Cutting is my other secret. It came out in the eating email. It wasn’t meant to, but it did. I started cutting when I was around 14, and it wasn’t something that was widely understood or talked about then. It is much better understood today. Cutting is not an attempt at suicide. It is a coping behavior. For more information, click here.
In the email I sent about my eating behaviors, I credited my reasons for quitting purging to “I started cutting again”. It was in a draft, and that sentence was meant to be deleted. Imagine my surprise when Bea sent me a simple email in addition to understanding my eating struggles and questions about eating, in which she requested, “Tell me about the cutting”. I can still feel the sick sense of dread now, just thinking about it.
CRAP. Is all I could think. How does she know? I had to go back and read what I sent. I felt like kicking myself when I realized I had not deleted that one sentence. Then the panic started. What to tell her? Cutting was mine! It was meant to be my secret, my back up plan, my fail-safe. Now, someone knew.
Cutting as an adult feels very shameful. Cutting seems as though it is a teen girl illness. It feels like something I should have outgrown. And yet, I haven’t. Of course, how do you outgrow something if you have never learned new coping mechanisms? Oh, I learned to stop leaving scars. My parents paid for plastic surgery when I was 16. I knew I could never disappoint them and ruin what they restored to perfection. So I am careful. Being careful means I’m much less likely to be caught, as well.
I finally tell Bea that cutting feels like throwing up, it feels like relief, except better because I don’t have to eat.