I have been asked quite a lot about why I used to cut and what led me to it. I share with you an excerpt from an email I sent to a close friend.
When we met I was already cutting. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t really “dead” and in actuality, I was indeed living in Hell on Earth. I started out making “points” on my skin of the constellation Orion (The Hunter) with a sharp pencil. As an astronomy geek, I knew that Orion can be seen from anywhere in the world, and that comforted me, something constant in my fucked up life. Dotting and tracing wasn’t exactly cutting, so I guess that doesn’t count. A bobby pin was my first instrument of choice. I broke it in half and removed the protective coating that makes it dull. Then I would use a Swiss army knife, cutting characters onto my thighs. I then progressed to the elusive box cutter. I would cut “Samurai” in Kanji (Japanese) on my left thigh and on my right, “Warrior” in Chinese characters. Kanji was easier, 3 cuts, Warrior took time. It made me feel in control and in some way, having Samurai Warrior inscribed in my skin was more like an act of affirmation rather than self-injury, staring at it in the middle of night, terrified to go back to sleep because of recurring nightmares that would make any modern day scary movie look like a cartoon. In the morning I would lie on my bed, with my legs propped up so it would be looking back at me. Sometimes I would recut, bleeding and repeating it to myself until I believed it, and that I could leave my room and face the outside, this war zone, a world I knew from a very young age was not safe and I had lacked the weapons to survive. I would stand in the shower and look at those two words trying to feel that I was that…and I would watch the blood from “Samurai Warrior” flow down and mix with the water. The cuts made my whole body burn. I would feel it underneath my clothes. I was numb. I was dead; a walking corpse. Blade to skin was the only way I could check to see if I was still alive.