Self-Harm Is An Identity
No, I would never want to stop cutting, because this would mean a loss of an identity which took so long to become accustomed to. There was a time when the shame of the act made living even more difficult, and at those times, cutting would become more frequent in order to cope with this negative cycle of shame and despair. I’ve been harming for more than half my life, and only a few years in, I realised that I had to come to terms with the identity of a cutter if the practise itself were to be of any positive, productive use. Now, while others may find my scars disturbing, I wear them as a badge of honour, and with great pride. To those who ask, I say they are a free-form body modification project (which is not entirely untrue), while those who understand, have no need to ask. One lady inquired as to whether they were supposed to be bamboo, as most of my scars lie on a tattooed backdrop of large, black areas down my left arm. That was the most unique question I’ve encountered, but I don’t mind them asking because I have accepted the identity of a cutter, and I won’t ever give that up. I may stop cutting, but I’ll never stop being a cutter.
Person [Male, age 30, began to SI at age 14, Postgraduate Medical Student]