If Your Child is a Cutter

My daughter is a cutter. She hurt herself the first time when she was only twelve-years-old. I wrote this poem for parents who, like me, bear hidden scars in their hearts because of their children who suffer with self-injury, also called self-harm, self-mutilation. My daughter has struggled with self-injury for over ten years. It’s hard for someone who hasn’t experienced this to understand what it’s like for a parent. Maybe my words will describe your feelings, too.

tears - artwork by Jonty HurwitzCuts on your arms
With more hidden from sight,
Countless marks of madness
How can it be?
That your raging self-hatred
Becomes my insanity?

Your scars of shame
They wound my soul
They slash and rip and tear.

It’s too much.
How can this be?
And you’re convinced I don’t even care.

A parent’s nightmare
My private pain
My secret agony
Your Blood on the sheets,
Hidden razors and knives,
red stained tissues in the trash.
But what’s this?
Is that my blood on the floor mingled with yours?
My life reduced to ash?

Oh, where can I go
With this searing pain?
Who will understand?
Who can bear the burden,
Who can carry the strain of this weight,
Of these toxic, bitter tears,
Of this life drained out, run dry?

Every breath labored,
Every step slow,
I’ll run to my Savior, to the Lord, who knows,
Who cares about my hurt,
who understands my shame,
Who can help me bear the weight

Who can help me stand the strain.

Yet, He makes me no promises, gives no guarantees,
But He’ll carry me all the way,
‘Til I reach the other side.
I’m no super mom,
I can’t do this alone,
Not now, not ever,
I won’t even try.

Who am I comfort1that He cares about my tears,

He aches over my losses, my sorrows and my fears?
Who am I that He listens, that He thinks of me?

I can hardly believe it’s true.

Until this trial ends,
However that may be,
I’ll stay close to His side,
For all eternity.
Whatever comes, that’s where I’ll be,
Under His wings.
Just my Savior and Me.


Two excellent books that helped me understand about cutting are:

A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong

Cut by Nancy Alcorn.

You can order it here through our website and your purchase will help Hope for Hurting Parents (our ministry).

You will survive by remembering this one thing – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You may feel lonely, but you’re NOT alone. In the beginning of this journey, when I felt completely alone, this Bible verse helped:

“I am always with you; you take hold of my right hand (Psalm 73:23).” NASB


**If you’d like to learn more about self-injury, I’ve written numerous blogs with on the subject that will give you a lot more information. Each one has more resources for you. Type in “self-injury” or “cutting” in the search bar on the upper right hand corner of this page to do a search for those posts.

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