the ugly bits pt 2

I’m in that ugly space where there are no words that can actually describe what is going on. And for me…that ugly space leads to that dirty little word it seems like no one ever talks about.


It’s complicated.  It’s beyond complicated. Anyone who thinks differently is more than welcome to spend a week in my head. It’s one of two things that I’m embarrassed to admit to my therapist when it happens. It’s the one thing that truly makes me feel weak.

It’s also the one thing I still feel I don’t have a right to admit too. A while back I wrote about how I struggled to “claim” the diagnosis of bipolar because I am functional.  With cutting I can’t seem to own my own struggle with it.  Why? I don’t have scars, I’ve never had stitches.  I’ve never had someone see the evidence and call me out. When I’ve told therapists in the past that I cut, they would always get this confused look on their face ask me if I had any childhood trauma I wasn’t admitting (which I don’t). Or else they would dismiss it once they realized it wasn’t as “severe” as it could be.

All of that has left me confused.  Where does that piece of me fit? Is it a symptom or a thing that I even have a right to claim?

I’ve had a lot of therapists tell me the reason I do it is because I want to and I’m just not trying hard enough to stop. They also treat it like its something that happens in isolation.  Sara is the first that hasn’t.  She has gotten me to view it as a red flag. If I want to do it or actually do it, that means something else with me isn’t OK. Cutting is just another piece of the weird-ass web of symptoms I’ve got going for me.

Viewing it as a symptom takes away some of the shame, and I understand its place in my life a little better. It’s more complicated than this, but I’m still figuring out how to explain it. I do know its completely different for everyone though.


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3 Responses to the ugly bits pt 2

  1. Rea says:

    I’m sorry your therapists have been…well, completely shit at helping you with cutting. I absolutely think you have a right to claim it. I’ve had stitches many times, and I’ve had superficial cuts many times, and usually the emotional pain is just as strong regardless of how severe the injury is. Sara is right – it’s a coping mechanism and you don’t need to feel shame about it.

  2. I struggled with this for a long time in college, but I’m with you – I was like, “Does this even count as a struggle if it’s not ever been hospital-bad?” Yes, it counts. Yes, it’s a real struggle, and yes, it needs to be addressed.

    Sometimes therapists are dumb. I’m sorry for that. Do what you need to in order to address this issue (do you know someone who can hold you accountable or do you have a place you can go when you’re struggling?). Personally, I’m super achievement-oriented, so I started to try to keep track of how many days I could go without cutting. I always wanted to beat my last record.

    Now I’m at seven years, so I’d be super bummed if I had to start that clock over again!! 🙂

    You can do this.

    • Nicole says:

      I started when I was in 8th grade–same time we think the bipolar started. Trying to keep track of days I could go without never really did anything for me, and I never seem to do it for the same reasons. Finding something I can stick with has always been a problem for me.

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