Over the last 15 years I have taken my artist’s brush to my canvas over 160 times, the brush strokes range in height, depth and angle. I preferred to not get medical personnel involved, so most went un-stitched unless forced by a loved one, or in 1/3 emergency room visits, the last of which was a serious wake up call.
I haven’t been asked by others as much as I have asked myself “Why do you cut, self-harm, self-mutilate?” I always knew it was most definitely not about suicide. The explanation that I found most fitting was a line from the 1998 song called Iris by the US band Goo Goo Dolls. “Bleed just to know you’re alive.” For years I rationlised that what I was feeling inside made me feel so dead that to bleed was to know I was alive.
But about a month ago God brought across my path a school teacher and she offered a reason she had heard from one of her students, also a cutter. This girl said that cutting for her is the ultimate statement, saying ‘I will be me, you cannot take this away from me, this is who I am.”
This makes a lot of sense to me in the same way it did her, cutting is standing against being forced into a mould you just cant fit into. But I have since found a just as deep but also different meaning.
It is when I am so deeply connected to something/someone that is taken away, when those emotions are so extreme, such feeling of loss, hurt, betrayal, rejection I am indeed making a statement when I cut, “You cant do anything more to me, I am causing this intense feeling and you cannot take it away. “
I know that all of this has a link to other issues in my life, eating disorder for example. I also know that the more I understand it, it just seems…easier to deal with, easier to handle, lighter to carry.
The sovereignty of God is the one impregnable rock to which the suffering human heart must cling – Margaret Clarkson