Cutting - Vacaville,CA

Updated on August 21, 2013
J.H. asks from Vacaville, CA
12 answers

Anyone ever had a tween "cutting"?
Never in a million years did I think I would be here...OMG!
My 12 year old has been really depressed all summer. I knew she was sad but had NO Idea until she finally saw her therapist and they told me. I am horrified, sad, angry...I just don't get it!
Why, Why, Why do people thinks this makes it better!!!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

She lost her best friend (more like a sister) of 11 years with no explanation or reason. So, I knew she was sad...she also has other issues with her Dad. She has been in and out of counseling since she was 5. She asked to go back and that is why we are there. I knew she was sad and having a hard time, I just had no idea that she was cutting, or would ever even think of it! She is doing individual therapy and weekely group therapy. I am already scheduled for an appointment for me to see the same therapist.
I am just heartbroken and so shocked. She and I talk EVERYDAY and I just feel horrible. I knew she was sad....just not that sad.

My heart is breaking and I just trying to understand what has happened here. I am huge on therapy and will continue that with her for a LONG time to come. I shudder to think of what she will do at 16 if she does not learn from this now.
Thank you all for your kind words and advice. They really have helped, at least made me feel not so alone in this! Going to pick up Reviving Ophelia today..

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

It's about control. Physical pain is easier to process then mental pain.

Do YOU have a therapist? I think that would help in this whole process. I will say anger at her will only make it worse.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's more common that you would think. The physical pain takes away the emotional pain. Keep up with the therapy and get whatever additional support you need, including your own therapist or - I'm sorry - inpatient care if necessary.

They hide it, and they hide it well. It's okay if you didn't know. You know now. Hopefully the therapist has good experience with things like body image and tween issues. Body image comes up a lot with tweens and teens, especially girls - and sometimes they damage themselves to make themselves less attractive, because they already think they are, or they feel they can't measure up to society's expectations. It's not entirely different from anorexia and other eating disorders - but work with the therapist to find out what her reasons and issues are.

Don't try to get it. You can't. She may not even be able to express it that well anyway. It's a cry for help, and you're getting her that help. Try to get past the anger. Get to the place of throwing yourself into getting the right treatment for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

It's a form of pain that they can control. That is why they think that it helps them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I never really understood it either, but I did get a better understanding after reading Reviving Ophelia ( This is a book about tween/teen girls and what they go through written by a therapist. This was required reading in my education classes; I liked it, but also, I understood so much more~maybe see if you can get it or maybe the library has it.

I am so sorry for what you are going through please know that we feel for you and that you are not alone! We'll be sending healing wishes and prayers to your family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am so sorry. I know you are hurting and emotional too, right now.
No mama wants think her child could be hurting so bad.
You did good, mama. You got her a therapist.

They know it doesnt make things better. They just don't have to think how much they are emotionally hurting. Now time for a psychiatrist. You would take her to a cancer doctor if she had cancer. This is a case for a doctor of the mind.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Because the physical pain diminishes the mental pain.

Because it's easier to use up tim in your life dealing with physcial pain that you can than all the demons in your head that you can't see and don't understand.

It's easier for other people to know you need help when they can see scars on the outside than the scars on the inside.

Your daughter is self-destructive. If it wasn't cutting, it might have been drugs or alcohol or sex. But you would have had to deal with whatever her demons are somehow.

Now that she's in therapy, that's good.

YOU should also get into family therapy. Whatever is going on needs to be dealt with by the ENTIRE family. There is a dynamic at work that made it hard for your daughter to reach out and ask for help before becoming physcially destrutive. That needs to be addressed so you can all learn to function in a healthy way.

Good luck to all of you. This is a hard road.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

So very sorry. I have not had to deal with this, but I just want to second what Mymission has said - that's really good advice.

Hang in there, and hugs to you and your daughter!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Cutting is one of those odd things that we're learning more about as more people come forward and talk about why they did it.

My 9 year old granddaughter started cutting herself in May. I saw the mark on her wrist/hand and I asked her what it was. She said "I cut myself". I asked "how" and she said "I did it with my pencil". I asked her if it was an accident and she said no.

I asked her what happened when she did it and the story unfolded that she felt like she deserved the pain and that it made her feel again because she was numb inside. She started counseling that week. She also started Prozac.

She's doing better since we told her she didn't have to go back to her old school. She was in a bad situation there. I didn't realize it was so bad until I saw the wound.

3rd grade is hard. She has a friend that is obsessive of her. Almost to a clinical level. She would follow her around asking her if they could be friends, she'd say yes but it wouldn't end there. It would be the same thing every few minutes.

The principal got involved and decided my granddaughter was a bad person for wanting to have some space away from this possessive child.

The principle called my granddaughter dirt to her face and called the other kids in her class fools for even wanting to be around her. I didn't know it was to this extent until the counseling really got underway.

She started cutting herself to punish herself and because she was shut down and couldn't feel much. When she felt the pain of the cut she felt alive.

She's doing much better now. The Prozac is helping and she's going to a completely different school in a different school district.

Cutting themselves is a serious serious symptom. If you don't feel like you're seeing results then by all means please talk to your child and see if she's willing to change to someone else. Not everyone will mesh with her. Keep looking until you are confident it's a good fit and she's getting better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am so sorry for what you are going through!! I do not have advice here but my heart goes out to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

She's angry and depressed and emotionally has a hard time feeling anything other than that. Cutters cut to FEEL something, it's a way of relieving stress. She needs other tools to process what she is going through. Therapy should help. What you can do is listen to her. Let her vent without judging, let her express her feelings. Knowing she can trust you, in addition to her therapist, will go a long way to help her. I have first hand experience with this, I hope that my advice helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

When you say she lost her best friend, do you mean she died or did they just part ways. I would think that would make a difference in the type of therapy she needs. You might want to consider family therapy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree with some of the other people who said that we do it because physical pain is easier to control than mental pain. Slowing down and cutting I remember kind of quieted me mentally at the time I did it as a young teen and young woman. I am so sad for you and for her that she is grappling with what must be gigantic un-feelable feelings right now. I'm glad you both have therapists. For my part, I wish I had also been given the option of medication as a kid.

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