June 15, 2011
Female (Age 18)
Q: I’m a lesbian, and I’m Christian. Though I’ve always supported gay rights, I recently came out and have been struggling a lot in making these 2 huge aspects of my life work together. I got to a very dark place and started engaging in self-injury; I was cutting myself to try to deal with the pain. It helped (a lot), but when one of my teachers found out she spoke to me about it at length and got me help and I stopped doing about 4 months ago and haven’t done it since. Lately, I’ve been having thoughts about it again. It takes effort for me to put a knife or scissors or a paper clip back down after holding it in my hand, even if I was using it for its intended use and not for hurting myself. I haven’t acted on these feelings, but I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to hold on without falling back into this trap. What do I do?
A: Dear Don’t Fall Into the Trap,
Good for you for Writing,
Maybe you should go back to where you got help the last time as soon as possible. Or talk to the teacher that helped you. It’s a good starting place. But you need to stick with it. The pain you are feeling on the inside doesn’t really go away when you cut, that’s your brain playing a trick on you. But you are a smart, smart girl and you won’t be tricked any more. So, let’s get real. When you hurt, you need to heal. Healing is a gentle, loving thing. And as a Christian, I am sure you know that G-d’s loving arms do not cut or scrap causing you to bleed. G-d is holding you in a warm embrace waiting for you to love and accept yourself. Go talk with someone as soon as you can. And don’t hurt yourself anymore. Love yourself.