Disclaimer: All characters property of Dick Wolf. This story has been written for entertainment purposes and not for profit.
Spoilers: Passing references to Legacy, Haunted, Disrobed, Slaves, Wrong Is right, Bad Blood, Entitled, The Third Guy, Nocturne, and Denial.
A Pain That Cuts Too Deep for Tears
John sighed as he sat down to his simple meal of corned beef on rye and unsweetened iced tea that he had purchased at the kosher deli down the block from his apartment. It had been a rough day, but more often than not, they were all rough days. This one just happened to be worse than usual. Since he'd joined the SVU, every case got to him. It was the nature of the work he did, and he'd more or less adjusted to it. Some cases, though, didn't just get to him, they threatened his sanity.
He gave a wry smile. Or, as Fin would say, what was left of his sanity. Munch shook his head. Fin didn't know the half of it.
Dr. Seuss had mentioned the dark and scary places in that nonsense book he'd been reading, but he didn't tell you that sometimes there was no way out of the darkness. He didn't tell you that sometimes, you just had to learn to live with it. He didn't tell you that for some people, the light never came. He supposed that it was best that little girl would never know.
He cut the sandwich in half from corner to corner and took a bite. It was like sawdust in his mouth. The sandwich was fine, but the need inside of him couldn't be satisfied with food. Pushing the sandwich away, he took a sip of the cold, bitter tea just to make what was in his mouth moist enough to swallow. Then he pushed the drink away, too.
He knew he should be feeling something right now. Anger, grief, pity for the tiny victim lying in the hospital, even relief that the case was over, but he was numb and that was almost worse than any emotion he could feel. He knew what the numbness meant. It covered pain, a great black roiling mass of pain that would burst forth and overcome him unexpectedly, leaving him reeling and disoriented if he didn't deal with it now. The problem was, as always, how did he get to it? He couldn't face it until he could feel it, and right now, it was buried too deep.
Maybe he should have let go when he was out on the roof with Olivia while she was there and willing to listen. He started to talk, telling her about the neighborhood where he'd grown up, about the little girl down the street who had died when her mother threw her through a plate glass window. Then the tears had started and he couldn't talk any more. He'd spent a lifetime hiding his suffering from the people who tried to hurt him, and now, he couldn't even share it with those who wanted to help. As much as he wanted to, he just couldn't tell Olivia about the despair he felt, the hopelessness and the sense of futility. It was a pain that cut too deep for words, too deep even for tears.
He thought about the things they all did to cope, some of them healthy, some of them not so much. Olivia was probably the most sensible among them. When she was hurting, she talked it over, either with one of the team or with one of the shrinks they consulted. Sure, she cried sometimes, and that embarrassed her, but Munch had always thought tears were a woman's strength. When something affected her, a woman could cry, let the emotions flow, and then go on. Men were conditioned to hold back their tears and let the negative feelings fester until the pressure became too much. Then they would let go and do something self-destructive.
Cragen used to drink, but now he went to AA meetings. John wondered how often he went, whether he had a regular meeting he attended or whether he just went now and then when the job got to be too depressing. He thought it must be an odd feeling, telling your deepest secrets and fears to a roomful of strangers yet not being able to share them with your friends. He wondered if AA helped as much with the emotional suffering as it did with the drinking or if it just became a substitute behavior, hiding one's feelings behind a veil of anonymous confession instead of at the bottom of a pool of Johnny Walker. He didn't doubt that Cragen's cravings for booze were still almost unbearable at times. He knew a little about compulsive behavior himself.
Stabler had his temper tantrums. He'd go on for a while, doing his job, beating the shit out of the punching bag in the workout room, trying to cope, but he always exploded eventually. The bottled up anger had cost Elliot his marriage and would have cost him his career more than once if Cragen had not intervened on his behalf, but he was still a damned good detective and too valuable to lose. They all agreed that his behavior could be unhealthy, but it was a reaction each of them understood. For Elliot, it seemed normal.
Smiling wryly again, John wondered what his friends would think of his own coping mechanism. He'd never hurt a soul, and it had never gotten him in trouble on the job, but he had no doubt that if his friends found out, they would all urge him to get "help." The captain was a recovering alcoholic and the squad's lead detective could shout and slam doors, slap around the occasional suspect and jeopardize his own career, but John knew, if anyone learned of his own, quiet, private release, he'd be on medical leave until he completed counseling.
