It appears I was wrong about the cutting ... need advice

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Starting a new thread becasue when it rains it pours.

    difficult child made a big deal about cutting in high school, but didn't actually cut. She only scraped her armonce when confronted about lying about the cutting. therapist at the time said she didn't fit the profile, saying cutters are pretty secretive about cutting and difficult child was actaully bragging about it.

    Anyway, fast forward 3 years. She posted about cutting on Tmblr and i assumed it was the same old/same onld (the cutting posts have been off and on since HS).

    She told me yesterday she was cutting "a little" and said that one of her tattoos was thre to hide the scars. She didn't offer to show me and I sensed I shouldn't ask at teh time. It was big enough that she told me. I feel horrible for dismissing the recent signs.

    Talked to DEX this morning and he said his girlfriend did see the cuts.

    Now I'm putting all sorts of things together. There are about 6 razors in the shower. She died her hair bright orange recently, so when I found about 10 badly stained (white) hand towels, I thought it was becasue of the hair dye. Now I'm not sure if it was blood? A combination? It looked like it could be either.

    I took the razors out of the shower and locked up the unused ones from the cabinet. Is this the right thing to do? I know they'll cut with other things, but It seems like madness to leave these out.

    She's seeking help and I am glad about that, but what to I do in the meantime?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    We hid all the razors, (including the ones in the toolbox) and kept access to the kitchen difficult child began "cutting" with pens, pencils, paperclips - you name it.

    If your daughter is truly determined to hurt herself....she will use what she can get her hands on.

    I found the biggest factor in my difficult children cutting was the people she surrounded herself with. She and her friends DID brag about it. They DID share all the lurid details online. They wrote poems and songs about pain and bleeding. And when I blocked difficult child's access to the internet - the cutting subsided. These days she pulls out her hair instead (not great - but not as scary as cutting).

    I think the bigger worry is the "cutting support" your daughter finds online - rather than access to razors. Is there any way you can get her away from those influences?
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I know she's on a Cutting forum on Tumblr. Had no idea there was a community of cutting "support" ... I guess I'm just stupid enough to have thought she may have been seeking out help to stop.

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't want to sound cold hearted, but given her past on this? I'd ask to see those scars myself. And at least with Nichole, it wasn't too difficult to tell a deliberate cut scar from an injury scar.

    Given she's done it before as an attention getting tool (or to fit in, be cool, whatever) odds are higher she's still doing it for that reason. Maybe she's upped it a bit and is actually cutting, Maybe not. Personally, even if I was a cutter, the last thing I'd pick to do it would be a razor because not only does it hurt like hades immediately, that pain does NOT go away for some time. And I just checked with Nichole who has used literally everything under the sun to cut, and she never did the razor for the same reason. (and we're talking a girl who did deep massive carvings here)

    And a true cutter usually will NOT leave evidence of cutting lying around because they're ashamed of it. Not mention hiding areas they cut. They don't want found out and they don't want their objects taken away.

    So, I'm not saying she isn't cutting. I don't know that. But I'm saying it's not necessarily ringing true here, not unless it's cutting for attention......which is a whole other ballgame of cutting. So I wouldn't go into panic mode just yet. I'd stay in assessing the situation mode instead and take it from there.

  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree with this.

    Cutters will brag and share with other Cutters - but will hide it from other people. It's a secretive behavior - BUT one can find anything online these days.... For my difficult child - it was much worse when she was involved with groups of people that shared her issues.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh dash I'm sorry. I have no experience with this (it's about the only thing I haven't been through with difficult child) so all I can offer is my support. I know you will do whatever it takes to get her help. Our difficult child's will try any risky behavior that makes them feel alive. I would have to say I'm sure my difficult child would be into cutting also if she didn't have alcohol, drugs and sex to concentrate on.

    I do think you were right to hide the razors. Of course she will find other things if she wants but why have the temptation in front of her. I would be worried about the online group just because I don't think our difficult child's go online for help, it almost feeds their behavior to read about it. Are you calling her therapist? Why didn't dex's girlfriend tell him about the cuts so he could tell you and get her help?

  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    It is a strange new world, indeed. I talked to her today and she showed me the scars. They are mostly fairly surface cuts, but I worry abou the progression. Despite her history, this doesn't seemto be an attention-seeking thing .. at least not now.

    I am not calling therapist, becasue difficult child is telling me she's being honest. I'm givnig her the space and time to prove that to be true.

    As to DEX's girlfriend's the whole Ostrich thing at play, I'm afraid. He said today that he wants her to go to our famly practice doctor for AD's. I thold him she needs a psychiatrist. He just doesn't see it that way. It would be WAAAYYYY too much reality for him to handle. I just hope and pray she listens to therapist (who I KNOW will recommend psychiatrist) and not her dad.

    Serenity Prayer time....
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dash, I am a reformed cutter who is subject to relapse at anytime. It is somewhat like alcoholism. I cannot say that it will never come back. I work hard on just not doing it day by day. I hope I can get through today and tomorrow will take care of itself. So far it has been about 4 years since I cut. I never cut deeply either. I have seen people who actually cut to the bone and I dont think I could do that. Mine are all on my arms and I didnt hide them except with band aids or long sleeved shirts. It got to the point when I was in therapy that any time I went in there with some much as a scratch on my arm I had to explain it fully. That was tough too because I have thin skin and even knocking into things make me bleed.

    I used all kinds of things to cut. I used the tops of cans that were taken off with a can opener, I used finger nail clippers, I used broken lightbulbs, lord, I used anything that had a sharp edge. I have the word "hate" carved into my right arm which by now is fairly light now but when I get any sort of tan or even my skin gets whiter like when I was in the hospital with meningitis, the words were so visible it was like a tattoo. I know its there so I can see it all the time. Tony knows its there so he can see it too. I keep hoping the puppies scratches will make it go away because they are tearing my arms to smithereens with their sharp little claws.

    One other thing to look for with cutting is for her to pick at the scabs so that they dont heal. Thats a form of keeping the mutilation alive. If she really wants to cut, suggest red wax dripped on her skin which she can then peel off the skin. Or henna tattoos.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with hound for the most part, as your daughter sounds a lot like mine when she said she was cutting (or trying to fit in with the current trend of cutting). Ask to see the hidden scars, can't hurt to ask.

    You're right to hide all the sharp objects, but I do not think you should badger her or ask too many questions. Let her work it out with her therapist. The more attention you give her over it, the more likely it will be that her cutting will come to fruition-IF she is just attention seeking. If she's not just attention seeking? Her therapist will work with her to get past it.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    The red wax and henna tats are a good idea. We gave Nichole markers when she was still let her express what she was feeling, just not in a permanent painful way. It didn't stop it, but it did help some to redirect it and show her other ways of expressing her feelings.

    Often a true cutter doesn't have a way to express themselves. Either they don't feel safe to do so, or they can't find the words to do they cut. Nichole still has those intense emotional times when the temptation rears it's ugly head once again, but 99.9 percent of the time she's either able to express it to someone or get it out some other way. She's even gotten tats once or twice that I know of in order to resist the urge to cut.