I can’t appreciate self-harming

Decades ago I knew a teenage girl who would self harm.

Damn.  Yet another lovely human I lost touch with.  I wonder whatever happened to her and how her life went and whether she found peace and harmony.

Anyway. Yes, she would self harm by repeatedly rubbing a sharp stone across her arm, normally somewhere near her elbow.  The abrasion would cause reasonably superficial bleeding and immediately she would feel an almost orgasmic sense of relief.  She once described it as a “letting out” of something which had build-up inside her.  Almost like letting out something that had gotten inside that shouldn’t have been there, a foreign body.

In order to facilitate her self harming, she would carry this small stone around in the back pocket of her jeans. This was very important. If she had temporarily misplaced the stone she would panic.  Just having it with her made her feel calmer.

There were many reasons from her childhood and a succession of bad experiences (probably including meeting me!) that had turned her into this self-harmer.

I did notice that the results of her self harming would be mainly hidden from the view of the casual observer.

Now, what she did to herself was very mild and nowhere near as extreme as this:

But, I have noticed a common theme.  The harming occurs in areas that are mainly clothed or hidden from general view.  The girl in the picture has left the area around her belly button free from harm.  Thus she can wear clothes that allow this area of her body to show whilst continuing to hide the extreme self-harming episodes.

Also, looking closer you can see that the injuries themselves, whilst collectively producing what looks like an alarming quantity of blood, are again actually quite superficial.

I suppose because I’ve never experienced it, I find it hard to understand the need to self-harm.  In contrast I can fully understand the need to harm other people.  I would be an evil man should I ever ‘go postal’.  But, my body is my temple (Erm?).  I would feel no relief or satisfaction from cutting myself or making bits of me bleed.

People involved in the bdsm scene enjoy being dominated and humiliated or using pain as an erotic stimulus, and there are girls that would enjoy being ‘tortured’ by having the injuries pictured inflicted upon them by their ‘master’ or ‘mistress’.  Equally there are ‘doms’ who would enjoy inflicting them.

What is interesting about the power of this photo is the reaction different people give.  A lot of people, notably men and lesbians, find it highly erotic.  A couple of girls in their early twenties thought it was ‘cool’ and ‘kinda horny’.  A few (male and female, and generally older) find it ‘scientifically’ curious (“Is it real? It’s not real, surely?”), and slightly more find it ‘shocking’ or ‘disgusting’.

How do you react when looking at the photo?  What does it make you feel?  What thoughts go through your mind?

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