This place matters

This place matters

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Noisy desparation

I wrote a post about this over the weekend, then decided I hadn't quite done it justice and took it down. I'm not sure if I'll do it justice this time either.
I want to talk about self-injury. As I mentioned in this post,  the term emo, a slang term descended from emocore, a music genre, can also refer to someone who cuts herself.
Emo's a new thing that teenage girls do for attention, right? 
Despite what folks believe, self-injury is nothing new. It's a symptom of just about every major mental illness, although cutting seems to have gotten more popular these days. Among both boys and girls, I assure you. Far more common are things like head smacking and wrist-banging, habits that leave considerably less evidence, but are arguably more hazardous to the health. And actually, I'm not sure cutting is all that much more popular. I think it's possible that a person or two stopped being ashamed of their scars, and before long, self-injurers began shedding the pounds of concealing clothing, not letting their illness control what they wore anymore.
I kind of used to think that folks who were open about their self injury were maybe just showing off a little. Going for attention. And then I realized that it's possible I felt that way because seeing people who were comfortable with who they were made me feel uncomfortable. 
And I'll tell you this. Nobody self-injures for attention. People might self-injure and enjoy the attention they get from it, but there's always something underneath it. Folks without serious problems will learn to tap dance if they want attention so badly. 
People always say that self-injury is a cry for attention. And if it is, doesn't that indicate that the injurer really, really needs some kind of attention? I mean, I've known people who self-injured who milked it for every ounce of attention they could get. But I've never known a self-injurer who didn't have something terrible to cut over.
And another thing. They say that failed suicide attempts are nothing but a cry for help. If someone's crying for help that loudly, wouldn't it be a good idea to, you know, help them?
I guess what I'm saying is the world would probably be better if people spent less time coming up with ways to dismiss folks with problems and more time helping them. Us.


Anonymous said...

See my other comment about this topic. :^| TY

Bonnie Jacobs said...

You are on my mind today. Take care of yourself. What can I do that would be helpful? If this is a cry for help, I'm willing to listen and even share my phone number by email (if you'll write to me): emerging DOT paradigm AT yahoo DOT com