Posts Tagged ‘cutting’


It is amazing the power of words. Words can bring you up to the highest level of joy or they can take you to the lowest valley of depression. This is especially true with children. Over the past 15 years of working with youth, I have seen many instances where a youth will take words that they had spoken to them and use those words to validate all the negativity they have experienced. I have also seen youth take words and watch the sparkle of spirit and self-esteem reignite in their eyes.

The power of words to hurt can be damaging and is especially true with younger children. For me, the words of “If you ain’t working, then you ain’t a man” still hold a powerful grip on my view of life and self-esteem. For my dad, the words he carried around his entire life was “God hates you.” He passed away in fear just from those 3 words he had spoken to him in anger when he was a child.

I have heard numerous children tell me that no one cares, or that they are losers or that they will never amount to anything. To a child, these comments must have altered their world entirely. At the moment those words were spoken to them, the transformation from child like innocence to a world where their self-esteem and their joy has been replaced with self-doubt and sadness must be unfathomable. And where do they hear these words? From those they trust and love and those who are suppose to provide security and nurturing, and being said by these people, those words must be the truth.

Tell a child they are useless enough times and they stop feeling. Some will be so effected by these words that they will cut themselves knowing that the pain of a wound is softer than the pain they hold onto inside. Some tell me that cutting is the only way they can feel anything. That the pain makes them feel human. Others will follow a path of self-destruction and make the ultimate choice of suicide. And some will carry the scars of those words on their spirit, stifling the gifts and talents they were given at birth. Drug and alcohol abuse, existing in relationships centering on violent abuse, gang affiliations or just living a life cycling these words daily and wondering why.

Why do people cut? There are as many reasons as there are cutters, but there are some common reasons such as:

  • To let out emotions

  • To feel alive, and know that they are not dead

  • To make the feelings of numbness go away

  • To feel in control

  • They feel they deserve to be punished

Be careful with your words. They are the most powerful tool you own, either as a weapon for defeat or as an instrument for growth.

Sweet Child

Maryanne Pale; Poetic Inspirations and more

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She sat in silence, her head bowed low, her long, black hair cascading onto the table. The room became silent. Very silent.

I miss him. My dad.” She said, barely audible, her voice cracking. “I hate him for leaving me but I want to get to know him also. I don’t know why, but I do. I accidentally ran into him while shopping and I went to him, hoping he would smile and hug me. But he didn’t. He just said “Hi” and kept on walking. He didn’t even turn to look at me.”

How did you handle that?” I asked.

Oh, it didn’t bother me. I just turned numb and thought “What the hell.” Later on I did cry.”

Later on, she did more than just cry. If you do not know what a “cutter” is, I will tell you. A cutter is someone who casts out, temporarily at least, the emotional pain by exchanging it for physical pain. I have seen too many scarred arms and legs to know this is not uncommon and this self hurt method terrifies me. Most of this pain, or at least with those youth I talk with, is caused by mothers or fathers who have placed a higher importance on their own issues, rather than those of their children. Those parents who ignore the needs of security, of love and connectedness that these kids so desperately crave and deserve.

Alcohol and drug use runs rampant here. With domestic and sexual abuse a close second. For many of these youth, these events becomes the cyclic reality that is carried over, generation to generation.

My dad left when I was born and I have never seen him.” Another young lady shared with me.

My mom still talks about him and she told me he is dying of cancer. I would really like to see him before he dies.” She is beginning to get that watery, thousand yard stare. I am wondering where she will take this.

All us kids have different fathers but I live with grandma. She protects me and I can talk to her. But she is 91 and when she dies, my world will change. She can’t protect me anymore. ” She looks at me, wondering where I will take that.

Never tell anyone that you love them, unless you really mean it.” She continues, the tears beginning to cloud her vision.

She, a cutter also. Where does one go when the pain becomes so overwhelming? And how does one get to where these kids realize that there is an outlet where they can speak and let flow all that shit they keep bottled up, waiting to explode onto a razor?

Another youth, a young man, sits uneasily, fidgeting in his seat, listening to his peers talk about their pain. This one is quiet. As he sits, hearing those appalling stories, I observe that this pain he is holding onto is slowly coming to the surface. Quietly rising within, approaching and surfacing within his eyes. His face has flushed to a pasty scarlet, his eyes blurred, but he does not speak…. yet. In time, once the trust has been laid out before him, he may open himself up and his pain will flow like those of his peers. I do hope so.

I am learning that to have someone listen to their words is very important to them.

Healing the Hurt Within: Understand Self-injury and Self-harm, and Heal the Emotional Wounds

(I reposted as during a clean up….I hit the wrong button and this disappeared)…technology challenged????…damned straight.

From the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation….Support a great company

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