It didn't seem quite fair, but he understood why it would be that way. What he did wasn't normal, particularly for a man his age. They'd all seen it before on the job, usually in victims of emotional or sexual abuse, and his friends would naturally associate it with a host of other psychological and emotional issues that came with that kind of maltreatment. It wouldn't matter that he was an otherwise healthy and well-adjusted adult; they would see him as a troubled, tortured soul. None of them would be able to understand that it was just his way of coping with the terrible things they saw. It was part of his arsenal along with the cynicism, conspiracy theories, and tinted glasses.
Fin was the most productive member of the squad. He played it close to the vest, but John knew what he did when things got to be too much. It was no coincidence that the detective had finally started to reconcile with his son after the shooting in that bodega. Fin coped by trying to fix what was broken in his own life. He substituted his own pain for what he saw on the job and then did what he could to resolve it. He was the only one of them who was actually improving his family and social relationships despite working in the SVU.
Cassidy and Jeffries hadn't done so well. Brian had just admitted he couldn't cut it, and he'd gone on to another post in narcotics. It was all for the best, though. The young detective was easily embarrassed and had trouble remembering the proper names for many of the bizarre sexual acts he had to face as a member of the SVU. Word had quickly spread among defense attorneys that the easiest way to shake his testimony was to make him describe the offense in detail, and that had turned testifying in court into yet another painful ordeal for him.
Monique, on the other hand, was tough, straightforward, and ready for anything. She could be a bit of a bitch sometimes and seemed to especially enjoy verbally sparring with John, but she was a good cop, and he always respected her. Unfortunately, after she was injured on duty, she had started nailing anything in pants. Jefferies claimed it made her feel more alive, but the department shrink had seen through her charade. Dr. Benedict told Cragen that the adrenaline rush Monique got from her risky behavior was every bit as addictive and dangerous as a drug high, and he had put the detective on desk duty and recommended her for a transfer. Jefferies had sued to keep her job, but when he confronted her with the shrink's findings, she couldn't deny them and had dropped her lawsuit.
John smiled a little sadly. The job just ate some people alive. Most of the others did their two years in SVU and got out. He, Cragen, Elliot, and Liv had been together going on eight years, and Fin had been with them almost six. Their work had stunted them in some ways and forced them to grow in others. He wondered if Elliot would still be married had he stayed in homicide or if Olivia could have maintained a relationship with one of the many men she had dated over the years if she had taken a post in computer or white collar crimes. Then again, maybe Fin and Ken would still be holding their grudges instead of trying to overcome them.
And what about him? Munch had always shielded himself with sarcasm and cynicism, never letting anyone get too close. It hid the pain, but didn't ease it. Sometimes his friends saw through the façade, but none of them, not even Huang, the inscrutable little Fed, could see inside of him. They couldn't get to the pool of emotional blackness that eventually swallowed every joyful moment of his life because he wouldn't let them. No one could ever reach him.
He laughed at himself slightly, so much for being well adjusted.
He considered his options for the evening, but it was purely an intellectual exercise. He already knew what he had to do if he wanted to find any semblance of peace tonight. Putting off the inevitable only built more tension, but he had learned long ago that if he waited a little while, the final release would be even more satisfying.
There were the sleeping pills in the medicine cabinet that the doctor had given him his first month in the SVU when the nightmares had plagued him. One of them would knock him out for a solid eight hours, and he would wake feeling well-rested but emotionally miserable. The thought of a good night's sleep was enticing, but wasn't a viable plan because he still wouldn't be able to face going to work in the morning.
Alcohol would bring the same oblivion with the added bonus of a hangover. He would not only feel miserable the next day, but ill as well.
He sighed, knowing there was really only one way he could help himself tonight. Then he smiled slightly, remembering his first time and the girl he had done it with. He'd been a freshman in high school and she was a junior. He was skinny and geeky and a little too smart for his own good, and the seniors had delighted in hazing him.
It had been a particularly hellish day starting with a senior hurling the contents of his notebook into the courtyard from a second floor window like it was so much confetti. In the hall before third hour, someone had pantsed him, yanking his trousers, which were a little large because they were hand-me-downs from his elder brother, down to his ankles and laughing at his "chicken legs." In fourth hour PE, in addition to the verbal abuse from his teacher, he'd had to endure a teammate yanking his shorts practically up to his ears, wedging them painfully in the crack of his ass after a player on the opposing team had smashed him in the face with a dodge ball, breaking his glasses. At lunch he had dropped his tray when he tripped over someone's leg which had been stuck out in the middle of the aisle specifically for that purpose, and on the way to fifth hour, someone had shoved him into his locker when he stopped to get his books.
