I’m not sure how it happened. I think I was around 13 years old when I injured my wrist. The next thing I knew I was taking the same wrist and banging it on my little red desk. Even though it hurt, I couldn’t seem to stop banging my wrist on the little red desk.
I went through a phase of self harm. I’m not really sure why I was compelled to cause my self injury and pain? There was something in me that needed to feel that pain.
Looking back, I’m sure it had something to do with feeling invisible to her.
The phase of self injury that I lived through as a child was short-lived. But it was not completely finished either.
Fast forward 20 years. I had been getting tattoos from the age of 28. When I was in my mid 30s, I was feeling invisible to the world. And so I brought home a syringe and hypodermic needle to tattoo myself. Tattooing myself caused pain that was deeper than the tattoo gun and somehow it was also more satisfying.
I was living through a lot of emotional turmoil, dealing with a child who was falling apart, dealing with my own world unraveling into drunkenness.
It didn’t take too long to go from tattooing myself with a syringe and a hypodermic needle to bringing home a sharp razor blade, cutting designs into my skin, then rubbing black ink into the designs, rationalizing to myself that it was art, when really I was probably just trying to cope with the ongoing pain in my life.
These were the years before I knew Jesus.
When I gave my life to Jesus in 2005, the self injury stopped. But I confess I have a compulsive need to pick at wounds that I get on my body. I struggle with keeping my fingers off of scabs. It doesn’t seem to matter how deep the scars become, the pain that I feel, the amount of bleeding that I cause.
I know I’m not the only person in the world who struggles with these things. I know that I am a new creation. I know that I am being changed every day because my Savior lives.
If you struggle with this sort of thing, I want you to know that you are not alone. You. Are. Not. Alone. Jesus understands. That’s why he came. To know our pain.
He is making my life new again. He will make your life new again too. All you need to do is call out to him. Wherever you are. Whoever you are. Call on the name of Jesus and be saved!