My Vice

Dear Butch,

I think everyone is allowed one vice in their life at a certain point of time.  While most would argue that this is not a healthy, sane, or logical belief; it is mine and I stand by it.  You have asked me to recently give up my one and only vice and I am struggling your request.

I am a cutter.  Not of paper or of flowers (although I do enjoy both), but a cutter of my skin.  I believe the political correct term is “Self-Injury”.  My vice is my addiction, twenty years in the making.  And let me remind you, I do not cut for attention or in an attempt to end my life.  Some people chain smoke, I chain cut.

I first cut two decades ago while attending my first funeral.  A small accidental scrape with a nail at my cousins funeral, my cousin who committed suicide.  Yes, my first experience with a death in the family was a sixteen year old boy who ended his young life by jumping off a very tall structure.  We were very close, an older brother figure who introduced me to grunge rock and taught me how to skip rocks.  I didn’t know how to deal with the sadness I felt after his death, my heart felt numb.  The nail was sharp and there was blood, but I did not cry.  Instead of pain there was this amazing release that went though my body and I finally was able to feel.

Time passed and a small nail became a razor.  A scrape became a five-inch scar.  An accident became a craving.  The incident would be later described by my therapist as my “Self-Injury Root”.

I don’t how it got to this point.  I had an amazing childhood with two loving parents.  I did well thought my entire school career.  I had and still have many supportive friends.  I am successful in my occupation.  I contribute to my community and the organizations I am so passionate about.  Yet I struggle with an addiction that is not accepted by main stream society.

And now you walk into my life and ask me to face my addiction.  You ask me to stop a behavior that has gotten me through heartbreak, rejection, and extreme stress.

You may be asking for too much.




3 thoughts on “My Vice

  1. I left a message through twitter, not sure if you got it. But as someone who has known and loved a self harmer I understand. I hope through love and trust you can find a way to abandon this form of anxiety reduction. How about rough sex with your butch? 😉 Take care of yourself and and don’t mark up what I am sure is a beautiful femme body.

  2. I wish I had some sort of wonderful inspirational comment. I don’t. I’ve had people of my past present me with the same expectation, it really is too much to ask. With that said I guess one day I presented myself with the expectation, which worked out pretty well. But….we all have vices, more often than not they are harmful to our bodies in some way or another. Who is to say that a scab and a scar are worse than shitty lungs or a shitty liver? Getting rid of a vice only means you’ll most likely need to replace it with a new vice, chances are the replacement vice won’t be knitting cute mittens anytime you’re not doing so hot… So enjoy your life, vices and all 🙂

  3. reminds me of kate bornstein’s 1001 alternatives to suicide book. a good life is about harm reduction as harm elimination is unrealistic, and hell, cutting isn’t the worst thing you could do. As a counsellor and eventual psychologist, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

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