Today we’re talking about self-harm and in particular, cutting. In the last 10 years, it appears that cutting has increasingly become a coping mechanism for adolescents. My guest, Stephanie grew up in a troubled environment with a mom who was a prostitute and a father, her pimp. By eleven years old, both of her parents had passed away. She started cutting at just 8 years old as a means to cope with all of the trauma in her life.
Stephanie tells us what prompted her to start cutting, drinking, smoking and having sex. At the tender age of 8, her older sister told Stephanie the truth about her parent’s past. At age 9, Stephanie witnessed her mother doing cocaine right in front of her which pushed her to rebel. She recalls that the first time she cut herself was just after her mother relapsed. “I lost my best friend–that was my mom–and I was watching her deteriorate, literally. I was alone and I wanted to die. I didn’t want to watch my mom die. So in a way I was cutting for my suffering and her suffering.”
On why she would cut, she explains, “That was my way of releasing my pain. Whenever I felt any type of bad emotion wether it was anger, or sadness, or regret, I would cut.”
She tells us what happened between 9 and 11 years old when her mother died. In his efforts to stay hidden from the police, her father would drop her off at different homeless shelters and eventually gave her to her aunt. At her aunt’s house is where she found out that her mother had died. And that’s when Stephanie became suicidal. She put herself in dangerous situations, hoping something bad would happen to her.
Eventually, she was placed in a mental hospital for her cutting and acts of self-hate. She was addicted to the pain of cutting and the sight of her blood dripping. Stephanie says, “It was the only thing that made me feel anything.”
Stephanie’s cutting escalated until she was 15 years old. She talks about the turning point–when she laid down outside and looked up to the sky, reflecting. She decided, “My past is not going to make me who I am.” After that, she begun to get straight A’s in class. She realized that anyone can do anything, “Just because you didn’t come from a good family or you had a bad past, does not mean that you have to follow that same path.”
Stefanie is in a great place in her life today. “When I was young I couldn’t picture myself as being 18, 19 or 20. I thought I would be dead by that time. But I’m here and I’m happy that I didn’t give up on myself.”
When I asked Stefanie who she is today, she replied, “I’m my own role model.”
If you are self-harming in anyway, understand that at the core of it is often self-hatred. I hope that you find a way to love yourself and understand that you are enough, you are important and you are loved. If not by anyone else, certainly by me and all of us at KirstyTV.
To watch our bonus interview where she goes more in depth about overcoming cutting and self-injury, click here: Stop Cutting and Self Harm – How She Overcame Self Hate.
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