Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"I am cut"

A song about cutting creates awareness...and some controversy

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut--from Cut, by Plumb

This morning on 101QFL's Marlar in the Morning show, Darren and I got a call from a father who just found out over the weekend that his 17-year-old daughter is cutting herself. The caller told us that his "world blew apart" when he found out--actually, through a school guidance counselor--that his daughter was inflicting wounds on herself.

She's not alone. Statistics are hard to come by, because it's a practice that's easy to hide. But when a "cutter" spoke up on the singer Plumb's message board, it was flooded with other young people who cut.

This morning's caller asked us to play Plumb's song, "Cut," because he sees it as a cutter's cry for help.

Ironically, we had gotten complaints about the song because it's about cutting--and because although it expresses a cutter's emotional pain, it doesn't offer any hope.

After we played the song this morning, we got an e-mail from another listener:

I was one of the people that emailed to question that song being played. The song does not offer hope in Jesus Christ. I know Cindy said that this morning and that was my issue. I know someone who Cuts and she called the song CUT as “her song.” She heard it and said oh that is "my" song. She did not know I knew she cut at that time.

I know there are a lot of people doing this but this song does not offer a way out and almost I feel encourages it because all it says is “I only find peace when I am cut.”

When I emailed before I stated if the song was followed with help for those that are cutting then the song would make an impact on those listening to the song.

A conversation point

Plumb dedicates at least one song on each of her albums to people who are hurting.

“Those songs opened the floodgates for abuse victims to have conversations about what they were going through, and helped to define my mission as an artist. I decided to dedicate one song on each album to people who are hurting, because these songs have let people know they’re not alone, which is the first step to healing.”

She spoke to CNN about "Cut," explaining that it has fulfilled her goal of being a touchstone for conversation about cutting and allowing cutters to open up about their problem.

You can see the video of the CNN interview here.

No Hope Offered?...There Is Hope

I commend Plumb for her compassion and for raising awareness about a very important issue. But I agree with the e-mailer that the song falls short. It doesn't even insinuate that there is hope for the pain or numbness of the cutter. I believe the song could have included a glimmer of that hope without weakening its dramatic message.

If you are a cutter, please know that there is hope in Jesus Christ. Here is a site that explains, simply, how to become a Christian.

Perhaps you already are a Christian. Please know that you can go to God and His Word for the help you need...and please, talk to a trusted counselor about what you're doing. Please seek help--it is out there.

From the testimony of a former cutter:

A person enslaved by a pattern of self-abuse does not have to stay there. It may take a long time to recover. There may be temptations to cut, or even lapses on the path of healing. Teens need to know that "God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when [not if] you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). Someone breaking the habit of self-injury can still be hit with destructive thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, but simply re¬membering and believing the truth can go a long way toward setting them free. Addressing the Galatians, the Apostle Paul told God's people to "stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1). For the young cutter, that yoke can feel absolutely overwhelming. But I am living proof that there is hope!

Here are some other resources about cutting:

A Window into a Cutter's World

Help for Cutters or Those Who Self-Injure

Redemption on the Razor's Edge

Hurting Beyond Words: The Silent Agony of Self-Injury (a booklet you can order)

Helping a Teen Cutter

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