He knew better than to yell. First of all, no one would hear him over the chaos of five hundred students changing classes. Also, if an administrator happened to come by while the boys who had done it were still around, he would be pressured to identify them, and if he did name them, they would torture him even more. Finally, he really didn't want to be rescued just yet.
Fifth period was an advanced mathematics class. He was the only freshman, and he was by far the smartest student in the class. Whenever the teacher asked a question to which no one else knew the answer, she would call on John hoping he would. His classmates mocked him when he was right and jeered him when he was wrong. The teacher was a sweet old spinster, the only female math teacher in his school, and she had no idea the hell she was putting him through. At least he always hoped she had no idea because the alternative was that she just didn't give a damn, and he couldn't have handled that.
So, he was content to spend fifth hour in his locker. Hell, he'd happily spend the rest of the day there and wait until the night custodian was making his rounds to call out for someone to release him. If he could just stop crying, everything would be ok. If they heard him crying like a girl, things would only get worse. The seniors were like any other pack of predators. They paraded around like tough guys who could handle anything, but like the cowards they were, they sought out the weakest among their prey, and tears were certainly a sign of weakness.
He had just stopped sniveling, realized he was missing a test, and started blubbering again when Ruthie had come to him, calling his name softly in the hallway.
"Johnny? Johnny Munch. It's me, Ruthie Weinberg. I saw what they did to you. I would have come sooner, but Mr. Davis won't let anyone out the first twenty minutes of class. Where are you Johnny? I've come to let you out."
He hesitated. She was a junior, and they were almost as bad as the seniors. She could be lurking in the hall with her friends waiting to mock him. For all he knew, they could drag him into the girls' bathroom and make him smear makeup on his face and then call him a fairy. They'd done that to Henry Roth, and when they got caught, they'd accused him of making sexual advances. The principal had taken the girls' story over Henry's, and his friend had been suspended for two weeks.
"Please, Johnny, I only want to help. I know what it's like."
Of course, this was Ruthie Weinberg, the stick-figure girl with the bad hair, buck teeth, and ugly glasses. Even the freshmen made fun of her. She didn't have any friends to lurk in the hall with her. He figured he was safe, at least for now. He never expected to be saved.
"I-I'm down here," he called uneasily, "in number H-109."
He heard the lock spinning, and she said, "Tell me the combination, Johnny, and I'll let you out."
He gave her the combination, and a moment later he was blinking in the light of the hallway.
"Are you ok? They didn't hurt you, did they?"
"Just my pride," he said, trying to sound cavalier, but at just that moment, he was overwhelmed once more by the shame and embarrassment and he began to cry again.
"Don't do that," she admonished him, "you're giving them just what they want!"
"I-I can't help it," he gasped. "They never leave me alone. Sometimes, I wish I was dead!"
"Now what would that accomplish?" she demanded. "Take a deep breath and get control of yourself."
It took a couple of tries, but eventually he managed to reign in his tears. Darting glances up and down the hall, Ruthie took his hand and led him to the stairwell saying, "Now come with me, I've found something that feels so much better than crying."
She led him all the way down to the boiler room, and when she sat on the steps and hiked her skirt up, he thought he was about to get laid for the first time. If they really went through with it, he would be the first in his small circle of friends to be deflowered, and by a junior, no less. Even though it was just Ruthie Weinberg, the ugliest girl in school, his body reacted.
Ruthie was seated at just the right height to see the swelling in his trousers and she chuckled. "That's not what I had in mind, Johnny, but I am flattered."
Instinctively, he cupped his hands over his crotch and blushed. "Sorry."
"It's ok," Ruthie said. "You're a guy. It's what guys do. Now sit beside me and watch."
He obeyed, and watched in fascination as she took out her little manicure kit. At first, when he saw what she did with it, he thought he would be sick, and when she told him it was his turn, he wanted to run away. But she gently, patiently taught him what to do, and the bullies never made him cry again.
