“It started right after my mother died when I was about eleven. I would repetitively hit something, usually on my hands, and it would get so numb. And then I would know when it was broken and then I would stop. I think what I liked—what I’ve learned through years of therapy, now as a fifty- five-year-old adult woman—similar to cutting, when the pain on the inside is so intense, you just want a way for it to stop. Your brain literally can’t handle the physical pain and the emotional pain. One of the receptors turns off. So when you feel like you’re drowning by all of the emotional stuff....And there was horrible stuff going on at my house at night. That’s something that scars you in a way, that unless you’ve lived through it it’s hard to articulate.”

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