Last night was my first ballet class of the year, and among those in the class was a beautiful, slim, young woman who ended up dancing beside me for much of the session. She wore a sleeveless top and I was saddened to see that she had probably hundreds of razorblade scars, some still fresh, all over both arms. I got a glimpse of her ankles and calves from time to time: they too were scarred.
I know someone who used to cut herself regularly so seeing this brought back a lot of bad memories, to the point where I could hardly concentrate on my dancing.
This is the second time recently that I’ve seen evidence of self-mutilation among young girls. Another young adult who serves customers at a local shop and who is clearly anorexic also has scars all over her arms – this time from what might be cigarette burns. I just feel like gathering both of them up in my arms and holding them until all their hurt and pain goes away.
I’ve read that self-injury has been on the rise since the 1990s and one study determined that 40 percent of university/college students have indulged in self-mutilation at one time or other. Those are pretty unbelievable statistics but I have no way of disproving them. If they are anywhere close to being true, it should be a huge warning sign that we as a society have gone very far down the wrong road.
It’s hard to read about, but if you’re interested, here is one person’s account of why she cuts herself.