John groaned as he got up from the table and headed back to his bedroom. He kept everything he needed wrapped in a soft cloth and buried in the back of the bottom drawer of his dresser. He had outgrown being ashamed of what he did long ago, but he still kept the kit hidden out of force of habit. He'd come to think of it as his 'works' for it gave him the same kind of high a junkie got from shooting up. Once he got his fix, once he tapped into that ugly black pit of pain inside him and felt it for just a little while, he'd be able to sleep through the night and wake ready to face the world in the morning.
"Now, I always do my legs," Ruthie explained, "because my skirts and the bottoms to my gym uniform are long enough to hide it. You might want to use your arms, though, because boys have to wear a coat and tie and you can just wear a sweat shirt for PE."
John nodded, and carefully following her directions, for the first time in his life, he found relief from the pain and humiliation others caused him. Controlling when and how much pain he experienced was exhilarating; he was not at the mercy of others and he couldn't get enough of the feeling. For a while after that, it had become a habit to meet Ruthie on the stairs by the boiler room. They would talk about classes and school events, make fun of the jocks and the popular kids who made their lives hell, and never mention their private suffering as they sought release for their pain.
He opened the kit, rolling it out on the cloth much as an old-time surgeon would roll out his instruments. First, he took out a bandage and smeared it with antibiotic ointment. Then he opened an alcohol pad and sterilized the razor blade and a small spot on his arm. Next he took a few deep breaths to fortify himself. This was never easy, but for him, it was easier than tears and more satisfying than drinking himself into oblivion.
Then Ruthie had graduated, and he was alone in his adolescent hell. When Ruthie had been with him, his compulsions had seemed almost normal. Without her, when he huddled in that dim little corner and listened for the custodian, he realized that he was just a sad, troubled freak, but by that time, he was hooked and no matter how much he wanted to stop himself, he couldn't.
Then one day, his arm started to itch. He slipped down to the boiler room during lunch, and found that it was red and inflamed. By the end of the fifth period, it was throbbing painfully, and he was sure he would have to go to the hospital. That would be a disaster. Everyone would know what he'd been doing.
He cut class and went home, knowing his father was at work and his mother would be at the rest home visiting with his grandmother until five. He had read somewhere that saltwater was an antiseptic and his mother always made him gargle with it when he had a sore throat, so he boiled a pot of water and let it cool until it was just a bearable temperature. Then he stirred in as much salt as he would dissolve. When the hot, salty water first touched his wound, it was all he could do not to scream. Sobbing all the while, he washed the cut and squeezed out every bit of pus. Then he held his arm over the sink and poured the rest of the water over it, again biting his tongue to keep from screaming.
He patted himself dry with a clean towel and wrapped his arm with gauze. After he cleaned up the mess in the kitchen, he went to the bathroom and hunted through the medicine cabinet for something he could take to help fight the infection. Way on top, behind his mother's One-a-Day vitamins, he found half a bottle of penicillin tablets that had been prescribed for his father the previous winter after he'd had an abscessed tooth pulled. Praying that it would be enough, he took one of the tablets on the spot and carried the rest back to hide in his room.
His hand trembled slightly as he lifted the razorblade to his arm, but no matter, in a few moments, everything would be better. His heart was beating rapidly in anticipation of the pain, but he continued taking slow, deep, rhythmic breaths as he used just enough pressure to break the skin. He held his breath, watching in fascination as one ruby droplet formed and slowly trailed away from the wound. He could hear his pulse pounding in his ears and his chest began to burn for want of oxygen, and still he held his breath. He waited until that first droplet landed on the table, then he pulled the blade down his arm, making a narrow, shallow slit in the skin about an inch long.
The cut itself burned slightly as a feeling of warmth flooded through him, and he began to breathe again, sucking the air through his teeth. It was always like this. The first cut made him giddy and left him wanting more.
He had finished his father's penicillin, and it had stopped the infection. For a couple of years after that, he had quit completely. The scare had been enough to break the addiction. Then his father had killed himself. The pain of knowing that his last words to his dad were "I hate you," was almost too much to bear.
He never cried during the funeral, and all the neighbors admired how strong he was being for his mother and his weepy older brother. What none of them realized was that he couldn't cry because it hurt too much. He struggled through the week they sat shivah trying to hold out against the urges he felt, and the first week back at school, he never left a class except when the bell sounded to go to the next one because he was afraid that if he went to the bathroom or the water fountain, it would be by way of the boiler room. Another week went by and the pain and need just built.
