by Ted L Glines
On one of the poetry Websites there are a number of teen poets who also happen to be abused by parents or foster parents. Their poems reflect their abuses as if writing about it, and sharing, is some sort of catharsis for them. Being an older man, I remain amazed that they trust me. Teens have a problem with trusting adults, under the best of circumstances. At any rate, several of these teens practice this thing called “cutting” -- something which I have never understood until now. On this special Website, last night, I read a poem by one of the teens. It was about cutting. It was graphic and I knew it was real. The poem was very well written and I said so in the comment. But I added that I wished that someone who knew would email and explain to me what cutting was all about, and I went on to say that I thought the lofty explanations of psychologists, therapists, counselors, and other paper-pushers, were worthless. This morning, I received an email from the teenaged girl who had written the poem. I have not edited it nor corrected her English usage. Here is what she said:
“you said you wished some one would email you on the lure of cutting well im that person Cutting to me at first just seemed stupid but one night i got really really mad and didnt even think about it and just sorta took a knife and cut my wrist after that i felt relief calm even it seemed that everything went away for a while
“and when i felt that i liked i hadnt felt calm in a while i had been going through so many things at that time i liked thte feeling
“i was in control i could stop it at any time i wanted to i didnt have to feel that pain i was in control for once in my life. it got worse cutting became addicting for me i was doing it every day i thought that it was my only way to live no one had seen my wrist for about 2 months i hide it very well until one day i cut justa little to deep my mom found my in my room on the floor i was out of it i had passed out i tried to commet suicied and i couldnt even do that right.but she called an ambulance they took my to the hospital i had to have a blood transfusion they stiched up my wrist and then sent me to a rehab facilty i was there for almost a year and i am a little better but not much i still cut but not like i used to but i found writting helps a lot but i hope i helped.” ~Young Female Teen Cutter
You do not have to read between the lines to feel the hurt in what she said. Reading this, expressing it the way she did, would tear you up if you were an empath. Needless to say (all the bad English to the contrary), the young lady is a very good poet (and her poems would pass an English exam). That tiny tag end, “i hope i helped,” says a volume about her character and nature.
Yes, I did respond back, thanking her for helping me to understand. And, yes, I did give her my standard thing about suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and I did tell her that a day would come when she would be very happy to be alive -- because bad situations would be survived and left behind as she moved on in life. Beyond this, I did not lecture her. I simply thanked her again for explaining cutting to me, and I let it go.
But I will be watching for her new poems, reading them and commenting, leaving positive notes, or ways to look at bad situations in a positive light. I am sure she will not OD on a bit of positive mental attitude (PMA), and every now and then, a chuckle may be useful. Isn't it always!