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One of the most famous emo stereotypes in the book is that emos cut themselves. While it was a pretty common part of the trend in the beginning, the negativity of the stereotype has thankfully helped for it to die out for the most part.

Not all emos are cutters. In fact, most of them aren’t. However, I know quite a few of them that still do it.

Unfortunately, many original emos who did self harm taught the rest of the people jumping on the bandwagon that it was an acceptable thing to do. Many of them started doing it as part of the trend, not realizing the consequences of their actions, which can be far deeper than just superficial scratch marks. A few emos took it a little too far, which led to suicide.

Popular apparatuses for cutting include: kitchen knives, pocket knives, box cutters, razor blades, safety pins, and scissors. Pretty much any sharp pointy object an emo could get their hands on.

Cutting is actually something I have quite a bit of experience with, as I was a cutter long before emo was even invented. So, for your amusement, here’s my story.

My Story  I started cutting when I was in junior high at the age of 12. One of my best friends turned me on to it. I remember looking at her arm and she had words carved into it. She told me that it didn’t hurt and showed me her grandmother’s diabetic needle, which is what she used to cut with. She had a bunch of them and encouraged me to try it. Like a dumb ass, I did.

She was right, it didn’t hurt. The diabetic needle was designed to cause painless finger pricks. It was so sharp that you didn’t even feel it. All that you saw was the end result. And bleeding was very cool looking.

So, she gave me a bunch of the needles and we spent our lunch breaks carving stuff into ourselves, drawing pictures, writing words. Everyone that saw it thought we were crazy.

It’s all fun and innocent until it turns psychological. One time when I was pissed off I decided to cope with the anger by cutting. I’d cut and then pour salt on it so it would hurt and help distract my mind from the emotional pain that I was feeling.

It didn’t take long before this was the only way I coped with my emotional anguish. No longer satisfied with the painlessness of the diabetic needles, I switched to other cutting apparatuses, mainly kitchen knives and razor blade. I would cut myself repeatedly, usually on my shoulders where the cuts could be concealed by my shirt sleeve. Sometimes I would cut myself close to 100 times, never very deep, just enough to bleed.

My parents eventually found out about it and I was sent to a mental institution. I quickly learned that lying was the only way to get out, so I lied, and of course nothing changed when I was back home. By that point, cutting was the only thing I knew to use to cope with my bad moods . . . and I had A LOT of bad moods, being a hormonally imbalanced teenager and all.

Life goes on, and as I grew older and my body started to settle into adulthood, my bad moods were less and less and so was the cutting. By the time I was 17 I had figured out other ways to deal with bad moods and would only cut when things got REALLY bad.

It’s been about 3 years since I last cut, and I remember the last few times feeling awkward. The cuts were so superficial it was laughable. And as I sat there looking at my arm I wondered how cutting ever helped at all. All it does it create problems, the pain in the ass of having to hide them, the even bigger pain of having to explain when people find out about it, and the itchiness of when they start to heal.

Cutters reminds me a lot of stress eaters. It only helps while you’re doing it. You have to pay for the after effects long after the moment is over.

Some scars don’t ever heal. My arms are a pretty good testament to that. And while I honestly don’t regret doing it, nor the scars that came with it, I do realize that there were certainly better ways to cope with my issues back then. As humans, we always seem to look for the instant gratification method though.

Some people think that cutting is a psychological sickness, and I partially have to agree. Like any addiction, it only becomes that way when you repeat it so much that you hardwire it into your brain. The feeling is certainly unique, and if you’re masochistic, can create quite the euphoric feeling. Before you realize it you don’t know how to get away from doing it.

I definitely don’t recommend cutting to anyone, and in fact discourage it greatly. I just thought I would share the story above to explain how some people get into it, to point out the negative effects it can cause, and that there usually is a light at the end of the tunnel, a point in which people grow out of it and stop doing it.

Statistically speaking, most people grow out of cutting by their mid-twenties.

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