He finally went to the guidance counselor intending to tell her everything, but when she brought him into her office, he couldn't bring himself to say the words. Instead, he made up some story about being worried that he might not be able to get all of his work caught up before the next report card and would she please speak to his teachers about allowing him a little extra time. She checked his academic record and complimented him on his scores. Then she assured him that she wouldn't let his "recent tragedy" hurt his grades. She'd tried to get him to talk about how he was doing, but he simply could not tell her. He thanked her for her help and concern and quickly said goodbye. Then he went by the boiler room on his way back to class.
He did it every day for almost a month after that until he slipped and went too deep, but finally the bleeding stopped. He'd covered it with one of the bandages he kept in his wallet, and promised himself he wouldn't do it any more, but the urges still got the better of him from time to time. Eventually, when he was in college, he'd learned not to feel guilty or ashamed of what he was doing. That's when he constructed his kit and his lies. If anyone ever noticed the scars and questioned him about it, he would tell them he had fallen into a pile of broken beer bottles outside one of the frat houses after a party. If there were fresh wounds to explain, he'd had to struggle with a jammed door on the dumpster at his apartment building. The stories would work for family and friends alike, and he didn't feel the least bit guilty about planning to lie to them. After all, he never hurt anyone, not even himself, at least not seriously, and it made the world easier to handle, it made him better at his job, and helped him keep his cool. The lies were just to protect others from a truth they couldn't fathom.
He pressed the razorblade to his skin again a quarter of an inch to the right of the first cut. He held his breath and sliced once more, smiling faintly as blood droplets formed along the edges of the wound. The second cut was never the same as the first. Where the first one whetted his appetite, the second one brought him relief. He could feel the tension flowing out of him from his shoulders through his arms and out his fingers, down his legs and out through his toes. Most of it pooled in the back of his skull and traveled down his back, trickling along the vertebrae like water in a stream to just fall out of him at the end of his spine. The second cut helped him relax.
Ever since he'd created his kit, with the exception of his four divorces, he'd been able to go weeks, sometimes months at a time without having to cut himself. Just knowing that he could do so whenever he felt the need comforted him and made him need it less. Then he had joined the SVU, and when a good night's sleep wasn't enough any more, he ditched the sleeping pills and got his kit out.
The first time he'd done it after joining the squad was the night he found out about Olivia's father. The department had switched them to a new insurance company and he'd been ranting about how they plotted to get out of paying benefits when he'd noticed Liv had left the father's side of her medical history form blank. He'd made some wisecrack about how she'd found the perfect way to screw with the insurers, and Elliot had privately given him hell about it. When he'd asked what was wrong with Liv's father and made another joke about his possibly being a Jehovah's Witness, Elliot had curtly told him that the only thing Olivia knew about her father was that he had raped her mother.
That had been his breaking point. For months he had managed to cope with the unending pain of living victims, the guilt of parents who had trusted the wrong person and turned their children over to pedophiles and violent child molesters, the innocent fear and neediness of abused and molested children. It had become a huge weight on him, and the knowledge that one of his colleagues was forced to live knowing that she was the product of such brutality was more than he could bear.
That night, he'd sat at the table cutting himself until he fell asleep with the razorblade still pinched tightly between his thumb and forefinger. He woke the next morning feeling slightly ill, almost as if he was hung-over. That day was business as usual, but when he took his lunch break, he'd begun to look into Olivia's mother's rape case. It had taken him a few days, but he'd found a lead she hadn't in all the years she had been looking for the brute who was her father. He gave the information and the audio tapes of Serena Benson's statement to Liv and let her decide what to do with the information.
Once more he pressed the blade into his skin. He was aware of his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth in concentration, and he drew it back in. Once more, he sliced himself, and this time, he felt a surge of what could only be described as relief. He sat for several minutes watching his lifeblood trickle down his arm, the ruby droplets standing in for the tears he could not shed.
A few weeks later, when they had to let Stephanie Mulroney go on murder charges, he found himself at the table again with his works laid out before him, but he was reluctant to do it this time. He knew if he didn't get control of his behavior he could do himself serious damage. He needed to find a way to get relief without ever going too far again, but he only did what he did precisely because he felt out of control. His mind was awhirl with thoughts of all the things he'd had to endure in his life—the taunts of his school mates, the loss of his father.
