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Emma Offline
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Question Just confused. - August 25th 2009, 05:22 AM

Okay so this is going to be long but I'd appreciate your opinions...

Honestly, I think most of the kids on here and who cut in general do it for attention. I'm sorry if you disagree or whatever and I know not everyone is just looking for attention but every person I've ever met who cuts does it so obviously for attention, myself included, and that's what I'm probably basing this idea off of.

I've been cutting for two years now and I really can't remember what just influenced me to start or why I did it, other than for attention. The only person who even noticed what I was doing was Jack who is just a completely normal guy I go to school with. We weren't even friends. At this point I had a little crush on him but I definately did not start cutting for him to notice or expect him to even notice. One day in gym he just kind of discreetly pulls me aside and confronts me about it. I just admitted it and instead of making fun of me, he told me a secret of his own. After this, Jack's attention was why I was cutting and I know "That's stupid, selfish and I'm taking attention away from kids who 'really need it.'" and so on but I did it for a year and a half anyway. He's always so helpful about it and acts like he genuinely is happy for me when I tell him I've gone a few days without cutting or something.

Now here's what I'm confused about; it's always been an attention thing for me so I figured I can just stop whenever I want. Recently I feel like it's annoying for Jack to talk about my cutting so I was like "I'll just stop." And as far as Jack knows, I haven't cut in two months. The truth is I'm still cutting and I don't know why. I mean it was definately for Jack's attention and I could stop now but I don't for some reason. And I keep lying to him saying that I'm done with it.

So right now I'm still cutting but not for his attention and not for anyone else's either because I never wanted anyone to know except Jack and I still don't. I hide it really well. I don't cut my arms because it's too noticeable in the summer, just my hips and thighs mostly because I can hide it completely there.

My question, why am I still cutting? If it's not for Jack's or anyone else's attention anymore and I don't feel like I need it then why don't I just stop? Anyone have any ideas? I'm just a little confused. Any advice/answers are appreciated.

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Re: Just confused. - August 25th 2009, 12:55 PM

Hi Emma

Ok, I wanted to address your first point about people cutting for attention. I am just wondering how you know everyone you have met who cuts is attention seeking? Sometimes it can seem that way to other people when in fact it isnt that way at all to the person doing it. I know lots of teens who cut and not for attention; myself included. Many people who self harm are actually the opposite and go to extreme lengths to hide their self harm. Of course there are probably some people who do want some attention but that is still just as important; if somebody needs a bit more attention so badly they will harm themselves then I think we should be looking at why that is rather than judging them on it.

I think that if you have been cutting for two years then it is going to be hard to stop, no matter what your reasons for doing it are. It seems to be you started cutting so people would notice you and then when somebody [Jack] did notice, you liked the attention and felt good when he complimented you on going without cutting for a few days. Even if that wasnt the reason you started in the first place, it can be normal for motives to self harm to change. I don't think its stupid or selfish of you to cut for Jack's attention; I think you need help just as much as anyone else who cuts. Its normal for people to want compliments and feel like they have achieved something so it makes sense to me, maybe your self esteem was a little low? It seems to have become a habit and an addiction now though? Self harm can be very addicting because of the hormones it releases as a natural pain relief. Lots of people who self harm and seem to have "no reason" for it are addicted to the feeling and motion of self harm. When you get used to coping a certain way for a long time it can be hard to change those habits.

You have done really well though to admit all this and try and think of how you can stop. I think it might help if you had some support to stop the cutting; do you have somebody you can talk to about things? It could be anyone from a family member to a friend to a teacher. It might be a good idea to tell Jack about it all because it sounds to me like he was very supportive to you and he would probably want to help you stop completely. If you feel like you have nobody to talk to however, there is always helplines that you can call or you could visit your GP and get a referral for councelling. In the meantime, if you feel the urge to self harm you might want to check out our [self harm alternatives thread].

