Welcome to what makes me me!

Cutter - I am a cutter. I cut myself in order to get relief from my emotions. I cut when I get really depressed or really angry. I hold everything in until I explode. It helps keep the emotions at a controllable level so I don't get suicidal. Sometimes I go through the day in a dream-like state. Not feeling, not living, just existing. I get relief from cutting. I once described cutting as a "mental orgasm." When the feelings get so overwhelming, I cut and feelings are relieved. Sort of like a teapot. The pressure just builds and builds, until the valve (razor) is used and the steam can escape. It starts to hurt a couple of minutes later. Then I get depressed that I gave in to my temptations. I prefer my razors, but you can easily cut deeper than you wanted. I have used staples, push tacks, safety pins, paper clips, and I learned how to take a disposable razor apart.

Diagnosis - I have been on and off therapy for most of my life. I haven't been since about 2006 until just recently. I have been diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (had to get a hysterectomy at age 31 because of it), ADHD, borderline personality disorder, anxiety unspecified, and major depressive disorder.

Homework from the hospital

Letter of self-compassion

Dear me,

i am worthy of being loved. i am a nice, kind, caring, loving and generous person. i have a big heart. i have brightened the lives of the people i have met. i am always there to listen to anybodyís problem and willing to give advice if requested. i am smart. i am a wonderful Auntie. i am a caring big sister. i am a loving and caring wife. i am a wonderful daughter. i am a compassionate nurse. i have made the last days of numerous peopleís lives better and meaningful because i listened to them, cared about them, and made them feel loved. i became family to several of my residents. i was their advocate, their caregiver, their smile in a depressing place. i deserve to be happy. i deserve to live. i deserve peace in my life and peace in my mind. i will fight this battle and i will conquer these demons.

i should not hurt myself because i have been hurt enough in the past. i should not hurt myself in response to intense/overwhelming emotions because i am learning to regulate them in a healthier manner. i should treat myself and my body with respect. i should not hurt myself because it does not solve the problem. It may seem like it does, but it is only a quick fix. i should not hurt myself because i donít deserve to be punished for having emotions. i should not hurt myself because of the guilt and shame that follows.

Dear father,

i just wanted to say that i did love you when i was a child. But you came back from Korea different. i know my sister and i gained a lot of weight while you were gone, but we were still the children we were before. i remember as a little girl, my sister and i would hide to scare you when you came home. You would yell, ďNow where are my two fat, ugly daughters at?Ē every single day. Did you stop caring about us because we became what you said we were. You called it ďplayingĒ but if you hear it often enough, it becomes a part of you. You called us names, you hit us, you abused us.

After Korea, you didnít want to spend time with us. If you werenít at work, youíd be in your room on the computer. When you were at work one day, i got on the computer and looked through the history. i got scared. You were looking at teenage porn. You had two teens in the house, and you were looking at teenage porn. You were so addicted to the computer that you did not see your two girls were in need of help. Your youngest daughter developed an eating disorder and was on drugs. She was sneaking out at night and skipping classes. i was being bullied and was contemplating suicide. We needed help. i actually carved the word HELP on my arm as a cry for help. Did i get help? No, i got my ass beat. i remember you slapping my face and saying that youíd kill me. You left us. i was 18 and working as a CNA at minimum wage. i had to try to keep mom together. She fell apart and could not work. All she did was stay on the couch and cry. i had to handle the divorce, the house fire, the insurance, everything.

i was already trying my best to raise my younger sister. i got her up in the mornings, fed her, bought what she needed, but i failed her. i was helpless in the fight against her eating disorder and her drug use. i was watching my little sister slowly kill herself. She almost didnít graduate high school because she missed so much school from skipping. i really tried to do everything. i was working 11p-7a, trying to sleep, take care of my sister and mom, and take care of the household stuff. You know mom could not read and write English very well, so i had to take care of any paperwork. i had to file bankruptcy at age 19 because i failed my family. i had to choose utilities and food, or house note and truck note. i voluntary surrendered my truck and we lost the house.

i wish you loved and supported us. i wish you were there when we needed help. i gave you a second change and accepted your Facebook friend request. We chatted and texted. But you could not accept the fact that i would never call you dad again. i called you by your first name on your timeline and you unfriended me for that. Three years later, you sent another Facebook request. This was back in July. Did you know that i tried to kill myself 6 days after i got that request? i donít like to admit how much youíve played a role in my mental health. i gave you a second chance and you blew it. i am not going to give you a third. But i did message you to let you know that i was struggling with suicidial ideations, had tried to kill myself, ended up in the ER, ended up on a psych unit. i told you in that message that you almost lost your daughter, and truth is, you still might lose her. You didnít care, you never replied.

You made me feel worthless, insignificant, like trash, like a piece of shit all my life growing up. Guess what? You were right all along.

