A few days ago a friend of mine asked me why I hurt myself so much. I’ve never really thought of this in-depth, but it kind of peaked my interest. I intentionally hurt myself using many different mechanisms. Cutting was my biggest for a really long time. Cutting, for me, is like releasing a ball of energy that has been silently stored inside of me. It gives me a way to feel again. I started cutting when I was very young. The youngest I can remember, I was about 4 or 5. My cousin and I decided to see who could cut the other deepest, with a piece of glass, before one of us started crying. I, being the oldest, went first. My cousin cut a gash so deep into my leg I should have gotten stitches. I didn’t cry. It was at that moment that I realized how numb to life I really was and watching the blood rush out was like a drug. I became addicted. After that it became a way to feel, a way to let myself know that I was alive. It has become a coping mechanism that lets me stay connected with the world in a way that is not so painful. The need for this has slightly subsided and I have found other ways to help myself, but this has always been the most effective way to feel and know that I’m alive. Another self-injurious “habit” of mine is hitting and/or biting myself. This isn’t just the typical run into the wall to make sure I’m still here activities. This is much, much deeper. I used to do it a lot more than I do now but. as of late, I’ve noticed that I’ve subconsciously picked it back up. Growing up in an abusive home, the fist was an indication of love. I think that somewhere in my mind I still believe this. It is in times when I am missing my mom or seeking her love that I hit myself the most. I miss it. As strange, and absurd, as it sounds I miss being beaten. Being hit was a much more comfortable love than the soft, tender, mushy, gushy love normal people offer. Even still I find this to be true, at times. When I start to feel insecure I notice the intensity of my abuse increases. It is a self-soothing mechanism. It’s a familiar piece of my puzzle. It also acts as a release of anger and punishment. Both of these mechanisms do, but more so the hitting. Anger was a big piece of my life growing up. The adults didn’t know how to release their anger in healthy ways thus leaving my siblings and I as the targets. It didn’t really matter what they were angry about they just needed a punching bag. When I am angry, I don’t really know what else to do. I have a punching bag of my own but it isn’t effective in letting go of the anger. It helps but the effectiveness of it is minimal. Hitting myself out of anger comes from a deep, deep seed of anger towards myself. It never lies with the initial issue, instead the present issue reaches all the way back into the darkest of my skeletons and brings it forth, leaving me with an overwhelming amount of anger and shame. Knowing abuse as a release of anger, that is what my brain and body turn to and use. I am in the process of learning to deal with that anger in other, more healthy ways. It isn’t going as quickly as I’d like but that is the power of life. Rome wasn’t built in a day and unfortunately the walls and walls of anger wont come down in a day. So, these are a few of the reasons I injure myself. Anger and the desire to feel alive, the need to come more directly into consciousness rather than staying completely shut down in this world, and because it is how I cope.