WARNING: Potentially triggering topics discussed below
Growing up I was always very shy and awkward around everyone. I did my schoolwork, read books during recess and lunch, and generally tried to be as invisible as possible. Sadly, hitting puberty at 9 years old and being taller than (and having a larger chest than) your 3rd grade teacher doesn't really make for invisibility at school.
The methods don't matter, what matters is that in the end it ruined my high school life and ended with me being expelled and sent to a secondary school where all the other students were drug dealers, gang members, and prostitutes. Me, the girl who just wanted to read her books and stay invisible, but who now was thrust into a situation that left her even more terrified and isolated from the few people she considered friends. I was only there for a few months, after I had my second panic attack in a single week my mom told me that I was never going back to that horrible place and the next week I started home schooling. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Suddenly I was back to having good grades and doing all my work!
So, what's my point with telling you all this? To break down the stigma of self harm. I wasn't a silly kid begging for attention (and in fact I often hid it from everyone; my own family didn't know for years), I wasn't trying to "fit in", thankfully I wasn't trying to kill myself, and I wasn't crazy for hurting myself. I was someone who had no other way to cope with life, the overwhelming emotions were too much to keep inside and the only way to relieve the pressure was to harm. Even with therapy it was tempting to harm, but I've been able to stay strong and safe. Believe me when I tell you, though, that even today it's sometimes difficult to resist the urge.
1. when you feel like you want to cut, take a marker or pen and draw a butterfly wherever the self-harm occurs.
2. name the butterfly after a loved one, or someone that really wants you to get better.
3. NO scrubbing the butterfly off.
4. if you cut before the butterfly is gone, it dies. if you don't cut, it lives.
5. if you have more than one, cutting kills them all.
6. another person may draw them on you. these butterflies are extra special. take good care of them.
7. even if you don’t cut, feel free to draw a butterfly anyways, to show your support.
Butterfly Project is Lucky 13's first Pay What You Can polish. It is available in only one size and there will be a range of options available in the shop from $2 to $20 (before shipping costs); all will receive the same 15ml bottle. Please contribute what you can as larger contributions will be used to offset the costs of those who are unable to afford it but are still in need of Butterfly Project as a self harm alternative. Your contribution may save a life!
If you are in need of Butterfly Project as a self harm alternative and cannot afford a monetary payment please contact me and we will arrange creative forms of payment. Draw me a picture, write me a short story or a poem, promise me you'll blog about it or talk to friends about it, raise funds using MTurk and send me an Amazon gift card...Whatever! We'll work something out <3
I can't stop you from being afraid of talking about who you are and what you've done in your life, but I can tell you that there's no need to be ashamed of it. We are who we are today because of what we've experienced, and that has created some truly amazing people that I'm proud to call my friends.