hurt?

  16. Debra August 7, 2008 at 9:13 PM #

    I started c. when about 50. I had never heard of this but one sad night a knife was on the kitchen counter and thought a great solution to prevent more severe harm. It escalated. I went for help knowing this was bizarre but it did not seem to be much of a big deal to psych. or psychi. It has diminished. I am tired of concocting stories to explain and lying and hiding being secretive. Besides it really is not normal for someone my age as I have discovered. One thing that helped is to look at a picture of yourself as a child and think about that little girl and does she deserve tobe hurt?

  17. maddie August 28, 2008 at 7:14 PM #

    i’m a high schooler and have been recovering for cutting for about 2 years… it’s really hard and i sometime give in to it… many people my age “social cut” or do it because it’s cool, so many people i talk to think i’m just another copycat. but among other things i’ve prayed like crazy for hope, and i feel god has answered it. and it means alot that you care about the rest of us,
    god bless
    maddie

  18. maddie August 28, 2008 at 7:14 PM #

    i’m a high schooler and have been recovering for cutting for about 2 years… it’s really hard and i sometime give in to it… many people my age “social cut” or do it because it’s cool, so many people i talk to think i’m just another copycat. but among other things i’ve prayed like crazy for hope, and i feel god has answered it. and it means alot that you care about the rest of us,
    god bless
    maddie

  19. Susan Schaberg January 14, 2009 at 9:56 AM #

    I have a young man who cut himself while staying at our home. I took him to the ER and he’s back with us after staying at the pysc ward for 5 days.He is 19 and has a terrible relationship with his folks, he is EMO and they believe he is with Satan. He is smart, creative,and musically talented. He also flunked his first semester at school. How can I help him and steer him in the right direction?

  20. Susan Schaberg January 14, 2009 at 9:56 AM #

    I have a young man who cut himself while staying at our home. I took him to the ER and he’s back with us after staying at the pysc ward for 5 days.He is 19 and has a terrible relationship with his folks, he is EMO and they believe he is with Satan. He is smart, creative,and musically talented. He also flunked his first semester at school. How can I help him and steer him in the right direction?

  21. Kath February 10, 2009 at 2:55 AM #

    hi 🙂 my name is kathryn. i struggled with cutting for many years without telling anyone. i finally opened up to a friend and recieved counselling to help me recover. no one in my family knows, only a few friends do now. i am now a christian and by God’s wonderful grace he has transformed my heart. i still definately struggle sometimes and have given in to the temptation, but God is making me stronger and taking away the urge to cut.
    i am in my final year of school and am doing a major work on self harm (no one realises why i chose that topic). it is going really well!! i am interviewing two counsellors but was wondering if i may please send you the same questions to have another opinion? let me know if thats ok!! thanks heaps for your time 🙂 and your blog really encouraged me. God bless!!

  22. Kath February 10, 2009 at 2:55 AM #

    hi 🙂 my name is kathryn. i struggled with cutting for many years without telling anyone. i finally opened up to a friend and recieved counselling to help me recover. no one in my family knows, only a few friends do now. i am now a christian and by God’s wonderful grace he has transformed my heart. i still definately struggle sometimes and have given in to the temptation, but God is making me stronger and taking away the urge to cut.
    i am in my final year of school and am doing a major work on self harm (no one realises why i chose that topic). it is going really well!! i am interviewing two counsellors but was wondering if i may please send you the same questions to have another opinion? let me know if thats ok!! thanks heaps for your time 🙂 and your blog really encouraged me. God bless!!

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