Take care,

PM // VM
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Re: Just confused. - August 25th 2009, 10:26 PM

hey girl! so my best friend cuts, or used to, so i know all about this. she sees a therapist and that therapist has helped a LOT... your right, theres no point in putting your body and mind through that because it just just unhealthy. i know youve kept it a secret for a long time but i think if you tell your parents they would still love you no matter what. and its better comming from you than them finding out on their own, you know? if you are serious about stopping (which is what is best i promise you) then you should see a theripist or if your not comfterable telling your parents yet, a school councler would help too and if you ask the councler to not tell your parents, by law i think they cant unless it means life or death in which case the would contact the police. but because this isnt, you shouldnt have to worry! throw away all of the things you cut with and trim your fingernails so you dont find yourself scratching. its hard to stop, i know it. it could take a few weeks but once you are seriouslly done you will feel so much better with yourself. your profile says you are 14 which means you started cutting at age 12, thats so young! and you still are young, 14 is a great age. join clubs at school, hang out with friends, be a safe teenager!! its never to late, and when you're a grown up and look at your teenage years you will want to remember the good times, not that you spent your time cutting. good luck =] and if you EVER need someone to talk to, you've got me =]
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Re: Just confused. - August 25th 2009, 11:10 PM

Hey Em,

Not everyone cuts for a reason and generally most of the people I know who cut or have cut in the past are pretty ashamed of it and don't like speaking about it too openly. Maybe you started self-harming for attention but not everyone you come across is self-harming for that reason.

Em, self-harm is an addiction and you may have started self-harming looking for attention and once you got attention from Jack and because you liked him you continued and he continued giving you attention. Now you're finding it hard to stop self-harming because you're not addicted even if you don't have a particular reason to be self-harming you're addicted to doing it so you continue the cycle. I think you should be honest with Jack and let him know you're still self-harming and maybe he'll be able to get some help for you and continue supporting you in the ways he has been.
Good luck Em, Paige.
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Re: Just confused. - August 26th 2009, 02:55 AM

Hello Emma. First I just wanted to say welcome to TeenHelp!
I know you had mentioned that you think everyone cuts for attention, and that you know people won't agree with it, and that's fine. Everyone has their rights to their own opinions. My opinion is that some people cut for attention, while most do it because its their own sense of control (including me). But I also think people do it for attention in a way that is descreet, like it is basically a cry for help, not just because they want to get noticed. Its a silent cry for help, or at least I think so for some people. Again, not everyone.
Anyway. I think that you are still self-harming because it has become something that you are used to doing and its become sort of routine, if you will. Even though you don't want to do it anymore and you think that you don't need to do it for Jack's attention anymore, something inside of you still wants to do it. Maybe for more attention? I don't know. Maybe because other things in your life are stressful/hard and you are turning to something that you are used to doing to yourself? Possibly. I can't say anything for sure because I do not know your situation other then what you have told us.
Good luck.
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Re: Just confused. - August 27th 2009, 04:39 AM

People here have various reasons for cutting, and have been through various things. Don't assume those things until you get to know people individually. Some people here are amazing and can be an inspiration, and don't come on for attention. I really dislike when people say that. But it's my opinion, just as you stated your own.

There is always hope. PM me anytime.
SH Free since 10.20.08
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Re: Just confused. - September 9th 2009, 03:17 AM

girll.. i can kind of relate. i try not to tell my friends anything but i do sometimes and i feel like im bugging them so i dnt talk to them about anything and tell them im fine. honestly i'd tell u to keep talking to them b/c thats what friends r for, as true as that is.. im a hypocrite.

that didnt really help, but i just wanted to let u kno, i can relate too <3
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Re: Just confused. - September 11th 2009, 09:04 PM

First of all, I may be rude for saying this...but I absolutely HATE when people cut for attention, becuase then everyboyd else assumes everybody who does it does it for attention! Sorry I just had to say that. But it's because you're addicted. Haven't you read most of people's posts? It's addictive and it feels impossible to quit. I'm sorry.
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