#CutForBieber is a REAL THING (graphic pictures in that link, you have been warned).

Okay, not real real.  It started as a joke on 4chan (more evidence that I should never, ever go there).  But it was real enough for these tweets to get posted and posted often enough to trend.  Even if every single tweet was a joke (and I fear not all were–let me tell you as a former cutter, when you see pictures of people cutting, it’s very hard not to join in–I was physically ill for a moment, combine that with impressionable teenagers and you have a downright dangerous alchemy), I cannot imagine the kind of mind it takes to conceive of this sort of joke.

This is not okay.  Thankfully, Bieber fans aren’t *actually* mutilating their bodies to convince him to stop (in the main).  If there were poor, misguided girls and boys who “joined in,” I feel for them.

But, more than I feel for them, I am angry at the society that promotes this level of intellectual and spiritual rot.

I am a recovering cutter.  I haven’t cut in almost five years (six and a half weeks away–I plan to make it), but that doesn’t mean it’s easy not to.  Some days, I literally have to spend the whole day rubbing my arms and holding my elbows until I am sure I can go back to my apartment where there are any number of razors and kitchen knives in easy reach.  My roommate and I have a standing agreement that if I ever come home in a state when I am still struggling, I am to wake her up and not go through it alone (I must have looked monster scary to Mikki the day after I was up all but one hour of the night for that exact reason, she needs her sleep as much as I do).  Each month, I celebrate another month I was able to not take a blade to my skin in an effort to forget how much I HATE myself.  Most of those months, I can even celebrate that I am loving myself these days, but the sad truth is sometimes the celebration is for the barest of minimums: I didn’t act on that hate.

I’m not blaming culture or society for the decision I made to cut.  Ultimately, it was mine.  It was stupid and irrational, but it was mine.  However, what I am blaming on the world in general is that this is not something we talk about.  Why?  We give attention to drug abuse, eating disorders (mostly for women, but men are getting the recognition and help they need, too–hallelujah), all sorts of self-destructive behaviors and yet–unaccountably–we IGNORE PEOPLE CUTTING INTO THEIR OWN FLESH.  When we don’t ignore it, we PUBLISH PICTORIAL AND VIDEO DEPICTIONS OF IT.  How WRONG-HEADED is that?

Completely, in case you were wondering.

Cutting is not a phase, or an emo thing (I’ve heard both).  It’s not a sign of a deviant personality or an irreparable-from-birth mind.  It *is* the sign of a broken mind and, more often, a broken heart.  A person so convinced they are unworthy of the most basic of love and respect that they can no longer hurt anymore without doing something about it.

And this is what we sweep under the rug?

We’re nuts, people.  This cannot fly.  Thankfully, there are good doctors and nurses and friends who reach out to help.  There are teachers who watch and clergymen who listen.  There are groups like To Write Love on Her Arms (love them) which try to teach children and adults to take an expression of self-loathing and turn it into something positive and loving.

But these people are in the minority.  And it kills me to think they are.  It kills me to know that we’re teaching boys and girls that they must be better, not personally or mentally, but physically.  I’m all for health, but society does not promote heath, it promotes mutilation, both personal and cosmetic.  I hope my children grow up knowing they are loved–from all sides–as they are, but that even if every side doesn’t love them, the most important side that loves them is the inside.

This is not okay.  Even if it is a sick joke, it’s time for us to be accountable for the broken hearts we’ve created with our unattainable standards of perfection, both personal and media.

Be imperfect.  Be loved.  PLEASE–be yourself.

And please–friends, parents, loved ones, strangers–let’s start talking about this.  It’s GOT to be done.

___________________________________

You would not believe how different today’s post was supposed to be.  It was going to be cheery and a report of things good in the world.  But this is too important to ignore.  Parents, friends: watch how people interact online and respond.  I know, it’s not your job (friends) and it’s not easy to restrict something kids have such easy access to (parents) these days.  But it MUST be done.  Who better to call out inappropriate internet behavior than a loving friend?  Behavior like this cannot be brushed off or taken lightly for the future health of our children.  No joke on this level is okay.

Advertisements