This disorder (sometimes called SI
, or self injury
) made its first major public appearance three years ago, when Princess Diana
confessed that the strain of her marriage had caused her to throw herself down the stairs and cut herself with razor
s, pen knives
and lemon slicer
s. One time in an aeroplane she locked herself in the bathroom and spread blood all over the walls. She said, "You have so much pain inside yourself; you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you need help."
actress, compulsive talker and chain smoker
, showed off the traces
on her arms where she had burn
ed herself with lighters
, in a Face
"I'd be upset, so I'd do it and it would calm me down. It's a horrible way to feel better. You can actually faint from the pain. But sometimes the idea of self destruction is very romantic. I got over that. For years I hated myself. I covered the mirrors in my house. I literally couldn't have a mirror in my room."
Christina is soon to start work playing the main role in the film version of Elizabeth Wurtzel
's novel 'Prozac Nation
Wurtzel also self injured. She said she was a "golden girl
" until she turned eleven, when she:
“really cracked up, started hiding in the locker room at school, crying for hours, or walking around the corridors saying, Everything is plastic, we're all gonna die anyway, so why does anything matter? I'd read this phrase in a picture of some graffiti in a magazine article about punk rock, which I decided was definitely a great invention. When I stopped talking, stopped eating, stopped going to school, and started spending my time cutting my legs up with razor blades while listening to dumb rock music like Foreigner on a little Panasonic tape recorder, my parents agreed I needed psychiatric help. ”
, who could be accused of merely being masochistic
got married wearing leather
pants and a white shirt with her groom’s name written on it in her own blood
. After the divorce, she explained the self-inflicted scars
all over her body: "You're young. You're crazy. You have knives.
"This person asked me about cutting myself when they saw a scar. I'm very open, but because of that, people think that they know everything about me, and, actually, they don't know anything. I say things that other people might go through. That's what artists should do - throw things out there and not be perfect and not have answers for anything and see if people understand. But this person made the cutting sound interesting, like it was something I do now. And then I met somebody who said they'd seen movies of mine and then showed me where they had cut themselves. I had to explain, first off, not to do that. But it made me really fucking angry at the people who represent me in a way that would get that person to do that and show me. I don't understand why people would want to use something so damaging. It's like, let's make me look 'cool' and worry a lot of people in my family."
A tattoo on her stomach says, in Latin
: 'Quod me nutrit me destruit,'
or "What nourishes me also destroys me."
Poet Sylvia Plath
spoke about self mutilation in her poem “Cut
”. Here, some excerpts:
What a thrill--
My thumb instead of an onion.
…A celebration, this is.
When singer Fiona Apple
read her first bad review she began scratching her left wrist with the fingernails
of her right hand. She scratched all the way up her arm, there are still some dark patches on her wrists, where she dug the deepest. Fiona says, "I have a little bit of a problem with that. It's a common thing.
" When asked if it makes her feel better she simply replies, "It just makes you feel."
Fiona also bites her lips as hard as she can until they bleed
. "And it'll be bleeding, and I can't stop, because it almost feels so good when I bite my lip
." Trying to explain her actions she says,
"It was never, like, 'I am going to hurt myself and put myself in the hospital.' ...It is that I am going to give myself the pain that I need to feel to put the punctuation on this shit that's going inside."
She’s upset by how the public reacted to her revelations of her self-injury. She says,
"The most annoying thing for me to hear about myself is that I'm trying to make people have a pity party for me. Everything that I've gone through has been dramatised by the people who've written about it, not by me. I'm just saying, 'This happened to me, this happened to a lot of people.' Why should I hide shit? Why does that give people a bad opinion of me? It's a reality. A lot of people do it. Courtney Love pulled me aside at a party and showed me her marks."
"As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too. My self-image it still isn't that alright. No matter how famous I am, no matter how many people go to see my movies, I still have the idea that I'm that pale no-hoper that I used to be. A pale no-hoper that happens to be a little lucky now. Tomorrow it'll be all over, then I'll have to go back to selling pens again."
Johnny has a series of scars on one arm where he has cut himself with a knife on different occasions to commemorate various rites of passage
in his life. He says, "It was really just whatever--good times, bad times, it didn't matter. There was no ceremony. It wasn't like 'Okay, this just happened, I have to go hack a piece of my flesh off.'"
Johnny explains his self-injury,
"My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist."
, lead singer of Garbage
, was an angry child. She was teased, tormented
, and even beaten up by her classmates because of her looks. They called her names such as "posh
," and "frog-eyed" because of her red hair and green eyes. A certain teacher began ridiculing her, "Until, I think, everyone in that school thought I was less than human. I felt ugly, weak, overwhelmed - I couldn't imagine being capable of doing anything.
” She has a frighteningly low self-esteem
and hates the way she looks. "I feel disgusting. I could take a knife to my throat for the way I look. Can someone just put a bin or a bag or a fucking bomb on my head?
" As a teenager these feelings were manifested in cutting. She snipped the safety guards off Bic
razors and would cut up her arms.
And I am sure there are trillions more. Self mutilation is a very common thing.