I am a 15-year-old with all the normal hormonal ups and downs as every other 15-year-old. I have a few friend that cut themselves, when I first heard them speaking of this I wanted to know why they would do such a terrible thing, they told me that it hurts less than the pain inside of them, and they deserve to be hurt because they are useless and worthless and no body loves them.

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When I told my mom about these people and incidents, we discussed the lives of each person and tried to find the reasons for them doing these things.  The one girl is only a year older than me, and has been sexually active for a very long time. It would seem that her unstable home life, (having a famous father and a mother who was the father’s mistress and does not seem to care what she gets up to) has left her with lots of problems and my friend thinks she needs to buy love. She takes drugs and parties late, has been expelled from a few schools.  This girl has been cutting herself for quite a while.  Her new sister-in-law, also cuts herself, she seems to come from a loving home, but was adopted at birth and tends to cause a lot of trouble by lying about silly things.

Then I found out that a very close family member was also cutting himself, his back ground is: he lived with his mother for 12 years of his life and then his father moved back to SA.  He had a very good relationship with his father all these years and went overseas every holiday to visit.

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He had been seeing a psychologist for many years and hence moved in with his father and the new family soon after they moved back to SA into a very prestigious Estate. Now my younger cousin thinks that his father does not love him anymore because his father works 24/7 to afford their beautiful home.

My life not being perfect, I thought all my problems would be solved by causing myself pain too.

At this point I started cutting myself too. If everyone else is doing it then it must work.  My cousin and I then had something in common; I told him that if he cut himself, I would do it too.  We exchanged MMS to show the self-inflicted damage on our arms, legs and tummies. One day I asked my mother what she would do if I was to cut myself, she said she would firstly rip my head off, bounce it on the floor, put it back on my shoulder and then we would discuss the reason for it, she over-reacts sometime.

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Then the school caught me bleeding from my cuts, called in the welfare and locked me in an institution for two weeks.  They called my mother and told her what I was doing.  My mother sent me flowers immediately, then hired a car and organised accommodation in my town and was with me everyday for two weeks of my hospitalization.  We discussed this problem I was having, our family situation, and other things that were causing me such pain.  I had sessions with the psychiatrist daily and, watched my mom on CCTV while she also spoke to her.  My mom seemed very upset, she was waving her hands around and beating on the table, at times she looked quite hysterical.

Mom then brought me home, and we calmly discussed my self-mutilation and what was going on in my head.  I told my mom that I had tried to tell her that I was cutting myself a while back, but she did not remember, then I reminded her about the discussion when I asked her what she would do if I were to cut myself. She said that was different to actually admitting to the cutting and had not even seen it as a sign. After all this, my mom asked if I had now stopped doing this, and I said I would try.

I went back to school, and about 6 weeks later the school called my mom again. My mom and I had an argument on the phone about MXIT which I was forbidden to use.  My mom was so upset with me that I got very very scared; I could not understand why she kept insisting that I do not go onto MXIT.

I was sure she was going to disown me for disobeying her again with MXIT.  I was so upset that I cut myself as that pain was far less than that of hurting my mom. When the teacher and welfare phoned my mom she screamed at them.  A few days later I was going home for another holiday, I was dreading the confrontation with my mom.  She did say we would discuss this calmly but wow was I nervous.

Anyway, we did not have the opportunity to talk about my self-mutilation for about two days. Mom and I seemed to be getting on very well, we spent lots of time together. On the Saturday night I jumped on my mom’s lap, having forgotten about the previous weekend’s trauma, I asked her how her weekend was.

As I said that I noticed a mark on her arm.

I grabbed her hand, pulled up her jacket and what I saw blew me away.  She has cut her wrists!   I was so shocked, I did not know what to say,  All she said to me when she saw the look on my face was “If you can do it, so can I.”

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In all my life, I did not ever want to hurt my mom, before I do anything so silly again, I will think about how it would affect the people who love me so very much, the people who would die for me.  I now know that my mom will do anything to protect me from myself and anyone who may try to harm me.  Thank you Mommy