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When Someone Said 'I Didn't Know You Were the Type to Cut'

There I was sitting in my last class of the day, sweltering underneath the jacket I kept glued to my body. After months of using cutting as a way to cope with mental pain, I eventually stopped after getting help. Despite this, there were still red marks left on my arms. It took a long time to muster up the courage and confidence needed to take off my jacket. There in the heat of my last class, I unzipped my jacket and bare my arms. Then, I heard the comment, “I didn’t know you were the type to cut.”

The comment made me want to quickly put my jacket back on, but there were two words I couldn’t stop thinking about: the type. What did the person mean by “the type to cut?” Is there a specific “type” of person who cuts? The answer is no.

I think a lot of people believe there is a certain look, personality, gender or age that goes along with someone who cuts. I don’t blame them because there’s not enough awareness about the issue. The fact is anyone can self-harm, just like anyone can have a mental illness or struggle with emotional pain.

On the outside, I may have looked like the girl who enjoyed school, had a lot of friends, made it on the honor roll and who was happy most of the time. My appearance and persona didn’t show what I was feeling on the inside. Most of the time, I was feeling stressed, anxious, unhappy, overwhelmed, lonely and hopeless about life. I used physical pain to help distract myself from the mental pain that always seemed to be there. Since then, I have learned cutting wasn’t a means of dealing with my underlying problems.

After that class, I did put my jacket back on, but I haven’t kept it on. I have not let the comment discourage me, but rather encourage me to further talk about my feelings with others and let people know there is no “type” of person who cuts. 

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255