Dear mom,

i love you so much. We have such a complex relationship. Growing up, you were such a strict mother. i had to be quiet and behave perfectly. If i didnít, iíd get an ass whipping. i had to do what i was told, no questions asked. i am still struggling with this. i get overwhelmed and agitated in loud environments, and i do exactly what i am told to do by authority figures whether i want to or not.

You were basically my fatherís servant and you made me his servant too.

You had the bar raised so high. If i got a 95, youíd ask, ďWhy not 100?Ē i was never good enough for you.

i learned to be afraid of people. You were so embarrassed because you did not speak English well, that at the mere sight of another person, youíd quickly grab me and pull us inside the house. Stranger danger to the extreme. Ironically it was not a stranger that sexually abused me at age 6 and my sister at age 4. We were abused for 6 years. i have been in and out of therapy all my life. The first time i ever disclosed the abuse was 2 weeks ago. It was the hardest thing i have ever done. i never talked about it because if i didnít talk about it, i could just pretend it never happened. That it was a dream or a movie.

i also learned that it is strictly forbidden to be sad or mad. i could only be happy. Any other emotion would be rewarded with an ass whipping. i carry this with me. If i experience the forbidden emotions like anger and depression, i punished myself for feeling that way and my body would automatically lessen/dampen the emotions as it was trained to do because of the way i was raised.

i also learned conditional love from you. You loved me if and only if i did as i was told. When i was young and upset you, youíd get out the suitcases and threatened to send me to an orphanage. i was so terrified that i wouldnít ever see you again. i was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Wonder where my fear of abandonment came from? Or my emotional dysregulation? When i was older and upset you, youíd give me the cold shoulder for a few days and then act like nothing happened. Sometimes i had no idea what i did to upset you. i got the cold shoulder for 4 days when i cut my hair and you didnít approve. i was in my fucking 20ís.

Things changed after my father came back from Korea. Both of you stopped caring about us. i have guided and protected my sister. But now i had to take over your job as her mother. i had to sacrifice so much to try to keep the family together. i was overwhelmed, i was 12 trying to raise a 10-year-old.

i failed. i could not keep the family together. My father waited until i was 18 to leave use. Now i had to take on more duties. i had to keep you together because you fell apart. i was already raising my sister and now was the sole bread earner. i became to form filler, grass mower, billpayer, grocery shopper, everything. i felt like your mother now and was raising you.

i wish you could have taught me unconditional love, i wish you were proud of me when i did my best, instead of being the best. i wish we could have expressed and talked about our emotions instead of bottling it up.

i have and will always be the peacekeeper. Keeping peace between you and everyone else because of your temper and unconditional love. i am the peacekeeper of the family, but oddly enough, i donít have peace myself.

Good by self-harm,

i am tired of you controlling me. i am tired of always thinking of you as an option. i am tired of finding ways to satisfy you. i am tired of hiding my relationship with you. i am tired of the shame and the guilt. i loved how you helped me regulate my emotions. i was happy with our relationship with you. But now i know that you really held me back. You never allowed me to feel and experience these powerful emotions. i never learned how to handle these emotions in healthy ways. And it has impacted every aspect of my life. i am not used to these emotions, not used to feeling this deeply. Intense anger and sadness are all new to me. i do not like these emotions. My therapist says that since they are so new to me, that they will be powerful at first, but i will slowly get used to the emotions and that it wonít feel so overwhelming. Yesterday was our last meeting. i am officially saying goodbye to you. You will no longer be my crutch. i maybe wobbly in the beginning, but i will learn how to stand on my own.

Dear little girl inside of me,

We need to talk. i know that you are scared and hurt. All you have experienced is pain. You donít deserve it. You should be allowed to experience your emotions. You should not be punished for them. You are not the same little girl you once were. You are a little stronger now. You will continue to grow. i know it will be difficult and at times you will feel overwhelmed. You will have times that you donít think you will make it. But i promise you this, i will do the best i can. i will start treating you with the love, respect, and care you never received. i know that you are scared, but you know what? i am scared too. But i have faith that together we will become stronger.

Dear monsters,

Now it is our turn to talk. First of all, i do want to thank you for being there for me. But it is time for us to go our separate ways. i am scared of how i am going to manage without you, but i believe that i can. i am tired of being scared of my emotions. i am done with the quick fix. i am sick and tired of having these emotions that make me feel like i jumped out of a plane without a parachute. i am equipped with tools that are my parachute. My tools will help me identify and manage my emotions. Monsters, you come in many forms and i didnít realize how bad some of your forms were. But i am not pulling the mask off your alters and seeing you for who you truly are. You are evil, you are no longer in control. i may feel like i am falling at times, but now i have a chute.

Suicidal Ideations


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