That led him to think of Olivia. At least he'd know his father and knew him as a loving, albeit strict and reserved, parent. Olivia only knew that her father was a violent criminal, and there was no telling how her mother had treated her given the circumstances of her conception.
That had brought his thoughts back to Stephanie Mulroney and the extreme steps her mother had taken to block their investigation not to protect Stephanie as any normal parent would have done, but to protect the family from the stigma of her daughter's crime. He could actually sympathize with Stephanie, not that it excused her actions. Because he had a high IQ his mother had always demanded a lot of him, and they were just a normal family, at least until his dad's suicide. He could only imagine the strain of growing up in a family like the Mulroney's. He couldn't help but think that Stephanie would be better off to confess her crime and serve her sentence, but because of family's connection to city government and their reputation for philanthropy, she would have to carry the guilt to her grave. If she had any kind of a conscience that would a burden worse than any he would ever have to bear.
That was the night he had developed his ritual.
The first cut, the one that hurt the most, was for his father and all the pain he had hidden until it became too much. Abe Munch had always seemed a happy man, jovial even. He earned a good living, never missed a day of work, had a loving wife, and two intelligent children just bursting with potential. Until the day he hanged himself from the rafters in the attic, no one would have thought he had a care in the world.
The second cut, sort of hidden between the first and third, was for Olivia and the way she carried on with her life despite what she knew about her origins. She could sympathize with the victims and make them feel safe as easily as she tormented the criminals and badgered confessions out of them all because of her personal experience with the kinds of crimes the SVU investigated. Even the people who knew her well seldom saw any indication of the emotional scars she carried. Only when a case struck a nerve would there be a flash of her eyes or a change in her behavior that let them know she was hurting. John sometimes worried that she tried to hard to keep it all inside, but at the same time, he admired her strength.
The third cut, the one that bled the longest, was for the victims. That first time it was Stephanie Mulroney and the guy she had killed. They were both victims of the intense pressure she had endured to conform to her powerful family's image while she was growing up. Later on, it would be for a mentally handicapped man who didn't even realize that he had done something wrong. Then it was for Elliot and the talented concert pianist with whom he had connected before he discovered that, in addition to being a sexual abuse victim, he was also an abuser. Twice, it was for Fin, once when he tried to help a junkie who carried her dead baby sister's finger in a baggie in her purse and again after he'd been shot when the mother of a girl he'd know when he was undercover showed up calling him a dirty cop. There had been so many over the years that the individuals no longer mattered, but he still remembered each of them.
Each cut, of course, was also for him.
Gradually, John felt a sense of deep fatigue take over his body. The high was fading, leaving him with nothing. He wasn't happy and he wasn't sad. He wasn't angry or frustrated. He wasn't numb. Hell, he wasn't even there, really. When his skin was torn and bleeding, he didn't have to think about the crushing weight on his spirit that came from dealing with rapists, pedophiles, and child abusers all day. That's what cutting did for him, it let him escape. The physical pain that he controlled let him tap into his emotional pain, feel only as much of it as he could handle, and then shut it off when he'd had enough.
He was exhausted now, but he had to complete the ritual. Carefully, he cleaned his wounds with another alcohol pad, making a point of washing away all of the crusted blood that had trickled down his arm. Then he covered the cuts with the bandage he had prepared before starting. He wiped the razorblade clean and put it away, threw out the dirty alcohol pads and the bandage wrapper, rolled up his kit and put it back in the drawer in the bedroom.
Returning to the kitchen-dining-living room of his little apartment, he threw out his sandwich and dumped his tea because he wouldn't be hungry any more tonight. The cutting had satisfied all of his needs for the time being. With a deep sigh of something that almost resembled contentment, he turned out the lights and wandered off to bed for a long, dreamless sleep.
Author's Note: I began writing this story shortly after it came to light that one of my students engaged in this behavior. Then I saw a program about it on the We network and had to go back and make some changes.
Cutting and other forms of self-injury are usually not about just getting attention, though they may start that way. SI has nothing to do with sadomasochism and while those who SI may be depressed it is not usually a suicide attempt.
Cutting and SI are unhealthy coping mechanism some people develop to deal with stress and painful emotions. I have some links about it that I wanted to share, but I can't seem to get them to appear in this text. I will try to post them in a review, but if that doesn't work either, you can always contact me and I will be happy to send them along.
Thanks for taking the time to read.